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Confederacy Of Dunces


The indispensable Media Research Center never lacks for material when compiling its “Notable Quotable” listings of stupidity, bias and malfeasance on the part of journalists and other media types.

Here are some recent howlers:

Obama Is President, But Blame Bush

Arianna Huffington: “George, the truth is that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted. Full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they’re supposed to be overseeing the industry.”

George Will: “So, it’s Bush’s fault? Just clear this up.”

Huffington: “It is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney’s fault.”

– Talking about the oil spill on ABC’s “This Week,” June 6.


“This is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first . Because it was the Bush regulations, it was Dick Cheney’s deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management [Service].”

 – Time’s Joe Klein on “The Chris Matthews Show,” May 30.


“The oil spill is the perfect metaphor for Obama’s presidency so far. It’s been cleaning up a lot of the messes left to him by his predecessors, whether it was bank bailouts, auto bailouts, Afghanistan – which turned out to be a much bigger mess than anybody anticipated – preventing a depression that, you know, began to happen on George Bush’s watch. So this is more of the same.”

– Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” June 10.


Cutting Helen A Little Slack

“[Helen Thomas] is a bona fide icon and she is also nearly 90-years-old…. Some have argued that Thomas deserves a break, given her status as a journalistic giant and a trailblazer for women, and given her age. After all, many of us have elderly relatives who have lost their verbal filter.”

– ABC’s Dan Harris on “World News,” June 7.


“I have known her for a long time, and she held many presidents’ feet to the fire. At a time when nobody in the Bush press room would say ‘boo’ about George W. Bush after 9/11, she was already asking the tough questions. And I just, you know, I like to see people be judged in the largest context of their career, not in their senility.”

 – Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter talking about Helen Thomas on CNN Headline News’s “Joy Behar Show,” June 7.


One Last Rant Against Israel

Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas: “Our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful. What do you mean you ‘regret,’ when something should be so strongly condemned? And if any other nation in the world had done it, we would have been up in arms. What is the sacrosanct, iron-clad relationship where a country that deliberately kills people and boycotts – and we aid and abet the boycott?”
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “Look, I think the initial reaction regretted the loss of life as we tried and still continue to try to gather the relevant-“

Thomas: “Regret won’t bring them back!”

– June 1 White House briefing.


Tea Partiers Are Terrorists
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, talking about radical Muslims: “Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.”
            Host Tavis Smiley: “But Christians do that every single day in this country.”
Ali: “Do they blow people up every day?”

Smiley: “Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is – I could do this all day long…. There are folk in the Tea Party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people ‘nigger’ as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people. That’s within the political – that’s within the body politic of this country.”

– PBS’s Tavis Smiley, May 25.


Reagan An Actor – Obama Real

“Can you understand why the president, though, is frustrated when people say, ‘Be madder’? If I could channel Obama for one moment, I think he would say that he’s surprised that this is even an issue…. You know, ‘You want me to act madder?’ You know, ‘I’m not acting. I’m actually the president, you retards’ – ooh I’m sorry – ‘you people who are not that bright in America. You have been used to people like Bush and Reagan who acts like the president. I’m not acting. I’m actually the president.’ “

– Bill Maher talking about the oil spill with Democratic operative Paul Begala on HBO’s “Real Time,” June 4.


Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

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