Two Cents


"We never show you how horrible it really is. It really is much, much worse than anything you ever see on television. You can't imagine. And we talk about that. We don't show it to you. The principle isn't that we're trying to be pro-American. It's something that falls more into standards and practices. We don't show naked breasts, and we don't show the guy burnt in a tank. And we talk all the time about that: Should we break that taboo? And if we did, that would have huge impact. Huge."

John Donvan, ABC News' Nightline, on the media's depiction of the war in Iraq, quoted in New York magazine.

"This reminds me of the great scene in the movie and the play Chicago, where Richard Gere turns to Roxy Hart and says, 'It's all one big circus.' This is the summer story of 2003. Congress is out of town. President's going on vacation. Not a whole lot is happening. We got to keep the audience, so we give them a razzle dazzle story, like Kobe Bryant."

Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, on Fox News Watch

"The seeming fading of impartiality [of television news] is a direct result of the deregulation of radio and television … Networks and stations that pander to a particular political audience aren't doing it for philosophical reasons; they simply perceive a valuable demographic group. I always think of the Monty Python sketch in which the same newscast is repeated five or six times for different animals. 'And now the news for Wombats. No wombats were involved in a collision on the M-4 motorway … And now the news for Parakeets. No parakeets were involved in a collision on the M-4 motorway.' "

Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Countdown, in The Hartford Courant

"You can't show buttocks in 2003. It's unbelievable."

Tom Gutteridge, creative director of Television Corp., on having to edit a thong-wearing contestant on Paradise Hotel, quoted in The Independent