Notable Quotables - 09/01/2003


"Social Welfare" Group of Killers

"Abu Shanab was a senior member of Hamas, a political and social welfare organization with a military wing that has launched terror attacks against Israel. Shanab was not a declared military operative and had a reputation as a political moderate, but Israel said today that all Hamas leaders are responsible for terrorism."
-ABC's Mike Lee on the August 21 World News Tonight, referring to a Hamas leader assassinated by Israel after a Hamas terrorist killed 22 Israelis, including many children.


The Blackout: Bush Bailed Out...

"Any serious thought given to the President canceling his appearance at that big fundraising, campaign fundraising dinner tonight given the fact that so many millions of people are going through this in the Northeast?"
-Dan Rather to White House reporter Bill Plante during live CBS News coverage of the blackout, August 14.


...While Gray Saved the Day

"One other happy note from a man who hasnt had many happy notes these last few days. Governor Gray Davis of California announces that the power outages on the East Coast pose no threat to the California power grid."
-ABC's Ted Koppel during live coverage of the August 14 blackout, which never came within 2000 miles of the state of California.


Time to Embrace Big Government

"I think that what we've had is a 25, 30-year period of unprecedented affluence in this country, and during that time we haven't taken government nearly as seriously as we should, the detail work of government, and it's coming to bite us in a lot of different ways. And, you know, you want to use electricity as a metaphor, so be it."
-Time's Joe Klein on NBC's Meet the Press, August 17.


Baffled by Basic Economics

Bob Schieffer: "I've seen some estimates that it may cost up to $50 billion to fix this. Who's going to pay that?"
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham: "Ratepayers, obviously, will pay the bill because they're the ones who benefit...."
Schieffer: "Wait, wait, wait. Lets back up. Ratepayers - that means people who pay in their electric bills. So you're saying the customers are going to have to pay for this?... Excuse me for asking, but, I mean, aren't the companies going to have to bear some of this cost?"
-Exchange on CBS's Face the Nation, August 17.


Futility of Fighting Terrorists

"The ideas were simple: use power to fix politics. In Afghanistan, destroy the regime that had harbored the terrorists who launched 9/11. In Iraq, destroy a threatening regime and something better will emerge to take its place....That was the plan. This is the reality: Where the U.S. has violently unseated hostile regimes, chaos and blood, not security and democracy, have been the result. While Iraq has been seething, more than 90 people have been killed this week in Afghanistans forgotten war."
-CBS's Mark Phillips on the August 20 Evening News.

"Critics of the war said it would turn into a quagmire like Vietnam. Did todays events start to make them right?... Before this war began, its opponents said - and some of them were hounded into silence for saying so - that Iraq had the potential to become a 21st century version of Vietnam. Is the comparison valid? Is it more valid today than it was three months ago?"
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to retired Colonel Sam Gardiner on Countdown August 20, the day terrorists bombed the U.N.'s Baghdad headquarters.


"Idealism" of Shielding Saddam

"Less than four weeks before the war, Ryan Clancy moved into a food storage facility outside of Baghdad....He was one of about 300 self-proclaimed 'human shields' on an idealistic and ultimately futile quest to stop the war. Now, back home in Milwaukee working at the record store he owns, Clancy is facing a $10,000 fine from the Treasury Department for violating U.S. sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime....[Clancy] says he always knew idealism had a price. He just didnt know it would be this high."
-Dan Harris on ABC's World News Tonight, August 12.



"Two more U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq in the last 24 hours. This makes 59 Americans who've been killed since the President declared major combat operations over on May 1. And there's a larger U.S. toll in the Iraqi campaign: The number of Americans injured since the war began - almost 1300 - struck us as under-reported and surprisingly large."
-ABC substitute anchor Claire Shipman on the August 13 World News Tonight.

"The casualty rate - roughly five soldiers wounded for every soldier killed - is not actually high by historical standards."
-ABCs Dan Harris in the subsequent story.


