The Best of Notable Quotables; December 16, 1996

BEST NOTABLE QUOTABLES OF 1996


The Ninth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting


Welcome to the Media Research Center's annual awards issue, a
compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media
quotes from 1996. To determine this year's winners, a panel of 58
talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers
and media observers each selected their choices for the first,
second and third best quote from six to ten 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.
A list of the judges appears at the end. (This issue covers
quotes from late 1995 through Nov. 1996.)
The first quote under each award heading is the winner, followed
in order by the top runners-up.

Craig Livingstone Award (for Clinton Scandal Denial)



"If Ken Starr is a credible prosecutor he will bring this to a
conclusion and the Clintons will be exonerated."

-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on independent counsel Ken Starr's investigation, February 10 McLaughlin Group. [76 points]


Runners-up


"Have you any doubt that Kenneth Starr and his deputies are
pursuing an agenda that is purely political?"
"Bobby McDaniel, you said that your client is being used as a
political pawn. Have you any legal recourse but to sit there and
watch this unfold?"
"Given that you think this is all just a Republican witch hunt,
do you expect the pressure to ease somewhat after the election?"

-- Some of Bryant Gumbel's questions to former Clinton business
partner and convicted felon Susan McDougal and her attorney,
September 17 Today.[69]

"In a year when you talk about corporations who give $25,000
chunks of money, why are people particularly outraged when people
with last names like Cabrera and people from India and Korea and
Indonesia and China all of a sudden get -- there just seems to be
a lot of foreigner bashing as a subtext in some of the
criticism."

-- NBC News reporter Gwen Ifill on PBS's Washington Week in Review, October 25. Cabrera is now serving a 19-year sentence for smuggling 6,000 pounds of cocaine into the U.S.[61]

"It's not impossible that some peripheral venality was involved
(if anyone asked Livingstone for, say, travel factotum Billy
Dale's FBI file, I'm sure he'd prove useful). But a massive
conspiracy to gather dirt on the opposition? Oh, please... Gradually, even the most rabid partisans on the committee seemed to understand they were confronted with a case of serious  numbskullery rather than clever skullduggery....But if Clinton does survive this pounding, it may mean the revulsion against the  -gate' phenomenon -- 20 years of ever-diminishing scandals -- is now more intense than the disgust caused by any individual charge. If so, it would be the President's most memorable public service." 

-- Newsweek Senior Editor Joe Klein on the FBI files story, July 8. [34]


Freddy Krueger Award (for Campaign Coverage Nastiness)



"Some of your staff members, not by name, have been saying `Yes,
the President thinks Bob Dole is a nice person and has been a
pretty good leader in some ways, but, say they, he's been
captured by extremists in the Republican Party, the radical part
of the Republican Party, including Newt Gingrich.' Is that what
you think?"

-- Dan Rather interviewing President Clinton, August 18 60 Minutes. [86 points]


Runners-up


"The politics of Campaign '96 are getting very ugly, very early.
Today Bob Dole accused the White House of using the FBI to wage
war against its political enemies, and if that sounds like
another political scandal, that's the point."

-- NBC anchor Brian Williams just as the FBI files story broke, June 8 Nightly News. [66]

"I know that was a major goal of the Dole campaign [in the
debate], to make sure people saw this compassionate side of Bob
Dole. Do you think that he is in some ways paying the price for a
Republican Congress that enacted, or tried to enact measures, in
the views of many were simply too harsh or too draconian?"

-- Katie Couric to Elizabeth Dole, October 8 Today. [58]

Chris Dodd Talking Points Award (for Republican Convention
Bashing)



"Do you think this is a party that is dominated by men and this
convention is dominated by men as well...Do you think before
tonight they thought very much what happens in America with
rape?"

-- Tom Brokaw to rape victim Jan Licence after her victims-rights speech, August 13 convention coverage.[80 points]


Runners-up


"It was grand TV, well-scripted, well-staged, craftily designed
for a broadcast image of tolerance and diversity that's starkly
at odds with reality."

-- ABC's Jim Wooten on Colin Powell's speech at the Republican convention, August 13 World News Tonight. [74]

"TV viewers saw a well-orchestrated image of a moderated
Republican Party, portraying itself as pro-woman, pro-minorities,
and pro-tolerance. This is in sharp contrast to the delegates on
the floor, sixty percent of whom self-identified as conservative
Christians."

-- NBC Radio News/Westwood One reporter Bonnie Erbe hosting To the Contrary on PBS, August 16. [61]


Good Morning Morons Award


"You write that you prayed more during your four years in office
than basically at any time in your life and yet I think it's fair
to say, and I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, I think it's
fair to say, you are consistently viewed as one of the more
ineffective Presidents of modern times....What do you think, if
anything, that says about the power of prayer?"

-- Bryant Gumbel interviewing Jimmy Carter about his new book, "Living Faith," November 18 Today. [85 points]


Runners-up


"In light of the new welfare reform bill, do you think the
children need more prayers than ever before?"

