Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on Al Gore: 'Hooray That He is Back' --12/27/2006
2. Rosen: 'When You Finally Give Up on Couric, Go Conservative'
3. Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards for the Worst Reporting
4. List of the 58 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
5. Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're Counting on Your Donation
On the McLaughlin Group's "2006 Year-End Awards" aired over the Christmas weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift hailed Al Gore for the "Best Comeback," trumpeting him: "Al Gore, who is now in contention as a possible presidential candidate and who is leading a campaign to recognize the potential danger of global warming. Hooray that he is back."
After giving her "Enough Already!" distinction to "Bush and Cheney," Clift championed Democrat James Webb as her "Person of the Year" at the end of the show: "Virginia Senator-elect James Webb, the former combat veteran, novelist won the race and has the stamina and the imagination to help lead the campaign to get this country out of Iraq."
That's it. A very short item.
In "an open letter to Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports," Denver radio talk show host Mike Rosen proposed in a Friday Rocky Mountain News column, that McManus rescue the third-place CBS Evening News by delivering a newscast conservatives would watch. "When you finally give up on Couric," Rosen suggested, "go conservative." Rosen listed how "Rather was liberal, Brokaw was liberal, Jennings was liberal. Brian Williams and Charles Gibson, your current competition on ABC and NBC, are liberal. And Katie's liberal. So break the mold. Let Williams and Gibson split the liberal audience and you'll have the conservative audience all to yourself, including millions of new viewers who long ago gave up on network news." Rosen expressed what must be heresy inside CBS News: "Fox would be a good model for you. I know this is hard for inbred liberals to understand, but Fox's news is more fair and balanced than yours. They skew right of center less than you, ABC and NBC skew left of center. You could probably have gotten Hume for a lot less than you paid Couric, and he'd have been much better."
Rosen, a talk host for KOA Radio, was a judge this year for the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2006: The Nineteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Winning quotes are listed in item #3 below. For the awards online, most with audio/video: www.mrc.org
An excerpt from Rosen's December 22 column, "CBS should take a right," which I first saw highlighted in a Friday NewsBusters posting by Noel Sheppard:
Dear Mr. McManus:
I don't have to tell you that things have changed a lot since the glory days of CBS News when it sat atop the ratings and Walter Cronkite was "the most trusted man in America." Back then there were only a handful of over-the-air broadcast channels and the Big Three networks presided over something of a shared monopoly in early evening news. TV was in its adolescence and viewers were less sophisticated about the medium. Although there were fewer gadgets (not even videotape), newscasts had more substance.
Today, the mix of news and entertainment leans increasingly toward entertainment....
Unfortunately, CBS News has been mired in last place behind NBC and ABC in recent years. Your response has been to hire Katie Couric to "perk up" your evening newscast. That was a mistake. Although she scored some good ratings numbers during her first week, this was likely a flash-in-the-pan reaction to a big promotional campaign and viewer curiosity. In the November sweeps, she's settled into a "distant third," as Variety recently phrased it....
But all is not lost. When you finally give up on Couric, I have a rescue plan if you're willing to take a chance. Really, what have you got to lose?
Here it is: go conservative. Not right wing, mind you. Just mainstream conservative. Couric's nightly audience is about 7 million. There are at least 20 million (that's the size of Rush Limbaugh's radio audience) American grown-ups who are sick and tired of the pervasive liberal bias that dominates the so-called "old" mass media. They'd also like a little more substance.
Rather was liberal, Brokaw was liberal, Jennings was liberal. Brian Williams and Charles Gibson, your current competition on ABC and NBC, are liberal. And Katie's liberal. So break the mold. Let Williams and Gibson split the liberal audience and you'll have the conservative audience all to yourself, including millions of new viewers who long ago gave up on network news. It's called product differentiation. Yes, the Fox News Channel skews conservative, but they're on cable and Brit Hume's Special Report has only 2 million viewers, which is pretty good for a cable channel. Just ask CNN and MSNBC.
As a matter of fact, Fox would be a good model for you. I know this is hard for inbred liberals to understand, but Fox's news is more fair and balanced than yours. They skew right of center less than you, ABC and NBC skew left of center. You could probably have gotten Hume for a lot less than you paid Couric, and he'd have been much better. OK, he's not as perky, but he has gravitas.
