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Bush "Divisive," But Dean a Uniter Who "Brings People Together" --12/29/2003


1. Bush "Divisive," But Dean a Uniter Who "Brings People Together"
George W. Bush campaigned in 2000 as a "uniter, not a divider." But in what may be a preview of the prism through which the networks will see the 2004 presidential campaign, ABC's Terry Moran on Sunday described Bush as a divider, labeling him a "divisive President" and a "divisive figure." CBS's Bob Schieffer similarly portrayed Bush as a divider, calling him "a polarizing politician," but Schieffer hailed Democratic candidate Howard Dean as a uniter. Schieffer trumpeted how Dean "is a hit at this point" because "he seems to be the first Democrat who's found a way to bring new people into the process here. He's found a new kind of participatory politics....Dean has gone into the Internet and begun to bring people together."

2. "Bummest Rap" to Clift: Dean as "An Out of Mainstream Liberal"
In the McLaughlin Group's 22nd annual "Year-End Awards" issued on the show aired over the weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift declared that describing Howard Dean as "an out of the mainstream liberal" was the "Bummest Rap" of the year, contended that how the Bush administration "manipulated evidence to build a case for an unnecessary war" earned her nod for the "Fairest Rap" and for "Capitalist of the Year" she expressed gratitude to George Soros "for dedicating $15 million to defeat Bush."

3. Couric Upset No Woman on Time's 'Person of Year' Soldier Cover
Katie Couric: Feminist woman first, journalist second. Interviewing two Time staffers the morning after the magazine named "The American Soldier" as its "Person of the Year," Couric's very first concern was "why there's no woman on the cover?" In fact, one of the three soldiers on the cover is a woman.

4. Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards for the Worst Reporting
The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2003: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

5. List of the 46 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
A list of the 46 judges who evaluated the quotes in 17 award categories.


Bush "Divisive," But Dean a Uniter Who
"Brings People Together"

George W. Bush campaigned in 2000 as a "uniter, not a divider." But in what may be a preview of the prism through which the networks will see the 2004 presidential campaign, ABC's Terry Moran on Sunday described Bush as a divider, labeling him a "divisive President" and a "divisive figure." CBS's Bob Schieffer similarly portrayed Bush as a divider, calling him "a polarizing politician," who though as Governor did bring people together, now "seems to have become someone that you either love or you hate." But Schieffer hailed Democratic candidate Howard Dean as a uniter.

Hosting Face the Nation, Schieffer trumpeted how Dean "is a hit at this point" because "he seems to be the first Democrat who's found a way to bring new people into the process here. He's found a new kind of participatory politics....Dean has gone into the Internet and begun to bring people together."

Moran filled in on Sunday for George Stephanopoulos as host of ABC's This Week. As if it's solely President Bush's fault that some people don't like his policies, in formulating questions, during a segment with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Leon Panetta, Clinton's former Chief-of-Staff, Moran twice tagged Bush as "divisive.'

Moran observed: "For many Americans, this is a divisive President. Is he vulnerable in the manner in which he seems to polarize people's opinions?" (Panetta chimed in: "I think that is the case.")

Moran soon repeated his theme: "This President on the world stage. When he was elected, I think few would have expected him to be, within three years, the dominant figure in the world, a leader that everyone else has to reckon with essentially. And there as well, it's hard to argue with the notion that he is a divisive figure."

