1) Elizabeth Dole,
right-winger? Monday night ABC called her "a social
conservative" and MSNBC tagged her "a darling of some on the
right." That should be news to conservatives.
2) The fourth runner-up
quotes in "The Best Notable Quotables of 1998: The Eleventh Annual
Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
>>> A welcome to our newest
readers/Backlog of e-mail. The CyberAlert subscriber list has jumped by
over 300 in the past two weeks, thanks I suspect to the many who visited
the MRC site to view the Alec Baldwin video. It can
still be viewed via RealPlayer at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981215.html#5.
Since just before Christmas I've received about 60 e-mailed comments
from readers. I've read them all but have fallen a bit behind in
Elizabeth Dole, "a social conservative" and
"darling" of the right? That's how ABC and MSNBC described
her Monday night.
The January 4
evening shows displayed a great diversity in what they considered most
newsworthy. ABC opened with Elizabeth Dole, CBS started with Iraq, CNN
began with Senate machinations over impeachment while both NBC and FNC
led with the winter storms. All ran pieces looking at the debate amongst
Senators about how to proceed. On the CBS Evening News Bob Schieffer
began by lamenting: "The hopes of Senate leaders that the
impeachment trial could be wrapped up next week are fading fast
tonight...." Only CNN and FNC mentioned the presidential run
announcement from New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith.
resignation from the Red Cross and speculation about a presidential
effort generated full stories on ABC, CBS, FNC and MSNBC with both ABC
and MSNBC stressing her conservatism. On the January 4 edition of
ABC's World News Tonight reporter John Cochran asserted:
"She could be a strong contender -- a
social conservative who can appeal to the party's core voters, but one
who might also attract women turned off by the Republican Party in
Cochran did not
explain his seeming contradiction as the usual media mantra is that
women are turned off by the GOP's social conservatism.
MSNBC's and CNBC's The News with Brian Williams, the anchor of the
same name posed this as his first question to New York Times reporter
"Rick, she is, after all, a Harvard law
graduate, a Duke University graduate, a formidable woman, a darling of
some on the right. Why should Elizabeth Dole not mix it up at this early
stage and get in the race?"
"Darling" of whom? Can you recall a single conservative thing
Dole ever did as Secretary of Transportation under Reagan or at Labor
under President Bush? As Cal Thomas noted on FNC's Fox Report,
"nobody knows what she really believes" and "she does
have a liberal streak. She has been all over the place on the abortion
issue, for example, which is a litmus test as it is for liberals. It
certainly is for conservatives."
Phil Jones was able to identify an accomplishment. Over on the CBS
Evening News he cited a regulatory expansion: "Dole already has her
own record. She was Secretary of Labor under President Bush. And that
stoplight in the middle of your back car window, that's known as the
'Dole light,' one of her safety legacies as President Reagan's
Here are the fourth runner-up quotes in the 9 of the 14 award categories
in "The Best Notable Quotables of 1998: The Eleventh Annual Awards
for the Year's Worst Reporting" which had fifth place quotes.
(The December 28 CyberAlert ran the winning quotes, the December 30
edition the first runners-up, the December 31 issue the second
runners-up and the January 4 the third runners-up.) To pick the winners
and runners-up the MRC sent ballots to 50 media observers who picked a
first, second and third best quote in each category. First place
selections were awarded three points, second place choices got two
points and third place picks were assigned one point. Point totals are
listed after each quote. For the list of judges, see the December 28
CyberAlert or go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/best/nq1998best.html
To read all the
quotes and see and hear the broadcast television ones via RealPlayer as
compiled by MRC research associate Kristina Sewell and Webmaster Sean
Henry, go to the same address: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/best/nq1998best.html
To check which quotes visitors to the MRC Web page picked and to see the
entire ballot, go to: http://www.mrc.org/bestofnq1998.html
and click on "Special Web Edition."
Below is the
fourth runner-up in the "Presidential Kneepad Award (for Best
Lewinsky Impression)" through the "Carve Clinton into Mt.
