Quotabull

This is actually a boost to remind people that we can produce this kind of journalism at any time. We’re going to have a large enough newsroom to continue to produce this kind of quality journalism.

— Leonard Downie Jr., editor of The Washington Post, winner of six Pulitzer Prizes for 2008; The Post‘s front-page story by media critic Howard Kurtz did not mention the paper has endured three rounds of staff cuts since 2003, but the AP’s story did; April 7; emphasis added.

I can only confirm that the route is dynamic.

— Nathan Ballard, a San Francisco city spokesman, as, said The New York Times, “The precise route remained in flux on Tuesday as the torch extravaganza threatened to become more civic migraine than celebration in the face of potential protests by those upset with China’s human rights record and recent crackdown in Tibet”; April 9.
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Quotabull

It’s a pleasure to watch Obama’s mastery of the technique. And Clinton — and I didn’t say “even Clinton” — uses it much better than McCain does. And just about everybody does it better than the capering loon who does soft-shoe in the White House while young Americans are dismembered and splattered in Iraq. Sometimes when he speaks I can forget who he is momentarily and find myself actually pulling for him; probably from misplaced performer empathy. His speechifying has a strong odor of remedial reading about it, combined with an apparent fear that there might be some hard words ahead.

— from a New York Times commentary by Dick Cavett discussing President Bush’s public speaking skills; March 28.
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Quotabull

If it was the Marlins, you wouldn’t see people in Florida getting up at 5 a.m. And if it was the Yankees — well, their fans aren’t real. They just buy the hat.

— Helio Rocha, a restaurant manager who stayed up all night in anticipation of watching the Red Sox’ Major League Baseball opener (played in Toyko) at 5:30 a.m. in famed Boston watering hole Cask ’n’ Flagon; March 26.

Adam Smith’s invisible hand has a puppeteer: the Federal Reserve. In case there is any confusion about who was pulling the strings behind the scenes of JPMorgan Chase’s acquisition of Bear Stearns, the curtain was lifted Monday. By raising its bid — with the grudging approval of the Fed — to $10 a share, from $2, JPMorgan exposed what had long been whispered about but no one dared to say aloud: the Fed is officially in the deal-making business.

— from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “Dealbook” column in The New York Times; March 25; emphasis added.
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It’s fair to ask whether a college kid should have to wash dishes in the dining
hall to pay his tuition when his college has a billion dollars in the bank.

— Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, “the ranking Republican on the Senate committee that oversees tax policy, [who] has written to the nation’s 135 leading universities, asking them to explain what they do with their tax-free endowments“; according to The New York Times, “Last year a record 76 American colleges passed the $1 billion mark in total endowments”; March 18.

I liken N.C.L.B. to a mile race. Under N.C.L.B., students are tested rigorously every tenth of a mile. But nobody keeps track as to whether they cross the finish line.

— Bob Wise, a former West Virginia governor who is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a group that seeks to improve schools; according to The New York Times, “… many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later”; March 20.
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Quotabull

Does this mean Spitzer’s been a Republican all this time?

— heard in the hallway outside my office.

Message to Gov. Eliot Spitzer: I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to define prostitution for my 11-year-old son.

— letter to the editor of The New York Times by Louise Hochberg of Great Neck, N.Y.; March 12.

Only the lobbyists.

— New York Lt. Gov. David Paterson, when asked by the press “whether he, like [Eliot] Spitzer, had ever patronized a prostitute”; March 14.

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These accommodations should in no way be taken as a commentary on the quality of our media coverage.

— Doug Hattaway, campaign spokesman for Sen. Hillary Clinton, on placing press accommodations in the men’s locker room of the Berger Activity Center in Austin, Texas; March 3.
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