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Notable Quotables - 09/02/2002

Peter's Anti-Bush Emphasis


"On World News Tonight this Friday, a federal court tells the Bush administration it is abusing its power in the campaign against terrorism....We are going to begin tonight with the first ever published opinion from a secret court. The court, which operates inside the Justice Department, says the Bush administration is not adequately protecting the privacy of American citizens and permanent residents."
-Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight, Aug. 23.

Reality Check:

 

"In its opinion made public today, the court, which is based in Washington, documented the 'alarming number of instances' during the Clinton administration in which the F.B.I. might have acted improperly."
-New York Times Washington bureau reporter Philip Shenon in an August 23 story subheadlined, "Clinton-Era Problems Cited in Sharing Intelligence with Criminal Investigators."

"Under the Bush administration those errors were corrected and new procedures for requesting wiretaps adopted. And one judge on the court said, quote, 'We consistently find the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] (FISA) applications 'well-scrubbed' by the Attorney General and his staff before they are presented to us. The process is working. It is working in part because the Attorney General is conscientiously doing his job, as is his staff.'"
-FNC's Carl Cameron on the August 23 Special Report with Brit Hume.


The Times vs. the Facts (I)


"Reinstating United Nations weapons inspectors -  not the removal of Saddam Hussein -  is the centerpiece of Britain's policy toward Iraq, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today. The statement, made on the BBC radio program Today, underscored the differences between the United States, which has made the removal of Mr. Hussein a priority, and Britain, its closest ally in fighting terrorism."
-First two paragraphs of an August 23 New York Times story by Suzanne Kapner, headlined "British Aide Says Toppling Hussein Is Not a Goal for London."

vs.

 

"An article on Friday about remarks by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the British governments Iraq policy misattributed a statement about that policy. The assessment that removing Saddam Hussein is not an object of British foreign policy was made by the BBC interviewer, not by Mr. Straw."
-New York Times correction published August 27.

 

Drat! We've Lost Canada!

 

Peter Jennings: "Some people are asking today whether or not the White House is losing control of the debate about war with Iraq."
Terry Moran: "Well, Peter, White House officials are concerned that events are moving too fast and not in their direction. In the past couple of weeks, you've had top Republican leaders defecting from the pro-war camp, key allies opposing any action against Saddam Hussein....Mr. Bush's drive to topple Saddam Hussein received another sharp rebuke today from a close ally: Canada."
-World News Tonight, August 20.


The Times vs. the Facts (II)


"President Bush said today that he was listening carefully to a group of Republicans who were warning him against going to war with Iraq, but that he would still make up his own mind based on information that is very tightly held within his administration. It was the first time Mr. Bush had so directly addressed the growing chorus of concern from Republicans, which now includes former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger...."
-Front-page New York Times story by Elisabeth Bumiller, August 17.

vs.

 

"The administration should be prepared to undertake a national debate because the case for removing Iraq's capacity of mass destruction is extremely strong....The imminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system, the demonstrated hostility of Saddam combine to produce an imperative for preemptive action."
-Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in a Washington Post op-ed published August 12.


 Post Reporter's Arch-Snideness


"The President disclosed that he has been reading Supreme Command, a new book by Eliot A. Cohen, a neoconservative hardliner on Iraq....
"In his reading choice, Bush seems to be following the advice of Bill Kristol, the arch-neoconservative who has been using his Weekly Standard magazine to chide Bush for being too soft on Saddam Hussein....Kristol, suspected of playing puppeteer to a number of hawkish officials in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council, appears to have added the marionette-in-chief to his act."
-Washington Post White House reporter Dana Milbank in his "White House Notebook" column, August 20.

 

Why Can't W. Be More Like Bill?


"In politics, sometimes the best thing is to do the unexpected. And just imagine if President Bush had done this [economic summit] and had unemployed Enron workers there, and maybe some retirees who have lost their 401(k) accounts and have to go back to work, and really did, you know, as Bill Clinton would say, 'felt their pain.' That could have been surprising."
-Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, August 13.

 

The Times vs. the Facts (III)


"The Vice President's speech, billed as a talk on the economy and national security, sounded at times like an address a chief executive might give to shareholders....He credited the administration's tax cuts with helping the country to climb out of the recession and to weather the terrible financial effects of Sept. 11, although the recession has not abated and the stock market today continued its decline."
-New York Times article by Evelyn Nieves and Elisabeth Bumiller, August 8.

vs.

 

"An article on Aug. 8 about speeches by President Bush and Vice President Cheney defending the administration's stewardship of the economy referred incorrectly to the 2001 recession and to the direction of the stock market on Aug. 7. Economists agree that the recession has ended, not continued. The Dow Jones industrial average rose the day of the speeches, by 182 points; it did not decline."
-New York Times correction published on August 15.


Bushs "Costly" Tax Cuts Might Imperil "Emergency" Spending


"Take a look at the cost of some of those [tax cut] proposals. I have a package here: Doubling the loss deduction costs about a billion dollars a year; increasing IRA limits, about $1.5 billion a year; and ending the double taxation of dividends, according to a 1992 Treasury study, at least $13 billion a year some people think it would be far more. Now compare that to the cost of the emergency spending proposal, which the President rejected this week. It was $5 billion. It included firefighting grants, nuclear plant security, cargo inspection and the emergency funds for New York City. Is the President saying, if he proposes a new tax plan, that these tax proposals are more important, are a higher priority for the United States than those spending proposals?"
-George Stephanopoulos to White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett on ABC's This Week, August 18. The items Stephanopoulos cited totaled $523 million, or just one-tenth of the total spending package.

 

Greedy Until Proven Innocent

 

"How difficult has it been, Mr. Lindsey, to convince the public that the President as a CEO President is not aligned with the corporate greed that we've been seeing?"
-Jane Clayson's question to Bush economic advisor Larry Lindsey on CBS's Early Show, August 13.

 

President Pulling Plug on Planet

 

"Next week, over 100 heads of state will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their goal is to search for ways to save the Earth's life support system our water, air and soil. Ten years ago they gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the same purpose, but United Nations studies reveal the Earth's environment is still in decline. So the leaders of every major industrial country will be in Johannesburg next week, except for George W. Bush. That makes his core constituents quite happy: representatives of the religious right, conservative activists and big companies like ExxonMobil wrote the President this week praising him for not going to the summit. They also asked him to make sure American officials...keep the issue of global warming off the table. It's all part of a pattern. The Bush administration is carrying on what the Los Angeles Times this week called the most concerted exploitation of the public's land, air and water since fundamental protection laws went into effect three decades ago."
-PBS's Bill Moyers on Now, August 23.

 

Only Bothered by Pro-Israel Cash

 

"Democrat Cynthia McKinney was a vocal critic of President Bush's Middle East policy. She was beaten by another Democrat who got large donations from out-of-state supporters of Israel."
-ABC anchor Peter Jennings's entire item about McKinney's primary defeat on World News Tonight, August 21.

vs.

 

"The reelection campaign of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) has received campaign contributions from at least 18 donors who are either officers of Muslim foundations under investigation by the FBI, have voiced support for Palestinian and Lebanese terrorist organizations or have made inflammatory statements about Jews."
-The Washington Post's Thomas Edsall, August 13.


Campbell's Concocted Criticism

 

"The fact that he's [President Bush] giving his first major magazine interview of the year to Runners World, do you think that opens him up to criticism that perhaps he should be paying a little more attention to some of the other issues?"
-NBC's Campbell Brown challenging Runner's World Deputy Editor Bob Wischnia on Today, August 22.