2. James Brolin Touts 9/11 Conspiracy Web Site on 'The View'
3. Second Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting
4. List of the 58 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
5. Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're Counting on Your Donation
Several of the broadcast network morning and evening shows on Thursday rushed to tout the comments of the late President Gerald Ford to the Washington Posts's Bob Woodward, held until after his death, critical of President Bush's decision to launch the Iraq war. ABC's Charles Gibson teased at the top of World News: "Tonight, Gerald Ford hits the Bush administration with a broadside. Before he died, he called the war in Iraq, 'a big mistake' made by some of the men he brought into power." Over on NBC, substitute anchor Campbell Brown trumpeted in her opening tease: "The last word, President Gerald Ford opposed the war. Why did he keep it a secret until after his death?"
Earlier in the day Thursday, Good Morning America and the Today show were the most eager to showcase Ford's critique of the administration, broadcasting full reports and featuring audio clips from the interview during the 7am half hour, while CBS's Early Show relegated the story to a brief anchor-read at 7:35 am.
On ABC, anchor Robin Roberts, substitute co-host George Stephanopoulos, and reporter Claire Shipman seemed disappointed that the former President had not come forward publicly with his criticism prior to his death, saying that it could have made a difference in the U.S.'s decision to go to war:
[The morning show portion of this item is based on a Thursday posting, on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog site, by Megan McCormack: newsbusters.org ]
A full transcript of the December 28 ABC GMA coverage:
Robin Roberts: "But first to those secret tapes of the late Gerald Ford and his stinging words on the war in Iraq, a topic he spoke about with a candor that he hadn't -- that we hadn't heard from him before. ABC's Claire Shipman is here with us this morning, has more on that. Claire?"
Claire Shipman: "A big surprise, Robin. The interview was conducted in 2004 and 2005, Ford, knowing it wouldn't become public until after his death. Still, what makes this so unusual is that President Ford was extremely close to, really personal friends, with two of the men he criticizes, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Understanding the interview would remain secret until after his death, President Ford spoke freely with Woodward and was bluntly critical of the Bush administration's Iraq war policy, something he'd never done
Meanwhile, NBC's Today also began their Thursday show with the Ford interview, starting with this Matt Lauer introduction:
Minutes later, this report from White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell followed:
Lauer: "But we begin with the late President Gerald Ford. Even as funeral plans are still being finalized, a two-year-old interview is causing some new controversy. NBC's White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell is near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Kelly, good morning to you."
Kelly O'Donnell: "Good morning, Matt. This is all coming just as President Bush is bringing together his most senior war advisors. Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, Defense secretary Gates and the national security team all here in Crawford today to talk about changes for the war. Now, this criticism does come from a probably unexpected place. The late President Ford did sit down with Watergate-era journalist Bob Woodward, with the condition that his words would not be made public until after his death. And the late President Ford had some of his harshest criticism for Rumsfeld and Cheney, who were major players in the Ford administration."
The Early Show on CBS, however, did not feature Ford's statements as prominently as their competitors. Coverage of the Woodward interview was limited to this quick item read by Harry Smith: "Before he died, President Ford said he did not think we should have gone to war in Iraq. In an interview with the Washington Post done two years ago, Ford called using the excuse of weapons of mass destruction to justify the war a big mistake."
The first broadcast was blocked in the East due to doting live coverage of the Iraq Study Group report release.
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Thursday on NewsBusters with video rendered by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey. The MP3 audio, as well as Real and Windows Media video, will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But to watch it in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Brolin appeared to plug his performance as a conservative Governor in the liberal gay-marriage-promoting A&E film Wedding Wars and to talk about how he and his wife
Rosie: "Well, you play a politician, in this one, you've been playing politicians and brilliantly, lately in your career. A lot of different politicians."
To check out the conspiratorial site which contends the airplanes could not have collapsed the World Trade Center towers, go to: www.911weknow.com
Wednesday's CyberAlert listed the winners and Thursday's the first runners-up, so today the second runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2006: The Nineteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
The Media Research Center's annual awards issue provides a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2006 (December 2005 through November 2006). To determine this year's winners, a panel of 58 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 2006.
The direct address for the names of the judges as part of the online posting of the awards, with links to their Web pages: www.mrc.org
The list of the judges also appears as item #4 below.
The MRC's Brent Baker and Rich Noyes, along with Tim Graham and Geoff Dickens, selected the quotes for the ballot. Michelle Humphrey, Karen Hanna and Kristine Looney distributed and counted the ballots and then produced the numerous audio and video clips that accompany the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes assembled this issue and Michael Gibbons posted the entire package on the MRC's Web site where it appears with RealPlayer and Windows Media video, as well as MP3 audio, for all the quotes from television shows: www.mrc.org
This year, MS Word and Corel WordPerfect files of the entire text of the issue, are also available at the above link.
