Full program for 2003 DisHonors Awards.

On Thursday night, March 27, before an audience of more than 800 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Media Research Center presented the “DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2002.”MRC's 2003 DisHonors Awards

It was a humorous evening as the audience relished mocking the media’s anti-conservative agenda and promotion of ludicrous liberal reasoning. Following the awards presentation, attendees heard a set a songs from the Charlie Daniels Band.

Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 15 leading media observers who served as judges -- including Rush Limbaugh, Lawrence Kudlow, Steve Forbes, Cal Thomas, William F. Buckley Jr., along with Lucianne Goldberg, Michael Reagan, Kate O’Beirne, John Fund, Robert Novak, Walter Williams, L. Brent Bozell III, William Rusher, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. and Stephen Moore.

Cal Thomas introduces the MRC 2003 DisHonors Awards dinner.

Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours with Cal Thomas, served as Master of Ceremonies. Sean Hannity, national radio talk show host and co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes, was the first presenter, followed by national radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and columnist/author Ann Coulter. In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest.

Those standing in for the winners: National Review Editor Rich Lowry, Club for Growth President Steve Moore, Judge Robert Bork, columnist/author Mona Charen and, filling in at last minute for Rush Limbaugh, whose plane was grounded by weather and so was unable make what was planned to be a surprise appearance, Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley.

The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Vincent Rigdon, the Pledge of Allegiance led by retired General Ed Hirsch and the singing of God Bless America by Kim Polote.

At the roast the top three quotes in each category were played in random order followed by the announcement of the winner. Cal Thomas and the presenters entertained the audience with humorous comments about current events and mocking the pretentiousness displayed in the nominated quotes. Each acceptor offered gag reasons for why the member of the media or celebrity who won could not attend.

Following the five awards, the audience, through its cheering and clapping, picked the Quote of the Year.

The evening ended with a raucous set of six songs from the Charlie Daniels Band, including “The Last Fallen Hero” and “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

The Judges: To select the winners of the MRC's DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporting of 2002, a distinguished panel of 15 leading observers of the liberal media in action generously gave of their time to serve as our judges. They reviewed three to four quotes in each of five award categories. For each set of quotes the judges picked first and second place choices. First place selections earned three points, second choices were allocated two points. The MRC's Kristina Sewell tabulated the ballots.

Quote of the Year. Following the presentation of the awards, attendees saw replays of three of the five winning quotes: ABC's David Wright claiming “it is impossible to say whether” the 99.96 percent vote for Saddam Hussein is “a true measure of the Iraqi people’s feelings,” ABC's Barbara Walters proclaiming that “if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth,” and Bill Moyers denouncing conservatives for acquiring “monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land.”

Closing thanks and remarks from MRC President Brent Bozell.

Then, as a picture of each nominee was displayed, audience members were asked by MRC President L. Brent Bozell to hoot, holler and applaud to indicate their preference so that he, along with Cal Thomas, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter (Sean Hannity had left to do his FNC show), could decipher the audience's preference. David Wright earned scattered applause and Barbara Walters a bit more. But the room erupted with loud and sustained disdain for Moyers.

We would like to thank our Sponsors and our Congressional Host Committee Members for helping to make the MRC's 2003 DisHonors Awards a great success!


Ozzy Osbourne Award
(for the Wackiest Comment of the Year)

Runners-up

Ari Fleischer: “Helen?”

Helen Thomas: “Does the President consider this [election outcome] a mandate to fulfill his agenda? Going to war with Iraq, privatizing Social Security, weakening the Civil Service Commission and so forth?”

Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: “Helen, you sound like a commercial that didn’t work.”
Exchange at White House press briefing, Nov. 6.

“If I were biased, I don’t believe I would have gotten the job.”
George Stephanopoulos after he was named host of ABC’s This Week, as quoted in a June 19 Newsday story

And the winner is...

“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.”
ABC’s David Wright, in Baghdad, on World News Tonight, October 15

Sean Hannity presents all the nominee videos in the Ozzy Osbourne Award (for the Wackiest Comment of the Year) which is accepted, in jest, by Rich Lowry.


The I’m Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award

Runners-up

“Let us find a way to resist fundamentalism that leads to violence — fundamentalism of all kinds, in al Qaeda and within our government. And what is our fundamentalism? Cloaked in patriotism and out doctrine of spreading democracy throughout the world, our fundamentalism is business, the unfettered spread of our economic interests throughout the globe. Our resistance to this war should be our resistance to profit at the cost of human life.”
Actress Susan Sarandon at an anti-Iraq war protest in Washington, DC on October 26

Brit Hume: “You’ve probably heard or read that at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Los Angeles over the weekend, Barbra Streisand performed a re-worked version of her famous hit song Memories from the movie The Way We Were. You may have heard that it was called Miseries and was about life under this Republican administration. You may not have believed that this actually happened. Well:”

Barbra Streisand, singing: “Scattered pictures/Of the House we left behind/Lovely Democratic mem’ries/Of the way we were.... “Unprecedented Growth in the Economy/The Dow was up, the deficit was down/As long as Democrats were the majority/I could sleep nights, not weep nights.”

