CyberAlert -- 12/31/2001 -- Clinton Enabled Military Win
Clinton Enabled Military Win; 2nd Runners-Up in MRC's NQ Awards; Quotes Highlighted on TV and in Columns; A Timely "Top Ten"
1) Thank Bill Clinton for enabling the military victory in Afghanistan, NPR's Nina Totenberg argued. And Eleanor Clift's "Bummest Rap" of the year: "That the Clintons trashed Air Force Two..." Who said anything about Air Force "Two"?
2) The 15 second place runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Plus, a reprise of the list of the 41 judges who evaluated the quotes.
3) The MRC's awards quotes are highlighted in today's New York Post and were cited over the weekend on FNC's Fox Newswatch. Plus, judges wrote columns about them last week for the Daily Oklahoman and Denver Rocky Mountain News. And earlier for World magazine.
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Thank Bill Clinton for enabling the military victory in Afghanistan and Eleanor Clift's seeming slip in defending Clinton. Two of the odder comments in defense of Clinton uttered on talk shows aired over the weekend:
-- On Inside Washington, after columnist Charles Krauthammer referred
to how Bill Clinton "was a President for trivial times," Nina
Totenberg of National Public Radio countered: "He was, but there are
things he did well or even got criticized for. For example, you would have
thought a year ago that we had no military under his leadership. Well, it
turns out we have a pretty decent military."
-- Over on the McLaughlin Group, asked to name her nomination for the "Bummest Rap" of the year, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift opined: "Bum rap that the Clintons trashed Air Force Two and stole White House furniture as they left office. Totally untrue."
Let's parse that one. "...the Clintons trashed Air Force Two." The allegation was about Air Force One, so was that an inadvertent slip by Clift or was she employing the Clintonian device of misstating facts and then offering a denial linked to the wrong facts. I'd file this one under "non-denial denial."
(And yes, I realize the "Air Force One" and "Air Force Two" designations are artificial and apply to whatever plane the President or Vice President are aboard.)
Clift is already looking forward to third and fourth Clinton presidential terms. Her "Best Comeback" of the year: "Hillary Clinton, who started the year on the defensive about pardons and furniture, has now established herself as a serious legislator and potential national candidate."
The second place runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2001 -- actually December 2000 through November 2001.
The December 27 CyberAlert featured the winning quotes and the December 28 CyberAlert listed the first runners-up. To view the award winners and the top runners-up, as well as RealPlayer video clips for many of the broadcast quotes, go to: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/2001/best2001/bestofnq2001.html
To determine this year's winners, a panel of 41 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.
The names of the judges appear after the quotes below.
Now, the second runners-up quotes in 15 award categories as presented in the December 24 edition of Notable Quotables:
Swiss Press Corps Award for Remaining Neutral in War Coverage
"To Western ears, calls for blood-soaked martyrdom are an alien
concept, but consider the way things are for millions of Muslims of all
ages: If you were born into grinding poverty where upward mobility isn't
even a dream, and have little to sustain you in life beyond religion, you
too might find yourself screaming for the new Messiah with a $5 million
price on his head....Everywhere you go in the world you will hear some
version of the words 'we are a freedom-loving people,' but like beauty,
freedom is a perception that lies in the eye of the beholder, and we
ignore other nations' versions at our peril. The most dangerous perception
of all may be that one's own side has an exclusive claim to either the
truth or patriotism."
Media Hero Award
"Five months into the Great Electricity Crisis of 2001, the aura
of impending disaster is receding, at least for now, from Sacramento and
the rest of the Golden State. To be sure, [California Governor Gray] Davis
still keeps the lights low and the air conditioning tepid in his capital
offices, and when I saw him there it was like glimpsing Churchill in
Whitehall during the blitz....In a way, the energy crisis is a blessing
for a man such as this: a dramatic event that imperiled everyone in the
nation's largest state and that called for a detail freak with an iron
Pushing Bush to the Left Award
"Last week the Bush administration went beyond condiments,
proposing to ax a Clinton administration regulation that forces the meat
industry to perform salmonella tests on hamburger served in school
cafeterias. Given the heightened interest in the health of cattle right
now, the move wasn't exactly well timed....
Poisoning the Planet Award for Portraying Bush as Destroyer of the Earth
"Fairly or unfairly, critics of President Bush's environmental
policy believe the only green policy he's displayed is the color of big
business money. Today the President made moves to change that image,
upholding a new rule on industries pumping lead into the environment. So,
is the Bush push really getting the lead out, or just blowing smoke?"
Picking the Lockbox Award for Denouncing Bush's Tax Cut
"On Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled House voted mostly
along party lines tonight to pass President Bush's federal budget
blueprint. This includes his big tax cut plan, partly bankrolled, critics
say, through cuts in many federal aid programs for children and
Carve Clinton Into Mount Rushmore Award
"Elvis, the first rock star. Clinton, the first rock star
President....Clinton had a talent for convincing anyone listening to him
that he was speaking only to them, just as Elvis convinced someone in the
100th row that he was singing only to them. Presley drew on black culture
for inspiration. Clinton draws on black culture for solace."
