Notable Quotables - 05/05/2008
Must Ignore Wright Debacle
âEvery time he [Reverend Jeremiah Wright] appears, he just gives legitimacy and a hunger by those who oppose Barack Obama to re-run those tapes, to keep him at the center of controversy, to let this overhang and define Barack Obama, when it has, you know â it has very, very little to do â itâs a very marginal piece of who Barack Obama is and what he stands for. And it takes attention away â we have huge, huge problems facing this country....I think itâs time for him to get off the stage and frankly, for the media, I suggest, to move on.â
â CNN senior political analyst David Gergen following Wrightâs speech to the National Press Club, April 28.
Obama Merely Wrightâs âVictimâ
Anchor Brian Williams: âReverend Wrightâs speaking engagements these days are a problem for the Obama campaign. One veteran politico today called it a âcircusâ and a âsideshow.ââ...
Reporter Andrea Mitchell: âWrightâs appearances were an unwelcome distraction for Barack Obama....Suppor-ters described the whole thing as a media circus....â
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: âUnfortunately, the victim in all of this is going to be Senator Obamaâs campaign.â
â NBC Nightly News, April 28.
Jeremiah Wright: Patriotic Sage
âWhat is your notion of why so many Americans seem not to want to hear the full Monty â they donât want to seem to acknowledge that a nation capable of greatness is also capable of cruelty?â
âDid you ever imagine that you would come to personify the black anger that so many whites fear?â
â PBSâs Bill Moyers questioning Jeremiah Wright for an interview broadcast on his Bill Moyers Journal, April 25.
â[Jeremiah] Wrightâs mere association with Obama has become political dynamite for Obamaâs enemies. But the soft-spoken man who sits down with Bill Moyers couldnât seem more different from that fire-brand preacher weâve all seen in those soundbites....Thereâs plenty in Wrightâs background that speaks to his patriotism. He was among the first black U.S. Marines during Vietnam. As a corpsman in 1966, he served on the medical team that cared for President Lyndon Johnson. The White House gave him three letters of commendation.â
â ABCâs David Wright, Good Morning America, April 25.
Feeling Barack Obamaâs Pain
âThereâs no precedent for this: Barack Obama has disowned his pastor....This is a big deal for the Obama campaign â but also, you have to believe, for Barack Obama as a person. Imagine having to publicly denounce the minister who married you, who baptized your kids, who prayed with you the day you announced your candidacy for President....For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break.â
â ABCâs David Wright, Good Morning America, April 30.
Seething Over ABCâs Approach
âIt was another step downward for network news â in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances....Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed....[Stephanopoulos] looked like an overly ambitious intern helping out at a subcommittee hearing, digging through notes for something smart-alecky and slimy. He came up with such tired tripe as a charge that Obama once associated with a nutty bomb-throwing anarchist. That was â40 years ago, when I was 8 years old,â Obama said with exasperation.â
â Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales in an April 17 review of the previous nightâs ABC debate.
âThe campaign may have seemed dirty. It had nothing on one of the moderators of the debate tonight.â
â MSNBCâs Keith Olbermann teeing off the 10pm EDT post-debate edition of his Countdown program, April 16.
Not Really a âSecretâ Weapon
âThe shower of indignation on Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos over the last few days is the clearest evidence yet that the Clintonites are fundamentally correct in their complaint that she has been flying throughout this campaign into a headwind of media favoritism for Obama....If Obama was covered like Clinton is, one feels certain the media focus would not have been on the questions, but on a candidate performance that at times seemed tinny, impatient and uncertain. The difference seems clear: Many journalists are not merely observers but participants in the Obama phenomenon.â
â The Politicoâs John Harris and Jim VandeHei in an April 18 article headlined: âObamaâs Secret Weapon: The Media.â
Evil GOP Will âSwift Boatâ You
âIn the last presidential election, John Kerry, a decorated military veteran, was âSwift-boatedâ as being unpatriotic. Why do you dismiss the kinds of questions that are going to be the bread and butter of the Republican campaign, if you become the nominee?â
â NBCâs Ann Curry to Barack Obama on Today, April 22.
