Winners at the MRC's "Dishonors Awards" Held Thursday Night --4/22/2005
2. The Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
3. Audience Awards the "Quote of the Year" to Dan Rather
4. Media Ignore Bolton Critic's Tie to "Mothers Opposed to Bush"
5. CBS: Germans Unhappy with German Pope, "Unease" Over Nazi Years
MRC Appearance Alert: MRC President L. Brent Bozell is scheduled to appear sometime in the 8am EDT hour Friday on FNC's Fox & Friends. Topic: The MRC's DisHonors Awards.
Cal Thomas, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Neal Boortz, Zell Miller, Midge Decter, T. Boone Pickens and Janet Parshall highlighted the presentations and acceptances of MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004," which were presented on Thursday night, April 21, before an audience of more than 950 -- our largest crowd ever -- packed into the Grand Ballroom of the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.
Following the presentation of the Dishonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at the Best of the Worst of Dan Rather and the audience picking the Quote of the Year, we presented a 12-minute video tribute to the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. MRC President L. Brent Bozell then honored a founder of the group, John O'Neill, with the MRC's Conservative of the Year Award. O'Neill paid tribute to his comrades who were appalled by John Kerry's claims and charges.
DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 16 leading media observers who served as judges -- including Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, William F. Buckley, Jr., Ann Coulter, John Fund, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Kate O'Beirne, Lucianne Goldberg, Walter E. Williams, Thomas Winter and Robert Novak. For the list of judges with identifications and links to their Web sites, see item #2 below.
Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours with Cal Thomas, served again as a splendid Master of Ceremonies. Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes and a national radio talk show host, was the first presenter of nominee videos and the announcement of the winner, followed by author Ann Coulter and then Atlanta-based nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest. Those standing in for the winners: Colin McNickle of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the target of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" remark; renowned businessman T. Boone Pickens; national radio talk show host Janet Parshall; Midge Decter, author and conservative intellectual; and former U.S. Senator Zell Miller.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Vincent Rigdon and the Pledge of Allegiance led by MRC Trustee Dick Eckburg.
After the second award category, we paid tribute to Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy in Media who passed away last year, and then Ann Coulter narrated a video review of Dan Rather's worst bias. Later, Cal Thomas urged the audience to put Peter Jennings in their prayers. To introduce acceptor Colin McNickle, attendees watched videos of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" attack of him and, leading into Zell Miller, attendees were treated to video of the Miller/Chris Matthews "duel" exchange from MSNBC's Republican convention coverage. The audience loudly cheered Miller's retorts to Matthews and laughed throughout Miller's live mock acceptance remarks.
For all five "DisHonors Awards" categories, the top three quotes in each category were played in random order followed by the announcement of the winner. Throughout the night Thomas, the presenters and acceptors entertained the audience with humorous comments about current events, mocking the pretentiousness displayed in the nominated quotes and the poor journalism of those being highlighted.
To get the full flavor of the mocking atmosphere of the evening, you'll need to watch video of the event (it will not be carried by C-SPAN). The MRC's Mez Djouadi has already posted RealPlayer videos of each nominated quote, and through the day Friday he will be adding video segments of Cal Thomas introducing the presenters, the presentations of the awards and the remarks of those accepting them. So, as the hours pass, check back with this address to see what has been added since you last checked: www.mediaresearch.org
Presented by Sean Hannity
# CBS's Morley Safer: "You talk about a vision, and it's some kind of abstract, vague idea. Did his [Ronald Reagan's] vision include extraordinary deficits? Did his vision include cutting of the budgets for education and a back of the hand in terms of public education?"
# "Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake....The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far, there is none."
# "I have a feeling that it [bin Laden's new videotape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."
Accepting for Walter Cronkite....Colin McNickle
Presented by Sean Hannity
# "The President's team knows that it can't get back to the White House by taking only hard right turns, so it has, as three of its featured speakers, Republicans who have been successful by navigating the middle of the road as well as the right-hand side: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Rudy
Giuliani, New York's former Mayor, and Senator John McCain who often calls himself John Kerry's best friend in the U.S. Senate. Streetwise New Yorkers may call that the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town -- three-card
monte. But then, that's also a game in which the dealer almost always wins."
