Notable Quotables - 05/07/2007
Media Lobby for End to Gun Rights
“As a political reporter, of course, the first thing I did was call the Hill and find out from the Democratic leadership, ‘Okay, you gonna do something now?!’”
— Newsweek’s Howard Fineman discussing the push for more gun control after the Virginia Tech shootings, on the April 22 Chris Matthews Show. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“Given the fact that I’ve seen estimates that there are in excess of 200 million firearms already on the street, have we essentially said it’s okay to have the level of violence that we have in this country?”
— ABC reporter Pierre Thomas on PBS’s Washington Week, April 20.
Anchor Dan Harris: “Eleven years ago, in a small town in Scotland, a man killed 15 elementary students, a crime that Britain vowed would never happen again and since that day has not. ABC’s David Wright reports....”
David Wright: “As a direct result of what happened here, this country decided to ban virtually all handguns....”
Ann Pearston, gun control activist: “We just said after Dunblane that never again was someone going to walk into a school and massacre children.”
Wright: “They never have, not in Britain. Gun crime has risen here during the past decade, but Britain has never again had a school shooting.”
— ABC’s World News Sunday, April 22.
ABC: Public Favors Gun Control...
“There’s some other interesting numbers in the poll that I want to quote: 61 percent of the people in this country say they favor stronger gun control laws, although people are split right down the middle as to whether stricter gun control laws would actually curb any kind of violence, 49 percent saying yes, 50 percent saying no.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on World News, April 23.
...Omits How Most Blame Culture
“Asked the primary cause of gun violence, far more Americans blamed the effects of popular culture (40 percent) or the way parents raise their children (35 percent) than the availability of guns (18 percent). In no population group does more than about a fourth cite the availability of guns as the chief cause of gun violence.”
— ABC News polling chief Gary Langer in an April 23 posting to ABCNews.com, detailing results from the same poll that were omitted from the World News report.
Upset by Lack of Liberal Action
Co-host Robin Roberts: “After every major shooting in the U.S., without fail, there has been a heated debate about gun control on Capitol Hill. But not this time. In fact, most politicians have been running away from the debate on guns. So, why is this happening?...”
Reporter Jake Tapper: “It was the worst school shooting in American history, and yet what some liberals are referring to as a deafening silence from Democrats on Capitol Hill.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, April 20. ABC’s on-screen graphic read, “Politicians and Gun Control: Why Aren’t They Outraged?”
Down Side of Dow 13,000
“Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?”
— Graphic on ABC’s Good Morning America, April 23.
Charles Gibson: “Today, the Dow Jones stock index went over 13,000 for the first time ever, closing at 13,089, up 136 points. The rise in recent months has been steep, despite less-than-inspiring news on the economy overall....”
Reporter Betsy Stark: “[Investors] seemed willing to look past some not-so-good news on the road to 13,000. There were fresh signs today of trouble in the housing market: Foreclosures up 35 percent from a year ago. And oil prices shot up another dollar today, which will only add to consumers’ woes at the pump.”
— ABC’s World News, April 25.
Katie Couric: “Even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy....”
Anthony Mason: “While the stock market’s been racing ahead, the economy has been slowing down. Housing is mired in a slump. Existing home sales plummeted more than eight percent in March....Rising gas prices, up 70 cents already this year, could slow the economy even more.”
— CBS Evening News, April 25.
Thrilled by France’s $6 Gas
“You’re also looking at a [global warming] solution here in Europe: smaller vehicles, more energy efficient, many which use diesel fuel which is more efficient. And the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling. A lot of big ideas and innovations coming out of Europe.”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo reporting from Paris for Earth Day, April 20 Good Morning America.
A “Bold and Brilliant” Liberal Plan
Co-host Robin Roberts: “Imagine universal health care for everyone? That’s what a bold new plan on Capitol Hill is proposing....Can it work? For answers we’re joined by ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson. You’re very happy about this. You say it’s bold and politically brilliant.”
