Second Runners-Up Quotes in the MRC's Best of NQ Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting
Published: 12/29/2010 2:59 AM ET
The second runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2010: The Twenty-Third Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." As announced in a CyberAlert Special last week, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 20, but following tradition, Monday, yesterday, today and tomorrow - the last weekdays of the year - MRC.org's BiasAlert and corresponding CyberAlert e-mail newsletter will run the winning quotes followed on succeeding days by the runners-up.
The page linked above also has links for the text of the entire issue in MS Word, OpenOffice Writer or WordPerfect formats. You can also download a colorful and easily read-able PDF version.
To determine this year's winners, a panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category. First place selections were awarded three points, second place choices two points, with one point for the third place selections. Point totals are listed alongside each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a "Quote of the Year" denoting the most outrageous quote of 2010.
The MRC's Michelle Humphrey and Melissa Lopez distributed and counted the ballots. Alex Fitzsimmons helped produce the numerous audio and video clips included in the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes and Brent Baker assembled this issue and Brad Ash posted the entire package on the MRC's Web site.
The list of the judges, who were generous with their time, is posted online and listed below after the winning quotes.
Now, the second runners-up quotes in the 17 award categories (see the "Best Notable Quotables of 2010" pages for video clips of each television quote):
The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble (Second runner-up)
"A year-long debate that's been rancorous and mean from the start turned even nastier yesterday. Demonstrators protesting the bill poured into the halls of Congress shouting 'Kill the bill!' and 'Made in the USSR.' And as tempers rose, they hurled racial epithets, even at civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia, and sexual slurs at Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank. Other legislators said the protesters spit on them, and one lawmaker said it was like a page out of a time machine."
- Bob Schieffer leading off CBS's Face the Nation, March 21. [35 points]
Rodney Dangerfield Award for Demanding Respect for Obama's "Achievements" (Second runner-up)
"People from all over the world, frankly, say to me, here comes a President with a huge mandate, a huge reservoir of goodwill, huge promises to change, and, with all of that, his popularity is down. People don't appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda that he's accomplished."
- Host Christiane Amanpour to White House advisor David Axelrod on ABC's This Week, September 26. [47 points]
Damn Those Conservatives Award (Second runner-up)
"I looked up the definition of sedition, which is 'conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state.' And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck, and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right next - right up close to being seditious."
- Time's Joe Klein on The Chris Matthews Show, April 18. [43 points]
The Shovel Ready Media Award for Claiming Success for Obama's "Stimulus" (Second runner-up)
White House correspondent Chip Reid: "In Washington, D.C., about 20 people are working on this road project. Manager Matthew Johns calls the stimulus a lifesaver. [to Johns] So it's certainly possible that you and these guys would be without work right now if it weren't for the stimulus package?"
Matthew Johns: "Absolutely."...
Reid: "Many independent economists put the number of jobs saved or created at about 1.8 million, but to the great frustration of the White House, most Americans simply refuse to believe it."
- CBS Evening News, February 17. [44 points]
They Don't Miss Him Yet Award for Still Bashing Bush (Second runner-up)
"America hasn't recovered from the serious blows to its stature delivered by nearly a decade of policy debacles....[Obama] inherited a Herculean task: the Augean-stable-size mess left behind by George W. Bush. First there was the diversion of military resources and attention from Afghanistan to Iraq - a draining, misdirected war and occupation that many believe never should have been launched. Then there was the long period of fiscal, regulatory, and financial recklessness that contributed to the worst-ever downturn since the Great Depression. Finally, Washington squandered its chance to lead on climate change."
- Newsweek's Michael Hirsh in the August 23 & 30 cover story ranking "The Best Countries in the World," which awarded the U.S. 11th place. [46 points]
No Wonder It Sold For $1 Award for Newsweek's Priceless Bias (Second runner-up)
"We [the press corps] are so eager to promote ourselves with the smartest take on how President Obama and the Democrats got themselves in this pickle that we haven't done a good job explaining the stakes....A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn't something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter in the magazine's November 1 edition, "Why the Midterms Matter: The GOP's agenda has to be stopped." [47 points]
Media Hero Award (Second runner-up)
Correspondent Lesley Stahl: "When all is said and done - and many will be surprised to hear this - Jimmy Carter got more of his programs passed than Reagan and Nixon, Ford, Bush 1, Clinton or Bush 2."
