Notable Quotables - 08/20/2001
Sick and Dying vs. Abortion Foes
"In just a few hours, the nation will hear President Bush's decision on an issue thats pitted Republicans against Republicans and the sick and dying against abortion opponents."
- MSNBC news reader Monica Novotny, previewing Bush's speech on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, during a 3pm EDT news update on August 9.
Be Brave, Destroy Embryos
"Some thoughts as the President decides whether or not the government should back stem cell research. History's longest argument has been over what to do about the mountain. One group has always wanted to cross the mountain, to explore and see what is on the other side. The other group, no less sincere, has always been willing to let well enough alone. That group worries there might be things on the other side of the mountain we didn't want to know. They were the ones who refused to look through Galileo's telescope. They already knew all they needed to know about the moon and the sun and the stars....The President says it is the hardest decision he will ever make, but if he reads history, he will know that history remembers those who climbed the mountain, not those who stayed home in fear of the unknown."
- Bob Schieffer's closing commentary on CBS's Face the Nation, August 5.
Dubya's Disappointing Decision
"Any decision that leaves Jerry Falwell feeling pleased and happy is a decision that you need to be skeptical about, and he was very happy with this decision."
- Time magazine national correspondent Jack White on Inside Washington, August 11.
"We keep forgetting this guy is a conservative. I thought he was going to go further than this."
- Newsweek's Howard Fineman commenting on MSNBC following Bush's speech on August 9.
"To understand the potential for stem cells, you can visit the lab of Dr. Evan Snyder at Children's Hospital in Boston. The cures so far with mice only, but amazing nonetheless....These results indicate stem cells might cure many nerve diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. What effect will President Bush's new regulations have on the effort to translate these and similar animal results to humans? Dr. John Gearhart, a pioneer in the field, fears they will be severe."
- NBC's Robert Bazell, August 10 Nightly News.
Bush's "Clintonian" Speech
"When I heard he was giving his first national prime time address on this, that perhaps this was going to be the bold, defining moment of his presidency Nixon goes to China I have to say I came away from it, and after also re-reading the transcript, feeling more Clintonian in its nature. There was so much compromise and on one hand and the other hand."
- Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly on PBS's Washington Week, August 10.
"Fascinated" By Dazzling Clinton
Charles Gibson: "Good evening. He's been out of office six months now, but Bill Clinton is just as fascinating as ever. At least that's what the book industry is betting. The former President has struck what is said to be the largest non-fiction book deal in the history of publishing to write his memoirs...."
Jackie Judd: "Charlie, we're also being told Mr. Clinton will write this himself no help from a ghostwriter, and the book will be in bookstores in 2003. It's a good time, probably the best of Mr. Clinton's post-presidency. Last week he dazzled Harlem, today Park Avenue publisher [Alfred] Knopf."
- ABC's World News Tonight, August 6.
"I remember the great thing on Saturday Night Live where the fellow who does President Clinton said, You're going to miss me. And indeed people miss him, he's still a fascinating man even six months out of the White House."
- Gibson, the next day on Good Morning America.
Eager For Socialist Good Life
Keith Miller: "Break out the band, bring on the drinks. The French are calling it a miracle. A government-mandated 35-hour work week is changing the French way of life. Two years ago, in an effort to create more jobs, the government imposed a shorter work week on large companies, forcing them to hire more workers....Sixty percent of those on the job say their lives have improved. These American women, all working in France, have time for lunch and a life."
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: "More Americans should be more aware that an economy as successful as the French one managed to be successful without giving up everything else in life."
Katie Couric, following the end of Miller's taped piece: "So great that young mother being able to come home at three every day and spend that time with her child. Isn't that nice? The French, they've got it right, don't they?"
- NBC's Today, August 1.
