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  1. There’s an awful lot of energy on this story, and I’m not sure why.

    1. It’s nowhere near the biggest issue right now. There’s Iraq, jobs/the economy, and lots of other things to think about.

    2. I don’t think most of the main points raised by the documents are really in dispute. At least, from what I know, it appears to be the case that Bush did miss out on a significant portion of his guard duty. There is also quite a bit of evidence that his father used a favor to get Bush into the guard.

    So what is this all about? Bashing CBS for partisan reasons? You know, not every story is 100% factually accurate, not from any news source. If we’re going strictly on facts and objectivity, Fox News is easily one of the least reliable. (It’s no surprise since Rupert Murdoch, the owner, is probably the most overtly partisan media mogul in history - not “conservative,” but rather neoconservative.)

    As CBS noted a week or so ago, even if these documents are not technically the original documents, there are still sources who can verify the overall gist. So who really cares if it’s Microsoft Word or not? Maybe someone reproduced them in a weird way for some reason (or maybe they’re approximations, or maybe somebody even made them up from scratch), but it doesn’t really matter.

    This story is not at all new. It’s been around for at least a couple of years, and it’s emerged from more than one place. (Kitty Kelley even interviewed a Bush economics teacher who told her Bush had mentioned his dad used a favor to get him into the guard. And before you criticize Kelley, it’s not her interviews that most people have a problem with, but the way she puts together the information. Lawyers try to verify that she doesn’t make up quotes, because Random House doesn’t feel like getting sued.)

    Personally, I like Dan Rather. I think he’s got a lot of character and insight, and more depth than some of these new anchors, who are about as exciting as pita bread. Dan won me over, too, during the 2000 elections when he kept throwing out entertaining one-liners.

    Comment by krj — Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 3:09 pm

  2. Sample:

    “Now Florida, that race, that race, the heat from it is hot enough to peel house paint.” (7:05pm)

    “Bob [Schieffer], the polls have closed in Virginia. A Senate race there ugly enough, nasty enough to gag a buzzard.” (7:12pm)

    “It’s believed to be extremely close in Pennsylvania. I’m prepared to say that they’re playing what amounts to a sudden death overtime in Pennsylvania. It’s that close.” (8:03pm)

    “I can hear some people at home saying, ‘Whooh! If the electoral vote count is now what Dan Rather and CBS News says it is, 121 for Bush, 119 for Gore, it seems to me just a few minutes ago Bush had a long lead.’ His lead has evaporated… uh, has melted, melted faster than ice cream in a microwave… what’s happening here?” (8:10pm)

    “Now remember Florida is the state where Jeb Bush, the brother of George Bush is the Governor, and you can bet that Governor Bush will be madder than a rained on rooster that his brother the Governor wasn’t able to carry this state for him.” (8:15pm)

    “Alabama, the Jackhammer State, drops a hammer on Al Gore, goes for Bush as expected.” (8:30pm)

    “Bush has had a lead since the very start, but his lead is now shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.” (8:30pm)

    “Then in Tennessee, now Al Gore may be as cross as a snapping turtle about this Tennessee situation because it’s his home state.” (8:32pm)

    “Bush is sweeping through the South like a tornado through a trailer park.” (8:37pm)

    “Pennsylvania drops for Gore, 23 electoral votes, and for the first time tonight, mark it, if you’re in the kitchen, Mabel, come back in the front room, 145 for Gore, 130 for Bush, 270 needed to win.” (8:48pm)

    “Now that will have the Bush people in Austin jumping out of their seats like they were stabbed with hat pins because if Bush should carry Florida, it’s sayonara for Gore.” (10:03pm)

    “This much tension you can’t cut with a saw. It requires a blow torch.” (10:15pm)

    “At any rate, one night they counted those absentee ballots, uh, until the cows literally had gone to sleep, and then came back the next day.” (10:38pm)

    “His chances are slim right now, and if he doesn’t carry Florida, Slim will have left town.” (10:43pm)

    “This shows you how tight it is. It’s spandex tight.” (11:30pm)

    “The presidential race still hotter than a Laredo parking lot.” (12:20am)

    “I have to say, though, and I don’t mean to be flip about it, that I think you are more likely to see a hippopotamus coming running through this room than you are to see Governor Bush appoint Nader to the Cabinet.” (12:21am)

    “Florida has just wobbled into Wierdsville.” (3:00am)

    “… if, italicized, underscored, put in caps, IF …”

    “This is the dance of democracy.”

    “Now I don’t usually give advice, but if your kids are asleep, get them in the room.”

    “That was not illegal, and by politicians’ standards not even unfair…”

    “Give the anchorman a box of candybars…”

    “Don’t count sheep.”

    “Call the doctor, call the police, call a psychic…”

    Comment by krj — Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 3:10 pm

  3. “It’s way past the witching hour in half of America.”

    “Al Gore’s situation is his back is against the wall, his shirt tail’s on fire and the bill collector’s at the door.”

    “Hoooo boy, did they need the rain!” [on Texas getting rain on election night after its drought]

    “In Missouri, dead man walking.”

    “We have had dead people… err [chuckle], rather, people who have passed away elected to the House…”

    “If Gore comes back now, it would have to be rated as one of the greatest comebacks since Lazarus.”

