Quotable Quotes from Brian Tierney vs. Will Bunch

And more in the John Yoo saga. My favorite lines from today’s WHYY Radio Times discussion featuring Brian Tierney and Will Bunch. (I left out the parts where Tierney spelled out philly.com three times.)

Brian Tierney says:

“I suggested John Yoo, but in the end it’s Harold Jackson who runs the editorial page.”

“John Yoo is a brilliant lawyer and legal scholar…”

“His [John Yoo’s] story is a terrific story in terms of immigrant parents coming to America…”

“He is an internationally recognized constitutional scholar…he appears in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal…” [On why the Inquirer chose to feature JY as a regular columnist.]

“We have really been excited about finding people who have an international present…but have a local presence as well…for instance Lisa Scottoline” [On why John Yoo is a real Philadelphian.]

“He [John Yoo] hasn’t been indicted and convicted…”

“I want to be blunt with you – in terms of the amount of traffic that I’ve received on this issue – there’s not been a huge amount of mail…”

“I want them to paint in the boldest possible colors…” [Regarding the Inky/DN bloggers/columnists]

“I want every person to love certain things and absolutely hate certain things.” [Regarding the Inquirer’s editorial page.”

Will Bunch says:

“I think John Yoo is an anomaly – I was very disappointed [when the Inquirer choose to publish JY]… it went counter to the values that we do have as an institution.”

“This is why after 25 years of journalism, I became a blogger. I thought journalism…was too passive…I think there are core things that we need to defend.”

“I think torture is an unconstitutional value.”

“I think there’s an opportunity to take a more moral stance.”

“Harold Jackson himself wrote,’Torture can never be justified.'”

“Most of us feel that the potion that he took…in his torture memos…was immoral.”

Brian Tierney says:

“I’m a non-practicing attorney – nor have I read them [torture] memos in great detail. I don’t think I’m competent to take a stand on that…. My role as publisher is that there’s this vibrant debate.”

Will Bunch says:

“ Newspapers …we are basically a community enterprise… we in too many ways have alienated ourselves from the community.”

“Brian said that JY is internationally recognized…but let’s be honest here, he’s internationally recognized for writing torture memos.”

“I don’t think it’s not a free speech issue, it’s a journalism issue”

“By giving real estate space to someone who’s advocated for torture… are newspapers normalizing torture?”

“I think that I wrote that Yoo should be fired fired…that was probably in the middle of the night.” [On why one should probably not blog at late hours.]

“Is John Yoo really of the community? Lisa Scottoline and Michael Smerconish are two examples of people who are as Philadelphian as you can get.”

Brian Tierney says:

“He has cheese steaks when he’s back in town!” [On John Yoo’s being an actual Philadelphian or not.}

“It’s innuendo, it’s still innuendo in the end.”

“John Yoo is not talking about those memos, he’s talking as [Berkeley] faculty.”

“If he’s good enough for Berkeley, how could it not be good enough for our voice here in Philadelphia?”

“The voices on the extreme left and the extreme right [are the ones ] who urge me to shut all the other voices down…”

Will Bunch says:

“He [JY] has used the Inquirer as a platform to defend that [JY’s torture memos].”

“His claim to fame is the torture memos.”

Brian Tierney says:

“His claim to fame is the fact that he’s on the faculty of Berkeley for 20 years.”

“My place as publisher isn’t to defend or criticize John Yoo.”

“I don’t even know what Rick Santorum gets.” [Regarding how much JY gets paid per column.]

Will Bunch says:

“This is our civil rights issue…torture” [On a newspaper’s place in a democracy in terms of taking a moral stance on an issue.”

Brian Tierney says:

“It’s been terrific for the paper.” [JY controversy.]

“A lot of people don’t like what Will Bunch writes. I would never want to loose Will Bunch.”

“I’m just so glad that we’re not dull. We’re not dull.” [On people’s recent interest in the Inquirer’s editorial decisions.”

Will Bunch says:

“There’s lot of conservatives who believe in freedom of the press… Michael Smerconish…John Yoo does not…”

Brian Tierney says:

“It’s not like he [John Yoo] has a scarlet letter on him.”

“I appreciate the [John Yoo] controversy.”

“For years they [the public] weren’t noticing the Philadelphia Inquirer.”

“Enjoy it, and if you can’t enjoy it.. get over it” [BT on people’s reaction to WY.]

“If that’s all he was going to do [rehash the Bush administration] we wouldn’t be so keen about it.” [BT on the variety of topics JY covers.]

“You’re fired, Will!” [Jokingly to WB.]


7 responses to “Quotable Quotes from Brian Tierney vs. Will Bunch

  1. reading tierney’s poorly reasoned defenses of John Yoo, I am more enlightened.

    Enlightened about why the paper is entering bankruptcy, that is: the publisher is not the brightest bulb in the christmas tree.

  2. phillygrrl

    My fav?

    “His claim to fame is the fact that he’s on the faculty of Berkeley for 20 years.” BT

    Oh yeah, and this gem.

    “He has cheese steaks when he’s back in town!” [On John Yoo’s being an actual Philadelphian or not.] BT

  3. I have not had a chance to listen to the interview yet, so big thanks for excerpting all of this. I know it was a lot of work.

    One could not expect a substantive defence of John “Permanent Organ Damage” Yoo because such is impossible.

    It’s like defending Jeffrey Dahmer based on his cooking skills.

  4. phillygrrl

    Brendan, that makes hella more sense. Yay, you!

  5. Awesome. Had I known I would’ve skipped listening to it and just waited to read this post. (That’s P-H-I-L-L-Y-G-R-R-L, right? Just checking. Feel free to remind us as necessary.)

  6. Haha, okay Anil. No problem.

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