Another Opportunity to Promote a Liberal Agenda Item Wasted
"Well, certainly the weather has been the headline, but what's troubled me is that the press hasn't gone beyond the headline very much. This was such a great opportunity to talk about global warming and climate change. I mean, it couldn't have been on our minds more as we were perspiring through the heat....That would have been the starting point to talk about why we are in this place, why do we have 100 degree temperatures and what can we do about it?"
- PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell, on CNN's Greenfield at Large on August 10, after being asked to name the most under-covered news story of the week.
"Centrist" Like Barbara Boxer
"It's not just a media love fest, though. Important party operatives and contributors are getting aboard Edwards 04....[Democratic Senator John] Edwards's slight drawl, his centrism, his humble origins as the son of textile workers, his populist ideals (slogan: The People's Senator), his skill at simplifying things without seeming patronizing all this stirs memories of Clinton without the seamy side."
- Washington Post reporter Richard Leiby in an August 7 Style-section profile of Edwards, who last ye ar earned an 85 percent rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, the same rating as Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
Brokaw's Been Off Since June
Katie Couric: "Howard, I know by the time President Bush returns to the White House hell have spent 54 days at his ranch. This is since his inauguration. Four days in Kennebunkport, 38 full or partial days at Camp David. According to The Washington Post, that's 42 percent of his presidency either at vacation spots or en route. Does that sound excessive compared to other Presidents in the past or not?"
Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "Well, when you add it all up, it sure does."
- Exchange on NBC's Today, August 8.
...But Bush Was Warned
"President Bush may have made a major political mistake by deciding to spend August on his ranch in broiling, parched Crawford, Texas. The press corps likes a cool ocean breeze and maybe even a cold beer. Presidents Reagan, Kennedy, and Clinton all vacationed near the sea, and thus spared themselves a churlish press corps. But Jimmy Carter and LBJ punished the press with Dixie summers and were denied second terms. A full month of Texas dust, heat, and alcohol-free meals could spell big trouble for George W."
- Mark Shields on CNN's Capital Gang, August 4.
Not Enough American Liberals?
"[President Bush's vacation is] four weeks to forget the mess he's left behind right 'round the world: his abandonment of the Kyoto agreement that's bequeathed our children another decade of dangerous greenhouse gases; his unilateral rejection of the chemical weapons treaty which the rest of the world was ready to sign up to; his obsession with the so-called Son of Star Wars, despite the fact that his untested proposals break a raft of international agreements and threaten to launch a new arms race in space....He's down on the ranch, thousands of miles from the devastating effects of his disastrous presidency, talking to his cows."
- British radio host Simon Bates in his weekly commentary for the overnight CBS News show, Up to the Minute, August 7.
"I was wrong when I said last week he was going to cave on this issue, but I didn't know he was going to take, to turn Charlie Norwood into the Patty Hearst of the House of Representatives take him up to the White House, hold him hostage long enough for him to start getting a case of political Stockholm Syndrome and go with the other side."
- Time national correspondent Jack White on the Aug. 4 Inside Washington, referring to the deal on a Patient's Bill of Rights Bush made with the Georgia Republican.
If Chandra's Dead, Blame Starr
Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect: "I do think, if it turns out that this beautiful young girl is gone, I think, and he [Condit] is responsible in some way, you have to look to Ken Starr for a little bit of guilt."
Larry King: "Why?"
Maher: "Because, you know, Ken Starr made it so that you, in the old days, you had an affair with somebody, and you know, okay, you had an affair. The press didn't report it. They didn't make a political criminal case of it. Now, its almost like you have to get rid of them."
- Exchange on CNN's Larry King Live, July 27.
Experience, CBS News - Not!
"Obviously, this is a very complicated subject. It's the kind of subject that, frankly, radio and television have some difficulty with because it requires such depth into the complexities of it. So we can with, I think, impunity recommend that if youre really interested in this you'll want to read in detail one of the better newspapers tomorrow. This has been a CBS News Special Report."
- Dan Rather concluding CBS's coverage of President Bush's August 9 stem cell speech after only 53 seconds of analysis right before his network aired Big Brother 2.