    “When it comes to reporting a race like this, I’m a long distance runner and an all-day hunter…”

    “George W. Bush, son of George Bush… Revenge is his, and revenge is sweet.”

    “You talk about a ding dong knock down setup…”

    “Hook a U, head it back to the house, and let’s get a recount goin’ here.”

    “…quiet as the proverbial church mouse…”

    “He may as well be speaking Swahili or High Norse to me…”

    “Little Rhody goes for Gore.”

    “…as hot and squalid as a New York elevator in August.”

    “He’s run through Dixie like a big wheel through a cotton field.”

    “For him to win it would be like scratching his ear with his elbow.”

    “It’s call 911 time.”

    “This thing is so wild, wacky, and woolly.”

    “…the Texans with their 10 gallon hats and their Willie Nelson headbands…”

    “When the going gets weird, anchormen punt.”

    “Close only counts with hand grenades and horseshoes, so close may not be good enough.”

    “The polls have been veering and wobbling so much that neither NASA nor the Russian Cosmodrone can track them…”

    “This race is so tight you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between them.”

    “They’re all running around like a squirrel in a cage…”

    “If Gore loses Florida, that’s it, it’s over, no chance, goodbye.”

    “We said earlier in the evening at one point that Governor Bush would probably be as mad as a rained on rooster.”

    “They’re smiling like cats in a creamery down in Austin.”

    “…for one reason it’s a ding dong battle back and forth.”

    “You know the old saying: bad data in, bad data out.”

    “The presidential race is are crackling like a hickory fire.”

    “Governor, you didn’t just tumble off the turnip truck.”

    “You can bet the rent money…”

    “They are doing backflips in Nashville.”

    “It’s tension city.”

    “Hold on to your drawers.”

    “Back here at CBS News’ Accuracy Central…”

    “If California is the big burrito and Texas is the big taco, then Florida is the big tamale….and right now, it’s the only tamale that counts.”

    “Turn down the lights, the party just got started.”

    “The lights are going out for them.”

    “Votes only talk, everything else walks.”

    “Bush and Gore are closer than two pages in a book.”

    “As they say in opera, it’s not really over until the heavy lady sings, but Bush hears her humming backstage.”

    “If…if a frog had sidepockets he’d carry a handgun.”

    “About as complicated as a wiring diagram for some dynamo.”

    “Well, the word ‘goofy’ comes to mind…”

    “The Good Book says the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but as a reporter you have to say, ‘That’s the way to bet it.’”

    “I’m reminded of the sign in a west Texas saloon that said ‘Don’t shoot the piano player, he’s doing the best job he can.’”

    “Virginia goes to George Bush-that’s whoopee news down in Texas.”

    “You’ve got time to put on another pot of coffee and pour it.”

    “Folks, this thing is getting really interesting.”

    “This race is the equivalent of hand-to-hand combat…”

    “The flicker-tail state [North Dakota] flicks for Bush.”

    “Minnesota goes to Gore. What a heavy-weight match. What a fight!”

    “It’s a historic night. It’s been a ding-dong battle any way you look at it.”

    “This is a knock ‘em down, get up and come back kind of race.”

    “Sip it, savour it, cup it, underline it, mark it in red, press it in a book, hang it on the wall…George W. Bush is the new president of the United States.”

    “This is just a wild and woolly night.”

    “We don’t know what to do here-wind a watch or bark at the moon!”

    “And particularly this late in the morning, not everybody talks straight…”

    “The race is as hot and tight as a too small bathing suit on a too long ride back from the beach.”

    “You’d have to say this thing is tight as the rusted lugnuts on a ‘55 Ford.”

    “Adios, its been good seeing you… it ain’t gonna happen.”

    http://www.geocities.com/quotezone43/rather.html

    Comment by krj2 — Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 3:19 pm

  4. “It’s way past the witching hour in half of America.”

    “Al Gore’s situation is his back is against the wall, his shirt tail’s on fire and the bill collector’s at the door.”

    “Hoooo boy, did they need the rain!” [on Texas getting rain on election night after its drought]

    “In Missouri, dead man walking.”

    “We have had dead people… err [chuckle], rather, people who have passed away elected to the House…”

    “If Gore comes back now, it would have to be rated as one of the greatest comebacks since Lazarus.”

    “When it comes to reporting a race like this, I’m a long distance runner and an all-day hunter…”

    “George W. Bush, son of George Bush… Revenge is his, and revenge is sweet.”

    “You talk about a ding dong knock down setup…”

    “Hook a U, head it back to the house, and let’s get a recount goin’ here.”

    “…quiet as the proverbial church mouse…”

    “He may as well be speaking Swahili or High Norse to me…”

    “Little Rhody goes for Gore.”

    “…as hot and squalid as a New York elevator in August.”

    “He’s run through Dixie like a big wheel through a cotton field.”

    “For him to win it would be like scratching his ear with his elbow.”

    “It’s call 911 time.”

    “This thing is so wild, wacky, and woolly.”

    “…the Texans with their 10 gallon hats and their Willie Nelson headbands…”

    “When the going gets weird, anchormen punt.”

    “Close only counts with hand grenades and horseshoes, so close may not be good enough.”

    Comment by krj3 — Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 3:22 pm

  5. (oops)

    Comment by krj3 — Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 3:22 pm

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