MRC's Notable Quotables: Slamming GOP for 'Swiftboating' Sgt. Bergdahl

Now online: the June 9 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, left-wing journalists rally to Obama's defense on the prisoner swap, blasting Republicans for "swiftboating" Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl and claiming that the five newly-freed Taliban leaders would have a "negligible" effect on the war.

Also, NBC's Brian Williams calls Obama's foreign policy "muscular, if not militaristic," ABC is pleased Hillary Clinton has "come out swinging" against Benghazi critics, while a CNN "news" anchor thinks Michelle Obama can sign laws into effect. Highlights after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 22 quotes at


Slamming Republicans for “Swiftboating” Sgt. Bergdahl

“We’re going to look at the right-wing playbook for the newly-released American POW, a wounded man who isn’t even out of the hospital yet. Swiftboat first; ask questions later....[Sgt. Bowe] Bergdahl, a former POW who’s under treatment now at a military hospital, is being swiftboated by the reflexive anti-Obama machine.”
— Guest host Ari Melber on MSNBC’s The Last Word, June 3.

Host Matt Lauer: “Did the White House truly think this was just going to be a celebratory moment, the release of Sergeant Bergdahl? Did they not see any of this backlash coming? Were they caught flat-footed?”
White House correspondent Chuck Todd: “They were caught flat-footed....They did not expect this backlash on Bergdahl himself. I’ve had a few aides describe it to me as, ‘We didn’t know that they were going to swiftboat Bergdahl.’”
— NBC’s Today, June 4.


“No, no. Swiftboating is totally misused here. Swiftboating is when you make up stories, and you misconstrue the evidence from — you don’t like the way that John Kerry opposed the Vietnam war after he got back and turned it into an attack on his service over there. Totally dishonest....Where’s the dishonesty in the portrayal of Bergdahl so far? I haven’t seen it. What’s been misconstrued about him so far?”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 4.


Rationalizing the Release of Dangerous Taliban Killers

Washington Post Associate Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran: “Well, certainly when you release Guantanamo detainees, you’re bound to get some hooting and hollering from the right in this country. It’s only natural....These guys were Taliban leaders, they weren’t al Qaeda leaders.”
Host Chris Hayes: “Yeah, I think that’s an important distinction....The Taliban ran a monstrous regime and tried to kill Americans and succeeded in killing lots of Americans, but they were not al Qaeda and were not plotting explosions in Manhattan or flying planes into buildings.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s All In, June 2.

“Do you trade five, you know, [makes air quotes] ‘senior’ Taliban officials or people who’ve been in U.S. custody in Guantanamo for years and years, whose impact on the war, on us, and on our people going forward — aside from what obviously will be a morale boost, I guess, for some part of the Taliban — but whose impact is I think likely to be negligible. They’ve been out of this war and the command structure for a long, long time.”
— Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, June 5.


It’s Un-American to Criticize Obama’s Taliban Swap

“Republicans are using a United States prisoner of war as a political tool in an attempt to make President Obama look bad. That’s the story....[After a clip of Texas Senator Ted Cruz saying the trade sets ‘a very dangerous precedent’] Ted Cruz has zero credibility. He has zero foreign policy experience. He’s a guy from Texas who doesn’t have a clue. All he knows is that he’s got a big name and a big state behind him and he can get on any show he wants. And it’s all pablum, anything to take down the President. There’s nothing American about Ted Cruz.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, June 2.


Admiring Obama’s Push for “Muscular” Foreign Policy

“President Obama addressed the issue of American involvement in future wars today and the changing threat to this country. He spoke to the graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy West Point. As one writer put it, he called for a muscular, if not militaristic, foreign policy for the near future.”
— Anchor Brian Williams on the May 28 NBC Nightly News.


“I think the speech was literally pointless. He didn’t have a point. It was a defensive speech. It was an answer to the chorus of criticism, even from his side of the aisle, that it’s been a weak, leaderless, rudderless foreign policy, which it has been.”
— Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on FNC’s Special Report, same night.


NBC Lauds “Historic Victory” of Record High Minimum Wage

“A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide. The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour, the highest in the nation.”
— News anchor Natalie Morales on NBC’s Today, June 3. The on-screen headline celebrated: “Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle’s $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard.”


NSA Leaker: Just Another Disappointed Obama Voter

NBC’s Brian Williams: “Did you vote for President Obama?...Did he disappoint you?...You were hoping he would reverse some of the Bush policies. You were quoted as saying you were disappointed that he did not.”
Fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden: “Well, he said he would....He was a candidate that promised that he would give the public back its seat at the table of government. And he still has time to do so.”
— Exchange shown during an Webcast, May 28.


ABC Hails Hillary: “She Comes Out Swinging” on Benghazi

Fill-in anchor David Muir: “Tonight, more signs Hillary Clinton is mulling a presidential run and is ready to fight back on Benghazi. With a new book coming, Politico tonight reporting she’s taking on her critics....”
Correspondent Martha Raddatz: “According to the online publication, she comes out swinging. Her anger aimed at congressional Republicans who she accuses of politicizing the tragedy. ‘I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans,’ writes Clinton....”
— ABC’s World News, May 30.


Evil Conservatives “Selling the Health of the Planet”

“Every time they [the Koch brothers] give a buck to a Republican, they’re basically guaranteeing themselves a better tax status, less regulation, and more money, more billions....They’re selling the health of planet for their own economic good? Isn’t that what they’re doing?...They’re hurting the planet’s health so they can have more money.”
— Host Chris Matthews to Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 2.


CNN Anchor Thinks First Lady Can Sign Actual Laws

Clip of Michelle Obama: “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children....”
Anchor Carol Costello: “That was Mrs. Obama back in 2010 when she signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act into law. Well, now some members of Congress and the food industry want to roll back that initiative....”
CNN Newsroom, May 27.


To read the entire June 9 edition of Notable Quotables, please visit

2016 Presidential War on Terrorism Taliban NBC NBC Nightly News Today MSNBC Brian Williams Hillary Clinton Ari Melber Carol Costello Ed Schultz Chris Matthews Chuck Todd Barack Obama