Over on the December 28 Face the Nation on CBS, regular host Bob Schieffer, during a roundtable with Time magazine's Karen Tumulty, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz and New York Times columnist David Brooks, admired how Dean is bringing people together, citing a left-wing New York Times columnist as the source of his insight:
"I tell you, this is not, what I'm going to say is not an essay on why I like Howard Dean, but it's, I would say this is why I think that Howard Dean is a hit at this point, and that is he seems to be the first Democrat who's found a way to bring new people into the process here. He's found a new kind of participatory politics. In this television age, where we kind of took the campaigns out of the community and put them on television and made television kind of a passive event, Howard Dean has gone into the Internet and begun to bring people together.
"I think the story we have missed. I think Frank Rich of The New York Times may be the first person who caught on to this. It's not that he has raised money on the Internet that's been important to Howard Dean, but the fact is, he's brought these people together. They now feel like they're part of his campaign. They're talking to each other. They're driving places, to campaigns, where he's not even there. They feel like a part of it. It's almost like the old ward heeler politics back in Chicago, where people felt they were a part of something. And he's the first person in a while who's done that, and I think whether you like Howard Dean or hate Howard Dean, you have to admire him for doing that. And in the long run, I think that's very good for politics."

Minutes later, however, Schieffer expressed concern about how Bush is a polarizer: "Let me ask you, Karen, because I know your magazine did, kind of did an issue on this, and that is George Bush as a polarizing politician. George Bush ran -- and George Bush as Governor was the kind of politician who did seem to bring people together -- but yet he seems to have become someone that you either love or you hate."

Maybe that's at least partly attributable to how the news media portray his policies and hold him, not those who dislike him, responsible for how some dislike him.

"Bummest Rap" to Clift: Dean as "An Out
of Mainstream Liberal"

In the McLaughlin Group's 22nd annual "Year-End Awards" issued on the show aired over the weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift declared that describing Howard Dean as "an out of the mainstream liberal" was the "Bummest Rap" of the year, contended that how the Bush administration "manipulated evidence to build a case for an unnecessary war" earned her nod for the "Fairest Rap" and for "Capitalist of the Year" she expressed gratitude to George Soros "for dedicating $15 million to defeat Bush."

Those Clift picks in full:

-- "Bummest Rap"
"I give it to Howard Dean. The bum rap is that he's an out of the mainstream liberal. During his twelve years as Governor, the words liberal and Howard Dean never appeared in the same sentence."

Certainly not in Newsweek!

-- "Fairest Rap: That the administration cherry-picked and manipulated evidence to build a case for an unnecessary war."

-- "Capitalist of the Year"
"George Soros for dedicating $15 million to defeat Bush."

Couric Upset No Woman on Time's 'Person
of Year' Soldier Cover

Katie Couric: Feminist woman first, journalist second. Interviewing two Time staffers the morning after the magazine named "The American Soldier" as its "Person of the Year," Couric's very first concern was "why there's no woman on the cover?"

In fact, one of the three soldiers on the cover is quite clearly a woman, as Time's Managing Editor pointed out to Couric who defended herself, "I couldn't tell because of her helmet."

MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught Couric's politically correct zealousness as expressed during the segment on the Monday, December 22 Today.

Couric introduced her guests: "Time's magazine's Person of the Year issue hits news stands today and this year it honors the American soldier. Jim Kelly is Time's Managing Editor and veteran war photographer James Nachtwey was embedded with the Army's First Armored Division in Baghdad and took the remarkable images in this week's issue, he was also wounded while on assignment. Gentlemen, welcome, good morning, nice to have you both. I was so, I have to say, just personally, I was so pleased to see this."
Kelly: "Oh, good. Excellent."
Couric: "Tell me why you all decided to honor the American soldier? Wondering why there's no woman on the cover too?"
Kelly, reaching forward to point at magazine on table: "This is a woman."
Couric, putting finger on cover: "Oh, there you go, oh sorry."
Kelly: "It's a woman, yes, exactly."
Couric: "Oh, I couldn't tell because of her helmet, okay."

The cover of the December 29/January 5 issue of Time, with the "Person the Year" cover, featured three helmeted soldiers holding weapons. The choices reflected Time's quest for "diversity." From left to right, a black man, a white female and a white man.

For a fairly good-sized image of the cover, though still a bit smaller than the real magazine: www.time.com

Check to see if you think Couric should have been confused. The face and hands of one do not look very masculine.

Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards
for the Worst Reporting

The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2003: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

To determine this year's winners, a panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and 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 in the brackets at the end of the attribution for each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a "Quote of the Year" denoting the most outrageous quote of 2003.

The MRC's Kristina Sewell distributed and counted the ballots. Rich Noyes assembled this issue and Mez Djouadi posted the complete issue on the MRC's Web site.

To see the full results, with RealPlayer clips of many of the television quotes, go to: www.mediaresearch.org

For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mediaresearch.org

Now, the winning quotes in 17 award categories:

Damn Those Conservatives Award

"Attorney General John Ashcroft has earned himself a remarkable distinction as the Torquemada of American law. Tomas de Torquemada...was largely responsible for... [the] torture and the burning of heretics -- Muslims in particular. Now, of course, I am not accusing the Attorney General of pulling out anyone's fingernails or burning people at the stake (at least I don't know of any such cases). But one does get the sense these days that the old Spaniard's spirit is comfortably at home in Ashcroft's Department of Justice."
-- Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite in his syndicated column published in the September 22 Philadelphia Inquirer. [65 points]

Baghdad Bob Award for Parroting Enemy Propaganda

Diane Sawyer: "I read this morning that he's [Saddam Hussein] also said the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their President because he's been loved for 35 years, he says, the whole 35 years."
Dan Harris in Baghdad: "He is one to point out quite frequently that he is part of a historical trend in this country of restoring Iraq to its greatness, its historical greatness. He points out frequently that he was elected with a hundred percent margin recently."
-- ABC's Good Morning America, March 7. [52 points]

Dominique de Villepin Snottiness Award for Whining About the War

"I want to speak to you today about war and empire.... We are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige and power and security....We have forfeited the goodwill, the empathy the world felt for us after 9/11, we have folded in on ourselves....We are far less secure today than we were before we bumbled into Iraq. We will pay for this, but what saddens me most is that those who will by and large pay the highest price are poor kids from Mississippi or Alabama or Texas who could not get a decent job or health insurance and joined the army because it was all we offered them."
-- New York Times reporter Chris Hedges in a May 17 commencement address at Rockford College in Illinois, as quoted by the Rockford Register Star. The graduates booed Hedges off the stage. [82 points]

The Invisible Liberal Award for Camouflaging Ideology

"The rap on Dean is that he's like Dukakis and Mondale and McGovern. Well, McGovern was a liberal, but we had an issue and that was the war. Dukakis was no liberal and neither was Mondale. Both of them had several people to the left in those primaries. It was what the Republicans did to them once they got the nomination that made them seem to be liberals in both cases."
-- Former NBC and CNN reporter Ken Bode on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, August 10. [72 points]

Media Suck-Up Award

"You became First Lady like no other First Lady before you. You had your own interests, you got involved in public policy. No First Lady had done that without being severely criticized. Did you realize what you were getting into?" "I don't think people realize how strong your faith is."
-- Barbara Walters to Hillary Clinton in a June 8 ABC special promoting her book, Living History. [34 points]

Pompous Peter Award for Jennings' Arrogant Condescension

"This week we were surprised to see several hundred artists and writers walking through the streets of Baghdad to say thank you to Saddam Hussein. He had just increased their monthly financial support. Cynical, you could argue at this particular time, but the state has always supported the arts, and some of the most creative people in the Arab world have always been Iraqis. And whatever they think about Saddam Hussein in the privacy of their homes, on this occasion they were praising his defense of the homeland in the face of American threats."
-- ABC's Peter Jennings in Baghdad, concluding the January 21 World News Tonight. [67 points]

Romanticizing the Rabble Award for Glorifying Protesters

"The size of the demonstrators, at least here, at least in Europe, seems to underscore, Chris, that there are now perhaps two world superpowers. There's the United States and then there are those millions of people who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy."
-- MSNBC's David Shuster to Hardball host Chris Matthews, February 17. [81 points]

Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity

Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore: "What happened to the search for Osama bin Laden?...You don't think they [the U.S. government] know where he is?"
Bob Costas (astonished): "You think they know where Osama bin Laden is and it's hands off?"
Moore: "Absolutely, absolutely."
Costas: "Why?"
Moore: "Because he's funded by their friends in Saudi Arabia! He's back living with his sponsors, his benefactors. Do you think that Osama bin Laden planned 9/11 from a cave in Afghanistan? I can't get a cell signal from here to Queens! I mean, come on, let's get real about this. The guy has been on dialysis for two years. He's got failing kidneys....I think the United States, I think our government knows where he is and I don't think we're going to be capturing him or killing him any time soon."
-- Exchange on HBO's On the Record with Bob Costas, May 9. [81 points]

Begala & Carville Prize for Demonizing George W. Bush

"This is the worst President ever. He [George W. Bush] is the worst President in all of American history."
-- Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas at a Society for Professional Journalism banquet, as quoted by the Torrance, California Daily Breeze's John Bogert in a January 19 story. [80 points]

Fruitless Plains of Poverty Award

"We are about to show you bread lines in America that you may find hard to believe. With the recession there has been a sudden leap in the number of people on emergency food assistance. The lines we found looked like they'd been taken from the pages of the Great Depression. It's not just the unemployed. We found plenty of people working full-time, but still not able to earn enough to keep hunger out of the house. If you think you have a good idea of who's hungry in America today, come join the line. You'd never guess who you'd meet there....Almost half the people fed by these lines are kids. The Agriculture Department figures one out of six children in America faces hunger; that's more than 12 million kids. Nationwide, children have the highest poverty rate. Preschoolers come here with their parents and play in boxes as empty as the day's want ads."
-- CBS's Scott Pelley's report from a food line in Marietta, Ohio, on the January 8 60 Minutes II. [74 points]

Bill Moyers Sanctimony Award

"I decided to put on my flag pin tonight -- first time. Until now I haven't thought it necessary to display a little metallic icon of patriotism for everyone to see....I put it on to take it back. The flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo -- the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism.... "When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's Little Red Book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread. But more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American....I put this on as a modest riposte to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks, or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don't have to make it....I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us."
-- Bill Moyers on PBS's Now, February 28. [83 points]

Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes Award

"While these arguments we're having here in Washington over tax cuts may look sort of abstract to most people in America, it is not abstract when your kid's teacher gets laid off....Libraries are closing, teachers are getting laid off. Gray Davis is in the position of having to decide whether he should deny prosthetic limbs to poor people."
-- Time's Karen Tumulty on CBS's Face the Nation, May 11. The Cato Institute found California's state spending grew from $39.5 billion in fiscal year 1994 to $78.1 billion in fiscal year 2001, a 98 percent increase. [50 points]

Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis

"To many New Yorkers, the scenes of a city under siege were achingly familiar. New Yorkers watching the televised bombing of Baghdad yesterday said they were riveted by the raw and uninterrupted display of American military might. But for some, the bombing brought back particularly visceral and chilling memories. They could not help thinking about Sept. 11, and how New York, too, was once under assault from the skies."
-- New York Times reporter David Chen in a March 22 news story headlined "Baghdad Bombing Brings Back Memories of 9/11." [58 points]

Good Morning Morons Award

"There's an article in the Style section of the Washington Post this morning. It says you've logged 26 years of personal minutiae, filling 4,400 two-by-three inch notebooks, color-coded by season. An example: '12:17' -- this is when you made the announcement -- 'Ascend stage, stumble, regain balance; 12:18: Applause, 'Where the Streets Have No Name,' plays (U2); 12:19: Clap, wave; 12:20: Adjust tie (red, white stripes); 12:21: Double thumbs up; 12:22: Sing along with National Anthem, right hand on heart.' What, what do you do this for?!"
-- Katie Couric to Senator Bob Graham on Today, May 7, apparently unaware the article she quoted from was a spoof of the presidential candidate's diary. [61 points]

