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Notable Quotables - 02/03/2003

ABC Reporter Left Unsatisfied


"It was certainly a commanding speech, it had a lot of sweep and range. I'm not sure it addresses the core complaint of his critics. The issue with the critics is not that he doesn't care, it's that they don't agree with his policies. A critical issue here is that a majority disagree with his handling of the economy and a strong majority of citizens believe that his plan strongly favors the rich. He doesn't seem to have done anything to address those complaints."
-ABC Nightline correspondent Michel Martin during live coverage moments after President Bush delivered his State of the Union address on January 28.

 

He Can't Be Evil - He Funds Art


"This week we were surprised to see several hundred artists and writers walking through the streets of Baghdad to say thank you to Saddam Hussein. He had just increased their monthly financial support. Cynical, you could argue with this particular time, but the state has always supported the arts, and some of the most creative people in the Arab world have always been Iraqis. And whatever they think about Saddam Hussein in the privacy of their homes, on this occasion they were praising his defense of the homeland in the face of American threats."
-ABC's Peter Jennings concluding the January 21 World News Tonight, which he anchored from Baghdad, Iraq.

 

Still Trusts Saddam, Doubts U.S.


Former CNN reporter Peter Arnett: "What I would like to see is the U.S. military being more responsive to acts of, of, of accidental bombing. There is a reluctance in the Pentagon, in the military, to even admit that these happened.... There's still argument over the baby milk plant that I reported in the first three days of the [1991 Gulf] war...."
Retired General Barry McCaffrey: "Peter Arnett is certainly a very astute journalist, but the Iraqis are involved in a major deception and denial program, both pre-combat and during the war. That milk, baby milk factory, for God's sake, was actually a biological weapons site also."
MSNBCs Chris Matthews: "Do you agree with that, Peter?"
Arnett: "No, of course not, but that's all right. Why don't we just pass by that one?"
McCaffrey: "Well, we pass by it, but somehow we ended up with thousands of tons of VX, mustard gas, biological weapons, for God's sake, that's actually up there and we'll have it on TV 90 days after the war is over, for sure."
-Exchange on MSNBC's Hardball, January 22.

 

Loony Left = Mainstream America


"A growing number of people are speaking out against a war with Iraq: students, grandparents, businessmen, politicians, teachers, actors and activists, standing shoulder to shoulder in protest."
-MSNBC's Jeannie Ohm in a 3pm ET live report from a January 18 anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C.

"Young, old, veterans and veteran activists - united in the effort to stop the war before it starts."
-CBS's Joie Chen on the January 19 Sunday Morning.

"Braving frigid temperatures, they traveled across the country - black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old....The protesters say there is no evidence justifying a war with Iraq and say the government needs to hear their views."
-ABC's Lisa Sylvester on World News Tonight/Saturday, January 18.

"They rode a bus all night from Asheville, North Carolina. On board were businessmen, soccer moms and military veterans - all members of the same church."
-ABC News reporter Geoff Morrell on World News Tonight/Saturday, January 18.

"Never mind the cold, they're going to protest. Democrats and Republicans, many middle-aged, from all walks of life."
-ABC's Bill Blakemore on World News Tonight, Jan. 17.

Reality Check:
"While a small number of families, political moderates, and senior citizens salted the ranks of Saturday's march, a much-larger contingent escaped the notice of most journalists. Waving inflammatory signs, wearing scary costumes, and partaking in street theatre, the anti-American extremists who dominated the event were hard to miss. Yet, they were somehow overlooked in most of the press accounts of the protest."
-Daniel J. Flynn, author of Why the Left Hates America, in an article posted on National Review Online, January 21.

 

Speaking of Loony...


"This is the worst President ever. He [George W. Bush] is the worst President in all of American history."
-Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas at a Society for Professional Journalism banquet, as quoted by the Torrance, California Daily Breeze's John Bogert in a January 19 story.