Hume, laughing: “And that’s Special Report for this time, please come again next time. And in the meantime, stay tuned for news: Fair, balanced and unafraid.”
Barbra Streisand at a September 29 fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

And the winner is...

“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....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.”
Actress Jessica Lange at a film festival in Spain, September 25

Sean Hannity announces the winner of The I’m Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award which is accepted, in jest, by Steve Moore.


And They Called It Puppy Love Award

Runners-up

“Huge political talent. Huge political vision and I suspect — none of us, I can’t predict who’s going to win the next election, much less what history is going to say about anyone. But I think President Clinton’s role in modernizing the Democratic Party around a set of economic ideas and also holding onto the principles of social justice, and presiding over the greatest prosperity in human history. Those would seem to me to have to be central to his legacy.”
New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines on PBS’s Charlie Rose, August 6

Brian Williams: “Is it fair to call him [Jimmy Carter] the best former President in, at minimum, modern American history, and perhaps, well, I guess, the last 200 years?”

Historian Marshall Frady: “Which embraces all presidencies. I think absolutely.”
Exchange on CNBC’s The News with Brian Williams, October 11

And the winner is...

“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.”
Barbara Walters narrating her interview with Fidel Castro on ABC’s 20/20, October 11

Laura Ingraham announces the winner of the And They Called It Puppy Love Award which is accepted, in jest, by Judge Robert Bork


Ashamed of the Red, White, and Blue Award

Runners-up

“I think the chipping away of our civil liberties is unprecedented. Even in World War II, I never saw anything like that in Washington or any of the wars. I think that people are standing mute, and I remember the rabbi in the March on Washington program. He said that the greatest sin of all in the Nazi era was silence. He had been in a concentration camp for many years. People have got to, they must speak up now or forever hold their peace.”
Hearst columnist and former UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas on MSNBC’s Donahue, July 22

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. Remember what you said? Did somebody ask you, say ‘why didn’t you wear a flag?’”
Tom Brokaw: “Right. I said, you know, I wear a flag in my heart, but I think if you wear a flag, it’s a suggestion somehow that you’re endorsing what the administration is doing at the time. And I don’t think journalists ought to be wearing flags.”
Donahue: “And I say hear, hear.”
Phil Donahue and Tom Brokaw on on MSNBC’s Donahue, July 25

And the winner is...

Bill Maher: “Not for the rest of the world. We take pride in being big charity givers. We’re in fact dead last among the industrialized nations. We give an infinitesimal amount of our money to people around the world. I think what people around the world would say is it would take so little for this rich country to help and alleviate so much misery and even that is too much for them. We’re oblivious to suffering.”
Larry King: “And so we are hated because of this?”
Maher: “Yes I think so. I mean, I think, Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn’t have to kill them for their oil.”
Bill Maher on CNN’s Larry King Live, November 1
Laura Ingraham announces the winner of the Ashamed of the Red, White and Blue Award which is accepted, in jest, by Mona Charen.

I Hate You Conservatives Award

Runners-up

“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. And this marks a shift in the official version of events leading up to the September 11th attacks. So the questions is exactly what did the President know and when did he know it?...
“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?”
Charles Gibson on ABC’s Good Morning America, May 16

“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.”
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the August 31 Inside Washington, referring to German surveillance of an al-Qaeda group before 9/11

And the winner is...

“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.
“Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture....”
“So it’s a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don’t forget the money....”
“Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.”
Bill Moyers’ commentary on PBS’s Now, November 8
Ann Coulter announces the winner of the I Hate You Conservatives Award which is accepted, in jest, by Tony Blankley

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.
“Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture....”
“So it’s a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don’t forget the money....”
“Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.”
Bill Moyers’ commentary on PBS’s Now, November 8
MRC President Brent Bozell, and on stage participants, judge audience reaction to determine the Quote of the Year, which is “won” by Bill Moyers.

Judges

L. Brent Bozell III

President of the Media Research Center

William F. Buckley, Jr.

National Review Editor-at-Large

Steve Forbes

President of Forbes Inc.

John Fund

Columnist for the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal.com

Lucianne Goldberg

Talk Radio Network host and publisher of Lucianne.com

Lawrence Kudlow

Co-host of CNBC’s Kudlow & Kramer; McLaughlin Group panelist

Rush Limbaugh

National radio talk show host, EIB Network

Stephen Moore

National Review Online columnist

Kate O’Beirne

National Review Washington Editor and a panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang

Robert Novak

Syndicated and Chicago Sun-Times columnist; CNN commentator

William Rusher

Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute

Cal Thomas

Syndicated columnist and panelist on FNC’s Fox Newswatch

Michael Reagan

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host

Walter Williams

Professor of economics at George Mason University; nationally syndicated columnist

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator


Photos