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Notable Quotables - 06/14/1999

Dan Rather at Hillary's Heel


"Once a political lightning rod, today she is political lightning. A crowd-pleaser and first-class fundraiser, a person under enormous pressure to step into the arena. This time on her own....Polls show she is one of the most admired women in America. But even after seven years in the spotlight, she remains a riddle for many people. It's hard to know what keeps her going through marital problems made public, political fights turned ugly, through triumphs, disasters and always the demands of her work. Tonight we get some answers about how she does it from the only person in the world who really knows."
- Dan Rather on Hillary Clinton in his May 26 60 Minutes II interview.

"The agenda she lays out seems downright old-fashioned. She sees her work as focusing on children and families and the unique problems they face today."

"We've talked about the possibility of you running for the Senate. You've said that you're obviously interested in it. What are the possibilities that one day, some day you'll run for President?"

"You now have a chance to reflect a little. Of all the allegations, accusations, charges made, what do you consider to be the most unfair attack?"
- Rather's observations and questions, same show.

 

The Phantom Red Menace


"The Cox Report says China uncovered the secrets of seven U.S. nuclear warheads, but the intelligence evidence is unclear. It may be as low as four, two of which are obsolete. Amidst all the voices raised in alarm there is a bottom line: Unlike many of the things in the Cox Report there's no argument here. Number of strategic nuclear weapons? U.S.: six thousand, China: less than two dozen."
- Eric Engberg's "Reality Check," May 27 CBS Evening News.

"The rollout to this rivaled The Phantom Menace, with Chris Cox in the role of Luke Skywalker. But the facts don't bear up. First of all, this notion of Richard Shelby yelling for Janet Reno's head you know, Sandy Berger was briefed. So was Richard Shelby....There is no evidence they are building anything; they are deploying anything. It will take them at least ten years to do anything. This is hysteria to try to create a new Red Menace."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the May 29 McLaughlin Group.

 

Hitting Clinton from Left on Guns


Charles Gibson:"When you went to Littleton, a friend of yours, who supports you on gun control, said to me in the last 48 hours, the President, because as he said Littleton has seared the national conscience, the President had a chance to roar on gun control and he meowed, and that was a friend of yours. There are very basic measures that could be taken that people agree on. We register every automobile in America. We don't register guns. That's a step that would make a difference."

Charles Gibson: "But let me come back to you on that, the polls, I agree on that, the polls have shown that this country would accept registration of firearms and yet we don't do that and we're not fighting about regulation of guns. We regulate every other consumer product out there."
Bill Clinton: "The reason is this Congress came to power after the 1994 elections because in critical races the people who voted for more modest things like the Brady Bill, which the polls showed the voters support, got beat."
Gibson: "But hasn't the NRA won the debate at that point? Once we say it's politically impossible, we can't do it, we won't propose it, hasn't the NRA basically framed the debate at that point?"
- From Good Morning America's live interview with Bill Clinton at the White House, June 4.

 

ABC Has More Money Than MRC: Is That Democracy?


"A political science professor at the University of California-San Diego says, If he didn't have any money, he'd be considered a crackpot. The money being spent on these ads, because you can afford it and other candidates can't, is that democracy?"
- Diane Sawyer to Steve Forbes, June 1 Good Morning America.


Child Advocate vs. Autocrat


"You say she's gonna be a terrible candidate. Everybody who knows Hillary Clinton or has heard her talk say she's smart, she's quick, she's committed, she stands for something, children among them. That she would be a formidable candidate..."

"I'm gonna bring you back to Giuliani again. There are lots of folks who say he's an autocrat, he's worn out his welcome, and he might play in certain parts of New York City but he won't play elsewhere in the state."
- CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno interviewing New York City columnist Jimmy Breslin, May 26 Inside Politics.