Change your agenda. Don't obsess on bad news. When you criticize institutions and public figures, don't just attack from the left. Say some good things about business and capitalism, and some critical things about labor unions. Try being more skeptical of environmental activists and global warming hype. Make fun of Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore the way you do of conservatives.
This will mean, of course, that you'll have to turn your newsroom upside down. Change the culture. Inject some conservative blood. You could call it diversity. Reacting to Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972, The New Yorker's film critic Pauline Kael ironically declared that she couldn't believe he won, since no one she knew voted for him. There's a message there. Get some editors with a different viewpoint, who travel in broader intellectual circles. You know those young people behind the scenes who help produce shows and write copy? They don't all have to be rubber-stamped, idealistic, "progressive" journalism school graduates who want to change the world. Hire a few interns from The Weekly Standard. Get a White House reporter who doesn't hate George W. Bush.
You get the idea. It could propel CBS to the top of the nightly news ratings. And it might just be good for America, too
END of Excerpt
For the December 22 column in full: www.rockymountainnews.com
The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2006: The Nineteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
The Media Research Center's annual awards issue provides a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2006 (December 2005 through November 2006). To determine this year's winners, a panel of 58 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 "
A list of the judges, who were generous with their time, appears in item #4 below.
The MRC's Brent Baker and Rich Noyes, along with Tim Graham and Geoff Dickens, selected the quotes for the ballot. Michelle Humphrey, Karen Hanna and Kristine Looney distributed and counted the ballots and then produced the numerous audio and video clips that accompany the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes assembled this issue and Michael Gibbons posted the entire package on the MRC's Web site where it appears with RealPlayer and Windows Media video, as well as MP3 audio, for all the quotes from television shows: www.mrc.org
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mrc.org
Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories
Anchor Katie Couric: "Gas is the lowest it's been all year, a nationwide
average of $2.23 a gallon. It hasn't been that low since last Christmas. But is
this an election-year present from President Bush to fellow Republicans?"
"Vote Democratic, Earn More."
Anchor Wolf Blitzer: "Let's get some words of wisdom from Jack Cafferty. He's in New York right now. Jack?"
"When outsiders think of Cuba, it's often the lack of political freedoms and economic power that comes to mind. Cubans who have chosen to stay on the island, however, are quick to point out the positives: safe streets, a rich and accessible cultural life, a leisurely lifestyle to enjoy with family and friends....For all its flaws, life in Castro's Cuba has its comforts, and unknown alternatives are not automatically more attractive....Many foreigners consider it propaganda when Castro's government enumerates its accomplishments, but many Cubans take pride in their free education system, high literacy rates and top-notch doctors. Ardent Castro supporters say life in the United States, in contrast, seems selfish, superficial, and
-- despite its riches -- ultimately unsatisfying."
"Our government had turned its energy and attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and other places around the world. And let's not forget the sustained assault on women's reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism."
"It [Dean's book, Conservatives Without Conscience] deals with psychological principles that are frightening and that may have faced other nations at other times in -- Germany and Italy in the '30s coming to mind in particular. How does it apply now? And to what degree should it scare us?...This whole edifice requires an enemy -- communism, al-Qaeda, Democrats, me, whoever -- for the Two-Minute Hate....Are you actually saying here they [conservative Republicans] would set up, encourage, terrorism from other countries to set them up as a bogeyman to have again that group to hate here, that group to more importantly be afraid of here?...This all seems to require not merely venality or immorality, but a kind of amorality where morals don't enter into it at all....You've been at one of the central moments of history in the 20th century. What kind of danger
-- are we facing a legitimate threat to the concept of democracy in this country?"
"NSA bombshell: A new report that the government is secretly tracking your phone calls, seeking information on every call made in the U.S. The war on terror vs. your privacy."
Katie Couric: "In this movie, at different turns you're funny, vulnerable, disarming, self-effacing, and someone said after watching it, quote, 'If only he was like this before, maybe things would've turned out differently in 2000.'"
Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi: "They're used to living on fixed incomes, but now skyrocketing gas prices are forcing seniors to make difficult choices. Some are cutting back on medicine, others say they're eating less. [To retiree Delbert Osborne] What do you think when you fill up your car with gasoline now?"