Rushmore Award" with the "Damn Those Conservatives Award"
amongst those in between. Plus, four quotes aired after we distributed
the ballot which were run in the hard copy edition under the heading of
"Too Late For Our Judging, But Year-End 'Best of NQ'
Presidential Kneepad Award (for Best Lewinsky Impression) --
"In the gaudy mansion of Clinton's
mind there are many rooms with heavy doors, workrooms and playrooms,
rooms stuffed with trophies, rooms to stash scandals and regrets. He
walks lightly amid the ironies of his talents and behavior, just by
consigning them to different cubbies of his brain. It's an almost
scary mind, that of a multitasking wizard who plays hearts while he
talks on the phone with a head of state, who sits through a dense
briefing on chemical weapons intently doing a crossword puzzle, only to
take reporters' questions hours later and repeat whole sections of the
briefing word for word."
-- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs opening a news story in the March 2
issue. [40 points]
Hallucinating Hillary Award (for Promoting the Vast Right-Wing
Conspiracy) -- Fourth runner-up
"If there is a 'vast right-wing
conspiracy' at work in America, the man at its center likely is
Richard Mellon Scaife, the 65-year-old reclusive Pittsburgh billionaire
whose money has funded both mainstream conservative think tanks and
underground attack campaigns against President Clinton.... Scaife's
money also has poured into the rabidly anti-Clinton American Spectator
magazine. Editor R. Emmett Tyrell [sic] Jr. relentlessly derided the new
President in 1993, a vilification campaign that won Scaife's
-- Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage, April 17. [38 points]
Corporal Cueball Carville Cadet Award (for Hating Ken Starr) --
"Already, some of the more
thoughtful members of the House and Senate have admitted, yes, they
expect to be overwhelmed. There's very little they can do about this,
when someone drives, as one House Judiciary Committee member put this
some weeks ago, a truck bomb up to the steps of the Capitol and just
dumps it on them. Now this is probably not the most advisable comparison
when you consider what happened on these very steps not so many weeks
ago, but it is in some ways, politically, a very violent action for Ken
Starr to leave this on them weeks before an election when they're
trying to decide how to deal with it."
-- NBC's Gwen Ifill during live MSNBC coverage of the report being
unloaded from the vans, September 9. [31 points]
Starr Behind Bars Award -- Fourth runner-up
"Starr's is a shameful story -- as
shameful as the conduct of almost all television news programs and some
of the press.... Starr's leaks, whose purpose is to condition the
public to believe in the President's guilt, are of a piece with other
practices that reek of abuse....The real spinning is taking place in the
graves of our Founding Fathers. When they wrote the First Amendment,
they imagined a press corps as a curb on power. They did not anticipate
an independent counsel free from checks and balances. They had no role
for a chief inquisitor. Nor should we."
-- U.S. News & World Report's Zuckerman in his editorial titled,
"Starr Has Hit a New Low," June 29 issue. [36 points]
Good Morning Morons Award (for Foolishness in the Morning) --
"Couldn't this be just a witch
hunt, couldn't the Democrats and President Clinton's people who've
been defending him all these months be right, that even though he
screwed up there's some political motivation there. Couldn't that be
-- Lisa McRee to humorist P.J. O'Rourke, September 10 Good Morning
America. [40 points]
Move Over Buddy Award (for Geraldo Rivera's Pro-Clinton
Lapdoggery) - Fourth runner-up
"They [Linda Tripp and Lucianne
Goldberg] wanted to make money on a book but once push came to shove
they were perfectly willing to sacrifice the young former White House
intern on the altar of greed, on the altar of hatred for Bill Clinton
and his administration and I think they're going to accomplish that at
least in the short term. But if it comes to trial Linda Tripp will be
facing some severe questioning by Monica Lewinsky's very capable
counsel. And my God, a first year law student hearing those tapes will
be able to make her look like exactly what she is, a treacherous,
back-stabbing, good-for-nothing enemy of the truth."
-- Rivera from China where he was covering Clinton's visit, on
CNBC's Rivera Live, June 26. [32 points]
Damn Those Conservatives Award -- Fourth runner-up
"Bill Bennett, Mr. Virtues, has said
basically that Clinton is morally unfit to hold office. I'm sure Bill
believes that, but this is the same Bill Bennett who has a close friend
and goes on trips with Newt Gingrich, the Speaker of the House who's
been accused of some of the same sort of moral turpitude that the
President's been accused of....Gingrich gave his wife her walking
papers a day out of cancer surgery. Now that's character and as long
as we play political games, and we view character in a ideological
sense, I don't think the American public is going to be anything but
-- Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt on CNN's Capital Gang, February 1.
