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Third Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting --12/30/2005


1. Third Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting
The third runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

2. List of the 52 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
A list of the 52 judges who gave generously of their time to evaluate the quotes in 16 award categories.


Third Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards
for the Worst Reporting

Tuesday's CyberAlert listed the winners, Wednesday's the first runners-up and Thursday's the second runners-up, so today the third runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

Today's (Friday) Rocky Mountain News in Denver features a column, "Liberals Shine in Media," by one of our judges, Mike Rosen, with his favorite quotes from the issue: www.rockymountainnews.com

See item #2 below for the full list of the 52 judges.

The Media Research Center's annual awards issue provides a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2005 (December 2004 through November 2005). To determine this year's winners, a panel of 52 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 six to nine 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 2005.
For the posted version of all the quotes, with RealPlayer and Windows Media video, as well as MP3 audio, for all the quotes from television shows, check: www.mrc.org

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

Now, the third and fourth runners-up in the ten of the 16 award categories with at least a third runner-up:


Slam Uncle Sam Award [third runner-up]:

Brian Williams: "You just told me the story about one photograph from the war that always kind of catches you, the Japanese soldier returning to his city that's been destroyed. Do you have remorse for what happened? How do you deal with that in your mind?" Enola Gay navigator "Dutch" Van Kirk: "No, I do not have remorse! I pity the people who were there. I always think of it, Brian, as being, the dropping of the atom bomb was an act of war to end a war." -- Exchange as the two stood next to the plane at the Smithsonian's new National Air and Space annex near Dulles airport, in a segment on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, NBC Nightly News, August 5. [34]


Madness of King George Award for Bush Bashing [third and fourth runners-up]:

"President Bush's second inauguration will cost tens of millions of dollars -- $40 million alone in private donations for the balls, parade and other invitation-only parties. With that kind of money, what could you buy? - 200 armored Humvees with the best armor for troops in Iraq. - Vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami. - A down payment on the nation's deficit, which hit a record-breaking $412 billion last year.... The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?" -- Reporter Will Lester's lead to a January 13 Associated Press dispatch. [41]

"The Libby indictments have opened the door to making the wider case against the Bush administration that they misled the country into war....The next logical step is impeachment, and I think you're going to hear that word come up, and if the Democrats ever capture either house of Congress there are going to be serious proceedings against this administration." -- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, November 5. [40]


The Kanye West "George Bush Doesn't Care About Wet People" Award [third runner-up]:

"You know, I've been to some pretty lousy places in my life. And Iraq over the past 12 months and Banda Aceh, open graves and bodies. These were Americans, and everyone watching the coverage all week, that kind of reached its peak last weekend, kept saying the same refrain: 'How is this happening in the United States?' And the other refrain was, 'Had this been Nantucket, had this been Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, how many choppers would have-'" -- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, September 8. Audience applause drowned out Williams as he was finishing. [38]


"God Save This Court from Extremists" Award [third and fourth runners-up]:

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: "[Judge Alito] thought it was okay that Pennsylvania insisted that a woman get her husband's permission before she got an abortion...." CNN's Carol Costello: "Why, legally, would you uphold something like that? That a woman would have to check with her husband first in order to get an abortion?...I guess what I'm, I'm trying to get at is, is this is a very conservative judge, and he's going to be against legalized abortion? I mean, you could draw that conclusion from this, couldn't you? Or could I?" Toobin: "I think it's a very good indication that this is a judge who will want to overturn Roe v. Wade." -- Exchange on CNN's Daybreak October 31, soon after word of Alito's impending nomination leaked out. In fact, the law only required notification if the husband was also the baby's father, not his "permission." [48]

"I've known John Roberts for years. I think it's a very sensible pick in all serious ways. But I must say that when I spent five hours reviewing all of his documents from when he worked in the Justice Department, I was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was." -- NPR's Nina Totenberg on the July 30 Inside Washington. Totenberg had previously referred to Judge Roberts as "very, very conservative," "very, very, very conservative," "a really conservative guy," "a conservative Catholic," and "a hardline conservative." [40]


Damn Those Conservatives Award [third runner-up]:

"Karl Rove is a liability in the war on terror....In his '€˜story guidance' to Matthew Cooper of Time, Rove did more damage to your safety than the most thumb-sucking liberal or guard at Abu Ghraib. He destroyed an intelligence asset like Valerie Plame merely to deflect criticism of a politician. We have all the damned politicians, of every stripe, that we need. The best of them isn't worth half a Valerie Plame." -- Countdown host Keith Olbermann in a July 11 posting to his "Bloggerman" page on MSNBC's Web site. [37]


"Baghdad Bob" Was Correct Award [third and fourth runners-up]:

"In other parts of the Sunni Muslim heartland tonight, it looks as if the election process has been rejected. In many places we're told the polling stations didn't even open. This is a huge problem for Iraq as a whole. Without Sunni participation, somehow, the future here is still pretty bleak." -- ABC's Peter Jennings on the January 30 World News Tonight, just hours after voting ended in Iraq. [42]