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mrc.org
Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories [second runner-up]
"The last time we got a tape from Osama bin Laden was right before the 2004 presidential election. Now here we are, four days away from hearings starting in Washington into the wiretapping of America's telephones without bothering to get a court order or a warrant, and up pops another tape from Osama bin Laden. Coincidence? Who knows."
-- CNN's Jack Cafferty during the 4pm EST hour of The Situation Room, January 19. 
"This word, 'values,' 'values voters,' which is just driving me nuts. This idea that somehow certain people have a monopoly on values, and that, you know, if you are not with them on these issues, that you somehow [mock tone of horror] 'don't share our values,' and you're not just wrong, but you're somehow morally inferior if you're on the other side. And I hope that this election is going to mark the demise of the 'values voters,' this idea that somehow people who feel so strongly about, you know, these so-called traditional values, that they don't determine the election the way they were seen to have the last time around, and the indications are that they do have less clout this time out."
-- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, October 16. 
"[Russia's Vladimir Putin is] the only one of those leaders who goes in there [the G8 summit] with a commanding popularity among his own people, because he is perceived to be an effective dictator. What we have in this country is a dictator who's ineffective."
-- Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, July 15. 
"Mikhail Gorbachev is generally regarded as the man who broke down the 'Iron Curtain' that separated the communist world from the West and thawed the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union."
-- ABC's Claire Shipman beginning a report summarizing Gorbachev's criticisms of current U.S. foreign policy, posted on ABCNews.com July 12. 
"I'd like to put this personally, if I can. You're a grandfather. I'm a father. When we look at those girls and we think that the country we're about to pass to them is a country where the Vice President can't say whether or not we have secret prisons around the world, whether water-boarding and mock executions is consistent with our values, and a country where the government is surveilling Americans without the warrant of a court -- is that the country we want to pass on to them?"
-- Co-anchor Terry Moran to Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview shown on ABC's Nightline, December 19, 2005. 
"I don't think what happened in West Virginia is totally divorced from the K Street project. It was all about deregulation. Tom DeLay fervently and sincerely believes that every regulation -- the regulations that have removed 99 percent of lead from the air, the regulations that have saved the Great Lakes -- they are a burden and an onerous intrusion upon American business, and I think that what you've seen is Tom DeLay's America in action."
-- Columnist and PBS NewsHour panelist Mark Shields, referring to the deaths of 12 West Virginia coal miners, on Inside Washington, January 6. Investigators believe the mine explosion was caused by lightning. 
"[The leak] is a victory for the American people....Remember the great American saying, 'Disobedience to tyranny is obedience to God.' In this case, it was something that clearly, I think, most Americans would agree is not what we want to do, secret prisons....Exposing something like that does not hurt us. It helps us."
-- ABC's Sam Donaldson on This Week, April 23, discussing the firing of a CIA employee for leaking. 
"Since his still-controversial loss to George Bush in the 2000 election, [former Vice President Al] Gore has recast himself as a road warrior for the environment. Traveling from town to town, country to country with a message of warning, a message that's now been made into a movie.... Out of the shadows of yesterday's news, Al Gore has suddenly emerged as the comeback kid...." "I'm watching you in this film, you look so comfortable in your own skin. You look like Al Gore in full, as it were....The box office receipts would indicate that it's an action movie -- you did better per screening than almost anything that's come out this week." -- Co-host Harry Smith introducing his interview with Al Gore and some of his comments to Gore on CBS's Early Show, May 31. 
Charles Gibson: "Today, ExxonMobil reported a profit number so big, it was staggering, even by oil company standards. ABC's Betsy Stark takes a look at the numbers."
Reporter Betsy Stark: "The earnings reported today are astounding....Look at it this way: In 30 seconds, the ExxonMobil corporation makes about what an average American family earns in an entire year."
-- ABC's World News with Charles Gibson, July 27. 
"He's known as a liberal lion, and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy has roared more than once during his more than 40 years in the Senate. Now Kennedy says America is on the wrong path, and in his new book America Back on Track, Kennedy details seven challenges facing this country....You talk about the things that need to be done, Senator, from 'reclaiming our constitutional democracy, to protecting our national security, to guaranteeing health care for every American.' Noble, noble goals for sure. Are they do-able, and is there a national will to achieve these things, in your view?"
-- NBC's Katie Couric to Senator Ted Kennedy on Today, April 20. 
"Failing to warn the citizens of a looming weapon of mass destruction -- and that's what global warming is -- in order to protect oil company profits, well, that fits for me the definition of treason."
-- HBO's Bill Maher on Real Time, March 24. 
Katie Couric: "A passionate student of history, Condi Rice believes turmoil often precedes periods of peace and stability. And she rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "What's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?"
Couric to Rice: "To quote my daughter, '€˜Who made us the boss of them?'"
