Notable Quotables - 02/12/2007
Bush Hiding “End of the World”
“A controversy in Washington over what literally could be the end of the world as we know it. Did the Bush administration freeze out scientists trying to sound the alarm on global warming?”
— Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today, January 31.
Brian Williams: “Good evening. The question in Washington today was this: Did the Bush administration in any way try to cook the books on the topic of global warming?...”
Andrea Mitchell: “Government scientists have been complaining for two years that the Bush administration has been forcing them to soft-pedal their findings on global warming....With Democrats holding the gavel in both houses, advocacy groups were given the chance to present a new study revealing unprecedented and widespread interference with scientific reports, largely by a former oil industry lobbyist working for the White House.”
— Lead story on the January 30 NBC Nightly News.
ABC’s Alarmism: Will Billions Die?
“This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they’re painting isn’t pretty. We’re talking about change that’s not 100 years away, but within the next ten years. This is not the future — it’s happening today. Already, massive glaciers and sea ice are disappearing. Droughts are ravaging Africa, Southern Asia and Australia....Some say we already may be at a point of no return.”
— Weatherman Sam Champion on ABC’s Good Morning America, January 30. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“Those scientists in Paris will estimate that between 1.1 and 3.2 billion people will suffer from water shortage problems by 2080. That’s not your grandchildren, that’s your children. And between 200 million and 600 million more people will be going hungry.”
— Champion on the January 31 Good Morning America. ABC’s on-screen graphic asked: “Will Billions Die from Global Warming?”
Still Can’t Get Over Gore’s Loss
“Do you worry that when everything is said and done the first thing they’ll say about Ralph Nader will be, ‘spoiler,’ instead of ‘consumer crusader?’”
— Co-host Meredith Vieira interviewing 2000 Green Party nominee Ralph Nader on NBC’s Today, January 30.
Troops Upset by Loss of Support
Correspondent Richard Engel: “Troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they’ve been fighting for....”
Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun: “One thing I don’t like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don’t support the war. If they’re going to support us, support us all the way.”
— NBC Nightly News, January 26. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Our Troops: Ingrates, Not Experts
“Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform....We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?...[T]he recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary — oops sorry, volunteer — force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.”
— WashingtonPost.com military columnist William Arkin reacting to Engel’s report in a January 30 column. Arkin later apologized for using the word “mercenary.”
Cranking Up the Hype Machine
“The tens of thousands of protesters who gathered on both coasts today spoke with a single voice: They want the U.S. out of Iraq....Anti-war demonstrators want to take this protest from the streets to the halls of Congress. In just two weeks, they’ve raised $1.5 million to pressure law-makers....Some believe this organized fund-raising machine could turn the tide. If today’s crowds snaking up the streets to the Capitol are any indication, the anti-war movement may just be getting warmed up.”
— ABC’s Laura Marquez, World News Saturday, Jan. 27.
“Yesterday in Washington was like a day from yesteryear — the war that to many seems long ago and far away: the war in Vietnam. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people descended on the capital to protest the war in Iraq.”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer opening Face the Nation, January 28. The reporter who covered the march for CBS said the protesters numbered only in the “tens of thousands.”
Ideologues Killed Hillary’s Baby
“Back when you were working so hard on health care, back in the ‘90s, in the early ‘90s, and you really thought you could get some kind of compromise at the end, I believe, and the word came from the ideologues on the right, ‘Kill this baby in its bassinet. Do not let them get a compromise health care bill that they can get credit for.’ Do you still feel the sting of that strategy on the other side?”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Senator Hillary Clinton during live State of the Union coverage on January 23.
America, Worst for New Mothers
Reporter Elizabeth Vargas: “Most countries around the world provide paid maternity leave, but which ones don’t?”
Woman #1: “Maybe India?”
Woman #2: “China?”
Woman #3: “Maybe Russia or Mexico.”
Vargas: “In fact, a study out this week from Harvard and McGill University, shows that of 173 countries surveyed, only five provide no form of paid maternity leave: Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Swaziland, Liberia, and the United States.”
Michelle Porter, mother: “I do think American women are not aware of how bad they have it.”
— Good Morning America, February 2. ABC’s on-screen graphic asked, “Is America Worst for Family Leave?” (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“In a survey by Harvard and McGill University in Canada, they found that of the 170 countries that they surveyed, only five don’t have any paid medical leave. The U.S. is one of them. And four African countries are on that list otherwise. So that’s not very good....America really is down near the bottom of the heap in terms of how, you know, family-friendly workplace policies.”
— CNN’s Ali Velshi on American Morning, February 5.
Rejecting Russert’s Revisionism
Host Tim Russert: “John, was it possible for our policy makers to truly understand the way Iraqis would have reacted? The judgments made here were that when we went in we would be greeted as, quote, ‘liberators,’ to quote Dick, Vice President Cheney’s phrase, that they were prepared, in effect, to take governing into their own hands....”
New York Times Baghdad reporter John Burns: “Well first of all, I think, again, to be fair, the American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly, it was exhausted quickly by the looting and the astonishment and puzzlement and finally anger of Iraqis that nothing, or very little was done to stop that [looting].”
— Exchange on CNBC’s Tim Russert, February 3. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Bush Not Feeling Their Pain
“In his State of the Union Address, President Bush took note of the unrest in Lebanon as well as the suffering in Darfur, but there was not one mention of Katrina, though the suffering and hardship continue....Some who lost everything are asking, ‘What about us?’”
— Katie Couric introducing a report on the January 24 CBS Evening News.
“Seventeen months after Katrina, nearly 200 people uprooted by a hurricane still live in Mt. Olive Gardens, whole families packed into 200 square-foot FEMA trailers they now call home....There were 5,596 words in the President’s speech last night, and reaction to the fact that not a single one was either Katrina or Louisiana was felt not only here in tiny Mt. Olive Gardens, but all across the Gulf.... Words like ‘relief’ and ‘recovery’ now seem as empty to them as last night’s presidential address.”
— CBS’s investigative reporter Armen Keteyian in the subsequent story on the same January 24 newscast. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“Hurricane Katrina...the rebuilding of New Orleans, no mention of that in this speech tonight. That is certainly going to upset a lot of people in the Gulf Coast region who already feel that the country has moved on, that Washington has forgotten them....So much still needs to be done there, obviously, and we will not be hearing about that tonight from this President.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper during live coverage before the President’s State of the Union address, January 23.
“Hooray!” for Speaker Pelosi...
“I was watching the State of the Union....The treat was to see the first female Speaker of the House, to see Nancy Pelosi....The most dramatic moment...was when the President came out, turned around, you know, she’s sitting behind, shook hands with her and said, ‘Madame Speaker.’ Hooray!”
— ABC’s Barbara Walters on The View, January 24. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
...Boo for “Dictator” Bush
“Someone, I believe, should call for the impeachment of George Bush....We should do it so the world knows that the nation is not standing behind this President’s choices, that the nation, a democracy, feels differently than the man who is leading as if it were a dictatorship, and that we represent this country, he does not lead as a monarch....Even if he doesn’t get impeached, that we should call on it to tell the world we are against his policies.”
— Co-host Rosie O’Donnell minutes later, same show. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
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