"According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld the insurgency could last another 12 years....I think most Americans say, 'Oh my goodness! 'And they gasp because that seems like such an extended period of time for these very powerful, very tenacious insurgents to have control of the situation....It must be very frustrating at times to see things unraveling so." -- NBC's Katie Couric to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Today, June 28. [37]


Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity [third, fourth and fifth runners-up]:

"Cindy Sheehan is my hero. She is the hero of all Americans who make up the 62 percent of us who oppose this war. As an American exercising her right to free speech, she is a brave, passionate, living example of democracy....No wonder Bush is intimidated. No wonder he can't even walk down his driveway to speak with her. He is scared shitless. Whether he acknowledges it or not -- whether his aides try to insulate him from the truth or not -- his hands are covered in the blood of Cindy Sheehan's son. They are dripping with the blood of all who have died there." -- Actress Christine Lahti in an August 11 Huffington Post blog entry. [44]

"Most Republicans who are registered Republicans are decent, honest good people who you have a difference of opinion with. The leadership of the Republican Party are a bunch of sociopathic maniacs who have their lips super-glued to the ass of the conservative right." -- Actor Alec Baldwin during an appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, April 1. [40]

"Hurricane Katrina is George Bush's Monica Lewinsky. One difference, and I'll say this, the only difference is this: That tens of thousands of people weren't stranded in Monica Lewinsky's vagina. That is the only difference." -- Comedy Central's Jon Stewart during his opening remarks on The Daily Show, September 6. [35]


Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis [third and fourth runners-up]:

"As President Bush travels to Rome this morning along with the First Lady, Condoleezza Rice and former Presidents Bush and Clinton, the question some people are asking is where's President Carter in all this? Are the Bushes and the Carters the modern day version of the Hatfields and the McCoys?" -- NBC's Katie Couric opening the April 6 Today. [20]

"Across the nation, gas prices went to record highs today....Will it get to the point that only the privileged can afford gas?" -- John Blackstone, CBS Evening News, August 11. [19]


Media Hero Award [third runner-up]:

Reporter Carl Quintanilla: "[Left-wing activist Cindy] Sheehan, say some historians, may be evolving as an icon in the war's turning point, if this is one. For three weeks, she's dominated headlines, mobilized protesters, both with and without relatives in Iraq." Cindy Sheehan: "They don't have what I like to call skin in the game, but we are all affected." Quintanilla: "Making it safe, her supporters say, to voice doubts about the war, just as Walter Cronkite did on the Evening News in 1968....Historians say we won't know Cindy Sheehan's place in the war until the war itself is history." -- NBC Nightly News, August 25. [39]


What Liberal Media? Award [third runner-up]:

"One way a reporter in this country should be judged is how well he or she stands up to the pressure to intimidate. I remember the first time someone accused me of being an 'N-lover.' There was a lot of that during the '60s when I covered the civil rights movement. Then you move forward from civil rights into the Vietnam War....'We're going to hang a sign around you which calls you some bad name: anti-military, anti-American, anti-war.' Then, when Watergate came into being....was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way....People who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.' Now, it is true about me, for better or for worse, if you want to see my neck swell, you just try to tell me where to line up or what to think and mostly what to report." -- Dan Rather near the end of his CBS News special, Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers, which aired on his last night as CBS Evening News anchor, March 9. [46]

List of the 52 Judges Who Selected the
Winning Quotes

One more time, in recognition of their valued time, effort and expertise, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for 2005.

As explained in item #1 above, the panel of 52 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 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

- 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

- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee

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

- Priscilla L. Buckley, author, Living It Up with National Review

- Blanquita Cullum, President, Young American Broadcasters

- Bill Cunningham, radio talk show host, WLW in Cincinnati

- Midge Decter, author, Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

- Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit

- Jim Eason, San Francisco radio talk show host emeritus

- Larry Elder, syndicated radio talk show host and columnist

- Eric Fettmann, Associate Editorial Page Editor, New York Post

- Greg Garrison, radio talk show host, WIBC in Indianapolis

- David Gold, radio host, WBAP(Dallas) & KSFO (San Francisco)

- Michael Graham, radio talk show host, WTKK in Boston

- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center

- Steven Greenhut, senior editorial writer, Orange County Register

- Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard

- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando

- Matthew Hill, operations manager at WPWT, Tri-Cities of Tenn/Va

- Quin Hillyer, editorial writer and columnist for the Mobile
Register

- 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, radio talk show host, KOGO in San Diego

- Jason Lewis, radio talk show host, WBT in Charlotte

- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online

- Michelle Malkin, syndicated columnist, author and FNC
contributor

- Patrick McGuigan, arts commentator, MidCity Advocate (Okla.
City)

- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

- Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO and WMT in Iowa

- Wes Minter, radio talk show host

- Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times

- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center

- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review

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

- Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News

- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American
Spectator

- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune

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

- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute

- James Taranto, Editor, OpinionJournal.com

- Philip Terzian, Books & Arts Editor, The Weekly Standard

- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on FNC's Newswatch

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

- Chris Warden, Hall School 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

For links to Web pages for the judges: www.mrc.org


# No more CyberAlerts until next year!

-- Brent Baker