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Times Watch Quotes of Note: Keller Confesses: 'Most Journalists Would Recoil in Horror' From Palin Presidency

Plus Michael Shear longs to cover hard policy news, then spends the weekend going through Sarah Palin's old emails. Plus, anti-terrorist program wrecking reporter James Risen thinks "right-wing bloggers" are out to get him.

Editor Keller Confesses: 'Most Journalists Would Recoil in Horror" From Palin Presidency

'If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I'm pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea....Perhaps one key to Palin's dislike of the news media is a streak of intellectual insecurity, or a trace of impostor syndrome. Her best defense against being found shallow is a strong offense. I think a lot of journalists, regardless of their politics, find her confounding and a little frightening. Evidently, so do most Americans; only 21 percent of voters have a favorable impression of her in the latest CBS poll.' – Executive Editor Bill Keller, in the June 19 edition of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.



Michael Shear, AKA Mr. Hard News

Host Sam Roberts: 'But you pointed out that this is a particularly inopportune time for this latest sex scandal to break in Washington. Why is that?'
Michael Shear: 'Lots of policy and we're going to start with the sex scandal! That's fine. Yeah, it's not a good time for Democrats.' – "Caucus" reporter Michael Shear, sounding bitter, on the June 9 edition of the paper's political podcast, 'The Caucus.'

"Palin Wanted a Tanning Bed in the Governor's House." – Headline over a June 10 Shear blog post. Shear spent the weekend along with the rest of the media pouring through former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's emails.



Anti-Terrorist-Program Wrecker James Risen Pursued by Right-Wing Bloggers

'In 2006, I was awarded the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, for reporting on President Bush's illegal domestic wiretapping program....the Bush Administration had, in all likelihood, violated the law and the United States Constitution by secretly conducting warrantless domestic wiretapping on American citizens...an organized campaign of hate mail from right wing groups with close ties to the White House was launched, inundating me with personal threats...Right wing pundits and bloggers supporting the Bush administration took to television and the Internet to call for the White House and the Justice Department to prosecute me for espionage.' – Investigative reporter James Risen, whose scoops crippled two anti-terrorist programs during the Bush years, quoted in an affidavit filed in federal court June 21. The government has issued Risen a subpoena ordering him to identify a source in his 2006 book 'State of War' about a C.I.A. plan to feed Iran bad information to cripple its nuclear program.


Egan Favors "Renegade" GOP Huntsman Over Conservative "Sea of Craziness"

'But for the increasingly intolerant minority who will decide the next Republican nominee, Huntsman is already a heretic for speaking common sense on climate change, gay civil unions and immigration....In that world, to be thoughtful is a vice. Skepticism is a second strike....Huntsman has yet to formally announce his candidacy, though all signs point to it. At the least, by refusing to throw red meat to the wackos, he can elevate the Republican debate. I know, I know: it would cost him the nomination. The modern Republican Party will force any politician who shows signs of doing actual hard thinking about life and public policy to walk a plank into a sea of craziness. But he's already a renegade. Why not take the next step?' – Reporter turned blogger Timothy Egan in a June 9 posting on his nytimes.com blog.




Congressional Oversight = Sexual Harassment

'It's official: Elizabeth Warren will return to the torture chamber known as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 14. Earlier this week, Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the committee, tweeted the news. Apparently, Democrats aren't the only ones who use Twitter to harass women.' – Business columnist Joe Nocera, June 11.

You can read all the latest biased quotes from the Times at Quotes of Note.