We're Liberal Because We Care

"I believe that most of us reporters are liberal, but not because we consciously have chosen that particular color in the political spectrum. More likely it is because most of us served our journalistic apprenticeships as reporters covering the seamier side of our cities - the crimes, the tenement fires, the homeless and the hungry, the underclothed and undereducated.
We reached our intellectual adulthood with daily close-ups of the inequality in a nation that was founded on the commitment to equality for all. So we are inclined to side with the powerless rather than the powerful. If that is what makes us liberals, so be it, just as long as in reporting the news we adhere to the first ideals of good journalism - that news reports must be fair, accurate and unbiased."
-Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite in his debut as a syndicated columnist, August 6.


Arnold vs. the "Far Right"

"While Schwarzenegger has been connected to some conservative themes, like eliminating the car tax and voting for the anti-illegal immigrant measure Prop 187, his support of gay rights, abortion rights, and some gun control, turning off the far right....The big question: Does Schwarzenegger even need the far right to win?"
-CNN's Dan Lothian on NewsNight, August 13.


California's Problem: Tax Cuts

"Insanity. We're seeing utter insanity. What we're seeing in California is an excess of democracy and a dearth of citizenship. Proposition 13 [which cut property taxes], it all began with that. Weve had 20 years of people in California paying attention to these ridiculous propositions which promised low taxes, more money on schools and a bunch of other things, so that now much of governance in California is out of the hands of the politicians. Warren Buffetts comments on Proposition 13 were a fleeting moment of responsibility in this incredibly stupid race."
-Time's Joe Klein on NBC's Meet the Press, August 17.


Applauding Schwarzenegger's "Savvy" Statement on Taxes

Kelly Wallace: "Criticized for being short on specifics, the actor turned politician for the first time said what he would do to try and pull California's budget out of the red....He showed some savvy as a politician, refusing to make a no-new-taxes pledge."
Arnold Schwarzenegger: "We can never say never, no."
-News story on CNN's NewsNight, August 20.


Religion As Bad As Segregation

"Some would also say that you're trying to restore morality and that you are forcing your agenda upon people."
-ABC's Robin Roberts to Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who would not remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the state's Supreme Court building, on the August 20 Good Morning America.

"A number of things have been is that this is, in some respects, a replay of what we saw in Alabama a generation and a half ago, when the Governor defied a federal court order on segregation, which he said was unlawful. Can you tell me why you view this as different, if in fact you view it as different, from what Governor Wallace did?"
-CNN's Aaron Brown to Moore on NewsNight, Aug. 20.


CNN Elevates Loony Leftist

"The lie that brought us into war was that Iraq was a threat to us....It was an attempt at a corporate takeover. This was about oil. It wasn't about human rights. It's not about human rights....It is the Bush/Cheney cartels fault....Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be....It is, in fact, a conspiracy of the 43rd Reich."
-Left-wing activist Janeane Garofalo on CNN's Crossfire Aug. 20, halfway through her week as the shows co-host.

Lampooning Media Hubris

Newsweek's Brian Braiker: "You've said that you're proud to be American. Do you ever worry about patriotism or national pride being mistaken abroad for hubris?"
Novelist Tom Clancy: "[Laughs] The people with the most hubris in America work at The New York Times and The Washington Post. The New York Times really thinks their pages are holy. They're a newspaper - it's not holy."
-Exchange during an online interview posted on Newsweek's Web site August 12.

Honoring a Liberal's Last Wish

"Sally Barron was a cook, the mother of six kids, and the widow of an iron miner turned small town mayor in Wisconsin. When she died there Monday at age 71, her children put the following message in her obituary: 'Memorials in her honor can be made to any organization working for the removal of President Bush.' Ms. Barron's daughter told the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin, quote, 'She thought he was a liar. She'd always watch CNN, C-SPAN, and she'd just swear at the TV and say, "Oh, Bush, he's such a whistle ass,"' unquote. Services for Mrs. Barron will be conducted tomorrow in Stoughton, Wisconsin."
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, August 21.