# "To move to the 9/11 Commission, you yourself have acknowledged in the, that Osama bin Laden was not a central focus of the administration in the months before September 11th....Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?"
# Bill Moyers: "There have been 37,000 civilians killed in Iraq, or as many perhaps as 100,000. Why is abortion a higher moral issue with many American Christians than the invasion of Iraq and the loss of life there?"
Accepting for Bill Moyers....T. Boone Pickens
Presented by Ann Coulter
# Matt Lauer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group -- not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessians -- could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today, where the insurgents '€" not well equipped, smaller in numbers -- the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's the lesson here?"
# "Tonight, savagery in the streets of Iraq. Ten Americans die in a single day, four of them civilians murdered, mutilated and dragged through the streets. Who is behind this? What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy, it may be, for some, the only job they can find."
# "Veterans haven't been a big force in past campaigns... but the Vietnam vets may feel bound together more strongly....It may be too early to know how influential they'll be in Kerry's campaign, but they have already done one thing: If the Republicans had any hope of casting Kerry as some Michael
Dukakis-style effete Eastern liberal, that's over. The band of brothers stands in its way."
Accepting for Bruce Morton....Janet Parshall
Presented by Neal Boortz
# Cynthia McFadden: "There's the last image of the video where President Bush, or a President Bush look-alike, kisses Saddam Hussein-" Madonna: "On the cheek." McFadden: "On the cheek. What are we supposed to think about that?" Madonna: "Although, you know, they [President Bush and Saddam Hussein] are very different people serving very different purposes. I think they both have very equally narrow views about how to solve problems and it is all about power, the struggle for oil and the struggle for world domination, and at the end of the day, are they that different? You know what I mean? I don't want to equate George Bush with Saddam Hussein. But I believe that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are both behaving in an irresponsible manner, so in that respect, they're alike."
# "We must make it clear that a hundred million women in this country will not have their rights rolled back by political extremists! The far right have already squandered your Social Security! They better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!"
# Joe Scarborough: "Since George Bush got into public life, he's been underestimated by his opponents....Is that a part of an act that this guy does to lull Democrats into underestimating him, or do Democrats just put up really, really bad candidates against this guy every four years?"
Presented by Neal Boortz
# Byron Pitts: "For Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, tonight's acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it's his destiny. Best understood from the beginning. Back not simply to when John Forbes Kerry was born in 1943 to a Catholic couple from the privileged class, but to that time when America embraced Camelot. Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant has covered Kerry's career from the start."
# Dan Rather: "Speaking of angry, have you ever had any anger about President Bush -- who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard -- running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam? You have to be at least irritated by that, or have you been?"
# "It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry's home in Boston, I'm told he whispered to his sister,
'Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, 'John,' knowing he would run for President some day,
'remember, John, integrity, that's what matters.' Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity."
Accepting for Byron Pitts....Zell Miller
The Judges: To select the winners of the MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporting of 2004," a distinguished panel of 16 leading observers of the liberal media in action generously gave of their time to serve as our judges. They reviewed three to five quotes in each of five award categories. For each set of quotes the judges picked first and second place choices. First place selections earned two points, second choices were allocated one point. The MRC's Kristina Sewell tabulated the ballots.
- Neal Boortz, Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center
- William F. Buckley, Jr., Founder of National Review
- Ann Coulter, columnist and author of How to Talk to a Liberal
- John Fund, columnist for OpinionJournal.com
- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of Lucianne.com
- Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes and an ABC Radio talk show host
- Laura Ingraham, host of the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Show
- Rush Limbaugh, host of The Rush Limbaugh Show
- Michelle Malkin, FNC contributor and editor of MichelleMalkin.com
- Robert Novak, CNN host, Chicago Sun-Times columnist
- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review and panelist on CNN's Capital Gang
- William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute
- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours
- Walter E. Williams, columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
For links to the Web sites for each judge, or to pages which feature their work, go to: www.mediaresearch.org
Quote of the Year. Following the presentation of the awards, attendees saw replays of the four winning quotes uttered by members of the news media: Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Bruce Morton and Byron Pitts.
