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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: From Russia with Love

“Today’s Quotes come via the always invaluable Billmon at Billmon.org. I can only wish to do as well on my own.”

“While [Russian President] Putin travels with a contingent of reporters just as Bush does, the Kremlin press pool is a handpicked group of reporters, most of whom work for the state.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“The Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.”
-USA Today, January 7, 2005

“… and the rest selected for their fidelity to the Kremlin's rules of the game. “
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005
"It was very specifically said [that] we need to be fairer to the Bush Administration or to the Republicans than anybody else in the media would be. But that was always understood there as a sort of a code for “lay off.”
-Former Fox News reporter interviewed in the documentary Outfoxed, 2004

“Helpful questions are often planted.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005
“Gannon: In your denunciations of the Abu Ghraib photos, you've used words like 'sickening,' 'disgusting' and 'reprehensible.' Will you have any adjectives left to adequately describe the pictures from Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers? And will Americans ever see those images?
McClellan: I'm glad you brought that up, Jeff, because the President talks about that often.”
-White House press conference, May 10, 2004

“Unwelcome questions are not allowed.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005
“During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a ‘town hall’-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice.
-Der Speigel, February 23, 2005

“And anyone who gets out of line can get out of the pool.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“During last year's election campaign Bush avoided interviews with leading newspapers, such as the Washington Post, but frequently invited reporters from smaller swing state publications to speak with him on Air Force One. Vice-president Dick Cheney took the strategy one step further and banned New York Times reporters from travelling with him.”
-The Observer, February 20, 2005

“Television channels air newscasts with fancy graphics but follow scripts approved by the Kremlin.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“The [Education] Department already has paid Ketchum . . . to produce a video release on the law that was used by some television stations as if it were real news. Other government agencies -- including the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- also have distributed such prepackaged videos, a practice that congressional auditors have described as illegal in some cases.”
-Washington Post, January 8, 2005

“The general manager installed at NTV after the Kremlin takeover was later fired when his coverage of the Moscow theater siege in 2002 angered Putin.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“CNN's top news executive, Eason Jordan, resigned after a web-fed controversy over comments he made at a conference last month in Davos, Switzerland . . . Jordan drew the ire of mostly right-wing bloggers after he allegedly said that U.S. forces in Iraq targeted journalists on several occasions.”
-NewsHour, February 14, 2005

“NTV's most independent remaining hosts, Leonid Parfyonov and Savik Shuster, were taken off the air after the government bristled at their talk shows. Shuster's show was called ‘Freedom of Speech.’"
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“ABC is canceling Bill Maher's late-night topical talk show, ‘Politically Incorrect,’ [which] has been on thin ice since just after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when host Maher was quoted as referring to past United States military actions as ‘cowardly.’"
-CNN, May 14, 2002

“[MSNBC host Phil Donahue's show] was cancelled despite having the best ratings on the network; this occurred, according to published reports, after a study commissioned by NBC described Donahue as ‘a tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace’ who would be a ‘difficult public face for NBC in a time of war.’"
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, March 7, 2003

"People do get fired in American press. They don't get fired by government, however. They get fired by their editors or they get fired by their producers, or they get fired by the owners of a particular outlet or network."
-George’Dubya’ Bush, Joint Press Conference with President Putin, February 24, 2005

“Newspaper editors at the Texas City (Texas) Sun and the Daily Courier in Grants Pass, Ore., apologized for opinion pieces critical of Bush's leadership in the aftermath of the [9/11] attacks, then fired the writers. ‘Criticism of our chief executive and those around him needs to be responsible and appropriate,’ wrote Daily Courier editor Dennis Roler in an editorial. “
-USA Today, October 8, 2001

“If Bush does not trust the Russian press to get the story of yesterday's news conference right, he can at least go to the Kremlin's own Web site. On it was posted a transcript of the joint news conference. Only all of Bush's statements and answers were deleted.”
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“The list of names of countries supporting the U.S.-led military action in Iraq has been removed from the White House Web site. [Also] gone are links to the audio and video of President Bush's statement that ‘I'm not that concerned’ about Osama bin Laden…”
-Washington Post, October 25, 2004

“The Kremlin press pool is like so many institutions in Russia that have the trappings of a Western-style pluralistic society but operate under a different set of understandings, part of what analyst Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Moscow Center calls ‘the illusion of democracy.’"
-Washington Post, February 25, 2005

“When conservatives talk of George W. Bush’s ‘transformational’ role in American politics, they are referring to a fundamental change they seek in the U.S. system of government in which the Republican Party will dominate for years to come and power will not really be up for grabs in general elections . . .
This concept also might be called the ‘Putin-izing’ of American politics, where one side’s dominance of media, financial resources and the ability to intimidate opponents is overwhelming – as now exists in Russia under President Vladimir Putin.”
-Robert Parry, February 12, 2005

"I've just had a very important and constructive dialogue with my friend . . . We have had, over the past four years, very constructive relations, and that's the way I'm going to keep it for the next four years, as well."
-George’Dubya’ Bush, Joint Press Conference with President Putin, February 24, 2005


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