Notable Quotables - 10/15/2001
American Food = "Propaganda"
"One other item about these food and medicine drops. They're not popular with everyone. The international relief organization Doctors Without Borders, which won the Nobel Peace Prize for relief work, described it today as military propaganda designed to justify the bombing. The Bush administration points out it also has committed $300 million in other aid. It's a question, ultimately, of getting it there."
- ABC's Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, Oct. 8.
"U.S. officials have reminded the public as often as possible that they're also attacking hunger: 37,000 individual food rations dropped every night. Today, some humanitarian aid workers were saying this effort is little more than propaganda....And some say the U.S. is actually doing more harm than good: The bombing raids have some truck drivers too scared to carry food into the country. Many of the humanitarian workers who stayed behind in Afghanistan are now fleeing for the same reason. The attacks have significantly hampered a large humanitarian effort, and the U.S. food drops simply cant compensate for that."
- ABC's Dan Harris on World News Tonight, Oct. 9.
Reagan Killed Lots of Children...
"I do not believe the memory of the 7,000 plus people who were killed in these most horrendous acts of terrorism are honored by going out and killing other civilians. We went alone, we went alone when we bombed Tripoli at night, a crowded city where old people and children were sleeping. 1986, Reagan. We killed Qaddafi's kid, and lots of other children. One person said, well, several people, 'well, he's adopted' they said of the kid. And we got Pan Am 103, Lockerbie. Tell those loved ones, it was December 21, my birthday."
- Phil Donahue on FNC's The OReilly Factor, Sept. 25.
...And America Should Fight Bin Laden By Banning Land Mines
Diane Sawyer: "What is the most important thing we do now to make sure that the Islamic world does not end up hating us? Phil?"
Phil Donahue: "Well, we may be a little late. We have bombed Tripoli, a crowded city, at night, where old people and children were sleeping."
Sawyer: "But...what do we do now? Let's start now."
Donahue: "Well, maybe we sign the landmine treaty, follow Canada's lead and all the other Western nations."
- Exchange on ABC's Good Morning America, Oct. 3.
Julianne's Twisted History
"Syria is one of about 30 groups, 30 countries that the United States has listed as having harbored terrorists. I think that there's a question about the United States's definition of terrorism. The groups that Syria has harbored, the main one is called Hezbollah, I believe. It's a group that has dealt with territory and Israeli occupation and invasion, and this is very different from the kind of terrorism that Mr. bin Laden has imposed on the world, so I think that if the United States wants to talk about this new world cooperation, they'd better look at the difference between hard-line terrorism and people who are simply defending their land."
- Syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux to CNN's Paula Zahn during live coverage on October 9. Hezbollah terrorists killed more than 300 Americans in bombings, abductions and hijackings in the 1980s and '90s.
End Policies Terrorists Don't Like
"Does the President believe that terrorists around the world get support, succor, funding in part because of Israeli policies of occupation, settlement, and reprisal and U.S. support for those policies? And as part of the campaign against terrorism, does the President believe those policies and U.S. support for them must change?"
"But in understanding the phenomenon of terrorism in order to combat it, are Israel's policies part of the problem?"
"Have the events of September 11th brought more urgency or changed the U.S., the administrations approach to the peace process in the Middle East?"
- ABC's Terry Moran questions to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer at an October 5 briefing.
Need Facts, Not Koppel's Opinion
"This administration was, and I think, remains ready to spend nearly $10 billion next year alone on the initial development of a missile defense system. This, in spite of the fact that many in the Pentagon consider a nuclear missile attack by a rogue nation against the United States to be among the least likely threats facing our country. Bio-terrorism, on the other hand, is near the top of that list. The purpose of town meetings like this one tonight is not to frighten, but to inform. Maybe we should talk a little about those billions of dollars and how they should be spent against the most or the least likely threat? To make that sort of decision intelligently, we don't need reassuring platitudes, especially at times like these. We need facts."
- ABC's Ted Koppel wrapping up a 90-minute Nightline "town meeting" on October 5.