Politics of Meaninglessness Award (for the Silliest Analysis) --
Fourth & Fifth runners-up
"I was thinking about what Jane
Fonda said the other night about North Georgia and how she thought North
Georgia was not unlike parts of the developing world and some
politicians in Georgia jumped all over her....And the truth of the
matter is there are parts of America which are just as bad as some of
the worst parts in the rest of the world and that's desperately
-- ABC News anchor Peter Jennings on Jane Fonda's charge that children
are "starving to death" in Georgia, April 23 CBS Late Late
Show with Tom Snyder. [40 points]
"The women's movement brought change and power to millions of
American females. Virginal brides surrendered to the sexual revolution.
Modern fashions exposed body parts previously reserved for the bedroom.
Entering the work force meant the old ways that women met men were
ancient history [video clip of a milkman]. And a new breed of superwoman
said 'I can have it all'...The search for pleasure leads some women
to shop [video of sex toys] and some to stray...And experts say many
husbands and wives can become stronger individuals, and on rare
occasions, might even find that cheating recharges their marriage."
-- CBS This Morning co-host Jane Robelot, April 23. [39 points]
Carve Clinton into Mt. Rushmore Award -- Fourth runner-up
"Medicare, the health care program
that has been a godsend to the elderly in this country, even with all
its financial difficulties. Tonight the President wants to dramatically
expand its coverage to millions more."
-- NBC's Tom Brokaw introducing a January 6 Nightly News story. [30
Too Late For Our Judging, But Year-End "Best of NQ"
"I would not be astonished to see
Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000....Hillary Clinton, as
far as I'm concerned, she's the Person of the Year, if Time magazine
doesn't put her on the cover, they may put Mike, Mark McGwire, or Alan
Greenspan, or somebody, but Hillary Clinton is the Person of the Year in
that, you talk about a comeback kid - she makes her husband look like
Ned in knee pants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the
Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make a
case that Hillary Clinton might, might -- mark the word -- be the
strongest candidate for the Democrats."
-- CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on CNN's Larry King Live,
Dan Rather: "If you're Al Gore -- listen he's
been a loyal Vice President. He is the odds-on favorite for the
nomination. If you were Al Gore, what would you do?"
Larry King: "Make her, ask her to be Vice
President. Is that what you think? Is that where you're leading
Rather: "No, I think maybe I would say, 'You
know, we want the goals of the Clinton administration to be achieved and
to go forward. I need your help, First Lady, friend of mine, Hillary
Clinton, and if I'm elected President, I will make you the next Chief
Justice of the United States Supreme Court.' That's what I'd do,
but Al Gore is a better man than I am and I doubt that he'd do
-- CNN's Larry King Live, December 3.
Announcer: "Did Kenneth Starr go too far?"
Diane Sawyer to Starr: "I think there were 62
mentions of the word 'breast,' 23 of 'cigar,' 19 of 'semen.'
This has been called demented pornography, pornography for Puritans.
Were there mistakes made in including some of this?"
Announcer: "The tables are turned. Now it's the
prosecutor's turn to be grilled, when 20/20 Wednesday continues after
this from our ABC stations."
-- Plug during 20/20 interview with Ken Starr, November 25.
Sawyer: "Which brings us to Linda Tripp, the woman
people love to hate, and the accusation that Ken Starr was not what he
had seemed. Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?"
Starr: "No. I don't know that there is
Sawyer: "His key witness, Linda Tripp, is now a
recognized soldier in the army of Clinton haters -- among them Tripp's
friend and svengali, Lucianne Goldberg. Among them, the lawyers for
Paula Jones. Before he became independent counsel, Starr gave them
advice. And among them, millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who hired
people to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton and funded a chair at Pepperdine
University for Ken Starr...."
"Driving to the White House that
day, for what was -- for all intents and purposes -- a lot of people
think your trial, the only trial you were going to get. Did you think to
yourself, here is a man who has to deal with Saddam Hussein and bin
Laden and what's going on in Russia, and we're putting him through
-- Some of Diane Sawyer's questions to Starr, November 25.
That's the fifth and last set of quotes from
the Best of NQ for 1998. -- Brent Baker
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