Good Morning Morons Award
"So, I'm getting less chips, paying the same amount of money. Is
that legal for them to do this?"
Damn Those Conservatives Award
"This was an issue about voting rights. Yet, Justice Thomas voted
with the conservative majority. His vote could have changed history. But
it was not to be. He is firmly entrenched on the Court's right....In five
major cases involving civil rights and liberties, he voted against
minorities every time, including rulings against job discrimination and
voting rights. He's only 52 years old and could conceivably spend another
30 years on the Supreme Court. If, during his tenure, President-elect Bush
ends up making a couple of more appointments like Justice Thomas to the
Supreme Court, I have heard many women and minorities say, 'God help
Selected Not Elected Award for Claiming Bush Is an Illegitimate President
"Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida's
Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner -- as she
sees it and she decrees it -- of the state's potentially decisive 25
Department of Injustice Award for Denigrating John Ashcroft
"What do you think Senator Ashcroft's distortion of your record
and tarnishing of your good name says about his character?"
Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis
"You said that the air strikes are deliberately designed not to
hit residential centers, but you also say that the Taliban is hiding
weapons, stockpiling weapons in residential areas. Have you ruled out the
possibility of dropping leaflets days in advance of an air strike to get
residents out and saying, 'This could become a military target'? Is that
something, without discussing future operations, could you see that
possibly coming to fruition?"
Euro-Envy Award for Advocating More Government Spending
"You know, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation, I didn't
know this until today, that doesn't spend federal money promoting tourism.
Do you think it should?"
Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award for Denying Liberal Bias
"The New York Times is middle of the road. There is no active,
aggressive, important publication of the left in America. And so as a
consequence, The New York Times when compared to The Wall Street Journal's
editorial page may be considered to the left of it. But to call The New
York Times left-wing is absurd."
Blame America First Award
"My daughter, who goes to Stuyvesant High School only blocks from
the World Trade Center, thinks we should fly an American flag out our
window. Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance
and war. She tells me I'm wrong -- the flag means standing together and
honoring the dead and saying no to terrorism. In a way we're both
right....[The flag] has to bear a wide range of meanings, from simple,
dignified sorrow to the violent anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry that has
already resulted in murder, vandalism and arson around the country and
harassment on New York City streets and campuses."
Glimpses of Patriotism Award
"I have spent this week wiping my eyes and grinding my teeth and
wondering why. I've drawn strength from a story about a man I knew, Father
Mychal Judge. The chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, a
Franciscan, he raced to the World Trade Center after the explosion to
comfort the injured. While administering the last rites to a dying rescue
worker, he, himself, was killed by flying debris. New York's bravest
physically carried Father Mike away....Together, firemen, priests, and
brothers wept and sang the prayer of St. Francis, `May the Lord bless and
keep you and show his face to you and have mercy on you.' That is the way
of New York. That is the spirit of America."
END Reprint of the second runners-up quotes in the MRC's awards for the year's worst reporting.
And now a reprise of the list of the judges who gave generously of their time to complete our extensive ballot:
-- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs
END of list of judges. On Friday, the first runners-up.
Best of NQ in the news: FNC's Fox Newswatch, New York Post, Daily Oklahoman, Denver Rocky Mountain News and World magazine.
-- On FNC's Fox Newswatch over the weekend, panelist Cal Thomas, who served as a judge for the MRC awards issue, shared with the audience his favorite quote from the MRC's year-end compilation: Dan Rather, the first runner-up for the "Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis," for saying he considers Bill Clinton to be honest since "I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."
-- The entire editorial space in today's New York Post is devoted to
the favorite NQ quotes of the paper's editorial writers. To see the
choices, those along the East Coast can pickup a copy of the December 31
New York Post. Otherwise, the editorial, titled, "Media Bias: The
2001 Awards," is posted online:
-- KOA Radio host Mike Rosen who, like Thomas, is also one of our
dedicated judges, devoted his December 28 column, "2001 Doozies from
the Media," to his favorite quotes. Unfortunately, the Denver Rocky
Mountain News has yet to post it with Rosen's other columns, but may have
by the time you read this:
The Colorado Springs Gazette also ran his column on Friday and, as of
this moment, it's online at:
However, that appears to be an address that will soon be replaced by
something else, but since the Gazette Web site is in the midst of a
revamping, it may stay up a while (given they have yet to post Saturday or
Sunday material). But don't try to get to it via Netscape since they made
it so it doesn't work on their site -- and Internet Explorer barely
functions on it. -- "On Wing Nuts and Jesus Freaks," a column in
the December 26 Daily Oklahoman by Patrick McGuigan, the paper's editorial
page editor and one of our judges. To read the quotes he chose to
highlight, go to:
-- Marvin Olasky, an awards issue judge who is Editor of World
magazine, was first out of the box with a back page essay about the quotes
in the December 22 edition of his magazine:
If you see or hear any other citations of the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," please let me know by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org>
From the December 28 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Signs You're At a Lame New Year's Eve Party." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. To give it a Times Square feel, everyone is groped, fondled and
-- Brent Baker