Inviting Jesse Reveals "Savvy"
"It is interesting that the Taliban would be so media savvy about the Reverend's position in a lot of national and international affairs. Thinking back to obviously 1999, his visit to Belgrade and the way he was able to work his way into the situation with those three trapped soldiers who were caught crossing over the Macedonian border. For a government that essentially doesn't allow television or media in the entire country, it is interesting that they are as media savvy as they are to make that kind of a contact with someone like Jesse Jackson."
- MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield on her networks simulcast of Imus in the Morning on September 28, referring to reports, later denied, that Taliban leaders had asked Reverend Jackson to visit Afghanistan.
"Dishonest" vs. "Misleading"
"The Court also said that the former President cannot argue cases before the Supreme Court even if he wished to. He can appeal, but his legal license has already been suspended in Arkansas for dishonesty in the Paula Jones case."
- ABC's Peter Jennings, Oct. 1 World News Tonight.
"The justices gave former President Clinton 40 days to say why he should not be barred from practicing law before the high court. This stems from the suspension of his Arkansas law license for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones sex case."
- Dan Rather on the October 1 CBS Evening News.
More Tax Cuts? How Divisive!
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief: "The question I have Julie is, is there a possibility that President Bush's new proposal for another $60 billion in tax cuts, is that in a sense moving us away from that kind of bi-partisanship toward one where Democrats are going to feel free to say, Look, you're just using this as an excuse for tax cuts?"
Washington Post reporter Julie Eilperin: "A bit, but its also, he's also doing it in the context that everyone knows that there have to be more tax cuts, and so in that way it's not quite as divisive as it might appear at first blush."
- Exchange on PBS's Washington Week, October 5.
Another Spending Opportunity
"You know the U.S. is the only industrialized nation, I didn't know this until today, that doesn't spend federal money promoting tourism. Do you think it should?"
- Question from NBC's Katie Couric to Maryland Governor Parris Glendening on the October 1 Today. Glendening, a liberal Democrat, said no.
Flag = Administration Policies
"I'm a patriot...[but] I don't think a journalist ought to be wearing a flag because it does seem to be, to me at least, a sign of solidarity toward whatever the government is doing, and that is not our role."
- Tom Brokaw to Northwestern University journalism students on Oct. 1, as quoted in the Daily Northwestern, Oct. 2.
"Not Too Smart," Indeed
Andy Rooney: "George W. Bush is getting a college education in how to be President, White House 101, and he's learning. Last week, we all cheered his go-get 'em speech two days after the attack."
President Bush: "There's an old poster out West as I recall that said, 'Wanted Dead Or Alive.'"
Rooney: "Well, he didn't sound like an intellectual. I felt vengeful, too, but I hoped there were other people in government too smart to be driven by vengeance alone. He threatened to close our enemy's harbors."
Bush: "This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, but they won't be safe forever."
Rooney: "Well, not too smart either. Afghanistan is landlocked. It doesn't have a harbor."
- CBS's 60 Minutes, September 23. Two weeks later, Rooney apologized, acknowledging that Bush had used the word "harbor" metaphorically.
Red, White, and Scary
"A friend of ours, a prominent member of the 'liberal media,' wrote to the head of our kids' school last week suggesting that students spend more time with the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. The principal agreed. Our 10-year-old daughter asked her mother if we could put a flag on our car. My wife reluctantly agreed, but hasn't procured the flag yet....My wife essentially shares our daughters feelings. But for her, the symbol of the flag was appropriated in her youth by counter-protesters who used it to deny the patriotism of the wars opponents. Flag-waving feels aggressive to her."
- Former CBS Evening News producer Dick Meyer in a commentary posted October 1 on CBSNews.com.
Too Angry For Guns, Okay to Fly
"Let's take hijacking and potential crimes out of this for a second, and I know you say you don't want to dwell on [a] worst case scenario, but pilots are human beings. They get depressed, they get suicidal, they get angry. If they're armed, isn't that a formula for disaster?"
- Question from NBC's Matt Lauer to the head of the Airline Pilots Association, September 26 Today.