But MRC President Brent Bozell proposed a fifth quote for consideration for what he suggested was the "Story of the Year," Dan Rather's use of fake memos to attack President Bush. Attendees watched this video which featured Rather on the September 8 60 Minutes, followed by Rather on the September 10 CBS Evening News:
Then, as a picture of each nominee was displayed, audience members were asked by MRC President L. Brent Bozell to clap, cheer, yell or even throw silverware to indicate their preference so that he, along with Cal Thomas, Ann Coulter and Neal Boortz, could decipher the audience's preference. (Sean Hannity had departed to do his 9pm EDT show live on FNC.)
It wasn't even close. While the Cronkite quote earned hearty applause, the audience erupted at seeing Dan Rather's face and so he won the Quote of the Year.
No doubting a Bolton critic? Bob Schieffer on Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Katie Couric on Thursday morning's Today show both passed along the latest charge leveled against John Bolton, the President's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations, that he threw a tirade against a woman while both were in Moscow in 1994. But neither bothered to tell viewers that the woman, Melody Townsel, who claimed that Bolton was "behaving like a madman," is an anti-Bush activist and the founder of the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposed to Bush" or MOB.
[The MRC's Rich Noyes submitted this article for CyberAlert.]
Thursday morning on FNC's Fox & Friends, the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes revealed how he had interviewed Townsel's former boss: "She complained to him often about things going wrong under the contract over there, in one of those former Soviet republics, never mentioned this about John Bolton before." Naturally, neither CBS nor NBC mentioned that fact as they painted Bolton as on the defensive.
CBS's Schieffer at least noted that Townsel was a Democrat, although he concealed the activism that she has employed against the President. NBC's Couric didn't even mention that, as she added Townsel's claims to the list of liberal complaints against Bolton that she ticked off on April 21 to Tim Russert:
Maybe Bolton's problem is that Senators are reacting to incomplete and misleading reports in the media.
On Wednesday's Special Report, FNC's Brit Hume noted that a number of news organizations had relayed the latest allegation without noting the partisan nature of the person making them:
Indeed, the April 20 Washington Post carried a front-page story by reporters Charles Babington and Dafna Linzer that detailed Townsel's charges against Bolton, which were cited by Senate Democrats as a reason to deny Bolton the ambassadorship. Instead of presenting her as a disgruntled partisan, the Post touted her insistence that "no one asked me to send the letter, but when I saw he was nominated, I knew I had to share my experiences."
An excerpt from the Post article:
[Senator Joseph] Biden [the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs committee] said committee aides recently heard from a person who corroborated a woman's claim -- raised after Bolton testified last week -- that Bolton, then working as a private lawyer, had chased her through a Moscow hotel in 1994, thrown things at her and falsely claimed to U.S. aid officials that she had misused funds and might go to jail. Melody Townsel of Dallas said in a letter to the committee that Bolton "put me through hell" when he represented a firm that was at odds with her client in a USAID project in Kyrgyzstan. Biden taunted GOP members pressing for a vote yesterday on Bolton's nomination, saying, "I guess you don't want to hear about that."
Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) said members had enough information to vote and suggested Democrats were stalling in hopes of thwarting Bolton. "I wasn't born yesterday," he said....
Without naming Townsel, Biden quoted the charges she made in her "open letter" to the committee, which was released last weekend. After her client complained about the performance of the Kyrgyzstan project's chief contractor -- which hired Bolton as its lawyer -- she wrote: "Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman." Back in Kyrgyzstan, she said, Bolton told USAID officials "that I was under investigation for misuse of funds and likely was facing jail time. As US AID can confirm, nothing was further from the truth....His behavior back in 1994 wasn't just unforgivable, it was pathological."
Townsel, who runs a public relations firm in Dallas, said in an interview yesterday that "no one asked me to send the letter, but when I saw he was nominated, I knew I had to share my experiences."
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: www.washingtonpost.com
Now, back to Wednesday's (April 20) CBS Evening News. The MRC's Brian Boyd transcribed the lengthy piece read by anchor Bob Schieffer: "John Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be the Ambassador to the United Nations, has run into some new trouble on Capitol Hill. The members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have postponed a vote on whether he should be confirmed. Committee Democrats had already come out against him because of his past statements questioning the need for the United Nations. Now, some Republicans on the committee are having some second thoughts after a new allegation surfaced."
