MRC DisHonors Awards 2007
Rush Limbaugh accepts the MRC's "William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence."

Cal Thomas, Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Mary Matalin, Michael Steele, G. Gordon Liddy, Pat Sajak, Ward Connerly and "Osama bin Laden" highlighted the presentations and acceptances of the MRC’s "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006" -- the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala -- presented on Thursday night, March 29, before an audience of more than 1,000 packed into the Independence Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C.

Following the presentation of the DisHonors Awards videos in five categories (see links to videos below), a look at some "funny clips" from 2006, a highlight reel of past galas and the audience picking the "Quote of the Year," the evening was topped off with Rush Limbaugh accepting the MRC's first annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence."

Brent Bozell is joined on stage by G. Gordon Liddy, Ward Connerly, Hermain Cain, Neal Boortz, Mary Matalin, Pat Sajak, and Cal Thomas for the selection of the “Quote of the Year” by audience participation.

DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 13 leading media observers, including Limbaugh, Tony Blankley, Ann Coulter, Steve Forbes, Mark Levin, Robert Novak, Walter E. Williams and Thomas S. Winter, who served as judges.

Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and panelist on FNC's Fox News Watch, served as Master of Ceremonies and explained how illness prevented scheduled presenters Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter from attending. Syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz presented the first two awards, followed by business leader Herman Cain who set up the funny clips and presented the third award. Mary Matalin, a former adviser to President Bush and Vice President Cheney, handled the fourth and fifth awards. In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest.

Cal Thomas welcomes attendees, the invocation and the pledge of allegiance

Those standing in for the winners: Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy, game show host Pat Sajak and Ward Connerly, President of the American Civil Rights Institute. Plus, "Osama bin Laden" accepted an award via video from a cave in Pakistan.

The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Father John Hopkins and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Rear Admiral James J. Carey (Retired). Between the fifth award and the "Quote of the Year" competition, Cain and Dick Eckburg, the Chairman of the MRC Board Trustees, honored MRC President L. Brent Bozell with a Steven Penley painting of Bozell and conservative opinion leaders integral in the MRC's 20-year history.

Full program video for the MRC’s 20th Anniversary Gala featuring the DisHonors Awards.

God, I Hate America Award


Full Presentation for "God, I Hate America Award"


"The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war on the false premise that it had something to do with 9/11 is ‘lying by implication.’ The impolite phrase is ‘impeachable offense.’...When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of that freedom, we are somehow un-American; when we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have ‘forgotten the lessons of 9/11;’ look into this empty space behind me and the bipartisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me this: Who has left this hole in the ground? We have not forgotten, Mr. President. You have. May this country forgive you."
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on September 11, ending his Countdown with a commentary delivered from the site of the World Trade Center

"Americans are puzzled over why so many people in the world hate us....We’re trying to protect ourselves with more weapons. We have to do it, I guess, but it might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us."
CBS’s Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes, September 10

And the winner is...

"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."
From New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s May 21 graduation address at the State University of New York at New Paltz, shown on C-SPAN May 27

Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis


Full Presentation for "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis"


"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."
Bryant Gumbel’s on HBO’s Real Sports, February 7

"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."
Keith Olbermann referring to ex-President Bill Clinton’s interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, MSNBC’s Countdown, September 25

And the winner is...

Katie Couric: "A passionate student of history, Condi Rice believes turmoil often precedes periods of peace and stability. And she rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "What’s wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?"

Couric to Rice: "To quote my daughter, ‘Who made us the boss of them?’"
CBS’s 60 Minutes, September 24

The I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award


Full Presentation for "The I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award"


