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Open & Shut

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

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

From the Summer 2007 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 40.

“I’ll, like, listen…internalize, play like I’m going to answer the question, and then smile at you and just say, gosh thanks, thanks for such a solid, sound question.”


President Bush, speaking to the White House press corps about how he will answer reporters’ questions, during the July 11 ribon-cutting for a new press briefing room.



“Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t shine as brightly in Washington.”


Republican Sen. John Cornyn, comparing the open records laws of his home state of Texas with the federal Freedom of Information Act in a column in the Amarillo Globe-News.



“This is the type of case that a mentally challenged pro se plaintiff would file.”


Joseph Power, speaking to The New York Times about a newspaper’s federal lawsuit to prevent the enforcement of a libel judgment in favor of Power’s client, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Thomas.



“Would somebody turn the lights out in this room, please?”


California Sen. Gloria Romero, speaking after a state Assembly committee refused to move for a vote on a bill that would reopen police disciplinary records and hearings to the public, to the Los Angeles Times.



“In my view, too often it’s the military’s fault the ‘rest of the story’ does not get out in a timely manner. Bad on us if we stonewall or we say ‘no comment’ or we are not as responsive as you need us to be. If you tell us you have a two o’clock deadline to get information, the least we ought to do is to come back before two o’clock and say, ‘It’s really complicated; you do not have the right story; we can’t give you many details today but can you wait a day?’”


Maj. Gen. Jack Rives, the Air Force’s top uniformed lawyer, to the Wall Street Journal.



“The evil we’re seeking to prevent is keeping information in the public interest from the public.”


Judge Dave Gamble, during a June 18 meeting of a Nevada committee studying sealed cases, in the Nevada Appeal.



“This court has no interest in shielding from public scrutiny the misconduct of a professor…simply because if the public sees the misconduct they are going to think less of the professor. I’m not here to protect people’s reputations from the effect of their own misdeeds.”


Judge Richard Niess, rejecting in May a Wisconsin professor’s plea to seal a report that led to his removal as university department chairman, according to The Associated Press. 



“They’re lawyers and we’re lawyers and we disagree.”


Steve Kinn, a deputy prosecutor in Spokane County, Wash., speaking to The Spokesman-Review about his rejection of the state public records ombudsman’s opinion that the county was legally obligated to disclose the names of people who had visited or requested interviews with a man charged with homicide by abuse in connection with the death of his 4-year-old daughter. 



“If you don’t publicize something, then there’s never any accountability for it. So they won’t change their practices. The government won’t do what they’re supposed to do to protect the homeland.”


Carl Prine, a Pittsburgh Tribune reporter who documents the vulnerability of chemical plants, to National Public Radio.



Stephen Colbert: “Have you thought of writing a thank you note to the feds? It’s only polite when you’re thrown into jail for reasons that you later get publicity for.”

Josh Wolf: “I’m sure Charles Manson has the same conclusion as well.”

Colbert: “So you’re like Judy Miller and Charles Manson?”


Stephen Colbert, host of “The Colbert Report,” interviewing Josh Wolf, who was sent to prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury and turn over a videotape.



“There is no purpose served by shutting the courthouse doors and denying the public the opportunity to observe the court at work. If you do this behind closed doors there will still be press coverage.”


Jeff Hunt, an attorney representing Utah media organizations, reacting to a judge’s ruling to keep secret jailhouse statements made by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, to the Deseret Morning News.



“If you start hiding stuff, you wonder if we’re all being treated fairly.”


Phyllis Brown, a Nashville, Tenn., resident, speaking to The Tennessean about a lawsuit seeking to bar police from releasing the names of people they arrest.