Former President Jimmy Carter: "I had the best batting average in the Congress in recent history of any President, except Lyndon Johnson."...
Stahl: "A lot of critics of yours, when you were President, say that you've been a fantastic ex-President. You hear that all the time."
Carter: "I don't mind that."
- CBS's 60 Minutes, September 19. [45 points]
Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery (Second runner-up)
"The moment was vintage Obama - emphasizing his zest for inquiry, his personal involvement, his willingness to make the tough call, his search for middle ground. If an Obama brand exists, it is his image as a probing, cerebral President conducting an exhaustive analysis of the issues so that the best ideas can emerge, and triumph."
- Washington Post writers Michael Leahy and Juliet Eilperin in an October 12 story about the President's pre-oil spill endorsement of offshore drilling. [37 points]
Dumb and Dumber Award for Matthews and Olbermann's Leftist Blatherings (Second runner-up)
"[The Tea Party-backed Republicans are] a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the '30s, or backward to hanging union organizers, or backward to the trusts and the robber barons...It is nothing short of an attempted use of democracy to end this democracy, to buy America wholesale and pave over the freedoms and the care we take of one another, which have combined to keep us the envy of the world.... If you sit there tomorrow, and the rest of this week, and you let this cataclysm unfold, you have enabled this. It is one thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from without. It is a worse thing to be attacked by those who would destroy America from within."
- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a 21-minute "Special Comment" on Countdown, October 27. [41 points]
The Ground Zeroes Award for Impugning Americans as Islamophobic (Second runner-up)
"There is a lot of hate speech, and it's getting louder and more vicious....In these mosque protests, we've seen that hate speech take on a new and more venomous tinge....As somebody who I spoke to during the story told me, Islamophobia is now the accepted form of racism in this country."
- Time's Bobby Ghosh during the 1pm ET hour of CNN's Newsroom, August 19. [36 points]
Hazing Arizona Award for Denigrating Immigration Enforcement (Second runner-up)
Anchor Diane Sawyer: "Tonight, undocumented immigrants - many working in this country for decades - are fleeing the state, or hiding in fear...."
Correspondent Bill Weir: "There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight. More vacant apartments, more empty shops, more kids disappearing from school.... Francisco has been in Phoenix without papers for 14 years, but says now he's afraid to walk the streets. So he'll take his family and leave as soon as he can."
- ABC's World News, July 27. [41 points]
The Supremely Slanted Award for Elevating Elena Kagan (Second runner-up)
Host Al Hunt: "Margaret, if you were a Senator, would you vote for Elena Kagan?"
Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson: "Um, twice if I could....She just excelled. It's been so long since I've seen anyone in public life joyful about being there, and that was what was infectious about the hearings. When Lindsey Graham asked her about the Christmas Day bomber, he then switched with, 'Where were you on Christmas?' And she said, 'Like all Jews, I was at a Chinese restaurant.' She just said it right out. It brought the house down."
- Bloomberg TV's Political Capital, July 2. [40 points]
The Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin (Second runner-up)
"How does the neo-conservative right, the hawkish right, find such success in finding these empty vessels, like her? Like W.? Like, like Quayle? They find these empty vessels who know nothing about the world! Nothing about foreign policy! Who immediately begin to spout the neo-con line. I read her book - it's full of that crap. Where, where do they find these people? They went on a cruise up there? What, [Bill] Kristol and Fred Barnes went on some cruise to Alaska and they found her standing at the docks with an empty head saying, 'I'm willing to say what you want me to say.'"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, authors of the book Game Change about the 2008 presidential campaign, January 12 Hardball. [44 points]
Obama's Orderlies Award for Prepping America for ObamaCare (Second runner-up)
"For Many, Health Care Relief Begins Today"
- New York Times headline over a series of articles about official launching of ObamaCare, September 23. [35 points]
The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh (Second runner-up)
"You started the year with this huge festival of hope and renewal and everything is going to be so different now, and then, like the bad fairy at Sleeping Beauty's christening, Rush Limbaugh utters the words, 'I hope you fail.' 'I hope he fails,' he said, and from that moment, the sort of the Pandora's box opened, and the rest of the year has been just this big discord and toxic atmosphere in politics and partisan divide and people shouting at each other and the Tea Parties and death panels."