"The election is four days away, and I’m through dicking around with you. Here are the leads, here are your talking points: One, when they say ‘Democrats will raise taxes,’ you say, ‘We have to because someone spent all the money in the world cutting Paris Hilton’s taxes and not killing Osama bin Laden.’ [applause]....
"Two, when they say the ‘terrorists want the Democrats to win,’ you say, ‘Are you insane? George Bush has been a terrorist’s wet dream.’ He inflames radical hatred against America and then runs on offering to protect us from it. It’s like a guy throwing shit on you and then selling you relief from the flies. [laughter and applause]
"Three, when they say ‘cut and run’ or ‘defeatocrat,’ you say, ‘Bush lost the war, period.’ [applause] All this nonsense about the violence is getting worse over there because they’re trying to influence the election, no, it’s getting worse because you drew up the post-war plans on the back of a cocktail napkin at Applebee’s. [applause] And of course Democrats want to win, but that’s impossible now that you’ve ethnically-cleansed the place by making it unlivable — just like you did with New Orleans. [applause]....
"There’s your talking points. Vote Republican and you vote to enable George Bush to keep ruling as an emperor — a retarded child emperor [laughter], but an emperor."
Bill Maher on his HBO program Real Time with Bill Maher November 3, offering his suggested "talking points" for Democratic candidates

"I think President George W. Bush, I think Cheney, I think Rumsfeld, I think all of these people have lost any moral integrity. I find what we are doing is hugely immoral....Al-Qaeda tortures. We torture. Al-Qaeda’s killed innocent people. We kill innocent people....We have no business doing what we do."
Singer/activist Harry Belafonte on CNN’s The Situation Room, January 23

And the winner is...

Co-host Rosie O’Donnell: "As a result of the [9/11] attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries."

Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "But do you understand that, that the belief funding those attacks, okay, that is widespread. And if you take radical Islam and if you want to talk about what’s going on there, you have to-"

O’Donnell, interrupting: "Wait just one second. Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America [loud applause]."
Exchange on ABC’s The View, September 12

Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories


Full Presentation for "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? Here’s Anthony Mason."

Reporter Anthony Mason: "For two months now, gas prices have been in free-fall, plunging 81 cents a gallon since August and giving the President some rare good news."

George W. Bush: "Gas prices are down."

Mason, over "GOP: Grand Oil Party" bumper sticker laying on a dashboard: "Gas started going down just as the fall campaign started heating up. Coincidence? Some drivers don’t think so."

Man in a car: "And I think it’s basically a ploy to sort of get the American people to think, well, the economy is going good, let’s vote epublican."
CBS Evening News, October 16

"There is an extraordinary amount of academic work that you quote in the book [Dean’s book, Conservatives Without Conscience]. A lot of it is very unsettling, it 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?...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?"
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to ex-Nixon White House lawyer John Dean, who claimed in his book that modern conservatives are moving the Republican Party toward "authoritarianism," July 10 Countdown

And the winner is...

"The last time we got a tape from Osama bin Laden was right before the 2004 presidential election. Now here we are, four days away from hearings starting in Washington into the wiretapping of America’s telephones without bothering to get a court order or a warrant, and up pops another tape from Osama bin Laden. Coincidence? Who knows."
CNN’s Jack Cafferty during the 4pm EST hour of The Situation Room, January 19

Puppy Love Award


Full Presentation for "Puppy Love Award"


"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 Democrats’ 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?...Every-where 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."
Co-anchor Terry Moran on ABC’s Nightline, Nov. 6

"You know you are the equivalent of a rock star in politics....Many people, afterwards [after Obama’s 2004 Democratic convention speech], they weren’t sure how to pronounce your name, but they were moved by you. People were crying. You tapped into something. You touched people. What did you tap into that, that was missing?...If your party says to you, ‘We need you,’ and, and there’s already a drumbeat out there, will you respond?"
NBC’s Meredith Vieira to Obama on Today, October 19

And the winner is...

"For the first time in the 218-year history of the Congress, a woman was voted by her colleagues to be Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, took the gavel. But in a picture perhaps even more symbolic, the new Speaker was on the floor for a time, holding her 6-year-old [really 6-month-old] grandson, all the while giving directions on how events were to proceed. It seemed the ultimate in multitasking: Taking care of the children, and the country."
ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson, Jan. 4, 2007

Quote of the Year


Brent Bozell is joined on stage by G. Gordon Liddy, Ward Connerly, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Mary Matalin, Pat Sajak, and Cal Thomas for the selection of the “Quote of the Year” by audience participation.


"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."
From New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s May 21 graduation address at the State University of New York at New Paltz, shown on C-SPAN May 27

1st Annual William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence

William F. Buckley Jr. is the intellectual cornerstone of the modern conservative movement. His founding of National Review magazine in 1955 provided the home base for conservatives in an America seemingly overrun by liberalism. With NR, and as host of television’s Firing Line for 33 years, William F. Buckley Jr. spread the cause, helped rally conservatives during the Cold War, was instrumental in helping Ronald Reagan win the presidency — twice — and continues to provide the intellectual ammunition, along with grace and wit, to strengthen conservatives in the on-going battles to preserve liberty, peace and justice in America.

In addition to NR, Mr. Buckley has written 40 books, publishes a regular column syndicated to 300 newspapers, and pens longer articles for magazines and other outlets. He has educated and inspired thousands of conservatives, especially young men and women, through his articles, books and TV appearances. These young conservatives have followed Mr. Buckley’s example and relayed the conservative message across the country and through various media, particularly the New Media: cable TV, talk radio and the Internet.

Fifty-seven years ago, William F. Buckley Jr. circumvented the liberal media’s "Berlin Wall" of bias with imagination and tenacity. His intellectual progeny now populate the airwaves and cyberspace, leaving the old liberal media in the dustbin of history. To recognize and honor the very best of these new conservative leaders, the Media Research Center is proud to announce the annual William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence.


Tony Blankley

Editorial Editor of the Washington Times and McLaughlin Group panelist

Neal Boortz

Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host

L. Brent Bozell III

President of the Media Research Center

Thomas Winter

Editor-in-Chief of Human Events

Steve Forbes

President and CEO of Forbes Inc.

John Fund

Columnist for

Mark Levin

Nationally syndicated ABC Radio talk show host

Rush Limbaugh

Host of The Rush Limbaugh Show

Mary Matalin

Editor-in-Chief, Threshold Editions

Robert Novak

Chicago Sun-Times columnist and commentator for the Fox News Channel

Kate O’Beirne

Washington Editor of National Review

William Rusher

Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute

Cal Thomas

Nationally syndicated columnist and a panelist on FNC's Fox Newswatch

Walter E. Williams

Syndicated columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University

Extra Clips

Highlight video, featuring the best of past DisHonors Awards.
Herman Cain presented "Baker's Funnies," the most humorous clips of the year, including Connie Chung's farewell serenade on MSNBC.
Media Research Center board of trustees present Bozell with painting.
Closing remarks by Bozell.

Press Coverage

Media Watchdog Group Salutes Liberal Gaffes

Brit Hume,

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Dishonors Awards

A mostly conservative audience turned out last night in Washington at the Media Research Center's annual "Dishonors Awards" for what it calls the most outrageously biased liberal reporters of 2006.

The "God I Hate America Award" went to New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who apologized to students at the State University of New York for all of the wrongs of America.

The "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis" went to Katie Couric for a "60 Minutes" interview with Secretary of State Rice, in which Couric quoted her daughter commenting on U.S. foreign relations by saying, "who made us the boss of them?"

The "I'm Not a Political Genius but I Play One on TV" award went to Rosie O'Donnell for saying that 9/11 caused America to invade two countries and kill innocent people, and for comparing radical Christianity to radical Islam.

And the "Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories" went to CNN's Jack Cafferty for suggesting the Bush administration might be coordinating with Usama bin Laden.

Team Giuliani

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani says if he ends up in the White House, his wife might end up in some cabinet meetings.

Giuliani tells Barbara Walters tonight on ABC's "20-20" that he would be comfortable with wife Judith Nathan Giuliani sitting in on cabinet sessions if they were relevant to something that she is interested in. Mrs. Giuliani, who was a nurse, said she would go to the meetings if asked, especially if they concern health care.

Kucinich's Reverse Course

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has sent an e-mail to supporters sharply criticizing the campaign tactics — of his own campaign.

The Kucinich camp had e-mailed followers Wednesday asking them to volunteer for his "eyes and ears project," which would monitor other campaigns to check their accuracy and marketing tactics. But just a day later, Kucinich sent another e-mail telling supporters to disregard the request.

"I believe such tactics are spiritually and politically counterproductive," he wrote. 'Monitoring' projects are inherently pretentious, divisive and mean-spirited and have no place in a campaign which desires to change the world for the better."

Double Standard?

Actor and aviation enthusiast John Travolta says global warming is a very valid issue and that we should consider going to other planets or putting domes over our cities. But the Evening Standard of London reports Travolta conceded that, "I'm probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets."

In fact, Travolta has five private planes — including his own Boeing 707 — and keeps them at his home in Florida. The paper reports that in the past 12 months Travolta has flown about 30,000 miles, producing around 800 tons of carbon emissions, nearly 100 times the amount coming from an average person.

Gitmo Detainees Huge Harry Potter Fans

Ever wonder what the terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay do to pass the time? It turns out they're huge fans of the "Harry Potter" books.

The camp librarian says the prisoners can't wait for book No. 7 to come out later this year. So she says the camp has already pre-ordered the next installment.

The library offers the prisoners the choice of one book each week, though they're allowed to keep a copy of the Koran.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.

Rush Accepts Media Research Center's "William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence"

Rush Limbaugh,

Comments by Rush Limbaugh, on the March 30, 2007 Rush Limbaugh radio show, about accepting the award and his impressions of the MRC's Gala and "DisHonors Awards."

Last night I went up to Washington. As I mentioned on the program yesterday, I flew up to Washington, the Grand Hyatt, for the Media Research Center's 20th annual gala, the DisHonors Awards. It's a terrific show they put together every year. During the year they collect the most outrageous in four or five different categories liberal media statements -- audio sound bites, printed, published stuff -- and there's a panel of judges that selects the winner in each category. I am on that panel. The DisHonors Awards goes through all the nominees, and then the winner is announced, and somebody always accepts for the winner. It was hilarious last night. The whole thing was hilarious.

One of the new things they've started is the annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence." I, quite fittingly, was the first recipient of this award. I received it last night, and here's the plaque. I'll put it up in front of my face here so you can see through the glass. I have to hold this with two hands. It's very, very heavy, and I can't zoom in, but we'll get pictures of this later this afternoon. Brian will handle that with our ten mega pixel Sony camera that we got here from Comp USA. We'll get the pictures up there for you. By the way, I mentioned yesterday that we were going to link to the Media Research Center's website on our website so that if you wanted to watch the video of the whole program last night you could -- and we were afraid this was going to happen, and it did happen.

It always happens. We crashed their server. So last night very few people were actually able to watch this. What we've done is, we've made audio of my acceptance speech available on the website el freebo. It's on the free side of the site so anybody can listen to it. If you are a subscriber, if you're a Rush 24/7 member, we've got a high quality video stream available. It's up, and our servers can handle the load. It's about 20 minutes. They were running long last night, about an hour late, and I was the last up and looked out in the audience. People had been sitting there for a while, so I cut my remarks from the scheduled hour and a half to 20 minutes. Everybody had just a fabulous time.

Let me give you some of the ideas of who the winners were last night. The overall winner of the absolute stupidest, dumbest, craziest quote all year went to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of the New York Times. He also won in the category, "God, I hate America." He won the award for that category. What he said was last May at a graduation address at the State University of New York, New Paltz, apologizing to graduates. He said, "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 in 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, Arthur Sulzberger am sorry." Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

His empire has lost $800 million in the last year or two, and he also earned the quote of the year award for that. Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, accepted the award. This was funny, too because you know these people aren't going to show up to accept their awards. So Michael Steele accepted for Arthur Sulzberger. The "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis" was presented by Neal Boortz, and it went to Katie Couric for her 60 Minutes interview last September of Condoleezza Rice. Couric noted that Rice rejects the notion that the US is a bully, imposing values on the world. Rice said, "Well, what's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very freedoms and liberties we enjoy?"

Couric's reply, which won the award, was, "To quote my daughter, who made us the boss of them?"

G. Gordon Liddy accepted for Katie Couric.

The "I'm Not a Political Genius, But I Play One on TV Award" was presented by the great Herman Cain and it went to Rosie O'Donnell for saying that conservative Christians are just as dangerous and militant as Islamofascists. (Pat Sajak accepted the award for Rosie O'Donnell.) There were a couple other awards. The "Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories" went to Jack Cafferty who suggested the Bush administration might be coordinating with Osama bin Laden, and bin Laden actually accepted. He sent in a tape. Bin Laden sent in a tape accepting for Jack Cafferty last night. The "Puppy Love Award" went to Charles Gibson of ABC for his comments on Nancy Pelosi's election as speaker when he said, (paraphrasing) "Look at that. She can nurse the kids. She can balance the grand kid on the knee and she can protect the children and protect the country at the same time." (Ward Connerly accepted for Charlie Gibson.)

It was a great, great, great assemblage of people last night. Everybody just had a blast. Now, one thing about the award, the "William F. Buckley Jr., Award for Media Excellence," I can't really describe what an honor this is, because of the importance -- and although he had no clue at the time -- that Mr. Buckley has played in my whole career, and even my life prior to the career starting. My father and William F. Buckley Jr., are the two primary inspirational figures and idols that inspired and motivated me throughout my life. I grew up instinctively conservative, but it was those two figures which helped me to understand why and to be able to explain it and not just spout instincts, and in the process being able to inspire others, and that's how this works. One inspires someone else. One learns how to express what they think and feel, and that inspires others in turn.

One of the things I mentioned last night in my little short acceptance speech was that I will never forget the first time I met Bill Buckley. It was at his legendary maisonette on Park Avenue in Manhattan. It has to be 1990, 17 years ago. He had invited me to attend an editor's meeting of National Review. They did this once or twice a month, and they always did it, it was a tradition, at his home. I had my driver go around the block a couple times while I built up the courage to actually enter this place. The important thing at this event, though, this evening was how Mr. Buckley and his editors, everybody there that night welcomed me into their world. They had no idea who I was. I was just some whippersnapper on the radio. They were intrigued. "What's all this about?" They were very gracious; they were very accommodating, and it was that night -- and you know, meeting your idol and having your idol interested in what you do and then end up being supportive and encouraging, it's one of the memories that I will cherish, one of the highlights of my life that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

That was the first night that I had a sense, if you can understand this, of belonging to the "movement." And here's one of the things that I think is, in a way, a little sad. As the movement has grown, it has become more and more competitive and new arrivals in media and publishing and so forth are often viewed as threats now or as interlopers. Everybody is competing to be the "leader" of the conservative movement, the smartest guy in the room, the brainiest guy, the one who's inspiring all the thought. Everybody today, or a lot of people out trying to be the next William F. Buckley. This creates jealousy and creates guarded personalities and people who become protective of their turf and so forth, and none of that existed when I walked into that editor's meeting National Review at Mr. Buckley's home. They weren't threatened. They weren't jealous. They wanted to find out what I was made of, who I was, and when they discovered that I shared the same passions and the same desires that had formulated the founding of National Review and its ongoing efforts to spread conservatism, they welcomed me into their world.

My good fortune and the timing of all that is something that cannot go uncommented upon. Those people at National Review back then, they were solely devoted to the advancement of their ideas and passions, and they sought to inspire everybody who shared them. That's not prevalent today. It's natural, It's human nature. All the ascension and the rise of the new media has created all kinds of competition. I'm sure that you dial around your radio, and you hear one conservative host bash another conservative host. Or five conservative hosts bashing somebody else, or you'll find print conservatives bashing media conservatives and vice-versa and so forth. This only went on back then when somebody had strayed from the dynamic or strayed from the course. Now this bashing goes on more often than not. It's just typical jealousy and turf protecting and this sort of thing.

That was all beneath Mr. Buckley. He didn't feel threatened by anybody joining him. He did everything he could to encourage me, by the way, and even made a couple stories about me in National Review. Those things, I just don't think happen today. They do in a certain regard. National Review is still very good about that, but I'm talking about movement wide. So I was highly appreciative of this award last night, to receive the first one named after someone as great and important and personable. He's just a generally nice man, his whole family is, William F. Buckley Jr. So thanks again to Brent Bozell and everybody at the Media Research Center, and everybody that was there last night, because it was a hoot. The only thing is I don't know is who else they're going to be able to give this award to after I got it, because who else is going to qualify. See? Just kidding. I'm trying to play off my just mentioned comments about the jealousy and so forth in the movement. Nah, there are plenty of people that are almost as qualified to received this award, and I'm sure Bozell will find a couple of them in the next year or so.

Right salutes ‘El Rushbo’

Christian Toto,

Right-thinking radio commentator Rush Limbaugh credits his long reign to groundwork laid by conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr.

So, when the Media Research Center decided to found an annual award for media excellence named in honor of the National Review magazine founder, the man known to fans as “El Rushbo” proved the irresistible choice to receive it.

The group’s 20th-anniversary gala honored the talk-show host while once again pointing out how unfairly the liberal media treats conservatives.

The MRC monitors liberal bias wherever it appears, as fans who visit its Web site ( on a daily basis surely will attest.

Previous DisHonors Awards dinners have been modest affairs, but Thursday’s event swelled in size and scope, even if Ann Coulter and a few other conservative stalwarts were no-shows. The guests may take unfair coverage in the mainstream media seriously, but they were too busy laughing about the opposition to complain at the Grand Hyatt Thursday night.

Mr. Limbaugh, tan and imposing in a dark suit and brilliant gold tie, attacked the enemy with relish. “They lie. They take things out of context,” he said, adding that the MRC tells the public “exactly what [the perpetrators] said and the context in which it was said.”

He doesn’t mind having so many enemies on the left, he noted, so long as he has friends like those present at his side.

Said friends ate up every syllable.

The night featured five secondary awards with snarky titles such as the God, I Hate America Award and the Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis.

No one was shocked that the winners, including CBS News’ Katie Couric and CNN’s Jack Cafferty, were not there to accept.

A flurry of right-minded thinkers attended, including former Attorney General Edwin Meese, Mary Matalin, Richard Viguerie, Pat Sajak, Herman Cain and Neal Boortz.

Mr. Boortz praised groups like MRC for giving him the ammunition to fight liberal ideology. “I’ve been doing talk radio for 37 years,” the syndicated Cox Radio host deadpanned, “and I’ve never had an original thought.”

The gala wasn’t all about blasting liberal bias. The program included a half dozen video clips featuring political humor and televised gags. Guests even were treated to a YouTube favorite from 2006: ABC News correspondent Connie Chung warbling “Thanks for the Memories” hopelessly out of tune.

The MRC’s Quote of the Year winner? Who else but New York Times Chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. for a commencement address in which he blasted modern America while informing students he felt their pain.

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele drew a hearty ovation after promising to run for office again following his Senate defeat last year.

During pre-dinner cocktails, radio talker G. Gordon Liddy said the MRC may have less material in the future, but he feels confident the lull won’t last.

“The mainstream press is complicit in the highly irresponsible agenda the Democrats would have us pursue regarding the war on terror and Iraq,” Mr. Liddy said. “That will come back to bite them hard, and that will make them change — temporarily.”

The Washington Virus

Ted Babbin,

At last Thursday night’s Media Research Center dinner, Rush Limbaugh quipped that he never stays overnight in Washington for fear of catching the virus that affects the minds of everyone who lives here. Couple that with the undercurrent of rebellion against some conservative media that seems to be growing daily. When I asked a friend about it, he reminded me that William F. Buckley, Jr. once said of conservatives that we don’t retrieve our wounded. Rush’s quip and my pal’s recollection add up to a real problem for conservatives. But we can turn it into a winning strategy for 2008.

Trick question of the week: what news source was Tim Russert quoting from on Sunday when he read, “Time to Go. We have never seen evidence that [Attorney General Gonzales] has a fine legal mind, good judgment, or managerial ability. Nor has his conduct at any stage of this controversy gained our confidence. His claim not to have been involved in the firings suggests that he was either deceptive or inexcusably detached from the operations of his own department. …What little credibility Gonzales had is gone. … He cannot defend the administration and its policies even when they deserve defense. Alberto Gonzales should resign. The Justice Department needs a fresh start.”? No, not the Washington Post or, for that matter, the Huffington Post. He was quoting an editorial from National Review.

If you live in Washington, and become immersed in the banter of government, think tanks and other sources, it’s hard to remember that there is a world beyond them. Those of us who heard Rush say he didn’t want to be affected by that virus chuckled. We would have done better to think hard about it. The press has the constitutionally protected function of reporting the actions of government, puncturing politicians’ balloons and exposing their faults and foibles. But when your life consists of talking to the pols, their staffers and the rest of the Washington in crowd you can fall prey – as Rush refuses to do – to their herd mentality. Have some in the conservative media fallen in with the herd?

Perhaps. But more importantly, others are unwittingly accepting and promoting a new media narrative that is key to the Democrats’ game plan for 2008. That narrative – which will dominate the news from now through the election – says that Republicans are the only politicians who will be vulnerable in the next election. No matter how irresponsibly the Pelosicrats behave, the snake oil salesmen in the media will excuse them because it fits with the narrative: if Republicans behave like Republicans (and don’t that behave like Chuck Hagel), Congress will be lost not for two years but for generations. In the immortal words of MASH’s fictional Col. Potter, “horse puckey.”

Republicans should not escape criticism. As Vice President Dick Cheney said, it’s hard to apply President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment to Sen. Chuck Hagel. But shouldn’t we concentrate our energies on the liberals assault on the war, the economy and our individual liberties rather than joining in calls for one resignation after another? Isn’t it more important to rebuild conservative strength than to vie for another invitation to Meet the Press by concentrating fire on Republicans? This is the “maverick Republican” virus Sen. John McCain fell prey to, earning him the adulation of the press when it was convenient for them to use him against the President. This is what Rush was talking about. It’s another form of the Washington virus. But unlike most viruses, these are treatable.

Start with the facts. Post-election polls in November 2006 showed that voters rejected President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war. But they also showed that voters rejection of Bush was not – repeat not – an endorsement of the Democrats’ plan to cut and run by a date certain regardless of the consequences. Americans want strong leadership in war, not indecision. When Chris Matthews and the rest of the hyper-liberal media say that the war will destroy Republicans’ chances in 2008, they are writing a new narrative for the next election that isn’t true. That narrative will dominate the media for the next 18 months and any facts that don’t fit into it won’t be reported unless we of the conservative media do it.

If you believe the new media narrative, presidential aspirant McCain – once the darling of the Washington Post and New York Times – is overseeing his candidacy’s demise solely because he has stood with the President on the war. The media want you – and everyone else, especially the other presidential wannabes – to understand that that undefinable criterion, “electability,” is defined by opposition to the war. McCain has a pile of problems, but his stance on the war isn’t one of them. The fact that he’s being bashed by his old media pals results from the fact that his stance on the war doesn’t fit their campaign narrative.

This new media narrative can only control the 2008 campaign if the conservative media fall for it. In politics you can’t beat something with nothing. We need our own narrative. And we have it.

Every day, from now until the election is over, we have to keep faith with conservative principles. To do that, we have to expose the liberals in Congress and the media for what they are. The vulnerability voters know, but now do not read or hear or see, is in the liberals.

As Bob Novak wrote last week, the “tax and spend” core of the Democratic Party is alive and well. And that same core of the Democratic Party is still what the late Jeane Kirkpatrick called the “blame America first” party. They believe that America is responsible for the terrorists’ anger with us, for everything from the Tehran embassy siege in 1979 to the taking of the British hostages on March 23. No matter what is wrong with the world, these liberals believe it is our fault and we should spend our time making amends with our enemies rather than defeating them.

That’s the conservative narrative for 2008. It can form the basis for electing a conservative to the White House in 2008 if we – all of us – stick to it. Ours has a considerable advantage over the new media narrative. Ours is based in fact.

MSNBC’s Olbermann Loses Big at ‘Liberal Media’ Dishonor Awards

Garrett M. Graff,

What: The Media Research Center's 20th Anniversary Gala

Where: Grand Hyatt

When: Thursday, March 29, 2007, 6 p.m. until late

Who: A thousand-plus conservative activists, funders, staff from various right-wing organizations, and a number of bloggers—all in a mish-mash of attire for the annual black tie optional gathering. While three of the night's big names, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Joe Scarborough couldn't make it, the room held most of the well-known conservative talk show hosts, who all paid tribute to Center's founder, Brent Bozell, over the course of the evening.

Food: Spinach and frisee salad, grilled beef tenderloin and salmon roulade, and a flourless chocolate cake.

Drink: Many bottles of Columbia Crest wine.

Scene: When James Carville asked where his wife was going last night, Mary Matalin explained, she whispered "vast right-wing conspiracy" and such was the scene at the DisHonors Awards ceremony for the "most outrageously biased liberal reporting of the year."

The evening's tone was set when emcee Cal Thomas, who was introduced as the most syndicated columnist "in the nation, hemisphere, world, solar system, and the universe," explained that the evening was "carbon neutral" because everyone in the room arrived in vehicles powered by the "chicken droppings Al Gore's been peddling in recent days." He joked that the evening's sponsors included the Guantanamo Bay Gift Shop and Chevrolet, "the car Saudi Arabian women would drive if they could drive."

Video montages showed clips of the evening's award nominees, none of whom, unsurprisingly, were in the audience to accept the awards in person. In fact, as one presenter joked, no one has ever accepted an award in person in the event's history.

The first award of the night, the "God I Hate America Award" went to New York Times Publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, Jr., for a speech he gave last year at SUNY-New Paltz's commencement. Neal Boortz presented the award and after butchering the pronunciation of Pinch's name, he looked up at the crowd, "If I'm mispronouncing his name, ask me later if I really care."

Former Maryland senate candidate Michael Steele accepted the award for Pinch to a standing ovation and then presented an improptu lecture on why the GOP lost in November: The party had lost the nation's honor and trust. "When we walk away from that, America responds," he said, explaining that he was confident the party would get the keys to the Kingdom back again soon and that Steele himself was looking forward to running again.

CBS's Katie Couric won the "Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis" for her interview with Condi Rice last fall where she asked the secretary of state, "To quote my daughter, 'who made us the boss of them?'" G. Gordon Liddy accepted the award for her, saying, "You are honored by the enemies you have. I can safely say that one of my enemies is perky Katie Couric."

Rosie O'Donnell beat out Bill Maher and "has-been entertainer" Harry Belafonte for the "The I'm Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV" Award. In accepting a large pointy award for Rosie O'Donnell, the Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajek explained, "I don't know if she has room for this, but I'd be happy to take it over to her and show her where to put it."

CNN's Jack Cafferty won the "Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories" and the award was "accepted" via video by Osama bin Laden, whose dubbed video played on the room's four big screens. Speaking through a bad Punjabi translator, "bin Laden" explained that he calls CNN the "Cave News Network" because "their audience is so small it could fit in my cave."

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was perhaps the biggest loser last night: Nominated in three of the five categories, he failed to win a single award. Neal Boortz relished going after Olbermann, calling him "MSNBC's answer to a relief tube," a "void surrounded by a sphincter muscle," and said, "You know you've done something right when that footstool attacks you on national TV."

Boortz on Bryant Gumbel: An "arrogant little jock-sniffer" and an "obtuse mindless person."

Boortz received much applause for this line on Bill Clinton's administration: "Don't we all still wonder what Sandy Berger stole from the National Archives?"

As the opening joke by Thomas set the stage, Al Gore was also the butt of many jokes. From Mary Matalin on Gore: "Pluto wasn't large enough to be a planet but Al Gore is." From Pat Sajek on Gore: "When he gets his shoes shined he has to take the guy's word for it."

Bold Face Names: 3 (out of 5)
Swankiness: 4 (out of 5)
Food/Drink: 3 (out of 5)
Exclusivity: 3 (out of 5)

Total Score: 13 (out of 20)