"You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon. In state after state, in the furious final days of this crucial campaign, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been the Democrat's not-so-secret get-out-the-vote weapon. He inspires the party faithful, and many others, like no one else on the scene today...And the question you can sense on everyone's mind, as they listen so intently to him, is he the one? Is Barack Obama the man, the black man, who could lead the Democrats back to the White House and maybe even unite the country?...Everywhere he goes, people want him to run for President, especially in Iowa, cradle of presidential contenders. Around here, they're even naming babies after him."
"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people, millions support your revolution, support your ideas, and we are expressing our solidarity with you."
"Finally tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em. In fact, I figure when Thomas Paine said, 'These are the times that try men's souls,' he must have been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try, too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks, who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
"Some of the values, depending on your perspective... may be deemed wholesome, but in other ways, I think, people will see this community as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance....Do you think the tenets of the community might result in de facto segregation as a result of some of the beliefs that are being espoused by the majority of the residents there?...You can understand how people would hear some of these things and be like, wow, this is really infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech and right to privacy and all sorts of basic tenets that this country was founded on. Right?"
"A past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back....The nation's marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would've quit....As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he [President Bush] is having it done for him, by proxy. Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon."
Ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather: "We had a lot, a lot, of corroboration of what we broadcast about President Bush's military record. It wasn't just the documents. But it's a very old technique used, that when those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough. It's a diversionary technique."
Former Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall: "I agree that the -- whatever you want to call it, mainstream media -- presents itself as unbiased when, in fact, there are built into it many biases and they are overwhelmingly to the left."
"It wasn't supposed to be this way. You weren't supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it's the rights of immigrants to start a new life, or the rights of gays to marry, or the rights of women to choose. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren't. But you are. And for that, I'm sorry."
In recognition of their time and effort, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2006: The Nineteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
As explained in item #3 above, the panel of 58 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.
- Lee Anderson, Associate Publisher, Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs
- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research and Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and Editor-at-Large of NewsBusters blog
- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee
- Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center
- Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor for National Review
- Bill Cotterell, political editor at the Tallahassee Democrat
- Blanquita Cullum, Radio America broadcaster
- Bill Cunningham, radio talk show host, WLW in Cincinnati
- Midge Decter, author
- Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit
- Jim Eason, San Francisco radio talk show host emeritus
- Don Feder, former Boston Herald columnist; author, media consultant at Don Feder & Associates
- John Fund, columnist for OpinionJournal.com
- Ryan Frazier, commentary editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Mike Gallagher, syndicated radio host, Fox News contributor
- Greg Garrison, radio talk show host, WIBC in Indianapolis
- David Gold, radio host, KSFO in San Francisco
- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of Lucianne.com Media, Inc.
- Michael Graham, radio talk show host, 96.9 FM Talk, WTKK in Boston
- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Steven Greenhut, columnist, Orange County Register
- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando
- Matthew Hill, VP at WPWT, Tri-Cities of Tenn/Va
- Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor, The American Spectator
- Fred Honsberger, radio talk show host, KDKA in Pittsburgh
- Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe
- Marie Kaigler, mass media and developmental consultant, Detroit
- Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
- Mark Larson, talk show host, Newsradio 600 KOGO in San Diego
- Jason Lewis, talk show host, KTLK in Minneapolis, the FM News Talk
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online
- Patrick McGuigan, Contributing Editor, MidCity Advocate and Tulsa Today
- Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WIBA in Madison, WI
- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Director of Editorial Pages for Tribune Review Publishing Co.
- Joe McQuaid, Publisher, New Hampshire Union-Leader
- Wes Minter, libertarian radio talk show host and business executive
- Paul Mirengoff, co-author of PowerLine blog
- Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times; FNC commentator
- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review
- Marvin Olasky, journalism professor University of Texas at Austin; Editor-in-Chief of World magazine
- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News
- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator
- Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
- Mike Rosen, radio talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist for the Rocky Mountain News
- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute; syndicated columnist
- Tom Sullivan, radio talk show host, KFBK in Sacramento
- James Taranto, Editor of OpinionJournal.com
- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on FNC's Fox Newswatch
- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator
- Chris Warden, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Troy University
- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org
- Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host for WDUN in Gainseville, GA
For links to Web pages for the judges: www.mrc.org
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