2006: The Cable Year’s Best Quotes

By Brian 

> Jun. 26:

“Our gimmick is news.”

Jon Klein, to Bill Carter

> May 1:

“The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know — fiction.”

Stephen Colbert, to the White House press corps

> Jul. 11:

“Because of his personal demons, Keith has imploded everywhere he’s worked. From lashing out at co-workers to personally attacking Bill O’Reilly and all things Fox, it’s obvious Keith is a train wreck waiting to happen. And like all train wrecks, people might tune in out of morbid curiosity, but they eventually tune out, as evidenced by Keith’s recent ratings decline. In the meantime, we hope he enjoys his paranoid view from the bottom of the ratings ladder and wish him well on his inevitable trip to oblivion.”

–FNC spokesperson Irena Briganti, talking about Keith Olbermann

> Jan. 9:

“Perhaps Jeff Zucker should think twice about tying his future, not to mention the reputation of General Electric, to an unstable ratings-killer like Keith, who uses an NBC property for his personal attacks.”

–FNC spokesperson Brian Lewis, to David Bauder, also talking about Keith Olbermann

> Feb. 25:

“The median age of viewers of this program is 58.7. The median age of viewers of Mr. O’Reilly’s program is 68.6. So if you want to be concerned about ‘well-being,’ Bill, be concerned about the odds of your viewers living into next week.”

Keith Olbermann, talking about Bill O’Reilly

> Nov. 30:

“Everyone has an agenda. All reporters are biased. Why not be open about it, transparent? We shouldn’t pretend. The audience is looking for honest opinions, for opinions they can relate to.”

–An unnamed senior cable news exec, to Ken Auletta

> Jan. 4:

“I’m not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.”

David Letterman, to Bill O’Reilly

> Oct. 4:

“I hate to say this, but if I got run over by a bus today — and this will really irritate our detractors — it wouldn’t matter at all. There are enough good young people in place to keep this going forever and force the rest of the media to pay attention to fairness, and that’s all I ever wanted to do anyway. So we’ll be fine without me.”

Roger Ailes, to Rebecca Dana

> Jun. 10:

“The tide of history is going from television to the Internet. It’s like manifest destiny. Finding ways to capitalize on that migration is the most important issue facing the news industry today.”

Bill Wolff, to George Winslow

> Jul. 25:

“Can’t wait to see what people say about us in the next 10 years”

–A message from Fox News on a tape shown to TV critics at the TCA press tour