Poor, Mistreated Al Gore
"Let me ask you this, and this is really more of a personal question. You're the Vice President of the United States. You've had a distinguished career in the House and in the Senate, and yet you find yourself on stage, in front of family members and tens of millions of people, with a moderator asking questions about your integrity and your credibility. Does that hurt?"
- ABC's Jack Ford to Al Gore after the second debate, October 12
Good Morning America.
"You've spent a quarter century in public service and have worked on a lot of these issues, obviously have mastered a lot of the details of them. When you look across the stage, are you frustrated at all?"
- ABC's Terry Moran to Al Gore after the third debate, October 18
Good Morning America.
"Dastardly" George Bush vs. "Cunning" Al Gore
"But there was acid just under the surface, and it occasionally bubbled up. Mr. Gore made a point of referring to the 'Bush-Quayle' administration, cunningly evoking with that second name a politician, like the Texas Governor, who was ridiculed for his verbal unsteadiness.
"Mr. Bush just so happened to evoke 'Mrs. Clinton,' circa 1993, when she was pressing a health plan that included more federal control than most Americans wanted. He tied Mr. Gore to her, and the careful viewer could sense the barely suppressed chortle as he did so. Mr. Gore stared back at Mr. Bush icily. But he did not respond with a sigh, and he did not lapse into a lecture, and he did not even seize this dastardly claim of Mr. Bush's as an excuse to ask for more speaking time."
- New York Times reporter Frank Bruni reviewing the second presidential debate, October 12.
Clinton Abandonment Anxiety?
"Americans have demonstrated an interesting maturity (or a disgusting moral slackness, depending on your point of view) in their willingness to separate Clinton's squalid personal behavior from his official stewardship. Right now, their biggest fear is that the Clinton years are going to go away; they suffer from abandonment anxiety. Therefore: Brag on the Clinton years! Promise more of the same! Bring Clinton out to brag on you! He's a narcissist, to be sure, but the smartest one in America. He knows what has to be done."
- Time's Lance Morrow advising Gore, October 30 issue.
President Bush? Get Scared Now
"Do you think abortion would be banned under a Bush administration if he were to have the chance to appoint two, three or possibly even four justices?"
- Today co-host Matt Lauer to Jesse Jackson, Oct. 24.
"Mr. Bauer, bluntly put, let me just ask you the blunt question. Would abortion rights be overturned, would abortion become banned in this country if George Bush gets the chance to appoint two, three or four justices?"
- Lauer to Gary Bauer, seconds later.
Dick Cheney: The "Hidden Hand" President?
"When pressed about his experience, Governor Bush repeatedly, and he did so tonight, points to his circle of advisers and knowledgeable people such as yourself. How can the voters be sure, that if he's elected President, that George Bush would in fact be in charge and that you wouldn't be, if you will, sort of the hidden hand President?"
- CBS's Dan Rather to Dick Cheney after the second presidential debate, October 11.
Lovable Gus Hall, Rest in Peace
"We missed the death of a notable American this week, so we want to catch up. Gus Hall actually died on Friday. The son of a Minnesota miner became head of the U.S. Communist Party at the height of anti-communist McCarthyism in the late '40s and '50s. He spent eight years in prison and a lifetime in the political wilderness for his views here, but he was a dignitory, dignitary in the Soviet Union. Even after his friends there abandoned the cause, Hall never wavered and he was 90."
- ABC's Peter Jennings, October 17 World News Tonight.
Gore's Lies Are Little, Bush's Big
"You talk about Gore's little white lies while Governor Bush gets away with 'the big lies' - the missing trillion in Social Security, the notion that he takes credit for a patients health care bill in Texas when he vetoes it and then let it pass without his signature because he was going to be overridden. He's the one who's telling the lies and cliche city, one vacuous cliche after another. The notion that he will come to Washington, 'bring people together.' The Texas legislature meets every other year for four months."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, October 21 McLaughlin Group.
