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Winning Quotes in the MRC's Best of NQ Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

The winning 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 Monday, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 20, but following tradition, today, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 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 winning quotes in the 17 award categories, plus Quote of the Year (see the "Best Notable Quotables of 2010" pages for video and audio clips of each quote):

The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble

Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, talking about radical Muslims: "Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter."

Host Tavis Smiley: "But Christians do that every single day in this country."

Ali: "Do they blow people up every day?"

Smiley: "Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is - I could do this all day long....There are folk in the Tea Party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people. That's within the political - that's within the body politic of this country."

- Exchange on PBS's Tavis Smiley, May 25. [92 points]

Rodney Dangerfield Award for Demanding Respect for Obama's "Achievements"

"It reminded me of a doctor who has this horrible burn victim come into the hospital, and he saves the guy's life - this is our economy - saves the guy's life, but the guy wakes up and he's got scars all over his face, and that's all he sees, that's all anybody sees. The guy's living, but he looks awful. And how - what's the doctor supposed to say? And that's what he's [Obama is] fighting, he's fighting an economy that just won't give him anything.... He cannot get any traction on what he's accomplished."

- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl on MSNBC's Morning Joe, October 18. [66 points]

Damn Those Conservatives Award

Co-host Joy Behar: "You know what I'd like to see her do? I'd like to see her [Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle] do this ad in the South Bronx. Come here, bitch! Come to New York and do it."

Co-host Sherri Shepherd: "We're praying for you. We're praying for you."

Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "Even Joy is praying for her."

Behar: "I am not praying for her. I'm telling you right now. She's going to Hell....She's going to Hell, this bitch."

- ABC's The View, October 26, talking about Angle's ad against illegal immigration. [55 points]

The Shovel Ready Media Award for Claiming Success for Obama's "Stimulus"

"When you say the country's not better off than it was $1.8 trillion ago - when the President took office, the Dow Jones was about 8,000; it's above 10,000 now. The GDP was declining at about six percent; it's rising at about six percent right now. We were talking about the possibility of a Great Depression; most people aren't talking about that anymore. So, aren't we better off?...Had the administration not taken some of the steps it did take, though, might not that unemployment figure, be at 12 or 13 percent?"

- NBC's Matt Lauer to former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Today, March 2. [57 points]

They Don't Miss Him Yet Award for Still Bashing Bush

"This [the oil spill] is more Bush's second Katrina than Obama's first."

- Time's Joe Klein on The Chris Matthews Show, May 30. [77 points]

No Wonder It Sold For $1 Award for Newsweek's Priceless Bias

"No one has a quicker mind or tongue than [Al] Sharpton. His political instincts are unmatched, and his personal charisma has been undimmed since high school....He is out there all alone, still standing on the same principle he first enunciated in his housing project in Brooklyn: poor people have the same rights as rich ones, to justice in the streets and in the courts. If he didn't exist, we might, in fact, need to invent him."

- Newsweek's Allison Samuels and Jerry Adler in their August 2 cover profile: "The Reinvention of the Reverend Al." [87 points]

Media Hero Award

"All agree she gets credit for locking up this vote, one of the biggest since Medicare in the 1960s. And she's said to have done it with an epic blend of persuasion, muscle and will, even when half the town said it couldn't be done....Their indefatigable, unwavering almost 70-year-old Speaker, mother of five, grandmother of seven....[to Pelosi] What do you think your dad and your mom would have said about this moment?"

- Diane Sawyer interviewing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on World News, March 22. [60 points]

Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery

Clip of Barack Obama from 2008: "My family gave me love. They gave me an education. And most of all, they gave me hope. Hope, hope that in America, no dream is beyond our grasp if we reach for it, and fight for it, and work for it."

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "I get the same thrill up my leg, all over me, every time I hear those words. I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, that's me. He's talking about my country and nobody does it better. Can President Obama stir us again and help his party keep power this November?"

- Setting up a segment on MSNBC's Hardball, September 7. [63 points]

Dumb and Dumber Award for Matthews and Olbermann's Leftist Blatherings

"In Scott Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. In any other time in our history, this man would have been laughed off the stage as unqualified and a disaster in the making by the most conservative of conservatives."

- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, January 18, the night before Massachusetts' special election. [67 points]

The Ground Zeroes Award for Impugning Americans as Islamophobic

ABC's Christiane Amanpour: "So, Gary Bauer, as you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center [near Ground Zero], have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns....My question is do you take any - after some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer. Do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro [Tennessee, where a mosque was vandalized]?"

Former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer: "Are you serious? Absolutely not. I have never encouraged violence. I condemn violence."

Amanpour: "You don't think the rhetoric lays the groundwork for others?"

- Exchange during ABC's This Week October 3 townhall discussion on the question, "Should Americans Fear Islam?" [71 points]

Hazing Arizona Award for Denigrating Immigration Enforcement

"I'm glad I've already seen the Grand Canyon. Because I'm not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state....Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects [during the Nazi occupation]. It's an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona - and anyone passing through - walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: 'I Could Be Illegal.'"

- Ex-New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in an April 27 op-ed. [76 points]

The Supremely Slanted Award for Elevating Elena Kagan

Legal correspondent Nina Totenberg: "In some ways, the descriptions of Elena Kagan as dean sound a little bit like the beginning of the old Superman TV series."

Introduction to 1950s version of Superman: "Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers! Bend steel in his bare hands!"

Totenberg: "Translate that to Harvard, and you can almost hear the music. [Superman theme music in background] Kagan, who can raise money by the millions! Kagan, who can end the faculty wars over hiring! Kagan, who won the hearts of students!"

- Report on NPR's Morning Edition, May 18. [88 points]

The Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin

"I think it's probably a lesson for the American people of the power Palin has to incite hatred and her willingness and readiness to do it. She has pushed a button and unleashed the Hounds of Hell, and now that they're out there slavering and barking and growling. And that's the same kind of tactic - and I'm not calling her a Nazi - but that's the same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the '30s. And I don't think there is any place for it in America."

- Author Joe McGinniss talking about the reaction to his renting the house next door to Palin while he works on a book about the former Alaska governor, NBC's Today, June 1. [76 points]

Obama's Orderlies Award for Prepping America for ObamaCare

"What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that....Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, [radio host] Neal Boortz and those who ape him in office and out, approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them - a year - in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"

- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a "Quick Comment" on Countdown, January 5. [82 points]

The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh

"What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno's hands-on management of Waco, the Branch Davidian compound?...Obviously, the answer is talk radio. Specifically Rush Limbaugh's hate radio....Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now and you have had it for 15 years."

- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann naming Rush Limbaugh the "Worst Person in the World," April 19 Countdown. [67 points]

The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year

"Well, we're almost here, aren't we? The end of a long, arduous, four-month campaign for a Senate seat that you have approximately the same chance of filling as you did the pilot's chair of the Starship Enterprise....The notion that Massachusetts would elect a Republican to fill the seat left vacant by Edward Kennedy was the property of people who buy interesting mushrooms in interesting places. You might as well expect the House of Windsor to be succeeded on the British throne by the Kardashian sisters."

- The Boston Globe Magazine's Charles Pierce in a January 10 column addressed to GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown. [49 points]

The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity

"Hitler, by the way, never got more than 33 percent of the vote ever in Germany....He wasn't a majority guy, but he was charismatic, and they were having bad economic times - just like we are now. People were out of work, they needed jobs, and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they're selling is fear and anger and that's all Hitler sold: 'I'm angry and I'm frightened and you should hate that guy over there.'"

- Actor/director/liberal activist Rob Reiner on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, October 22. [58 points]

Quote of the Year

Clip of Barack Obama from 2008: "My family gave me love. They gave me an education. And most of all, they gave me hope. Hope, hope that in America, no dream is beyond our grasp if we reach for it, and fight for it, and work for it."

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "I get the same thrill up my leg, all over me, every time I hear those words. I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, that's me. He's talking about my country and nobody does it better. Can President Obama stir us again and help his party keep power this November?"

- Setting up a segment on MSNBC's Hardball, September 7.



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

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.