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Open & Shut

A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations From the Fall 2007 issue of The News…

A recent collection of funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations

From the Fall 2007 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 32.

“I will never back down from what I wrote.”

— Former Kane County Chronicle columnist Bill Page after the newspaper agreed to apologize for publishing defamatory statements about Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Thomas.

“I’m sort of shell-shocked that I was found guilty. In the scheme of things, this isn’t like being tortured, beaten, injured, or killed; I’m thankful for that. I’m pissed off though. Civil rights in this country are going down the toilet and nobody seems to care.”

— Jeffrey Sauger, a freelance photojournalist who was found guilty of criminal trespass after being arrested while covering a Nazi rally in Toledo, Ohio.

“Tell the attorney general he can bite me. ”

— Weathersfield Township Trustee John Vogel, who maintains that his Ohio office is an example of best practices when it comes to open records laws.

“The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war….”

— Lt. Gen Richard S. Sanchez, speaking at the annual conference of the Military Reporters and Editors in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 12, 2007.

“I will pay any price to defend free expression especially against anyone who wants to take it away in the name of God.”

— Adam M. Key, law student at Regent University, who is facing possible disciplinary action from the law school after posting unflattering photographs of Regent founder Pat Robertson on his Facebook page.

“I’ve got to smack these people regularly to keep them doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

— Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on the state Department of Education’s decision to keep many records about teachers private.

“This is fundamental to our democracy and fundamental to the security of our country.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on passage of a federal shield law.

“If it weren’t for CBS, nobody would know about this.”

— Retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who headed the investigation of the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, at an Oct. 4 appearance at the University of San Francisco’s Center for the Pacific Rim.

“I spent the better part of the last three months enduring criticism normally levelled at a genocidal tyrant.”

— Rupert Murdoch, on purchasing the Wall Street Journal.

“Believe you me. It can use a tuneup.”

— Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), speaking about the federal Freedom of Information Act in a speech at the Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in Washington, D.C.

“‘Blonde Ambition’ purports to be a ‘tell-all’ book, but it can only be accurately described as a ‘tell-all-lies’ book.”

— Lin Wood, attorney for plaintiff Howard K. Stern who filed a $60 million libel suit against Rita Cosby and Hachette Book Group USA Inc., for a book about Anna Nicole Smith that Cosby wrote, which claims among other things that Stern and Smith’s former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, shared a sexual encounter.

“Judge Hopkins… ought to be sent to her corner and forced to repeat 50 times: ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’”

— Media blogger Dan Kennedy after Suffolk Superior Court Judge Merita Hopkins prohibited a Boston TV station from airing a story about the autopsy results for two local firefighters who died in the line of duty.

“While Ann Coulter has freedom of speech, news outlets should exercise their freedom to use better judgment. Just as media outlets don’t invite those who believe that Martians walk the earth to frequently comment on science stories, it’s time they stop inviting Ann Coulter to comment on politics.”

— Ira N. Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, in response to Coulter suggesting that Jews should be “perfected” by accepting the Bible’s New Testament.