Republicans Loved Lying Reagan
"All this week you all have made much of Al Gore's exaggerations but the same things were often said about Ronald Reagan who would pass off as true stories things he had seen in the movies. You know Republicans brushed that off as part of Ronald Reagan's charms or charm but now you cite it as a major character flaw when it comes to Al Gore. Why was it charming then and not presidential now?"
- Katie Couric to Bush campaign Communications Director Karen Hughes, October 11 NBC
Too High a Standard for Gore
"Ronald Reagan, who once claimed he had helped liberate Nazi concentration camps, practically turned falsehoods into an art form. Which brings us to Velcro Al, whose every misstatement sticks to him. Several of the reports of his lies have themselves been exaggerated....After dozens of trips with FEMA chief James Lee Witt to other disaster sites, it's understandable how he might confuse them, and say he had accompanied Witt to the Texas fires. (In fact, Gore was briefed in Texas by one of Witt's deputies.) And the embellished story about the Sarasota, Fla., student who had to stand in class in her overcrowded school was the result of bad staff work....If these slips had been made by any other politician, they would have caused barely a peep."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, October 16. (Gore was briefed by a FEMA deputy two years after the 1996 fires Gore said he visited with Witt.)
"Gore fell within the margin of political error by scoring 95% for anecdotal accuracy, although I don't want to suggest for a second that his overall effect, especially the sighing, didn't make me want to shake him....For Gore, there's zero tolerance for anything but the literal truth.....In the end, Gore's fibs, which have to do with his life, should matter less to voters than Bush's fibs, which have to do with our lives."
- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, October 16.
"Rock the Vote, a non-partisan, non-profit voter registration organization with close ties to Democrats, has produced several new public service announcements that seek to inspire those ages 18 to 24 to vote on Election Day. The 30-second spots, which went on the air nationwide last week on MTV, show young people confronting a political system dominated by special interests or biased law enforcement officials."
- New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt, October 19.
Clinton's Lies: A Shining Moment
"I think that in history, I mean you know we're talking 50 years from now, will be seen as his shining moment, that he stood up to that witch hunt. I don't see that as a big badge of dishonor for Clinton....I'm glad he lied. He lied about something that deserves a lie. When he disputed the word 'is', I was like, 'you go girl!' You tell them that. That was like the shining moment of his presidency."
- Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect, October 13 Chris Rock Show on HBO.
Bush, Gore Not Liberal Enough
ABC reporter Deborah Amos: "The federal government has very little to do with funding public schools. Only about seven percent of the yearly budget comes from Washington. That won't change much in either plan."
Camden principal: "...It's not enough. It's not enough."
Amos: "Not nearly enough money from either man to provide the same education that suburban schools offer just five minutes down the road."
- Conclusion to an October 16 World News Tonight "Closer Look" at education proposals.
"There was almost no discussion about the digital divide or the role of technology in our lives. Globalization really didn't come up. Worker rights around the world. The issue of poverty, the have-nots in this country, again, not much addressed. Both candidates aiming squarely at senior voters and at working-class and middle-class families."
- Tom Brokaw during NBC's post-presidential debate coverage, October 17.
Lower Taxes = Funds "Removed"
"The question is, since current retirees count on what is paid into Social Security by younger workers to finance their retirement, how will Bush pay for the trillion dollars Gore says will be removed from the fund?"
- ABC's John Martin setting premise of his story, October 18 World News
"American voters once again had the opportunity to take the measure of two men, standing side by side and face to face, not debating, but in a joint appearance, discussing the issues on live television. One of the two men who did that tonight will be the next President of the United States. In just 21 days, in an old and sacred tradition, you will make that decision."
- Dan Rather concluding CBS's debate coverage, October 17.
Publisher: L. Brent
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Dickens,
Ted King, Paul Smith, Brad Wilmouth
Interns: Ken Shepherd, Jenny Jackson
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