Quotes of 2004 – february

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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:33 pm

* “Margo will be back on deck by the middle of February.”—the Sydney Morning Herald, sounding a lot like the former Iraqi information minister

* “We’re going to tell all those white boys who run the Republican Party to stay out of our bedrooms.”—Howard Dean slams whitey

* “Regarding Boris Johnson’s comments, I asked the editors of the Op-Ed page for a reaction. They replied, ‘The Op-Ed staff has a very different memory of the editing experience.’”—New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent, after Johnson accused the NYT of meddling with his column

* “The Tories say it’s a sin to represent working people.”—Labor leader Mark Latham. Invited to provide an example of such a comment (in exchange for which he would have received an entire free page in The Bulletin), Latham was silent

* “The Gov had to catch a huge fish that was thrown at him by one of the workers at the fish market. The Gov dropped the fish the first time, but caught it on his second try. The fish was huge and slimely so I was surprised that he caught it at all!”—Howard Dean supporter Kate O’Connor

* “Dubya’s secret commandos Michael Moore & Al Franken have done such a good job since 2000, making sure the sane voter tunes out all the ‘Bush = Hitler’ crap. I hope Karl Rove is paying those boys well, because Christ knows they’re earning it.”—Ken Layne

* “The bomb made the paedophile problem worse. It was a simple matter of economics; people got thrown out of work, they needed the money, and there were accommodating European men to help them.”—volunteer social worker Gloria Goodwin on Bali’s continuing tragedy

* “A transparent sun cream sold in Australia contains macro particles of titanium oxide, which have the capacity to penetrate the skin, the blood stream and even our organs. Blue Lizard sun cream boasts that its Baby Formulation contains ‘only nano-micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and no other active ingredients’. There is zero regulation in this emerging industry, in which a major investor is the Pentagon.”—Richard Neville exposes the military/industrial/tanning complex

* “I don’t blame him a bit for sexing things up. I would too if I were trapped on an island with Ginger and Mary Ann.”—Randal Robinson on the BBC’s Gilligan crisis

* “The Baath is the party of pimps. Come out, you Baath, and let the hate wash over you.”—Baghdad graffiti

* “A guardsman from Utah named Paul Holton has described seeing an Iraqi girl crying and decided then and there to help that child and others like her. By enlisting aid through the Internet, Chief Warrant Officer Holton had arranged the shipment of more than 1,600 aid packages from overseas.”—blogger Chief Wiggles earns presidential recognition

* “In general, I’m pro-life—excuse me, I’m pro-abortion rights.”—Wesley Clark explains his position. Other Clark comments on the subject included ‘I don’t believe in abortion’ and ‘I have always been and always will be pro-choice’

* “Clark is simply too crazy to be president of the U.S.”—Andrew Sullivan

* “I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein. I actually think this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought.”—chief WMD inspector Dr David Kay

* “I’m increasingly convinced this WMD thing is a mega-disaster. Notice how all the Usual Suspects are totally on the front foot, while we are now on the defensive? I also think it could do for Bush, probably for Blair, and maybe Howard.”—an anonymous right-wing columnist sends a gloomy e-mail

*”When I was young, my mum used to tell me there were two types of people in our street—the slackers and the hard workers.”—Labor leader Mark Latham. It was later revealed that Latham’s mother actually said “no-hopers” rather than “slackers”, and that the word was altered in Latham’s speech by former Labor leader Simon Crean

* “I knew this would be a mistake.”—human rights campaigner Joe as guest speaker Rosie O’Donnell persisted with a ruinous fundraising speech

* “John Kerry will be the next President of the United States. And what is really beautiful is that George Bush, who has posed for so long as a hard man, is about to get his clock cleaned by the real thing. Kerry fought in Vietnam as a young man, and fought prostate cancer as a grown man.”—Daily Mirror columnist Tony Parsons


* “I’m afraid of Americans”—T-shirt marketed by Australian advertising executive Jonathan Pease. Who lives in New York

* “I guess most of ‘em just have a lot of common sense.”—racer Terry Labonte explains why NASCAR drivers support George W. Bush

