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

The first runner-up quotes in the MRC’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013: The Twenty-Sixth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.” As announced in a December 18 CyberAlert Special, the awards issue was posted, with videos, that day, and a category a day has been posted on our NewsBusters blog each day since.

Today, the’s BiasAlert and corresponding CyberAlert e-mail newsletter will run the first runner-up quotes. (Monday’s BiasAlert/CyberAlert with the winners.)

The page linked above also has links for the text of the entire issue in MS Word or WordPerfect formats. You will also soon be able to download a colorful and easily read-able PDF version.

To determine this year’s winners, a panel of 42 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to seven 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 alongside each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a “Quote of the Year” denoting the most outrageous quote of 2013.

The MRC's Cassandre Durocher distributed the ballots and tabulated the results. Senior news analyst Scott Whitlock helped produce the numerous audio and video clips included in the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes and Brent Baker assembled this issue and Brad Ash posted the entire package to the MRC's Web site.

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

> Now, the first runners-up quotes in the 15 award categories, plus Quote of the Year (see the “Best Notable Quotables of 2013” pages for video and audio clips for the quotes):

The Ku Klux Con Job Award
for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges [First runner-up]

“The problem is there are people in this country — maybe 10%, I don’t know what the number, maybe 20% on a bad day — who want this President to have an asterisk next to his name in the history books, that he really wasn’t President....They can’t stand the idea that he is President, and a piece of it is racism. Not that somebody in one racial group doesn’t like somebody in another racial group. So what? It is the sense that the white race must rule. That’s what racism is. And they can’t stand the idea that a man who is not white is President.”
— Chris Matthews appearing as a guest on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, May 15. [68 points]

Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award
for Obsequious Obama Interviews [First runner-up]

“What is more daunting to you: The prospects of protecting the free world, or dealing with a teenager and a near teen? What gives you more pause for concern?”
— CNN New Day host Chris Cuomo to Obama, August 23. [45]

The Move Along, Nothing to See Here Award
for Denying Obama’s Scandals [First runner-up]

“The IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the President’s birth certificate...Despite the complete lack of any evidence linking the President to the targeting of Tea Party groups, Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House....This afternoon, we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this President — the IRS. Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”
— MSNBC host Martin Bashir, June 5. [52]

MSNBC = Mean-Spirited, Nasty, Belligerent Chris Award [First runner-up]

“I want to say a word about this Ted Cruz guy. Not since Joe McCarthy have we seen a senator with such sinister self-assuredness. The Senator from Texas knows who and what he hates. He hates everything about President Obama. His goal is to exterminate the entire Obama record, reject everyone Obama nominates for office....Cruz wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, which was legitimately enacted into law. He wants to bring the American government to a halt, renege on the national debt in order to get it removed. This is how he wants to be known. This is a brand he wants to establish for himself, even if it tears the government apart.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, September 23. [33]

The Gunning for the Second Amendment Award [First runner-up]

“It reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of the fundamental rights of African- Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become the face of it. And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out.”
— Ex-NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 17, urging more restrictions on gun rights. [42]

The Obamagasm Award [First runner-up]

“Is Barack Obama going for it? Is he set on becoming one of the great presidents in history? I’m not talking about Mount Rushmore, but perhaps the level right below it. I’m talking, to use his word, ‘transformational.’... If he [Obama] were hearing us talking about him, maybe, mounting Mount Rushmore, getting up there with the great presidents, secretly, not what he would say to other people, what would he be thinking — ‘that’s exactly what I’m doing’?”
— MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Hardball, February 18. [41]

Damn Those Conservatives Award [First runner-up]

“Clarence Thomas’s actions here today, though consistent, though tragic to me, are even more so in light of the bulk of decisions he’s rendered in the name of a judicial vote on the Supreme Court: A symbolic Jew has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit holocaust and genocide upon his own people.”
— Georgetown professor and MSNBC analyst Michael Eric Dyson on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, June 25, talking about the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act. [65]

The Tea Party Terrorists Award [First runner-up]

“The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War....But don’t go looking for a group by the name of New Confederacy. They earned that handle from me because of their visceral animosity toward the federal government and their aversion to compassion for those unlike themselves. They respond, however, to the label ‘tea party.’ By thought, word and deed, they must be making Jefferson Davis proud today.”
Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King in an October 5 piece headlined, “The rise of the New Confederacy.” [46]

The Pantsuit Patrol Award
for Boosting Hillary Clinton [First runner-up]

Salon’s Joan Walsh: “I think if she [Hillary Clinton] runs again, she really can’t run as that front-runner. It cannot be that inevitability campaign that she ran in 2007, and she knows that. She’s got to be about the future.”
Host Chris Matthews: “If you’re watching, Madam Secretary, all three of us have brilliant ideas. All of us have great ideas. And I especially put myself in that group with Joan and David [Corn]. We know how to do this, we’ll get you in there.”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, February 25. [45]

The Kamikaze Award
for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown [First runner-up]