-- CBS's 60 Minutes, September 24. 
Co-host Meredith Vieira: "Everybody's calling you 'the Genie,' and they want you to grant some wishes. If you had a genie, what wish would you want granted?...Where do you think he [Osama bin Laden] is? Everybody's wondering where the heck he is, where do you think he is?"
Former President Bill Clinton: "I think he's probably in, I have no intelligence, okay? I think he's probably-"
Vieira, interrupting: "You have lots of intelligence."
Clinton: "No, I mean government intelligence."
Vieira, laughing: "I know, I'm kidding."
-- NBC's Today, September 21. 
Substitute host Kathleen Matthews: "Evan, nothing has lit up the telephones on talk radio more than this Dubai ports deal. Why did it resonate so much with the American people?"
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas: "Because it's something that simple idiots can understand [other panelists snicker]. I mean, it was an idiotic issue, and it is a classic for talk radio. You can get it on a bumper sticker. But I'm with the elites on this one. It was really, it was ridiculous. We need Dubai as an ally. On balance, it would be better that the deal went through, but it was an easy one to demagogue on talk radio." -- Exchange on Inside Washington, March 10. 
"[I am] biased -- I have a very strong bias toward independent journalism....Some of what you describe as 'baggage' comes from people who have the following view: Their view is, 'You report the news the way I want it reported or I'm going to make you pay a price and hang a sign around your neck saying you're a bomb-toting Bolshevik.'"
-- Ex-CBS anchorman Dan Rather, as quoted by the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes in a July 12 column. 
"If I were a conservative, I understand why I would feel suspicious that I was not going to get a fair break....The mindset at ABC, where you and I used to be colleagues at, at the other big news organizations, it's just too focused on being more favorable to Nancy Pelosi, say, than Newt Gingrich; being more down on the Republicans' chances than perhaps is warranted; singling out -- you're seeing here a 60 Minutes piece about Nancy Pelosi. I don't remember Newt Gingrich getting a piece that favorable in 1994."
-- ABC Political Director Mark Halperin, co-author of The Way to Win, on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor, October 24. 
"I don't support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse....I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea."
-- Los Angeles Times columnist and former Time staff writer Joel Stein in a January 24 column.
In recognition of their time and effort, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2006: The Nineteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
As explained in item #3 above, the panel of 58 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and media observers received a ballot and each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category.
- Lee Anderson, Associate Publisher, Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs
- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research and Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and Editor-at-Large of NewsBusters blog
- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee
- Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center
- Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor for National Review
- Bill Cotterell, political editor at the Tallahassee Democrat
- Blanquita Cullum, Radio America broadcaster
- Bill Cunningham, radio talk show host, WLW in Cincinnati
- Midge Decter, author
- Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit
- Jim Eason, San Francisco radio talk show host emeritus
- Don Feder, former Boston Herald columnist; author, media consultant at Don Feder & Associates
- John Fund, columnist for OpinionJournal.com
- Ryan Frazier, commentary editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Mike Gallagher, syndicated radio host, Fox News contributor
- Greg Garrison, radio talk show host, WIBC in Indianapolis
- David Gold, radio host, KSFO in San Francisco
- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of Lucianne.com Media, Inc.
- Michael Graham, radio talk show host, 96.9 FM Talk, WTKK in Boston
- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Steven Greenhut, columnist, Orange County Register
- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando
- Matthew Hill, VP at WPWT, Tri-Cities of Tenn/Va
- Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor, The American Spectator
- Fred Honsberger, radio talk show host, KDKA in Pittsburgh
- Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe
- Marie Kaigler, mass media and developmental consultant, Detroit
- Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
- Mark Larson, talk show host, Newsradio 600 KOGO in San Diego
- Jason Lewis, talk show host, KTLK in Minneapolis, the FM News Talk
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online
- Patrick McGuigan, Contributing Editor, MidCity Advocate and Tulsa Today
- Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WIBA in Madison, WI
- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Director of Editorial Pages for Tribune Review Publishing Co.
- Joe McQuaid, Publisher, New Hampshire Union-Leader
- Wes Minter, libertarian radio talk show host and business executive
- Paul Mirengoff, co-author of PowerLine blog
- Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times; FNC commentator
- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review
- Marvin Olasky, journalism professor University of Texas at Austin; Editor-in-Chief of World magazine
- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News
- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator
- Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
- Mike Rosen, radio talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist for the Rocky Mountain News
- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute; syndicated columnist
- Tom Sullivan, radio talk show host, KFBK in Sacramento
- James Taranto, Editor of OpinionJournal.com
- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on FNC's Fox Newswatch
- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator
- Chris Warden, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Troy University
- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org
- Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host for WDUN in Gainseville, GA
For links to Web pages for the judges: www.mrc.org
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