Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards for the Worst Reporting --12/27/2005

1. Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards for the Worst Reporting
The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

2. List of the 52 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
A list of the 52 judges who evaluated the quotes in 16 award categories.

Winning Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards
for the Worst Reporting

The winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth 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 2005 (December 2004 through November 2005). 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. 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 2005.

A list of the judges, who were generous with their time, appears in item #2 below.

The MRC's Michelle Humphrey and Karen Hanna distributed and counted the ballots, then produced the numerous audio and video clips that accompany the Web-posted version. Brent Baker and 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:

For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version:

Now, the winning quotes in the 16 award categories:

Slam Uncle Sam Award

Andrea Mitchell: "It is an iconic picture: American hostages, hands bound and blindfolded, being paraded outside the U.S. embassy in Tehran by their captors. But has one of those student radicals now become Iran's newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?...Tonight, U.S. intelligence officials say that they will continue to study this, but may never have definitive proof of what the role was of Iran's new president, Brian." Brian Williams: "Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. Presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all." Mitchell: "Indeed, Brian." -- NBC Nightly News, June 30. [91 points]

Madness of King George Award for Bush Bashing

"It's like he [President Bush] stuck a broomstick in his [FDR's] wheelchair wheels." -- Newsweek's Jon Meacham on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning May 9, discussing Bush's criticism of Roosevelt's Yalta deal with Stalin on post-war Europe. [62 points]

The Kanye West "George Bush Doesn't Care About Wet People" Award

"The dilatory performance of George Bush during the past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude....The populism of Huey Long was financially corrupt, but when it came to the welfare of people, it was caring. The churchgoing cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the House of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die in foreign deserts." -- Former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, September 1. [89 points]

"God Save This Court from Extremists" Award

"An Advocate for the Right." -- Headline over a New York Times "news analysis" of Judge John Roberts' judicial philosophy, July 28.


"Balanced Jurist at Home in the Middle." -- Headline over a June 27, 1993 New York Times story on Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [78 points]

Damn Those Conservatives Award

"The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for President, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar." -- Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas, as quoted in the "Under the Dome" column by Albert Eisele and Jeff Dufour in The Hill newspaper, July 28. [68 points]

Captain Dan the Forgery Man Award

Dan Rather: "My principal problem was that I stuck by the [Memogate] story, I stuck by our people for too long. I'm guilty of that. I believed in the story, and the facts of the story were correct. One supporting pillar of the story, albeit an important one, one supporting pillar was brought into question. To this day no one has proven whether it was what it purported to be or not....You know, I didn't give up on my people, our people. I didn't and I won't." [Applause] Marvin Kalb: "Dan, thank you. You said, I believe you just said, that you think the story is accurate." Rather: "The story is accurate." -- From The Kalb Report, an interview series produced by the George Washington University and Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, and shown live on C-SPAN September 26. [80]

"Baghdad Bob" Was Correct Award

Co-host Mike Jerrick: "What do you think's going to happen Sunday?" FNC reporter Steve Harrigan, just back from Iraq: "I think there's going to be a bloodbath on Sunday....All over the place, especially in Baghdad and a few other cities." -- FNC's Fox & Friends, January 28, two days before Iraq's largely peaceful elections. [71 points]

Crazy Chris Award for Chris Matthews' Left-Wing Lunacy

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan: "We're not going to cure terrorism and spread peace and good will in the Middle East by killing innocent people or -- I'm not even saying our bullets and bombs are killing them. The occupation -- they don't have food, they don't have clean water, they don't have electricity. They don't have medicine, they don't have doctors. We need to get our military presence out of there, and that's what's gonna start building good will....I see Iraq as the base for spreading imperialism...." Host Chris Matthews: "Are you considering running for Congress, Cindy?" Sheehan: "No, not this time...." Matthews: "Okay. Well, I have to tell you, you sound more informed than most U.S. Congresspeople, so maybe you should run." -- Exchange on MSNBC's Hardball, August 15. [93 points]

Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity

"I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food....A lot of the people that could help are at war right now fighting another way, and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us....George Bush doesn't care about black people." -- Rapper Kanye West during NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, September 2. [53 points]

Media Millionaires for Smaller Paychecks Award

NPR's Nina Totenberg: "And let us say one other thing. For years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go, and this [Katrina damage] is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us." Charles Krauthammer: "You must be kidding here." Moderator Gordon Peterson: "She's not kidding." Totenberg: "I'm not kidding." -- Exchange on Inside Washington, Sept. 3. [66 points]