Scolding âNastyâ Republicans
Fill-in anchor Harry Smith: âThe first day of the rest of the campaign, and if you think it canât get nastier-â
Female narrator in ad: âHeâs [Barack Obamaâs] just too extreme for North Carolina.â
Smith: â-Republicans roll out a new attack ad....â
â Opening of the CBS Evening News, April 23.
NBC: Tax Cuts âDonât Add Upâ
Anchor Brian Williams: âSome critics say his [Senator John McCainâs] economic plan, which centers on more tax cuts, doesnât add up.â...
Reporter Kelly OâDonnell: âMcCainâs core idea: lower taxes and make up lost revenue with cuts in government spending. But critics and some economists argue McCainâs math is wrong, that his plan would tilt toward the wealthy, swell the deficit, and not trim enough.â
â NBC Nightly News, April 15.
Iraqis: Nicer than the U.S. Army
CBS News photographer Richard Butler: âI was relieved that my captivity wasnât as harsh as I have witnessed being applied to suspects taken from Afghanistan.â
CBS reporter Allen Pizzey: âYou were saying it is better to be kidnapped by Shiâites in southern Iraq than by Americans in Afghanistan?â
Butler: âI was pleased I wasnât being waterboarded in Guantanamo or being held for six and a half years like an al-Jazeera cameraman.â
â Interview posted April 28 on CBSNews.com recounting the two months Butler was held captive by Iraqi insurgents near Basra.
Ruing âVery Conservativeâ Pope
âHe [Pope Benedict XVI] is very conservative. And I know a recent poll says 62 percent of Catholics believe the church isnât reflective of their views. Does that mean entertaining issues like women as priests or use of birth control will be really off the table as long as heâs Pope?â
â CBS anchor Katie Couric to Father Thomas Williams on the April 15 Evening News.
Spluttering Over Rushâs âChaosâ
âWhat kind of klutz do you have to be to take orders on how to vote from Rush Limbaugh and to change your party identity so that you can vote against, for somebody to screw the other party? What do these people got to do â they have a lot of free time, Iâll tell you that.â
â MSNBCâs Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 16, talking about Limbaugh encouraging GOP voters to go for Hillary Clinton in Demcratic primaries.
âEvilâ 18th Century âNeanderthalâ
CBSâs Lesley Stahl: âIâm surprised at how many people really, really hate you. These are some things weâve been told: âHeâs evil;â âHeâs a Neanderthal;â âHeâs going to drag us back to 1789.â Theyâre threatened by what you represent and what you believe in.â
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: âThese are people that donât understand what my interpretive philosophy is. Iâm not saying no progress. Iâm saying we should progress democratically.â...
Stahl: âBut his critics argue that originalism is a cover for what they see as Justice Scaliaâs real intention: to turn back some pivotal court decisions of the â60s and â70s. Heâs been labeled a âcounterrevolutionary.ââ
â CBSâs 60 Minutes, April 27.
Brian Envies Swedish âWhipâ
Anchor Brian Williams: âThereâs another reason to be green with envy about the Swedes. Weâre told they are living green lives, showing kindness to the planet, and saving a ton of energy in the process....â
Reporter Anne Thompson: âSwedenâs official colors are blue and yellow, but it lives green....But even here in [Vaxjo, Sweden] Europeâs greenest city, some ways of life are much harder to change, like trying to convince people to ride on two wheels instead of four. Mayor Bo Frank thinks he knows how.â
Mayor Bo Frank: âYou live with the whip and the carrot. The whip is to make it more expensive to use fossils, and the carrot to make it more inexpensive to use alternatives.â
â NBC Nightly News, April 21.
Weâre âBehindâ Chinaâs Dictators
âPlastic bags are without a doubt emerging as one of the worst, stupidest things that weâre doing for the environ-ment....When China is ahead of us in banning these things, when other countries around the world are banning these things that â we, we need to get in line with that and catch up.â
â Actor Ed Norton on NBCâs Today, April 22.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
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