Schieffer, noting only that Townsel was "a Democrat" detailed her unproved charge: "An allegation made by Melody Townsel, a Democrat and former USAid contractor. She told the committee that in 1994, while a private citizen, Bolton displayed what she called '€˜pathological' behavior toward her during a trip to Russia for a U.S. relief effort. Townsel says he quote [text on screen], '€˜chased me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. John Bolton put me through hell, and he did everything he could to intimidate, malign, and threaten not just me, but anybody unwilling to go along with his version of events.'"
The MRC's Geoff Dickens noted that on NBC's Today show on Thursday, co-host Katie Couric and Meet the Press host Tim Russert ran though the latest developments surrounding both House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, then got around to Bolton.
Couric told Russert: "Let's move on, if we could Tim, because to the other big controversy which is the nomination of, of UN ambassador John Bolton. He was already quite unpopular in some quarters for some of the disparaging comments he made about the United Nations. And now he faces allegations of trying to have a lower level official who challenged him, removed. He also faces allegations from a woman who claims that he threatened her and spread rumors about her in some incident back in 1994. The Senate Foreign Relations committee has postponed the vote on his confirmation. Is his nomination in big trouble, Tim? What's going on there?"
Russert affirmed: "Yeah it's in trouble and here's why Katie. Again in the committee there are ten Republicans, eight Democrats. Right now that nomination could not be voted out of committee. If it was it would go to the floor without a recommendation which can be almost fatal when it comes to a full vote before the Senate. The problem is that several Republican senators, Katie, by my count at least four have deep, deep reservations about Mr. Bolton. They believe that at the United Nations we're gonna need someone who can present the case to the world about intelligence data regarding North Korea and Iran and that in the past Mr. Bolton has in fact said to lower employees, 'Give me the information, the data I want or I will fire you.'"
Couric helpfully chimed in: "'That supports my position,' basically."
On Thursday morning's Fox & Friends, MRC's Megan McCormack found, the Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes, outlined one factual problem with the newest anti-Bolton charge that neither CBS nor NBC bothered to reveal, namely that while Townsel seems to have complained about a lot of things when she was in Russia, Bolton wasn't one of them.
On Wednesday night, CBS reporter Sheila MacVicar found in Germany mostly "dissidents" and Protestants attacking the "prejudice" of Pope Benedict XVI and calling his election a "catastrophe." She reported most Germans didn't want him to be Pope, and there was "not much celebration" there. CBS also added people questioning whether young Joseph Ratzinger was a "coward" during the Nazi era. McVicar failed to tell viewers that Ratzinger deserted an anti-aircraft battery in Munich, risking the death penalty.
[The MRC's Tim Graham submitted this item for CyberAlert]
Anchor Bob Schieffer introduced the April 20 CBS Evening News story, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "The world is still getting to know the new Pope. And to get a better idea of who he is, we went to where he came from. Sheila MacVicar did that today, and she had a lot of company."
MacVicar began with the obligatory but brief positive angle: "The world's media came to a very small town in Germany today, crowding the square in front of what has now become 'the' local attraction -- the house where Pope Benedict XVI was born. By order of the mayor, the beer was free. Thirty miles away, the Catholic boarding school where the young Ratzinger studied. Father Thomas Frauenlob, the dean of the school, is quick to support him."
Actually, Kung was stripped of the right to call himself a "Catholic" theologian by the Vatican in 1979, but CBS clearly doesn't abide by those rules.
MacVicar continued: "A poll showed that more Germans were against him becoming Pope than supported him. Germany's Protestants are unhappy, too. Some church leaders have called this election a catastrophe. They had wanted to see their faiths come closer together, but as a Vatican official, Protestant church leaders say Joseph Ratzinger acted with, quote, 'a considerable degree of exclusion and prejudice.'"
What was "this" cowardly act Max Arthur's quote suggests? MacVicar did not mention young Ratzinger deserting that anti-aircraft battery in Munich, risking the death penalty. As a 1998 story in the Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor explained:
-- Brent Baker