-- Bryant Gumbel to Children's Defense Fund leader Marian Wright Edelman, September 23 Today. [71]

"Comments that he has made to others would seem to indicate a
certain degree of, and not unjustifiably, a certain degree of
anger, bitterness. Has he expressed that to you?"                 
"Why do you suppose it is that one year after his acquittal, most
white Americans at least, cannot accept the idea that he's out
walking around free, refuse to let him live his life?"

-- Bryant Gumbel to O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran in part one of
three day interview series, September 30 Today. [62]

Bryant Gumbel: "Do you think if those two victims had been, say,
Marguerite, his first wife, and Al Cowlings, his best friend,
that there would have been the same amount [of media attention]?"
Cochran: "Absolutely not. And I think any person who wants to be
honest about it would say the same."
Gumbel: "Why? Because America doesn't care about black victims?"

-- Exchange on Today, Oct. 2. [58]

The Contract's Not Done Until Every Child is Dead Award


"In April, terrorists tried to kill them. Today politicians
stopped their paychecks. In Oklahoma City's Social Security
office, they're being ordered to work for nothing."

-- Beginning of CBS reporter Scott Pelley's January 2 Evening News story on some federal workers being ordered to work during the shutdown. [71]


Runners-up


"There is something very creepy about the welfare debate....The
politicians have gotten together and decided it's a good idea to
throw a million or so children into poverty. But they can't say
that. The proponents of this so-called `reform' effort have gone
out of their way to avoid being seen for what they are -- men and
women of extreme privilege who are taking food out of the mouths
of infants and children, the poverty-stricken elderly, the
disabled."

-- Ex-NBC News reporter Bob Herbert, July 22 New York Times column. [70]

"Monuments and national parks are shut. So are museums. A
long-awaited rare exhibit of the Dutch painter Vermeer at the
National Gallery, eight years in the making, is closed. And the
shutdown now has a human face. Joe Skattleberry and his wife Lisa
both work for the government. Both have been furloughed. They
can't afford a Christmas tree."

-- ABC reporter Jack Smith, December 22, 1995 World News Tonight, the fifth day of the federal government shutdown. [64]

Politics of Meaninglessness Award (for the Silliest Analysis)



George Will: "What the conservatives are doing (on a flag
amendment), bless their hearts, misguidedly this time is exactly
what the left wing tried to do with the Equal Rights Amendment.
That was a perfectly pointless abuse of the Constitution as a
political gesture."
Cokie Roberts: "I would disagree with you there as a mother of a
son who is protected by the Constitution and a daughter who is
not."

-- Exchange on This Week with David Brinkley, December 10,
1995. [70 points]


Runners-up


"Just how tightly scripted is this convention? Well, a Russian
television reporter said today that this is as tightly controlled
as anything the Communist Party ever put on, Tom."

-- NBC reporter David Bloom, August 14 Nightly News story on the
Republican convention. [67]

"How are women on the road different from men? `They are more
meticulous, more organized. More multidimensional,' she [CBS News
campaign producer Susan Zirinsky] says. `And less cynical.' Dan
Rather, she insists, is the exception. What makes Rather
different? `Dan's a girl,' she says. `Dan has the enthusiasm of a
girl. There's a girl's soul lurking in him.'"

-- March 23 TV Guide story on women covering the campaign.[49]

I Still Can't Stop Blaming Reagan Award



"The legacy of the Reagan administration will be with us for
years. The deficit under Reagan totaled more than a trillion
dollars. Someday we're going to have to pay those bills. As
officials look to cut spending and taxes at the same time, we
can't afford another round of voodoo economics....I remember that
campaign slogan one year `It's morning again in America.' Well,
it may have been morning for some, but for a lot of people in
this country it's become a nightmare."

-- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in an April 28 speech to Benedictine University in Illinois, aired May 11 on C-SPAN. [73 points]


Runners-up


"Reagan was an exceedingly likeable guy, just a heck of a nice
fellow, despite his politics. He was funny and loved a good joke,
the dirtier, I'm afraid the more ethnic, the better. I don't
think he brought very much to the presidency, except charisma and
success."

-- Walter Cronkite on Cronkite Remembers, May 23. [65]

"Lou, I know you feel as if Reagan had few, if any, character
flaws. But let me ask you this. When one sidesteps, or refuses to
acknowledge the consequences of their policies or actions, why
shouldn't that be viewed as a character flaw? Or when one lies.
For example, let me roll a clip and then we'll come back. This
one deals with Iran-Contra."

