MRC's Notable Quotables: CNN Won't Be 'Shamed' Into Doing Its Job

Now online: the May 26 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, CNN’s top executive boasts that his network will not be “shamed” into covering congressional hearings about the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, as if engaging in actual journalism is something to be avoided. 

Also, the media leap to defend Hillary Clinton after Karl Rove dared to doubt her health, with network reporters denouncing his “smear campaign” and “reprehensible comments.” Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 21 quotes at


CNN Won’t Be “Shamed” Into Doing Its Job

“We’re not going to be shamed into it [covering the Benghazi investigation] by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something. If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”
— CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker to New York Times television reporter Bill Carter at a Deadline Club event May 19, as quoted the next day by Nicole Levy in a Capital New York article.


No Such Thing as an “Unanswered Question” About Benghazi

“It certainly looks more partisan than it looks like a serious inquiry....You know, I’ll hear from Republicans that say, ‘But there are unanswered questions!’ Well, no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people that don’t like the answers, that wish the answers were somehow more conspiratorial, I guess....To sit here and investigate talking points seems to be totally missing the larger point here. It’s like investigating who cut down a tree, one tree, in a forest that’s been burned down.”
— NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 13.

Don’t Blame the Terrorists, Blame the Smoke

“Every media organization has investigated this to death. This animates the right-wing of the Republican Party. And I would like to point out that Ambassador [Chris] Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in the safe room in that CIA installation.”

The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, May 11.

Slamming “Kamikaze” Karl’s “Smear Campaign” Against  Hillary

“Smear campaign. Are we witnessing a new GOP line of attack against Hillary Clinton and did Karl Rove take things too far?”
— Anchor Brian Williams at the top of the NBC Nightly News, May 13.

“Let’s start, Robert and Margaret, with shocking and I’ll say, I think reprehensible comments from Karl Rove....”
— CNN’s John King to his political panel on New Day, May 13.

“My theory is he could be almost like a kamikaze pilot in World War II. He could blow up the ship and blow himself up. But who cares? Who cares if Karl Rove is known as an SOB? He already is known as an SOB....I really do think he’s a kamikaze. And I’m not knocking previous kamikazes. Okay? Just him.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 14.

Babs Uses ABC Farewell to Trumpet “Fascinating” Hillary

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The ‘fascinating’ list has always been, you know, a particular interest of mine — and then, to be on it was an incredible honor.”
Retiring host Barbara Walters: “Well, you were our most fascinating....I think you’ve been on our ‘most fascinating’ list more than anyone, and — and you were THE most fascinating....No matter what their political views, you are someone we admire — and, for me, it’s more than admiration — it’s very deep affection, and I thank you for coming on....No matter what she does, she will always, to me, be the most fascinating.”
— Exchange on Walters’ last day as co-host of ABC’s The View, May 16.

Thrilled by Hillary: She’d Make a “Truly Great President”

“Let me finish tonight with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming not just the next president but a truly great president. Let me be the first to say that the elements are there: her political positioning, her talents and personality....Hard work, experience, a willingness to work with Republicans — indeed, a real feel for the political world and how it works. If she weren’t a candidate I’m sure a lot of Republicans would be saying this. It’s an established fact that people who work with her like her.”
— Host Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s Hardball, May 19.

Washington Post Double Standard on “Listening Tours”

“While there are reasons to conduct a ‘listening tour,’ rarely do they have that much to do with listening. [South Carolina GOP Senator Tim] Scott is a steadfast conservative, not looking to alter his opinions so much as convince others that his party has something to offer. While a cynic might call this the move of a con artist, Scott prefers the term ‘salesman.’”
Washington Post reporter Ben Terris in a May 8 front-page Style section profile of Scott headlined, “The Secret Senator.”


“There is more to these ‘listening sessions’ than mere listening....There is something undeniably powerful about the sessions themselves. [New York Senate candidate Hillary] Clinton has attended hundreds of similar forums around the country, and as one of her advisers put it, she was born to run these events. She never interrupts, condescends or gets flustered. She seems to feel questioners’ pain almost as well as her husband does. She is an expert validator, mmm-hmming while she listens, asking follow-up questions before commenting, congratulating panelists on their insight: ‘I’m really glad you raised that issue.’”
— The Washington Post’s Michael Grunwald July 12, 1999 writing about Hillary Clinton’s “listening tour” of New York in a story headlined, “First Lady at Her Best During ‘Listening Sessions.’”


It’s Just a Fact: Republicans Are to Blame for Everything

“Obama was willing to compromise and Republicans were not. That’s not a biased statement. One of my problems with the limitations of journalism is that straightforward descriptions of reality are seen as being biased.”
— Longtime Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bill Glauber in a May 16 article.


It’s “Ridiculous” to Think Only 28% of Journalists Are Democrats

“I say the poll is ridiculous. I mean, let’s start with that. The seven percent who identify themselves as Republicans, I’ll buy that. But only 28 percent of journalists say they’re Democrats and 50 percent say they’re independents? Impossible...I’ll bet you if you injected these people with truth serum, about 85 percent would admit that they voted for Barack Obama twice.”
— Former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, referring to a recently-released survey of 1,080 journalists conducted late last year for the School of Journalism at Indiana University, May 12 O’Reilly Factor on FNC.

“At 7.1 percent last year, America’s newsrooms housed a lower percentage of Republicans than San Francisco (8.4 percent). No wonder conservatives don’t trust the media.”
— From a May 13 column by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Debra Saunders.

To read the entire May 26 edition of Notable Quotables, please visit

2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Double Standards Daily Beast ABC CBS NBC CNN MSNBC Washington Post Eleanor Clift Jeff Zucker Jonathan Alter Chris Matthews Chuck Todd