The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
To determine this year's winners, a panel of 52 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 six to nine quotes in each category. Each received a paper ballot in late November and returned it within two weeks. See item #2 below for the list of judges.
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 2002.
The MRC's Kristina Sewell and Amanda Monson distributed and counted the ballots. Brent Baker and Rich Noyes assembled this issue and Mez Djouadi posted the complete issue.
To see the full results, with RealPlayer clips of many of the television quotes, CLICK HERE.
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version, CLICK HERE.
Now, the winning quotes in 17 award categories:
Media Hero Award
"For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent."
General Phil "Cheap Shot" Donahue Award
"This is interesting news that we get now, and it may put the President under a lot of heat today as the public learns that he knew, through his daily CIA intelligence briefings, that bin Laden had potential terror attack plans under way....It also calls into question what happened when Andy Card, Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, that morning went and whispered in the President's ear, as the President was talking to a group of school students in Florida [on Sept. 11, 2001]. Was the President really surprised?"
Fourth Reich Award
"One of the interesting things about this German story that's coming out is they had like 90 pages of particulars of this cell and it makes you think -- they were leaving trails and clues all over the place -- if we'd really been watching and paying attention we could have headed off 9/11. But the German prosecutorial system was pretty laid back and didn't want to be John Ashcroft, you know, they didn't want to be the SS, they had that worry there, no Gestapos. And so it was a great place for terrorists to operate."
Ashamed of the Red, White & Blue Award
Phil Donahue: "Let me tell you what is impressive. You're not wearing a flag. Well, I don't want to damn you with my praise, but I say hip-hip-hooray for that, and I think you gave the right answer when you spoke at Northwestern University...."
Give Appeasement a Chance Award
"The President disclosed that he has been reading Supreme Command, a new book by Eliot A. Cohen, a neoconservative hardliner on Iraq....
Begala & Carville War Room Award for Bush Bashing
Rolling Stone's Will Dana: "Some people on the Left have said that the war on terrorism is actually about making sure the Middle East keeps pumping oil on our terms. In your book, you refer to 'Mr. Bush and his oil-industry paymasters.' What do you mean?"
Media Millionaires for Smaller Paychecks Award
"It is scandalous to think we are indulging ourselves at the expense of the elderly....How can we look at ourselves in the mirror if we keep shoving tax cuts into our pockets while letting poor, elderly people go without doctors and medicine?"
Blame America First Award
"I think very definitely that foreign policy could have caused what has happened [last September 11th]....It certainly should be apparent now -- it should be, for goodness sakes understood now, but it is not -- that the problem is this great division between the rich and the poor in the world. We represent the rich....Most of these other nations of Africa, Asia and South America and Central America are very, very poor....This is a revolution in effect around the world. A revolution is in place today. We are suffering from a revolution of the poor and have-nots against the rich and haves and that's us."
Bill Moyers (Subsidized) Sanctimony Award
"Last year, a year ago this month, the right-wingers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington teamed up with deep pocket bankers, some of whom support the Heritage Foundation, to stop the United States from cracking down on terrorist money havens. I'm not making this up, it's all on the record....The President of the powerful Heritage Foundation spent an hour with Treasury Secretary O'Neill, Texas bankers pulled their strings at the White House, and, Presto!, the Bush administration pulled out of the global campaign to crack down on dirty money. How about that for patriotism? Better terrorists get their dirty money than tax cheaters be prevented from evading national law. And this from people who wrap themselves in the flag and sing 'America the Beautiful' with tears in their eyes. Bitter? Yes."
Carve Clinton into Mount Rushmore Award
Joy Behar: "I want to ask the audience: Clap if you would have your daughter be an intern for Bill Clinton."
Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Pontificating
"I despise him [President George W. Bush]. I despise his administration and everything they stand for....To my mind the election was stolen by George Bush and we have been suffering ever since under this man's leadership....And I think this latest thing with Iraq is absolute madness and I'm stunned that there is not opposition on a much more global scale to what he's talking about....There has to be a movement now to really oppose what he is proposing because it's unconstitutional, it's immoral and basically illegal....It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It's humiliating."
Mount St. Helen Award for Helen Thomas Eruptions
"I censored myself for 50 years....Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'...I have never covered a President who actually wanted to go to war. Bush's policy of pre-emptive war is immoral -- such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It's as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam....Where is the outrage?"
Good Morning Morons Award
"Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office."
Damn Those Conservatives Award
"The [President's Council on Bioethics] will be navigating a scientific and ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed...last summer. In November, researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones, giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that science is no longer serving the nation's moral will. At the same time, the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their moral code on others."
Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis
"Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that's a true measure of the Iraqi people's feelings."
See No Liberal Media Bias Award
"If I were biased, I don't believe I would have gotten the job."
Quote of the Year
"The entire federal government -- the Congress, the executive, the courts -- is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine.
END Rundown of winning quotes
On Friday: The first runners-up.
In recognition of their time and effort, for the second time a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges. In alphabetical order, the 2002 award judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
Lee Anderson, Editorial Page Editor, Chattanooga Free Press
Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs
Brent Baker, MRC VP; Editor of CyberAlert and Notable Quotables
Mark Belling, talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee
Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center
David Brudnoy, radio talk show host, WBZ in Boston; journalism
Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor of National Review
Mona Charen, columnist with Creators Syndicate
William R. Cotterell, political reporter, Tallahassee Democrat
Ann Coulter, author, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American
Mark Davis, talk show host, WBAP in Dallas-Ft. Worth & ABC Radio;
Midge Decter, New York City-based author
Jim Eason, retired radio talk show host
Don Feder, commentator, DonFeder.com & Don Feder Associates
Eric Fettmann, columnist & Associate Editorial Page Editor,
Ryan Frazier, editorial page writer, Richmond Times-Dispatch
David Gold, talk show host, KSFO in San Francisco
Tim Graham, White House correspondent, World magazine
Stephen Hayes, staff writer for The Weekly Standard
Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando
Quin Hillyer, editorial writer for the Mobile Register
Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe
Marie Kaigler, former radio talk show host for WJR in Detroit
Cliff Kincaid, Editor of the AIM Report
Mark Larson, talk show host, KRLA (Los Angeles) and KCBQ (San
Jason Lewis, talk show host, KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online
Tony Macrini, talk show host, WNIS in Norfolk, Virginia
Michelle Malkin, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor
Bernadette Malone, columnist,
The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Patrick B. McGuigan, Capital Editor of Tulsa Today
Joe McQuaid, Publisher, The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Wes Minter, afternoon talk show host, KRMG/Cox Radio in Tulsa
Jane Norris, talk show host, WMAL in Washington, DC
Robert D. Novak, CNN commentator; Chicago Sun-Times columnist
Rich Noyes, Director of Media Analysis for the Media Research
Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review
Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of
World magazine and professor of
Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News
Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editor of TheAmericanProwler.org;
Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
Mike Rosen, talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist,
William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute
Ted J. Smith III, Professor of journalism, Virginia Commonwealth
Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor
Bruce Tinsley, Mallard Fillmore cartoonist
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator
Dick Williams, columnist; host of Atlanta's Georgia Gang
Walter Williams, Professor of economics, George Mason University
Thomas Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
Online, the list features links to Web pages for each judge, whether his or her own page or page about their show or work created by their employer. To access the links, CLICK HERE.
Signing off from snowy eastern Massachusetts where we had a white Christmas by late afternoon, though at barely 5 inches not nearly as snowy as forecast. -- Brent Baker