“Congresswoman, let me ask you though, when it comes to ObamaCare, do you hate ObamaCare more than you love your country?...Because you’ve taken the government hostage through a shutdown, and all the American people — you’re walking them to a cliff, the economy, and you’re going to push them over one-by-one, based on the fact that you don’t like the ACA. That’s all it is. You don’t like the Affordable Care Act.”
— Anchor Thomas Roberts scolding Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on MSNBC Live, October 15. [46]

Let Them Eat Dog Food Award
for Freaking Out Over the Sequester’s Puny Cuts [First runner-up]

“Deadline day. Hours, now, until massive government cuts go into effect that could impact every American: jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free.”
— Fill-in co-host Josh Elliott at the top of ABC’s Good Morning America, March 1. [59 points]

The Obama’s Orderlies Award
for Championing ObamaCare [First runner-up]

“The GOP is saying to young people, ‘We would like to have the government stick an unnecessary transvaginal probe in you if you want an abortion, but when it comes to health insurance, don’t take any government help. Don’t go to the state or federal government-operated insurance exchanges to buy private insurance. Stay away. Stay uninsured. Skip that pap smear. Skip that tetanus shot. Skip that prenatal care. Skip that cholesterol test. And if you die an agonizing and unnecessary death, one that could have been prevented by the health insurance reform that bears the President’s name, at least you know your death will have not been in vain. You will have died to serve the noble and patriotic cause not of conservatism, but of hurting this President and denying him a victory.’...That is not conservative. It is a national disgrace.”
— Co-host Krystal Ball on MSNBC’s The Cycle, September 24. [52]

The Twisted Tweets Award [First runner-up]

“An idea @Dloesch @benfergusonshow > you guys stand at the end of a range and I’ll get 100 blind people to fire away at targets around you.”
— September 12 tweet from CNN’s Piers Morgan directed at conservative radio hosts Ben Ferguson and Dana Loesch. [50]

The Audacity of Dopes Award
for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year [First runner-up]

“Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men....And the best place to start is with a carbon tax.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, April 21. [42]

The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
for Celebrity Vapidity [First runner-up]

“Stop saying, ‘I support the troops.’ I don’t. I used to....But at some point all individuals must answer for their actions, and now that we know our military leaders do things that have nothing to do with defending our lives, why would anyone sign up for this rogue organization?”
— Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore announcing his New Year’s resolutions in a December 31, 2012 article published by the Huffington Post. [43]

Quote of the Year [First runner-up]

“This is the Web site folks, If you go to this Web site, you will find out how easy it is to read, how easy it is to navigate all the information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to take to get involved, to get health care. This is a great guide, if I may say, for any of you out there who feel so confused by all of these right-wing commercials that are just permeating through your television screen.”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, September 30.

> The 42 judges, check the online listing for links to Web pages for each of them:


# 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, Editor of the Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog

# Neal Boortz, retired nationally syndicated radio talk show host

# L. Brent Bozell III, Founder and President of the Media Research Center

# Monica Crowley, news analyst for the Fox News Channel and nationally syndicated talk radio host

# Mark Davis, talk host on KSKY (660 AM The Answer) in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Salem Radio Network; Dallas Morning News columnist

# Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees

# Bob Dutko, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit

# Jim Eason, retired radio talk show host

# Eric Fettmann, Associate Editorial Page Editor, New York Post

# Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of news forum

# Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog
# Stephen Hayes, Senior Writer for The Weekly Standard; Fox News contributor

# Quin Hillyer, contributing editor to National Review

# Mark Hyman, host, Behind the Headlines for the Sinclair Broadcast Group

# Cliff Kincaid, Director, Accuracy in Media's Center for Investigative Journalism

# Lars Larson, nationally syndicated talk radio host, Compass Media Networks

# Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ-AM 1170 and KUSI-TV in San Diego

# Mark Levin, nationally syndicated radio talk show host; President, Landmark Legal Foundation

# Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller

# Jeffrey Lord, contributing editor to The American Spectator

# Steve Malzberg, host of The Steve Malzberg Show on NewsmaxTV

# Patrick McGuigan, Editor of and Oklahoma Bureau Chief for

# Colin McNickle, Editorial Page Editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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

# Emily Miller, Senior Editor of opinion at the Washington Times; author of Emily Gets Her Gun...But Obama Wants to Take Yours

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

# Kate O'Beirne, former Washington Editor of National Review

# Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of World News Group; professor at Patrick Henry College

# James Pinkerton, Fox News contributor

# 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

# Tron Simpson, host of Tron in the Morning on I-25 talk radio in Colorado Springs

# James Taranto, editorial board member, The Wall Street Journal and Editor of “Best of the Web Today”

# Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist and Fox News contributor

# David Webb, SiriusXM radio talk host; Fox News contributor

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

# Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief emeritus of Human Events

# Martha Zoller, Editor-in-Chief of zpolitics and co-host of Georgia's Morning News

Again, for this list of judges online with links to their sites.

— Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Follow Brent Baker on Twitter.