* “I donated $250 awhile back when there was a premium offered for that amount of a signed picture of Gen. Clark. I never received the picture.”—a Clark fan wants her signed picture, damn it

* “Tim, you are a disgrace … you are very sloppy, utterly stupid, or a scurrilous liar … you are a disgrace to your ostensible profession … I’m stunned at such misrepresentation … you’re dead wrong … dead wrong … you are dead wrong on the facts. Face up to it … Dead Wrong … Dead wrong … you are wrong on the facts Tim … you are dead wrong … Tim is dead wrong on the facts … Tim is dead wrong on the facts … If you’re not dead wrong; you’re completely incoherent. Your choice: are you a liar or a fool? …  You were dead wrong in the Bulletin article, and you are dead wrong now … Very poor form. You should be ashamed … Tim has published erroneous material … You are and were dead wrong … You made a mistake Tim. You were dead wrong … Tim Blair is dead wrong. There is no room for discretion on the matter … That’s why Tim Blair is dead wrong … You are dead wrong …”—academic Christopher Sheil has a favourite saying. Can you guess what it is?

* “Kerry will implode over an intern issue.”—Wesley Clark in an off-the-record conversation with reporters, as quoted by Matt Drudge

* “What is that whooshing sound that you hear? It is all the hot air escaping from the self-styled ‘blogosphere.’”—The Boston Globe’s Alex Beam. Ask Dan Rather about it, Alex

* “John Howard lost it two days ago. His cool, his direction, his command of his party, his control of national politics, his image as the ‘man of steel’… By week’s end [Mark Latham] had all but killed off Howard’s prime ministership.”—The Sydney Morning Herald’s Alan Ramsey

* “You think that an absurd rush to judgement?”—Alan Ramsey, digging himself even deeper

* “What we saw two nights ago could not have been a more humiliating, more devastating political white flag for any prime minister. Howard’s surrender to Latham is that catastrophic.”—Ramsey again, somewhere near the earth’s molten core

* “This is not the kind of humour that is healthy for the country.”—Canadian communications specialist John Parisella slams Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, whose visit to Quebec was the year’s cross-cultural highlight

* “You are one of my heroes.”—Howard Dean to Helen Caldicott … according to Helen Caldicott

* “Terrorists murder 3,000 people on 9/11, and the New Democrats ask for calm and say we have to understand the ‘root causes’. But a puppet insulting Quebeckers? Unleash the dogs of war!”—Damian Penny on the Triumph backlash

* “We have lived through, been part of, party to, one of the greatest acts of mass deception in history.”—Phillip Adams in a column so riddled with deceit and inaccuracy that it was even cited by his friends at Media Watch

* “Margo will be back on deck very soon.”—the Sydney Morning Herald keeps the world informed

* “Government is the only tool there is. In the right hands it can transform society. It is a force for progress, for redistribution, for putting right wrongs, for redressing the injustices of the market …”—The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, whose newspaper is one of the UK’s lowest-selling. Curse those market injustices

* “For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged Right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.”—pop star and political strategist Moby

* “At no stage did he challenge the claim of WMDs. Suddenly, he is a champion of the they-were-never-there cause, a retrospective expert on the absence of arms. The man postures shamelessly.”—e-mail from a Canberra-based journalist regarding Andrew Wilkie, whom the writer interviewed shortly after Wilkie announced his reasons for quitting the ONA

* “We suspect Ramil S. of having committed murder with unusual cruelty. We say ‘unusual cruelty’ because beside a number of knife wounds on his chest, the victim’s head was practically severed from his body.”—Budapest Police Maj.Valter Fulop. Ramil S. and his victim had been attending a NATO Partnership for Peace program

* “Why don’t you do the work to investigate this turkey yourself, and publish the results in your column?”—Media Watch executive producer Peter McEvoy declines to pursue bogus turkey claims from left-wing columnists