Al Franken Cheap Shot Award (for Lambasting Rush Limbaugh)

"What must it be like to live in Rush Limbaugh's world? A world where when anyone other than conservative, white men attempts to do anything or enter any profession, be it business, politics, art or sports, the only reason they're allowed entry or, incredibly, attain excellence is because the standard was lowered. Be they liberals, people of color, women, the poor or anyone with an accent.... Edgy, controversial, brilliant. What a way to shake up intelligent sports commentary. Hitler would have killed in talk radio. He was edgy, too."
-- CBS Sunday Morning contributor Nancy Giles on October 5. [82 points]

What Liberal Media? Award

CBS's Lesley Stahl: "Today you have broadcast journalists who are avowedly conservative....The voices that are being heard in broadcast media today, are far more -- the ones who are being heard -- are far more likely to be on the right and avowedly so, and therefore, more -- almost stridently so, than what you're talking about."
Host Cal Thomas: "Can you name a conservative journalist at CBS News?"
Stahl: "I don't know of anybody's political bias at CBS News....We try very hard to get any opinion that we have out of our stories, and most of our stories are balanced."
-- Exchange on Fox News Channel's After Hours with Cal Thomas, January 18. [51 points]

Quote of the Year

"If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."
-- Charles Pierce in a January 5 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy's submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

END Rundown of winning quotes

On Tuesday: The first runners-up.

List of the 46 Judges Who Selected the
Winning Quotes

In recognition of their time and effort, for the second time in CyberAlert, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for 2003.

As explained in item #4 above, the panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and media observers received a ballot and each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category.

In alphabetical order, the award judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2003: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

- Lee Anderson, Editorial Page Editor, Chattanooga Free Press

- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs

- Brent Baker, MRC VP; Editor of CyberAlert and Notable Quotables

- Mark Belling, talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee

- Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center

- David Brudnoy, radio talk show host, WBZ in Boston; journalism professor
at Boston University; film critic

- Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor of National Review

- William R. Cotterell, political reporter, Tallahassee Democrat

- Blanquita Cullum, syndicated talk show host for Radio America

- Midge Decter, author, Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

- Bob Dutko, talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit

- Eric Fettmann, columnist & Associate Editorial Page Editor, NY Post

- Ryan Frazier, editorial writer, Richmond Times-Dispatch

- Mike Gallagher, syndicated talk show host for the Salem Radio Network;
Fox News Channel contributor

- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis for the MRC

- Karen Grant, talk show host, KION in Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz

- Betsy Hart, columnist, Scripps Howard News Service

- Stephen Hayes, staff writer for The Weekly Standard

- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando

- Matthew Hill, talk show host, WPWT in the Tri-Cities of Tenn/Va

- Quin Hillyer, editorial writer for the Mobile Register

- Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe

- Marie Kaigler, radio talk show host and media consultant, Detroit

- Cliff Kincaid, Editor of the AIM Report

- Mark Larson, talk show host, KCBQ in San Diego

- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online

- Patrick B. McGuigan, Contributing Editor of Tulsa Today

- Joe McQuaid, Publisher, The Union Leader in Manchester, NH

- Robert D. Novak, CNN commentator; Chicago Sun-Times columnist

- Rich Noyes, Director of Research for the Media Research Center

- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review

- Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of World magazine and professor of
journalism at the University of Texas-Austin

- Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News

- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Executive Editor of The American Spectator

- Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Mike Rosen, talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist, Denver Rocky
Mountain News

- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute

- Ted J. Smith III, Professor of journalism, Virginia Commonwealth University

- Tom Sullivan, talk show host, KFBK in Sacramento

- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and host of After Hours with Cal Thomas
on the Fox News Channel

- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator

- Dick Williams, columnist; host of Atlanta's Georgia Gang

- Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University

- Thomas Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events

For links to Web pages for the judges, see the posted version of the judge list: www.mediaresearch.org

-- Brent Baker, on the road in Massachusetts