Good Morning Morons Award

Matt Lauer in Baghdad: "Talk to me...about morale here. We've heard so much about the insurgent attacks, so much about the uncertainty as to when you folks are going to get to go home. How would you describe morale?" Chief Warrant Officer Randy Kirgiss: "In my unit morale is pretty good. Every day we go out and do our missions and people are ready to execute their missions. They're excited to be here." Lauer: "How much does that uncertainty of [not] knowing how long you're going to be here impact morale?" Specialist Steven Chitterer: "Morale is always high. Soldiers know they have a mission. They like taking on new objectives and taking on the new challenges...." Lauer: "Don't get me wrong here, I think you are probably telling me the truth, but a lot of people at home are wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the attacks you're facing. What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale can be that high?" Captain Sherman Powell: "Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I'd be pretty depressed as well." -- Exchange on NBC's Today, August 17. [87 points]

Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis

"It's been 11 days since two African-American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this." -- Anchor Carol Lin after a Nov. 6 CNN Sunday Night story about riots in France. The two teenagers were not Americans, but French citizens of Tunisian heritage. [51]

Media Hero Award

"I see her [Hillary Clinton] in -- she's very consistent [in] what she's always believed. She's very consistent [in] what she's always believed. She's always had strong religious faith. She's been a strong Methodist. She does have conservative social values on many issues." -- U.S. News & World Report Editor at Large David Gergen, on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, February 9. [71 points]

What Liberal Media? Award

"I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don't have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people." -- Bill Moyers, who retired in December 2004 from the PBS show Now, as quoted by AP television writer Frazier Moore in a December 10, 2004 dispatch. [108 points]

Oh, That Liberal Media! Award

Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas: "Is this attack [on public broadcasting's budget] going to make NPR a little less liberal?" NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg: "I don't think we're liberal to begin with, and I think if you would listen, Evan, you would know that." Thomas: "I do listen to you and you're not that liberal, but you're a little bit liberal." Totenberg: "No, I don't think so. I don't think that's a fair criticism, I really don't -- any more than, any more than you would say that Newsweek is liberal." Thomas: "I think Newsweek is a little liberal." -- Exchange on Inside Washington, June 26. [81 points]

Quote of the Year

Reporter Brian Ross: "Mary Mapes was the woman behind the scenes, the producer who researched, wrote and put together Dan Rather's 60 Minutes report on President Bush's National Guard service, a report which Rather and CBS would later apologize for airing...." Ross to Mapes: "Do you still think that story was true?" Ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes: "The story? Absolutely." Ross: "This seems remarkable to me that you would sit here now and say you still find that story to be up to your standards." Mapes: "I'm perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if there's proof that I haven't seen." Ross: "But isn't it the other way around? Don't you have to prove they're authentic?" Mapes: "Well, I think that's what critics of the story would say. I know more now than I did then and I think, I think they have not been proved to be false, yet." Ross: "Have they proved to be authentic though? Isn't that really what journalists do?" Mapes: "No, I don't think that's the standard." -- ABC's Good Morning America, November 9.

# Coming on Wednesday: The first runners-up.

List of the 52 Judges Who Selected the
Winning Quotes

In recognition of their time and effort, for the second time in CyberAlert, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for 2005.

As explained in item #1 above, the panel of 52 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.

In alphabetical order, the award judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

- Lee Anderson, Associate Publisher, Chattanooga Times Free Press

- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado

- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research and

- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee

- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center

- Priscilla L. Buckley, author, Living It Up with National Review

- Blanquita Cullum, President, Young American Broadcasters

- Bill Cunningham, radio talk show host, WLW in Cincinnati

- Midge Decter, author, Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

- Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit

- Jim Eason, San Francisco radio talk show host emeritus

- Larry Elder, syndicated radio talk show host and columnist

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

- Greg Garrison, radio talk show host, WIBC in Indianapolis

- David Gold, radio host, WBAP(Dallas) & KSFO (San Francisco)

- Michael Graham, radio talk show host, WTKK in Boston

- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center

- Steven Greenhut, senior editorial writer, Orange County Register

- Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard

- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando

- Matthew Hill, operations manager at WPWT, Tri-Cities of Tenn/Va

- Quin Hillyer, editorial writer and columnist for the Mobile

- 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, radio talk show host, KOGO in San Diego

- Jason Lewis, radio talk show host, WBT in Charlotte

- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online

- Michelle Malkin, syndicated columnist, author and FNC

- Patrick McGuigan, arts commentator, MidCity Advocate (Okla.

- Colin McNickle, editorial page editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

- Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO and WMT in Iowa

- Wes Minter, radio talk show host

- Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times

- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center

- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review

- Marvin Olasky, journalism professor University of Texas at
Austin; Editor-in-Chief of World magazine

- Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News

- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American

- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune

- Mike Rosen, radio talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist for
the Denver Rocky Mountain News

- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute

- James Taranto, Editor,

- Philip Terzian, Books & Arts Editor, The Weekly Standard

- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on FNC's Newswatch

- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator

- Chris Warden, Hall School of Journalism, Troy University

- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's

- Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University

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

For links to Web pages for the judges:

-- Brent Baker