* “If you want to debate the Vietnam era, and the impact of our experiences on our approaches to presidential leadership, I am prepared to do so.”—John Kerry in a letter to George W. Bush. In 1992, defending Vietnam war draft-dodger Bill Clinton, Kerry had said: “We do not need to divide America over who served and how”

* “There’s a tremendous initiative in law enforcement [that] may be reversed if Bush is not re-elected. Let this administration finish this war and this fight against terrorism.”—actor Dan Aykroyd, who pledges a return to the Democrats in 2008

* “A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world … The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration …”—the London Observer on a “secret Pentagon report” that wasn’t secret and wasn’t a Pentagon report. Greenpeace, The Australian, AFP, SBS, the ABC, and The Sydney Morning Herald (among others) fell for it

* “With a couple of exceptions, such as Olympic sprinter Cathy Freeman and actor Deborah Mailman, it is hard to think of any famous Aboriginal Australians.”—The Guardian’s David Fickling has never heard of Albert Namatjira, Evonne Goolagong, Eddie Mabo, Lionel Rose, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Neville Bonner, Michael Long, Pat O’Shane, Nova Peris Kneebone, Aden Ridgeway, Polly Farmer, Sally Morgan, Charles Perkins, Anthony Mundine, Lowitja O’Donaghue, Kyle van der Kuyp, Jason Gillespie …

* “I think I finally understand why Kerry underwent the botox treatments. It’s so he could say all the things he does with a straight face.”—reader Dan G.

* “After completing his father’s unfinished business – going on to Baghdad to topple the Iraqi regime and finally capturing the family nemesis – President George W Bush is also facing the prospect of a stunning military victory followed by electoral defeat.” —introduction to an ABC interview with Christopher Hitchens. A quickly-discarded headline to the interview read: “Bush to face father’s fate: Hitchens”

* “The costs of shutting down a national organization are costly.”—Wesley Clark begs for cash following the end of his Presidential campaign

* “These people always complain. They want it both ways: their way and our way. They want to live in our society and be respected, yet they won’t work. They steal, they rob and they get drunk. And they don’t respect the laws.”—Australian psychiatrist Graham Thorn discusses Aboriginal issues in an interview with The Chicago Tribune’s Uli Schmetzer

Posted by Tim B. on 12/23/2004 at 03:44 PM
    1. You’re dead right, you know, Chris Shiel has a favourite saying.

      Posted by Tony.T on 2004 12 23 at 07:22 PM • permalink


    1. Anybody else getting the characters “’” instead of apostrophes on Tim’s new site? Or is it just me?

      Damn new-fangled intraweb.

      Posted by Blithering Bunny on 2004 12 23 at 09:23 PM • permalink


    1. Me too.  Happens in both Firefrog and IE too, so it’s not just a browser combatibility issue.

      Posted by Pixy Misa on 2004 12 23 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. It’s some sort of character encoding issue. Sometimes going to “view” in the browser menu and picking another character encoding (like “Unicode”) changes this character into what it is supposed to be. It must have something to do with PHP—Wordpress, the software I use for my personal blog, is also a PHP program and I have the same problem.

      Posted by Andrea Harris on 2004 12 23 at 11:47 PM • permalink


    1. >Sometimes going to “view” in the browser menu and picking another character encoding (like “Unicode”) changes this character into what it is supposed to be.

      Yes, that worked for me (in both Explorer and Mozilla).

      Must go now. Having lunch with Australian psychiatrist Graham Thorn.

      Posted by Blithering Bunny on 2004 12 24 at 02:03 AM • permalink


    1. Name dropper !!

      Posted by Rachel Corrie’s Flatmate on 2004 12 24 at 10:22 AM • permalink


    1. Andrea – Yep, that’s it.  There must be an encoding setting somewhere that’s set to ISO-8859-1 when it should be Unicode, because the server is reporting the former but the pages are the latter.

      No big problem.

      Posted by Pixy Misa on 2004 12 24 at 08:06 PM • permalink


  1. Yeah, this is what’s in the “head” area of the main weblog.php file: <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=iso-8859-1” />

    Posted by Andrea Harris on 2004 12 25 at 04:37 AM • permalink