MRC’s April Fools Notable Quotables: No More Violent Rhetoric or We Shoot You

Update: April Fools! Consider these "fake but accurate."

The latest edition of the biweekly Notable Quotables is up at, the Web site for NewsBusters's parent organization the Media Research Center.

Some of the topics this week: the same media who trashed George W. Bush for going after a bloodthirsty dictator now see greatness in Barack Obama doing the same; Brian Williams feels the commander-in-chief’s pain; and Chris Matthews has a death wish for Republicans who fail to practice civility in politics.

After the jump, a sample of what’s in this issue; the entire April 1 edition is posted at


It All Depends On Who’s in the White House

“This intervention could wind up being Barack Obama’s finest hour. His intentions are pure — this is a humanitarian mission, not blood for oil. We’ve got a coalition with us, the United Nations, the Arab League. And the diplomacy has truly been masterful — future military planners will surely use Obama’s Libya template as a guide.”
— NBC chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press, April 1.


“It’s terrible that Saddam Hussein is butchering his people, but the United States simply cannot send in the Marines to take on every dictator. And, while the Bush administration likes to brag about the 30 nations in their coalition, it will be the United States that does most of the fighting in Iraq. I fear this is the wrong war at the wrong time and in the wrong place.”
— Mitchell talking about the Iraq war on Meet the Press, April 1, 2003.

Obama’s an Intellectual Gift to Us All

“While everyone this week — from discredited former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the President’s own progressive allies — were beating up on him for trying to save lives in Libya, I was struck by an observation I came across from a Harvard professor. He reminded us all that Barack Obama is really a, quote ‘true philosopher-President whose peers include the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and, our last professorial President, the under-rated Woodrow Wilson,’ end of quote. That’s a renewing resource of intellectual insight we should all learn to appreciate as the cherry blossoms bloom here in Washington.”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer in his end of the show commentary on the April 1 Face the Nation.

Brian Williams Polishes and Pouts

“The first time I met you, I couldn’t help but hear what you were saying through the prism of a fellow married father of two. Your wife and daughters know you ran for this office for them and their future. But they clearly suffer when hard times cause you to overwork, and clearly suffer when you’re attacked despite all that effort. As you sit here on a beautiful day in New York in April, reflect for me on how the criticism from all sides, at all times, can threaten to ruffle your legendary calm.”
— NBC’s Brian Williams interviewing President Obama on the April 1 Nightly News.

Frank Takes One Last Potshot at Palin

“In Alaska, Sarah Palin endorsed aerial hunting of wolves. Now Palin is moving to Arizona. What would she consider fair game for the airborne hunters of the Grand Canyon State? Roadrunners? Illegal immigrants? A saguaro cactus that the megalomaniacal, thin-skinned, half-term governor thought was giving her the finger?”
— Frank Rich, in his April 1 farewell column for the New York Times.

“Racist, Sexist Teabaggers” Would Find Patrick Henry Too Squishy

“In Lubbock, Texas, defense lawyers for college student and terror suspect Khalid Aldawsari are seeking the prosecution’s evidence. Today’s Big Question: Are you frustrated that Aldawsari wasn’t a racist, sexist, homophobic teabagger?”
— Daytime anchor Contessa Brewer on MSNBC News Live, April 1.

“The absolutist, liberty-or-death Tea Partiers are trying to purge the GOP. Purity is the gold of the wingnut realm. It’s clear that not even Founding Fathers like Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry would have enough purity to gain the support of the Republican base if they ran for office today.”
— CNN contributor John Avlon on the April 1 edition of CNN Newsroom.


No More Violent Rhetoric or We Shoot You

Host Chris Matthews: “John Boehner said Obama’s health care plan was going to be ‘lethal’ for the economic recovery....We all agreed a few weeks ago after the horror in Arizona that we weren’t gonna talk about, you know, ‘shoot ‘em up.’ We weren’t gonna use terms, ballistic terms in the way we talk. We’re not gonna say, ‘Mow down our opponents,’ or all that. We’re gonna stop talking about guns in regular political discourse. Somebody didn’t get the message!”
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “Yes, I know Chris. I think the Speaker should watch what he says and should apologize for-”
Matthews: “I mean, Gene, this is out of bounds talk! I’ll tell you what, the DNC needs to make Boehner the target of all their direct mail fundraising right now. He should be their public enemy number one! They’ve got to cut him off at his knees. They’ve got to knock him off!...Remember that scene in The Godfather, Part II, where Fredo goes out on the fishing boat and is, you know, disposed of? Maybe someone in the White House might want to suggest to Boehner that a great way to work on that tan of his, go on a fishing trip, you know what I’m saying? Because, seriously, this kind of violent rhetoric from the likes of Boehner just needs to stop!”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, April 1.

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