Notable Quotables - 07/10/2000

Bryant Gumbel Raw

"What a f-king idiot."
- Bryant Gumbel caught on camera after he threw the show to a weather segment seconds after wrapping up a hostile interview with Robert Knight of the Family Research Council, who defended the Boy Scout policy of dismissing gay activist leaders, June 29 The Early Show on CBS.


Hillary Plus Bill's "Expertise"

"When your husband ran for President eight years ago, it was often said you get two for the price of one, meaning if you elected him, they got your expertise. Does the same now apply? Do we get two for the price of one? If we vote for you, do we get his expertise?"
- Bryant Gumbel to Hillary Clinton on CBS's The Early Show, June 28.


No Liberals on Supreme Court

"The far-right wing of the court includes Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and Thomas, who was named by President George Bush in 1991. They often are joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who was named to the court by President Richard Nixon in 1971 and who was elevated to his current post by Reagan in 1986. The more moderate conservatives are Justice's Sandra Day OConnor and Anthony Kennedy, both appointed by Reagan. The moderates consist of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, both appointees of President Clinton; Justice David Souter, a Bush nominee; and Justice John Paul Stevens, named by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975."
- Reuters Washington reporter James Vicini, June 30.


Can't Spend Enough for ABC

Anchor Kevin Newman: "Also ahead, A Closer Look at the two big plans in Washington to pay for prescription drugs: Will either one be enough?".....|
Reporter Linda Douglass: "It is time for Frieda Hurlongs shot of insulin, one of five drugs she takes every day. Her HMO picks up a little of her drug bill. She has to figure out how to pay for the rest....Mrs. Hurlong needs help, but she and others may find that neither of the prescription drug plans being considered in Washington goes far enough.... Under either plan roughly a quarter of seniors could still face high drug bills. So if Washington does anything this year, it probably will not be enough."
- ABC's World News Tonight, June 29.

Perhaps It's Jim Avila Who Needs Deprogramming

"What is deprogramming? What is reeducation? The young man [Elian] will go back into the, into the school system in Cuba. The school system in Cuba teaches that communism is the way to succeed in life and it is the best system. Is that deprogramming or is that national heritage? That's certainly what he'll be learning. He'll also be living in a different kind of society, a society that many people here in Cuba like. The CIA, in fact, says that if the borders were open that most, 90 percent of the population here in Cuba would stay in Cuba because they like it."
- NBC News reporter Jim Avila from Cuba on CNBC's Upfront Tonight, June 27.

"On Elian's block a spontaneous party breaks out, one of many on the island today celebrating the end of a daily national obsession in Cuba. Inside Elian's home, where the Castro government says the boy will return soon, pictures of revolutionary heroes: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, now joined by Cuba's newest icon, the six-year-old boy whose return to his island home is viewed here as a victory for Cuban national pride. Proof, say the Cubans, parents here can raise happy, healthy children."
- Jim Avila from Havana the day after Elians return, June 28 NBC Nightly News.

Is Cuba Bad or Good? It's a "Complicated Question"

"What sort of world will the boy inhabit back here in Cardenas? What kind of life awaits him? Indoctrination here at the Youth Communist League in preparation for a life in what an opinion piece in the New York Times called a brutal, corrupt, impoverished dictatorship? Or, as they might say in one of these books or here [holding up Cuban book], a safe, decent place with a future that values children above all. Is either answer right? In Cuba that's a complicated question....
"So what is it? Brainwashing or patriotism? In Cuba, as you might expect, Elian will learn about a different system. Certainly a different hero than he would learn in America ....Elian will almost certainly rejoin the Pioneers as almost all Cuban children do. It's very much like the Cub Scouts, camping trips and all, but with a socialist flavor and a revolutionary spin. But besides politics, what will he learn? Cubans boast about their universal free education...."
- Keith Morrison from Cuba, previewing Elian's new life, June 28 Dateline NBC.