 

"Extremists" Threaten U.S., China


"Now the danger is that Clinton's implacable critics, armed with the Cox Report, will vent their outrage on the entire Sino-American relationship....Whether China chooses to exploit the secrets it has already stolen to embark on a superpower arms race may depend on how Washington manages this dangerous rift. The Cox Report offers a stark warning. If we get hostile, they will get hostile. If both China and the U.S. give in to extremists in their capitals and let their relationship unravel, the worst-case scenario the report presents just might come true."
- Time Senior Foreign Correspondent Johanna McGeary, June 7.

"There's no question that Li Peng, probably the Jesse Helms of the Chinese leadership, if we can look for an analogy. They have their nationalists that don't want this intrusive relationship with the United States, that don't want more Internet, that don't want more integration, that don't want more American students and don't want something like the World Trade Organization agreement that will bring rules into a system where corrupt authoritarians now have a free hand."
- New York Times columnist and former reporter Thomas Friedman on PBS's Washington Week in Review, May 28.

 

The "Gun Lobby" as Bully


"It's always interesting to watch the Senate and the House when they win over a powerful lobby, not just this lobby but any particular lobby. Once the dust settles you see people that seem a little surprised that they were able to do it. It's like when a bunch of kids gang up on the bully on the school play ground, they're always a little surprised when they're able to back him down."
- CBS's Bob Schieffer on Sunday Morning, May 23.

 

Jesse "The Body" Throws Matt Lauer Out of the Ring


Today co-host Matt Lauer: "Do you think people carrying concealed weapons might make a difference?"
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura: "Licensed. I think that certainly in a reality situation that, like take, for example, what happened here on the subway in New York a few years back. Well, what are you going to do, I'll ask you Matt, when someone's on a rampage and cares not about human life and is just systematically assassinating people. Are you gonna stop 'em with words?"
Lauer: "I guess it's always good at that point to have a gun around you. But my fear is if they're carrying a concealed weapon, what happens when they go off the deep end?"
- Exchange on NBC's Today, June 2.


Get Rid of Liberal PBS Analysis


"Get rid of the guns. We had the Second Amendment that said you have the right to bear arms. I haven't seen the British really coming by my house looking for it. And besides, the right to bear arms is not an absolute right anyway, as New York's Sullivan Law proves. We talk about ourselves as a violent society, and some of that is right and some of it is claptrap. But I think if you took away the guns, and I mean really take away the guns, not what Congress is doing now, you would see that violent society diminish considerably."
- PBS NewsHour essayist Roger Rosenblatt, May 20.


CNN: Chinagate Overcovered


"On Tuesday, the House committee report completed back in January was finally released on Capitol Hill after months of wrangling over its declassification. A big story for the media, right? All over the front pages and the airwaves....Reporters don't have a crystal ball, of course. They've got something better: the leakers who have been feeding them details about this report for months. Even Chris Cox turned up on several networks last week spilling the details days before his committee's work was made public....So have the media been used to prolong, perhaps even hype the story?"
- Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz introducing a segment on CNN's Reliable Sources, May 29.

vs.

"We have agreed on this program, that at least on television, Chinagate has not been covered very much...Might the release of the Cox Report be a turning point? Is this story going to get the kind of coverage that at least we here all think it should have gotten all along?"
- FNC's Eric Burns on Fox Newswatch, same night.

 

Bias Discovered....on Fox


"You have your choice these days on cable: You can have your news beaten to death by MSNBC (which seems incapable of thinking about more than one story at a time) or twisted beyond all recognition by Fox, a network where truth bends to the right."
- USA Today TV writer Robert Bianco, May 28.


Right, But Jerks of the Century


"Whittaker Chambers was mostly right about communism and Alger Hiss, but he was a nasty piece of work and nobody likes a snitch. Even Joe McCarthy may have been on to something, but he was a crude and cruel man who ruined people's lives for 48-point type. You might call this the When Bad People Spoil Good Things school of history."
- Time's Richard Stengel on "Dubious Influences," June 14 issue.


 

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