The first runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2010: The Twenty-Third 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 20, but following tradition, yesterday, today, Wednesday and Thursday - the last weekdays of the year - MRC.org'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 for the text of the entire issue in MS Word, OpenOffice Writer or WordPerfect formats. You can also download a colorful and easily read-able PDF version.
To determine this year's winners, a panel of 46 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 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 alongside each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a "Quote of the Year" denoting the most outrageous quote of 2010.
The MRC's Michelle Humphrey and Melissa Lopez distributed and counted the ballots. Alex Fitzsimmons 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 on 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 17 award categories, plus Quote of the Year (see the "Best Notable Quotables of 2010" pages for video clips of each television quote):
The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble (First runner-up)
"There's nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank....How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht."
- New York Times columnist Frank Rich, March 28. [41 points]
Rodney Dangerfield Award for Demanding Respect for Obama's "Achievements" (First runner-up)
Co-host Joy Behar: "You've really done a lot, I think. I mean, you've signed 200-plus laws into - since you're in office. You have - financial reform has taken place. You got a health care - I mean, you put two women on the Supreme Court. I could go on and on about your accomplishments. And yet, the right-wing, through Fox News and other outlets, they seem to be hijacking the narrative. Where, on your side, is the narrative? Where is your attack dog to come out and tell the American people, 'Listen, this is what we did?'"
President Obama: "Joy, that's your job."
Behar, over audience applause: "I do it! But, I'm only one woman!"
- Exchange on ABC's The View, July 29. [49 points]
Damn Those Conservatives Award (First runner-up)
"Just once - probably never get reelected if you ever said it - I would like to hear somebody say, 'The voters have spoken, the bastards.' Or, 'The voters have spoken. What a bunch of idiots.' 'The voters have spoken. God, they're dumb. Dumb as hell.' I just wish I'd hear somebody say that, because I think that happens to be the case this particular midterm elections."
- Longtime CNN and MSNBC contributor Bill Press on his radio program, November 4. [44 points]
The Shovel Ready Media Award for Claiming Success for Obama's "Stimulus" (First runner-up)
"Big fanfare this week. The Obama administration fanned out across the country: 'The stimulus worked.' The President made speeches, sounded a little frustrated that people don't get it, at least polls show, that they don't understand there were tax cuts and things like that. What did they do wrong? They're playing defense on what was one of their major accomplishments."
- ABC's Terry Moran to Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) on This Week, February 21. [45 points]
They Don't Miss Him Yet Award for Still Bashing Bush (First runner-up)
"The oil spill is the perfect metaphor for Obama's presidency so far. It's been cleaning up a lot of the messes left to him by his predecessors, whether it was bank bailouts, auto bailouts, Afghanistan - which turned out to be a much bigger mess than anybody anticipated - preventing a depression that, you know, began to happen on George Bush's watch. So this is more of the same."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, June 10. [57 points]
No Wonder It Sold For $1 Award for Newsweek's Priceless Bias (First runner-up)
"....What is the President really like on the job and off-hours, using what his best friend called 'a Rubik's Cube in his brain?' These questions are answered here for the first time. We see how a surprisingly cunning Obama took effective charge in Washington several weeks before his election.... Alter takes the reader inside the room as Obama prevents a fistfight involving a Congressman, coldly reprimands the military brass for insubordination, crashes the key meeting at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, and bounces back after a disastrous Massachusetts election to redeem a promise that had eluded presidents since FDR...."
- From Simon & Schuster's promotional language for The Promise: President Obama, Year One, a book released May 18, by Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter. [54 points]
Media Hero Award (First runner-up)
"You, by all accounts, are one of the most, if not the most, powerful and successful Speakers in the history of the United States. You've passed so much legislation. The President was elected with a significant majority. You had control of both houses of Congress. And yet, now, people are talking about you might lose your majority in the House. The gap seems to be growing wider between what's achieved and what's making an impact with the people. How did this happen?"
- New ABC host Christiane Amanpour to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on This Week, August 1. [54 points]
Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery (First runner-up)
"It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many....And while it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice....Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President, Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage."
- From Time managing editor Rick Stengel's introduction to his new self-help book, Mandela's Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, quoted by Politico's Mike Allen in a March 30 Web posting. [54 points]
Dumb and Dumber Award for Matthews and Olbermann's Leftist Blatherings (First runner-up)
Chris Matthews: "Congresswoman Bachmann, are you hypnotized tonight? Has someone hypnotized you? Because no matter what I ask you, you give the same answer. Are you hypnotized? Has someone put you under a trance tonight? That you give me the same answer no matter what question I put to you?"
Rep. Michele Bachmann: "I think the American people are the ones that are finally speaking tonight. We're coming out of our trance....I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe not quite so tingly on your leg anymore."
- From MSNBC's election night coverage, November 2. [48 points]
The Ground Zeroes Award for Impugning Americans as Islamophobic (First runner-up)
"Finally, tonight, as promised, a 'Special Comment' on the inaccurately described Ground Zero mosque. 'They came first for the communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. And then they came for me and by that time, no one was left to speak up.' Pastor Martin Niemoller's words are well known....In quoting him, I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust. Such a comparison is ludicrous - at least, it is now."
- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivering a "Special Comment" on Countdown, August 16. [53 points]
Hazing Arizona Award for Denigrating Immigration Enforcement (First runner-up)
Anchor Katie Couric: "Hundreds of thousands of them [illegal immigrants] now live in Arizona. But as Kelly Cobiella reports, many no longer feel welcome."
Reporter Kelly Cobiella: "On a dusty block in Phoenix, 15 years of the Quintana family's possessions are for sale. [to Manuela Quintana] When did you decide to leave? [translating] 'When the governor signed the immigration law,' Manuela Quintana says, 'I knew we had to move.'...The family packed up before dawn today and headed north to Colorado. Manuela says she's lost hope in this state. She thinks she'll find it again in another."
- CBS Evening News, May 3. [43 points]
The Supremely Slanted Award for Elevating Elena Kagan (First runner-up)
Anchor Diane Sawyer: "How was Justice Kagan on her first day?"
Correspondent Terry Moran: "Well, the one word that leapt to my mind was 'ready.' Within minutes of the start of these arguments in this bankruptcy case, she was jumping into the fray of oral arguments. She was confident and well prepared and fluent and probing. At one point she asked a question of one of the lawyers that frankly seemed to stump them a little bit. A quiet kind of came over the courtroom as he gathered his thoughts. And you could almost sense or imagine some of the other justices and veteran court watchers kind of looking down the bench at Justice Kagan like a major league scout might say, 'You know, that kid's got some real pop on her fastball.'"
- ABC's World News, October 4. [63 points]
The Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin (First runner-up)
"If she were on Jeopardy right now and the topic was national government, American government generally defined, would she look like an imbecile, or would she look okay? Does she know anything?... Have you ever been an eyewitness to her actually reading something? Have you seen her - no, I'm dead serious about this. Have you ever seen her reading words on a piece of paper? A newspaper, magazine, anything? Have you ever seen her read something?"
- Chris Matthews to Alaska's Democratic Senator Mark Begich during MSNBC's election night coverage, November 2. [55 points]
Obama's Orderlies Award for Prepping America for ObamaCare (First runner-up)
"On a personal note, you said last night the first call you made after your victory was to Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki....How comfortable was that for both of you, knowing that you plan to do everything you can to derail what Ted Kennedy called, called 'the cause of his lifetime,' which is health care reform?"
- NBC's Meredith Vieira to Senator-elect Scott Brown on Today, January 20. [59 points]
The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh (First runner-up)
"Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out."
- What producer Sarah Spitz of NPR affiliate KCRW said she would do if she saw Rush Limbaugh dying, in a posting to the JournoList reported July 21 by The Daily Caller. Spitz later conceded her comment was "poorly considered." [63 points]
The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year (First runner-up)
"You know, I was trying to think about who he was tonight, and it's interesting: He is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews during live coverage following the State of the Union address, January 27. [46 points]
The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity (First runner-up)
"Chile had an earthquake this past week that was 500 times greater than the earthquake in Haiti. But here's the big difference. In Chile, they have various - very serious regulations when it comes to building codes. So a thousand people died, sadly, but a thousand people died with a 500 times greater earthquake. And in Haiti, where there are no building codes, no regulations - a Republican's paradise - a quarter of a million people died."
- Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, March 5. [46 points]
Quote of the Year (First runner-up)
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, talking about radical Muslims: "Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter."
Host Tavis Smiley: "But Christians do that every single day in this country."
Ali: "Do they blow people up every day?"
Smiley: "Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is - I could do this all day long....There are folk in the Tea Party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people. That's within the political - that's within the body politic of this country."
- PBS's Tavis Smiley, May 25
The 46 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, Center for Media and Public Policy at 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
- Mark Davis, WBAP radio in Dallas-Ft.Worth talk host, columnist for the Dallas Morning News
- Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees
- Bob Dutko, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit
- Jim Eason, retired San Francisco radio talk show host
- Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com
- Eric Fettmann, associate editorial page editor, New York Post
- David Freddoso, online opinion editor for The Washington Examiner
- 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 Lucianne.com news forum
- Quin Hillyer, senior editorial writer, Washington Times; senior editor of The American Spectator
- Mark Hyman, TV commentator, Sinclair Broadcast Group
- Jeff Jacoby, syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe
- Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
- Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ/KPRZ in San Diego
- Jason Lewis, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large, 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 CapitolBeatOK.com; Senior Editor for The City Sentinel
- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee and WIBA in Madison, 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, Detroit News editorial cartoonist, Editor of TheMichiganView.com
- 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, talk radio host at KOA in Denver; columnist for the Denver Post
- James Taranto, Wall Street Journal editorial board member and editor of "Best of the Web Today"
- Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist
- 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
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host, Georgia News Network
> Coming on Wednesday: The second runners-up.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.