Misplaced U.S. "Grudge"

"You say its put the spotlight on the U.S. embargo against Cuba, made Americans ask 'How long can we hold a grudge,' right?"
- Jane Clayson, co-host of CBS's The Early Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, who answered "exactly," June 28.


Elian, Free at Last from Miami

"Elian Gonzalez finally got to go home Wednesday, seven months after he was rescued from the sea off the coast of Florida....While the children cheered his arrival, there were no speeches or spontaneous celebrations along Havana's streets. The Cuban government intent on sparing Elian the circus-like atmosphere that surrounded his Miami stay discouraged it."
- Item reviewing the weeks events, "Focus" section of the July 2 Boston Sunday Globe.

"Elian and his family will spend the next three weeks in a seaside Havana house....ostensibly to let Elian get caught up in school so he can enter the second grade in September. But critics in the U.S. warn that the quarantine is meant to deprogram Elian. (If so, he'll be used to it: the private school he attended in Miami, owned by a right-wing Cuban-exile leader, was just as dogmatic)."
- Time Miami correspondent Tim Padgett, July 10.


In Need of Summer School

"The Supreme Court, despite its conservative leanings, voted seven to two to uphold Miranda. Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote, Miranda has become embedded in routine police practice to the point where the warnings have become part of our national culture....The majority did concede that sometimes Miranda does lead to the guilty going unpunished, but they refused to undo what an earlier court established as a constitutional right against self-incrimination."
- ABC's Jackie Judd confusing Miranda with the Bill of Rights, June 26 World News Tonight.

"In addition, the Republicans embrace in the last few years of eliminating late-term abortion allowed the party to maintain its anti-abortion position in a way that is more palatable to many voters than suggesting overturning the Constitutional amendment allowing abortion."
- New York Times Washington Bureau reporter Richard Berke about the Supreme Court decision overturning Nebraska's ban of partial-birth abortions, June 29. There is no constitutional amendment on abortion, only Supreme Court rulings.


"Barbaric" Death of a Killer?

"Gary Graham told me that he has already had six last meals. Coming that close to death a half dozen times. And whatever your feelings about the death penalty, if that is not barbaric nothing is."
- Geraldo Rivera on murderer Gary Grahams 19 years on Death Row, CNBC's Upfront Tonight, June 21.

"This is not only reasonable doubt, this is real doubt. And if he is indeed innocent, and he has not been given a full hearing, then shame on us....This is unseemly haste."
- Geraldo Rivera live from Texas, June 22 Today.

"I have an analogy. This came to me the night I saw this. The death penalty is like Viagra in middle-aged men. Texas uses the death penalty to remember what it was like in those good old cowboy days. If you want to send me your hate mail, go ahead, 'cause that's the way I see it. This thing is insane!"
- Rivera wrapping up the June 26 Rivera Live on CNBC.

"A new poll shows that nearly 60 percent of Texans believe the state has, at some point, executed the innocent. No matter. These voters apparently view state-sanctioned murder as a fair price to pay for maintaining the status quo. A real leader would try to take his people to a better place. Will Bush? I have reasonable doubt."
- Jonathan Alter in Newsweek, July 3.


Boasting of Bias

"We do turn first this morning to convicted killer Gary Graham, who as we said, is sentenced to die this evening on the strength of a single eyewitness. Over the past 10 days, weve been bringing you reports raising questions about the soundness of the death penalty across the nation and in the state of Texas. As in so many death penalty cases, this one is reaching a fever pitch."
- Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson, June 22.


Fighting Cocks of Clinton High?

"I gave him [Bill Clinton] a very glowing introduction because I think this guy, when history looks back, will and I don't agree with him always politically, but the way he stood up to that impeachment nonsense, I think he changed this country. And I think someday they will name high schools after him, and kids will proudly play for the Bill Clinton Fighting Cocks, Jay, and I mean that."
- Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect, on NBC's Tonight Show after he hosted a DNC fundraiser, June 28.