 

Justice Gibson Has Ruled


"The President used a flash word yesterday. Everybody knows that America opposes quotas. This is not a quota system at the University of Michigan, and yet he used the word four times in saying he opposed quotas and this is a quota....It's not a quota system. It is a consideration of race, which the Supreme Court in 1978 said is perfectly proper.... The Supreme Court said you can consider race in admissions, you just can't have quotas. The President says he's for diversity, but he says, I'm against the only system that the Supreme Court has considered in 25 years."
-ABC's Charles Gibson to New York Post columnist Robert George on Good Morning America, January 16.


No Flags, Just Facts


"Our patriotic duty as journalists in the United States is to try to be independent and objective and present the facts to the American people and let them decide all the important things. Now, I respect [Fox News Sunday host] Tony [Snow]'s right to wear one [an American flag]. I respect any other news organization taking a different tack, but for me, part of the symbolism of the fact that what were doing in our constitutional democracy, what were trying to do to help quote, 'the cause of the country overall,' is to be objective and give just the straight facts to the American people and let them decide what they want to do about it."
-ABC News President David Westin during a Viewpoint special, "Patriotism, Journalism and War," January 17.

 

Even Tricky Dick Preferable to W.


Newsweek's Eleanor Clift: "[Bush's] old economic team was a disaster. The new economic team is selling the same stupid policy. They'll be a disaster, too. Ari Fleischer is a mouthpiece. He gives away nothing. The press can't stand him. The President loves him because this is the most secretive and arrogant administration we have seen, probably since the days of Richard Nixon."
John McLaughlin: "Be careful now, Eleanor."
Clift: "I'd like to have Richard Nixon back, actually. I think he'd be a huge improvement."
-Exchange on The McLaughlin Group, January 25.


Brrrr, It's Getting Too Hot


"How could such cold square with claims of global warming? It's because, scientists say, weather will always come in sporadic bursts of hot and cold....For instance, last year was the second warmest ever worldwide. In fact, nine of the ten warmest years ever have all come since 1990."
-NBC's Robert Hager reporting on a bout of unseasonably cold weather, January 23 Nightly News.

 

Annoyed by Monica Media Frenzy


"Sex, lies and impeachment. Looking back after five years, what do you really remember? Do you know what really happened? Would you be surprised to hear that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, when all was said and done, spent only ten hours together? Yet, it almost brought down a President....It may be, especially in this newly-sobered world, that the Lewinsky episode, as riveting as it seemed at the time, will have little lasting impact, will be little more than a memorable footnote in our political life."
-Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, Jan. 16.


A Conservative at CBS? Uh...


CBS's Lesley Stahl: "Today you have broadcast journalists who are avowedly conservative....The voices that are being heard in broadcast media today, are far more the ones who are being heard are far more likely to be on the right and avowedly so, and therefore, more almost stridently so, than what you're talking about."
Host Cal Thomas: "Can you name a conservative journalist at CBS News?"
Stahl: "I don't know of anybody's political bias at CBS News....We try very hard to get any opinion that we have out of our stories, and most of our stories are balanced."
-Exchange on FNC's After Hours, January 18.

 

Ruing Lack of Abortion Access


"In Pennsylvania, some patients must drive hundreds of miles to this clinic run by Jennifer Boulanger....Pennsylvania requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait for 24 hours. She must listen to a state-mandated speech and will be offered pictures of a developing fetus. The doctor, who does not want his face shown for fear of protesters, says it is not easy....More states are restricting abortion....The laws have driven some doctors out of the abortion business. Today 87 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider."
-ABC's Linda Douglass on World News Tonight January 22, the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.


Real Men Are Pro-Abortion


"Being a man, I've got to say that we've got this guy in the White House who thinks he is a man, you know, who projects himself as a man because he has a certain masculinity, and he's a good old boy, and he used to drink, and he knows how to shoot a gun and how to drive a pickup truck, et cetera, like that. That's not the definition of a man, God dammit!"
-Actor Ed Harris speaking at a January 21 NARAL Pro-Choice America banquet televised on C-SPAN.