Winning Quotes in the MRC's Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting; A Survivor Contestant Denounced the News Media
2) Last Thursday on CBS's Survivor: Africa, contestant Frank Garrison denounced gun control advocates and even raised liberal media bias as he lamented "these liberal special interest groups that the media give open market to..." The Early Show's Russ Mitchell chided him: "You went mouthing off about liberals the day of the tribal council. A lot of people saw that and said that's not a good idea."
The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2001 -- actually December 2000 through November 2001.
To view the award winners and the top runners-up, as well as RealPlayer video clips for many of the broadcast quotes, go to where the MRC's Mez Djouadi has posted them: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/2001/best2001/bestofnq2001.html 
To determine this year's winners, a panel of 41 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, as determined by the MRC's Kristina Sewell, are listed in the brackets at the end of the attribution for each quote.
A list of the judges, who were generous with their time, appears after the quotes listed below.
Without further delay, the winning quotes in 15 award categories as presented in the December 24 edition of Notable Quotables:
Swiss Press Corps Award for Remaining Neutral in War Coverage
"The Pentagon as a legitimate target? I actually don't have an
opinion on that, and it's important I not have an opinion on that as I
sit here in my capacity right now....I can say the Pentagon got hit, I can
say this is what their position is, this is what our position is, but for
me to take a position this was right or wrong, I mean, that's perhaps
for me in my private life, perhaps it's for me dealing with my loved
ones, perhaps it's for my minister at church. But as a journalist I feel
strongly that's something that I should not be taking a position on.
I'm supposed to figure out what is and what is not, not what ought to
Media Hero Award
"What an exhilarating moment it must have been for her -- the
first First Lady in history to be elected to public office. There, for all
the nay-sayers to see, was the woman who had finally come into her own,
free at last to be smart, outspoken, independent, and provocative, all
qualities she had been forced as First Lady, to 'hide under a bushel.'
Still she was voted one of America's most admired women. Just wait. You
ain't seen nothin' yet."
Pushing Bush to the Left Award
"Arsenic in the water. Starting up the Cold War. Make as much
carbon dioxide as you like. Laugh about it. Bush has set himself up as a
huge target. And the arsenic is going to be the equivalent of what your
boss [Newt Gingrich] did with cutting school lunches."
Poisoning the Planet Award for Portraying Bush as Destroyer of the Earth
"Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the
school lunch program by classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the
Bush administration went further, axing a regulation that forced the meat
industry to test hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad
Cow Disease among children, K through 12. The day it hit the papers the
proposal was quickly withdrawn. [If] the Bush administration keeps trying
to kill health and safety regulations at this pace, soon we won't be
able to eat, drink or breathe."
Picking the Lockbox Award for Denouncing Bush's Tax Cut
"Adios, surplus. When retired boomers dine on dog food, will they
say thanks for that $600?"
Carve Clinton Into Mount Rushmore Award
"Throughout the eight years that he was in office, President
Clinton warned us that the next great menace was international
terrorism....He also brought unprecedented prosperity to our nation, and
because of that, President [Bush] can use the surplus Mr. Clinton left
behind to pay for many of the nation's needs in this time of
crisis....This lecture series is about the human spirit. To me and
millions of others, President Clinton has always personified that. He is
the man from Hope, and that is what he has given us, hope. We miss him.
Thank you, Mr. President."
Good Morning Morons Award
Bryant Gumbel: "At the risk of starting an argument, are you a
believer in global warming?"
Damn Those Conservatives Award
Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect: "I do
think, if it turns out that this beautiful young girl is gone, I think,
and he [Condit] is responsible in some way, you have to look to Ken Starr
for a little bit of guilt."
Selected Not Elected Award for Claiming Bush Is an Illegitimate President
"If Bush is elected and it's proved on a hand count that Gore
actually carried Florida (not to mention the popular vote), what will the
country say? 'Ooops' isn't going to cut it....However agreeable and
successful he turns out to be, the new President is doomed to be seen by
many Americans as a bastard."
Department of Injustice Award for Denigrating John Ashcroft
"Well, you know, Attorney General is actually an important job.
Why can't they buy off the right wing with unimportant jobs? I mean,
this is a sop, I assume, to buy off the wing nuts, but it's like giving,
I mean, the Attorney General counts, it matters."
Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis
"What are you, a bunch of Jesus freaks? You ought to be working
Euro-Envy Award for Advocating More Government Spending
NBC News reporter Keith Miller in Paris: "Break out the band,
bring on the drinks. The French are calling it a miracle. A
government-mandated 35-hour work week is changing the French way of life.
Two years ago, in an effort to create more jobs, the government imposed a
shorter work week on large companies, forcing them to hire more
workers....Sixty percent of those on the job say their lives have
improved. These American women, all working in France, have time for lunch
and a life."
Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award for Denying Liberal Bias
Newsweek's Evan Thomas: "There is a perception, even among journalists, that the [New York] Times is going a little bit left, is getting more liberal, and that's disquieting."
Time magazine's Jack White: "That's a lot of hokum, with all due respect to Evan. There is no liberal bias in the press in the whole. In fact, if there is a bias, it's on the other side. It's hard to find a person really, truly, of the liberal persuasion who are making any important decisions in any important media institutions in this country now. I've looked for them, I consider myself one, I have very few birds of a like feather around."
-- Exchange on the September 1 Inside Washington. [56 points]
Blame America First Award
"Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my
leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have
paid the price with their lives.
Glimpses of Patriotism Award
"For once, let's have no 'grief counselors' standing by with
banal consolations, as if the purpose, in the midst of all this, were
merely to make everyone feel better as quickly as possible. We shouldn't
feel better. For once, let's have no fatuous rhetoric about
'healing.' Healing is inappropriate now, and dangerous. There will be
time later for the tears of sorrow. A day cannot live in infamy without
the nourishment of rage. Let's have rage....
END Reprint of winning quotes in the MRC's awards for the year's worst reporting.
Now, the list of the judges who gave generously of their time to complete our extensive ballot and return it to us in under two weeks:
-- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The
Gazette in Colorado Springs
END of list of judges. On Friday, the first runners-up.
Last Thursday on CBS's Survivor: Africa contestant Frank Garrison denounced gun control advocates and even raised liberal media bias as he lamented "these liberal special interest groups that the media give open market to instead of the average working class American that founded this country."
(That's a different attitude than the one expressed by a contestant in the original Survivor back in 2000, as reported by CyberAlert: "In the June 28 episode of the CBS show about 16 people living on an island with one voted off by the others each week, an older man named Rudy, the former Navy SEAL who gained some publicity on the opening show when he couldn't start a fire, is annoyed by a younger guy named Dirk who reads the Bible: 'It's funny to me that a guy would read the Bible out here. The only reason I'd bring a Bible is if, I mean I'm religious too, if I needed toilet paper.'")
These fresh remarks on the show set in Africa aroused the concern of CBS's Early Show, which began scheduled interviews with Garrison on both Friday and Saturday by playing clips of his comments as hosts asked him to explain how he could have been so foolish just hours before the "tribal council" during which he was voted out. Russ Mitchell chided him: "You went mouthing off about liberals the day of the tribal council. A lot of people saw that and said that's not a good idea."
On the December 20 Survivor: Africa, MRC analyst Patrick Gregory observed, Garrison outlined his political views as he sat outside with a group of other contestants who weren't that interested: "My argument always with the gun activists is that they think that guns kill people and everything, there's like, there's everything else you can kill someone with, you know, a piece of fishing line I can kill somebody with. There are automobiles that kill people every day, drug overdose, malpractice, just everything."
As a female contestant tried to shut him up by pleading "Alright. Okay, enough!" Garrison plowed ahead: "You can't help it, these liberal special interest groups that the media give open market to instead of the average working class American that founded this country."
He also suggested: "The NRA might invite me to their banquet, their convention down there."
The next morning, on the December 21 Early Show, Hollywood Squares host Tom Bergeron, who filled in all week for Bryant Gumbel, set up an interview with Garrison: "Frank Garrison waited nearly four weeks to show his soft side to the remaining competitors on Survivor Africa but it turns out his soft side is, well a little abrasive."
CBS then played clips from Garrison on
Survivor: "To be here is just awesome, just loving the outdoors, the
animals and wildlife, and people in a way as well."
Bergeron's first question, as taken down by
MRC intern Donald Goodman: "Frank is a telephone technician from
Odessa, New York. Now Frank, I'm watching this last night, now that little
thing you're doing, you know that rant you went on is on the morning of
tribal council. And I'm watching this, and I understand they edit this
thing for dramatic effect and not always show you guys the way you feel
you should be shown, but I'm thinking as a viewer, 'Somebody took his
stupid pills today.' Because I figured you were definitely out after
that and it turns out I was right. Was that an accurate representation,
were you trying to annoy them?"
The next morning, the Saturday Early Show
played the same set up clips before host Russ Mitchell scolded him:
"You went mouthing off about liberals the day of the tribal council.
A lot of people saw that and said that's not a good idea. Why'd you
decide to do that -- at that time?"
For a bio and picture of Garrison, go to:
Another episode of Survivor: Africa airs tonight at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST on CBS.
And doesn't CBS have anyone who actually works for CBS News who would like to fill-in as co-host of The Early Show. How seriously can you take a news program which brings in a game show host from Hollywood to serve as co-host? -- Brent Baker