- The Daily Beast's Tina Brown choosing the most important moment of the past year on NBC's Today December 31, 2009. [39 points]
The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year (Second runner-up)
"Cuba's communist leaders mapped out a brave new world of free enterprise on Friday, approving a laundry list of small-time businesses, allowing islanders to take on employees and even promising credit to burgeoning entrepreneurs. The reforms - laid out in a three-page spread in the Communist Party-daily Granma - seem sure to create a society of haves and have-nots in a land that has spent half a century striving for an egalitarian utopia."
- Associated Press writer Paul Haven in a September 24 dispatch from Havana. [44 points]
The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity (Second runner-up)
Host Joy Behar: "Was it hard to play Dick Cheney?...Because I know that you're not a fan of Cheney.... Where did you find it in yourself to go down and find that satanic spot that we all know so well?"
Actor Richard Dreyfuss: "Are you leading me somewhere? First of all, every actor likes to play bad guys.... To play Dick Cheney, all I had to do was find my Dick Cheney. And you can find all the villainy in the world in your own heart, and that's what an actor's job is. I always say to kids, inside you is Hitler and Jesus. And you've got to find the appropriate person and bring them out."
- Exchange on HLN's Joy Behar Show, October 18. [38 points]
The 46 judges, check the online listing for links to Web pages for each of them:
- Lee Anderson, editorial page editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Chuck Asay, syndicated editorial cartoonist, Creators Syndicate
- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research & Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and MRC's NewsBusters blog
- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee
- Robert Bluey, Director, Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation
- Neal Boortz, WSB Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center
- Priscilla L. Buckley, author; retired senior editor, National Review
- Mark Davis, WBAP radio in Dallas-Ft.Worth talk host, columnist for the Dallas Morning News
- Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees
- Bob Dutko, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit
- Jim Eason, retired San Francisco radio talk show host
- Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com
- Eric Fettmann, associate editorial page editor, New York Post
- David Freddoso, online opinion editor for The Washington Examiner
- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog
- Steven Greenhut, Director of the Pacific Research Institute's Journalism Center
- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of Lucianne.com news forum
- Quin Hillyer, senior editorial writer, Washington Times; senior editor of The American Spectator
- Mark Hyman, TV commentator, Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Jeff Jacoby, syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe
- Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
- Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ/KPRZ in San Diego
- Jason Lewis, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large, National Review Online
- Brian Maloney, radio analyst, creator of The RadioEqualizer blog
- Steve Malzberg, radio talk show host, WOR Radio Network
- Patrick McGuigan, Editor of CapitolBeatOK.com; Senior Editor for The City Sentinel
- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee and WIBA in Madison, Wisconsin
- Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO in Des Moines
- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog
- Kate O'Beirne, President, the National Review Institute
- Marvin Olasky, provost of The Kings College in New York City and Editor-in-Chief of World magazine
- Henry Payne, Detroit News editorial cartoonist, Editor of TheMichiganView.com
- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator
- Dan Rea, host of Nightside, on WBZ Radio in Boston
- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
- Mike Rosen, talk radio host at KOA in Denver; columnist for the Denver Post
- James Taranto, Wall Street Journal editorial board member and editor of "Best of the Web Today"
- Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist
- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator
- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site
- Walter E. Williams, professor of economics, George Mason University
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host, Georgia News Network
> Coming on Thursday: The third runners-up.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.