First Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting --12/30/2003
Monday's CyberAlert featured the winners, and so today the first runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2003: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
For the winners, see item #4 in the December 29 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
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 2003.
Now, the first runners-up in 17 award categories:
Damn Those Conservatives Award [first runner-up]:
"Andrea Yates gained national attention when she drowned her five children in a bathtub. Deanna Laney told investigators she beat her three sons with rocks, killing two of them. Both mothers home schooled....It's hard to know how widespread abuse might be because the government doesn't keep track. It doesn't even know how many children are taught at home in this country. In eight states, parents don't have to tell anyone they're home schooling....Not one state requires criminal background checks to see if parents have abuse convictions."
Baghdad Bob Award for Parroting Enemy Propaganda [first runner-up]:
Tom Brokaw: "NBC News 'In Depth' tonight. In the aftermath of the war on Iraq, new anxieties for some of the country's educated, successful women. Although many may be glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein, many are also worried that a new government could set them back...."
Dominique de Villepin Snottiness Award for Whining About the War [first runner-up]:
"In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League, and many other countries; opened a rift at NATO and at the UN; and drawn millions of ordinary citizens around the world into the streets in anti-war protests. May I ask what went wrong that so many governments and peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly, but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power?"
The Invisible Liberal Award for Camouflaging Ideology [first runner-up]:
"When the word gets out that Dean isn't liberal -- and in fact is quite conservative -- on fiscal issues, he'll pick up more McCain support....On fiscal issues, he's far to the right of [Ted] Kennedy."
Media Suck-Up Award [first runner-up]:
"Senator Hillary Clinton is at Ground Zero this morning to attend the September 11th anniversary ceremony, and she joins us now. Good morning, Senator Clinton....You've fought so much for the heroes of 9/11. You have sought money for firefighters, you've taken the EPA to task for toning down their report on air quality at Ground Zero. Has enough been done for the heroes, the people who fought so bravely on that day?"
Pompous Peter Award for Jennings' Arrogant Condescension [first runner-up]:
"The country has been a living archive of man's earliest history, where real connections can be made between then and now, which is why the Pentagon is being so widely criticized for not protecting the history when it captured the capital city....The Pentagon has said, in reply, look, this is war, and stuff happens, the U.S. was fired on from the museum grounds. Not a satisfactory answer for people who say that if the U.S. managed to protect the Ministry of Oil, why not this repository of civilization? Why, they ask, is neglect forgivable?"
Romanticizing the Rabble Award for Glorifying Protesters [first runner-up]:
"Across the country, citizens have been coming out to voice their opposition, all calling for the same things. They want government accountability, they want environmental justice, and most of all, they're calling for peace....While protesters like today are a statistical minority, in American history protests like this have been prescient indicators of the national mood. So the government may do well to listen to what's said today."
Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity [first runner-up]:
"The lie that brought us into war was that Iraq was a threat to us....It was an attempt at a corporate takeover. This was about oil. It wasn't about human rights. It's not about human rights....It is the Bush/Cheney cartel's fault....Team Bush is more radically corrupt than Richard Nixon ever tried to be....It is, in fact, a conspiracy of the 43rd Reich."
Begala & Carville Prize for Demonizing George W. Bush [first runner-up]:
"A friend of mine here at CNN has a theory about the Bush administration. They're convinced that everything Bill Clinton ever did was wicked, bad and awful, and so they want to do the opposite....Clinton wanted to save all that wilderness area in Alaska; and Mr. Bush wants to drill for oil there. Clinton fussed about clean air; this President wants to ease new restrictions on coal-burning power plants.... Clinton, my friend noted, had surpluses. Obviously, the Bush administration thinks those are evil, because what they want is deficits -- big ones, maybe the biggest ever."
Fruitless Plains of Poverty Award [first runner-up]:
Carole Simpson: "Even though the U.S. spends twice as much per person as any other developed country on health care, the U.S. is the only developed country that fails to provide universal coverage for all its citizens...."
Bill Moyers Sanctimony Award [first runner-up]:
"The failure of Democratic politicians and public thinkers to respond to popular discontents...allowed a resurgent conservatism to convert public concern and hostility into a crusade to resurrect social Darwinism as a moral philosophy, multinational corporations as a governing class, and the theology of markets as a transcendental belief system....Their stated and open aim is to change how America is governed -- to strip from government all its functions except those that reward the rich and privileged benefactors....It is the most radical assault on the notion of one nation, indivisible, that has occurred in our lifetime. I'll be frank with you: I simply don't understand it -- or the malice in which it is steeped....And I don't know how to reconfigure democratic politics to fit into an age of sound bites and polling dominated by a media oligarchy whose corporate journalists are neutered and whose right-wing publicists have no shame."
Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes Award [first runner-up]:
Peter Jennings: "The President's tax cut is beginning to show up. Will three extra dollars stimulate the national economy?..."
Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis [first runner-up]:
"I'd say the chances are about 50-50 that humanity will be extinct or nearly extinct within 50 years. Weapons of mass destruction, disease, I mean this global warming is scaring the living daylights out of me."
Good Morning Morons Award [first runner-up]:
Bob Schieffer: "I've seen some estimates that it may cost up to $50 billion to fix this. Who's going to pay that?"
Al Franken Cheap Shot Award (for Lambasting Rush Limbaugh) [first runner-up]:
"The man behind the curtain is not the God of Family Values but a childless, twice-divorced, thrice-married schlub whose idea of a good time is to lie on his couch and watch football endlessly. When Rush Limbaugh declared to his radio audience that he was 'your epitome of morality of virtue, a man you could totally trust with your wife, your daughter, and even your son in a Motel 6 overnight,' he was acting....Granted, Limbaugh's act has won over, or fooled, a lot of people. With his heartland pieties and scorn for 'feminazis' and 'commie-symps' like West Wing President Martin Sheen ('Martin Sheenski' to Limbaugh), he is the darling of Red State, Fly-Over America."
What Liberal Media? Award [first runner-up]:
"I don't think anybody who looks carefully at us thinks that we are a left-wing or a right-wing organization."
Quote of the Year [first runner-up]:
"Within the United States, there is growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war. So our reports about civilian casualties here....help those who oppose the war.
END Rundown of first runners-up quotes
On Wednesday: The second and third runners-up.
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-- Brent Baker