Dr. Tim Johnson: “It’s bold, because it does propose to cover all Americans, including the 47 million now who are uninsured within five years. And I say it’s politically brilliant because one of the options they’re offering is for people to choose from the federal employee plan, the menu of options that Congress gets every year. It’s going to be very hard for Congress, I think, to say, ‘Well, we can have it but you can’t.’ I think that it’s a good strategy on their part.”
— Good Morning America, April 26.
Wonders of Socialized Medicine
“[Castro] is not the only Cuban who is aging. Thanks to the socialist island’s free health care system — which emphasizes preventive medicine — Cubans enjoy a very high life expectancy....Fortunately, Cuba’s universal, free cradle-to-grave health care system means Alzheimer’s patients do not add an additional financial burden to the family.”
— CBS News producer Portia Siegelbaum in an April 24 story posted on CBSNews.com, “Getting Old in Cuba.”
Media Wimps vs. “Slime Machine”
“For the first time in our history, we had this wall-to-wall ideological right-wing press that not only — the Fox News, the talk radio, the Weekly Standard — that not only mongered for war along with the administration, not only embraced the administration’s policies because they were quote, ‘conservative,’ including going to war, but also mounted a slime machine to discredit any journalist who dared to stand against the official view of reality. [Ex-CBS anchor Dan] Rather himself says on my show, ‘They have a slime machine and we know it.’”
— PBS’s Bill Moyers in an interview with Rolling Stone’s Eric Bates published April 18 on the magazine’s Web site.
“If the watchdog doesn’t bark, how do you know there’s a burglar in the basement? And the press is supposed to be a watchdog. I’ll put it another way: if you think that the fire department in your neighborhood is in collusion with the arsonist, you want to know about it. And the fact of the matter is, in the build-up to the [Iraq] war the watchdog didn’t bark and the fire department — in this case the press — was in cahoots with the arsonist.”
— Bill Moyers promoting his anti-Bush special Buying the War, on PBS’s Tavis Smiley, April 23.
Olbermann: Giuliani Is a Terrorist
“‘The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us,’ Mr. Giuliani...[told] the Rockingham County Lincoln Day Dinner last night. ‘Never, ever again will this country be on defense waiting for (terrorists) to attack us, if I have anything to say about it. And make no mistake,’ he concluded, ‘the Democrats want to put us back on defense.’ There is no room for this. This is terrorism itself, dressed up as counter-terrorism....Claim a difference between the parties on the voters’ chances of survival, and you do Osama bin Laden’s work for him.”
— Keith Olbermann in an eight-minute long “Special Comment” on MSNBC’s Countdown, April 25. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“Free Speech” Not for Pro-Lifers
“For many CBS News staffers, the nadir was a ‘Free Speech’ segment Oct. 2, the day five Amish schoolgirls were murdered in Lancaster County. The father of a child killed in Colorado’s Columbine High School massacre in 1999 blamed the Amish tragedy, in part, on the teaching of evolution in public schools and on abortion.
“Despite CBS’s avowed intention to include all viewpoints in ‘Free Speech,’ the segment caused an uproar in the newsroom, according to CBS insiders. ‘There’s a difference between free speech and responsible speech,’ an embarrassed correspondent says.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister in an April 22 story, “CBS evening blues: Katie Couric hasn’t redeemed the No. 3 newscast. Can she survive as anchor?”
We’re Worse Than Terrorists
“How many more years and how many more dead kids? It’s just, you know, it’s way over the amount of people killed on September 11th. We’ve killed more Americans than any terrorist ever did in this war....We were not attacked by either of the nations we invaded. Nineteen [sic] Saudis were on those planes, and we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.”
— Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, May 1.
Rosie Teaching “Truth” to Her Kids
“It’s funny, because when he [her adopted son Parker] was in public school in first grade and Bush won — supposedly — and he went in to school that day and he gets home. I said, ‘How was school?’ He goes, ‘Fine.’ He was like five years old. The teacher calls me: ‘Oh, hi, Ms. O’Donnell. I just wanted to let you know that today in class Parker announced that President Bush was not the real President because he cheated.’ [laughter] And I said, ‘Well that’s known as truth in our house.’”
— Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, April 23.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Justin McCarthy, Matthew Balan and Brendan Jones
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler