Third Runners-Up Quotes in the MRC's Best of NQ Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

The third runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The Twenty-Second Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." As announced in a CyberAlert Special last Monday, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 21, but following tradition, Monday, Tuesday, yesterday and today - the last weekdays of the year -'s BiasAlert and corresponding CyberAlert e-mail newsletter will run the winning quotes followed on succeeding days by the runners-up.

The page linked above also has links to download a PDF version or the text of the entire issue in MS Word, OpenOffice Writer or WordPerfect formats.

The Media Research Center's annual awards issue provides a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2009 (December 2008 through November 2009).

To determine this year's winners, a panel of 48 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category. First place selections were awarded three points, second place choices two points, with one point for the third place selections. Point totals are listed in the brackets at the end of the attribution for each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a "Quote of the Year" denoting the most outrageous quote of 2009.

The MRC's Michelle Humphrey, Karen Topper and Kristine Lawrence distributed and counted the ballots, then produced the numerous audio and video clips that accompany the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes and Brent Baker assembled this issue and Brad Ash posted the entire package on the MRC's Web site. In addition to Rich and Brent, back in November Tim Graham and Geoffrey Dickens helped select the quotes for the ballot and think up category titles.

The list of the judges, who were generous with their time, is posted online and listed below after the winning quotes.

Now, the third runners-up quotes in the 15 of the 17 award categories with four quotes (see the "Best Notable Quotables of 2009" pages for video clips of each quote):

The Coronation of the Messiah Award for Fawning Inaugural Coverage (Third runner-up)

"It was a giant love-fest....When Barack Obama started to speak, I was right in the middle of the crowd. People were crying, they were laughing, they were cheering. Suddenly someone would just come up and hug you. It was just amazing. It was like you're standing in the middle of these strangers, and all of a sudden you had a million friends around you. That's what it felt like yesterday."
- CNN's Carol Costello on the January 21 American Morning, recounting her experience at Obama's inauguration. [23]

The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh (Third runner-up)

"Let's go along for the full ride and believe that it [the slavery quote] was all a horrible 'fabrication.' So what are we left with? Well, essentially, I think we just threw a deck chair off the Titanic. There is still a huge pile of polarizing, bigoted debris stacked up on the deck of the good ship Limbaugh that he can't deny or even remotely distance himself from."
- Bryan Burwell, who the week before launched the phony "slavery" quote into coverage of Limbaugh, October 14 St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [27]

Damn Those Conservatives Award (Third runner-up)

"The tenets of the Republican Party are amazing and they seem warm and welcome. But when I watch it be applied - like you didn't have to go much further than the Republican National Convention....It literally look[s] like Nazi Germany."
- CNN host/comedian D.L. Hughley to RNC Chairman Michael Steele on D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, February 28. [28]

The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble (Third runner-up)

"They've waved signs likening President Obama to Hitler and the devil; raised questions about whether he was really born in this country; falsely accused him of planning to set up death panels; decried his speech to students as indoctrination; and called him everything from a 'fascist' to a 'socialist' to a 'communist.' ...And all that was before Mr. Obama's speech was interrupted by a representative who once fought to keep the Confederate flag waving over the South Carolina state house. Add it all up, and some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President."
- ABC's Dan Harris on World News, September 15. [31]

Spread the Wealth Award for Socialist Sermonizing (Third runner-up)

"We're the only industrialized democracy that doesn't cover every citizen. That is immoral....To be a country this wealthy and be the only industrialized democracy that hasn't figured out how to cover everyone."
- Time senior political analyst Mark Halperin, ex-ABC News political director, talking about health insurance coverage on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, August 6. [29]

Long Live Camelot Award for Lionizing Ted Kennedy (Third runner-up)

Anchor Brian Williams: "We thought one way to look at his life might be the way some people looked at him today, the way filmmaker Frank Capra might have looked at life: What would it have been like without a Ted Kennedy?"...
Reporter Kevin Tibbles: "Many say Ted Kennedy's passion was people, and tonight they have lost a champion."
- NBC Nightly News, August 26. [20]

The Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin (Third runner-up)

"She's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously....The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it'll never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host."
- New York Times columnist David Brooks talking about Sarah Palin on ABC's This Week, November 15. [39]

The Un-Fairness Doctrine Award for Slamming Media Conservatives (Third runner-up)

"Was there a tone in this country that was actually started with the election of our first black president that is bringing the crazies out of the woodwork, and are they being motivated to move by right-wing pronouncements, like he's dangerous, he's a socialist, he's a Muslim, and he isn't even a U.S. citizen? This is what we hear on some TV and radio outlets, which, by the way, according to our Constitution, they are entitled to what they believe and even propagate."
- CNN Newsroom anchor Rick Sanchez setting up a segment suggesting "hateful talk" can be blamed for the Holocaust museum shooting, June 11. [38]

Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews (Third runner-up)

"This week I went down to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, where they have this wonderful new visitor center. And one of the historians down there reminded me that Thomas Jefferson once said the presidency is a 'splendid misery.' But at the end of his term, he also said, quote, that 'the presidency had brought him nothing but increasing drudgery and a daily loss of friends.' I just wonder, have you lost any friends yet?"
- Bob Schieffer interviewing President Obama on CBS's Face the Nation, March 29. [29]

Barry's Big Brain Award for Journalists Bedazzled by Obama's Brilliance (Third runner-up)

"People who brief him say he is able to game out scenarios before the experts in the room, even on foreign policy, national security and other issues in which he had relatively little expertise before running for president. Obama is approaching the issues as a game of 'three-dimensional chess,' said John O. Brennan, an assistant to the President for homeland security and counterterrorism. 'It's not kinetic check-ers....There are moves that are made on the chess board that really have implications, so the President is always looking at those dimensions of it.'"
- Carrie Johnson and Anne E. Kornblut in a front-page Washington Post story, August 28. [27]

The Audacity of Dopes Award for Wackiest Analysis of the Year (Third runner-up)

"[Ted Kennedy] just wanted to bring back what Bobby and Jack had given us. He wanted to be his brother's brother. And then he turned that torch over last year to Barack Obama....Amazing history. Barack is now the last brother. It's history."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on NBC's Today, August 26. [23]

The Obamagasm Award for Seeing Coolness In Everything Obama Does (Third runner-up)

"When they were both walking to the helicopter the other day, Marine One... you could tell, like, they were experiencing the - I'm getting old here - the grooviness, the excitement of being this first American couple heading towards Marine One, which is cool in itself, heading from there to Air Force One, to a quick flight across the Atlantic, on your own plane, and to meet with the world leaders as, like, the centerpiece of the world....I'm saying it again, I'm getting a thrill....We agree, we girls agree. I don't mind saying that. I'm excited. I'm thrilled."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews talking to Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women's Forum and Washington Post writer Lois Romano about the Obamas' trip to Europe, April 1 Hardball. [36]

Michelle, the Media Belle Award (Third runner-up)

"The First Lady is heading Chicago's Olympic 'Dream Team,' with star athletes by her side and some very high-powered help....The President and First Lady will share the stage at that final presentation. We're told that he will focus on the big picture, while she will get very personal. She'll speak from the heart - we're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done."
- ABC's Yunji de Nies on Good Morning America, October 1. [35]

Media Hero Award (Third runner-up)

"Clinton and Gore, back in the international spotlight again. A reminder to some of a different time, almost two decades ago, when the two campaigned across the nation, a Boomer buddy team....Both are now international superstars, Gore a Nobel laureate. But the homecoming that they engineered together this week has to remain one of their best joint ventures."
- NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Today, August 6. [35]

The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity (Third runner-up)

"We've lived through a the past eight years....We're going through something that we haven't gone through in my life. Foreign policy, domestic policy - driven to its breaking point. Everything got broken. And the philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people's lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences."
- Singer Bruce Springsteen in an interview with producer Mark Hagen published January 18 in Britain's The Observer. [37]

■ The 48 judges, check the online listing for links to Web pages for each of them:

* Lee Anderson, editorial page editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press

* Chuck Asay, syndicated editorial cartoonist, Creators Syndicate

* Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research & Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and MRC's NewsBusters blog

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

* Robert Bluey, Director of Online Strategy, the Heritage Foundation

* Neal Boortz, WSB Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host

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

* Priscilla L. Buckley, author; retired senior editor, National Review

* Blanquita Cullum, President, Cullum Communications, Inc.

* Bill Cunningham, radio host, WLW in Cincinnati & Premiere Radio

* Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees

* Bob Dutko, Christian radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit

* Erick Erickson, editor of

* Barry Farber, radio talk show host

* Eric Fettmann, associate editorial page editor, New York Post

* John Fund, editor of "Political Diary" for the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" page

* Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog

* Steven Greenhut, Director of the Pacific Research Institute's Journalism Center

* Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of

* Stephen Hayes, senior writer for the Weekly Standard; Fox News commentator

* Quin Hillyer, senior editorial writer, Washington Times; senior editor of The American Spectator

* Fred Honsberger (1951-2009), afternoon radio talk show host, KDKA in Pittsburgh

* Mark Hyman, TV commentator, Sinclair Broadcast Group

* Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe

* Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media

* Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ in San Diego

* Mark Levin, President, Landmark Legal Foundation; author; nationally-syndicated radio talk show host

* Jason Lewis, syndicated talk show host, Premiere Radio Network

* Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online

* Brian Maloney, radio analyst, creator of The RadioEqualizer blog

* Steve Malzberg, radio talk show host, WOR Radio Network

* Patrick McGuigan, Editor of Capitol Beat OK (online news service); senior editor The City Sentinel

* Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WISN and WIBA in Wisconsin

* Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO in Des Moines

* Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog

* Kate O'Beirne, President, the National Review Institute

* Marvin Olasky, provost of The Kings College in New York City and Editor-in-Chief of World magazine

* Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist and writer, The Detroit News

* Chris Plante, radio talk show host, WMAL in Washington, D.C.

* Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator

* Dan Rea, host of Nightside, on WBZ Radio in Boston

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

* Mike Rosen, radio host at KOA; columnist for the Denver Post

* Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor

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

* Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site

* Walter E. Williams, Professor of economics, George Mason University

* Martha Zoller, radio talk show host, Georgia News Network

In Memoriam:

During 2009, we lost two dedicated judges who loyally completed their ballots each year. On January 4, Troy University journalism professor Chris Warden died at the age of 51. And on August 18, nationally-syndicated Chicago Sun-Times columnist and longtime friend of the MRC Robert Novak passed away at the age of 78.

In addition: After receiving his ballot this year, we were saddened to learn Fred Honsberger passed away on December 16.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center