-- Bryant Gumbel to reporter Lou Cannon, October 10 MSNBC InterNight. [64]

I Am Woman Award (for Hillary Rodham Worshipping)



"Nancy pushed Ronnie into an arms treaty with the Russians
because she wanted him to win a Nobel Prize. So maybe astrology
was healthier than whatever the rest of the nuke-Managua globo- cops were smoking in the Reagan White House. That Hillary should talk to Eleanor Roosevelt bothers some of us less than the fact that her husband obviously doesn't....Isn't it amazing that women have invented or designed or discovered the prototype computer, nitrate fertilizer, penicillin, integral calculus, food refrigeration, space helmets, atomic parity, automatic flight
control, pulsars and even DNA, not to mention square-bottomed
bags, ice cream cones, vacuum canning and the gardenia. And yet
we're still afraid of what they'll whisper into the ears of their
powerful husbands. Might we at least concede that the people we'll marry say more about us than the people we select for the
second place on the ticket of our glory-hounding selves; nobody
elects vice presidents, either. Our pathological fear of Hillary
and any other uppity woman, whatever her politics, is a form of
foot-binding as well as a species of hate radio."

-- John Leonard on CBS's Sunday Morning, September 1. [79 points]


Runner-up


"You also quote a letter in [It Takes a Village] that Nelson
Mandela wrote to one of his daughters while he was in prison, and
I'm paraphrasing a bit, but he wrote that there is no personal
misfortune that one cannot turn into a personal triumph if one
has the iron will and the necessary skills. You clearly have an
iron will, you clearly are skilled. How are you going to turn
this personal misfortune into a personal triumph?"
"You think government should do a lot more than it's doing in
terms of making children a priority, doing things for kids. We're
clearly living in an age where people are anti-government. How do
you get across the message that we all need to see everybody's
kids as our own, we need to have more programs, the government
needs to be more involved?"

-- Questions to Hillary Rodham Clinton from Today substitute co-host Maria Shriver (who called the book "really terrific"), January 16. [78]

Fear of the Competition Award (for Impugning Talk Radio)



NBC's Bryant Gumbel: "You mention talk radio. They [relatives of
Oklahoma bombing victims] have some very hard feelings about talk
radio and the hate being spewed by some of those on the far end
of the spectrum."
Bill Moyers: "If anything, talk radio in that part of the world
is more anti-government today than ever. The airwaves are
saturated with hostility, it's just an unremitting vilification
of government. Sometimes it's, sometimes it's, you know, the
government makes mistakes and there are justifiable grievances
against government. But this is, this goes beyond that, it's
excessive. And these people take it like salt in the wound. They
drive around, they turn on their radio, they hear some vicious
attack on government, and they think, `You know, if you strike
the government, you kill my daughter.'"

-- Bill Moyers on the April 12 Today promoting that night's Dateline on the families of and victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. [105 points]


Runners-up


"Limbaugh's draft-avoiding, non-churchgoing, non-voting, non- fact-checking, painfully insecure triple-wife lifestyle all are topics delicately touched upon by Franken. Where I think he really hits the jackpot, though, is when he actually quotes Limbaugh directly as in: ...`I'm sick and tired of playing theone phony game I've had to play and that is this so-called
compassion for the poor. I don't have compassion for the poor.'
He may not have cancer, either, and I would pray that he never
have to walk that particular path of pain: Yet who am I to say,
or how can any of us know, the ways of God in unlocking a heart
grown hard? It could happen more gently; I notice a couple of
weeks ago, for instance, they shut down that `Rush Room' at
Blackie's House of Beef. Limbaugh `is fading right now' in
popularity among the restaurant's patrons, according to catering
manager Paul DeKoning. Is this a great country, or what?"

--Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs (whom Limbaugh ridiculed in
1994) on Saturday Night Live writer Al Franken's new book Rush
Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, January 19
Style section. [64]

"When I heard the quote it sounded to me like it was Limbaugh or
Liddy or Ollie North. It was like wacko talk radio. It didn't
sound like Brinkley. In other words, Brinkley's always been
irreverent, but always kind of classy."

-- CNN's Larry King on David Brinkley's election night comments that Clinton is a "bore"and his speech delivered "more goddamn nonsense," November 7 Larry King Live. [57]


Al Gore Risky Tax Cut Scheme Award



CBS reporter Eric Engberg: "....Okay, how about Forbes' number
one wackiest flat tax promise?"
Steve Forbes: "Parents would have more time to spend with their
children, and with each other."
Former IRS commissioner Donald Alexander: "That's right. The sky
would be blue all the time."
Engberg: "The fact is, the flat tax is one giant untested theory.
One economist suggested that before we risk putting it in, we
ought to try it out someplace, like maybe Albania. Eric Engberg,
CBS News, Washington."

-- Conclusion of February 8 CBS Evening News Reality Check segment on the Forbes flat tax . [102 points]


Runners-up


"Americans are forever grumbling about high taxes and big
government. You'd think promising a tax cut would be like giving
away free candy....Everybody knows what happens when you eat too
much candy. You get cavities. You get sick. You get fat... `Candy?' Dole says. 'No thank you,' the voters reply. `We're feeling much better now and we don't want to get sick again.' Dr. Dole and Dr. Kemp are supply-side specialists. They have a revolutionary theory that says `Candy is good for you! More tax cuts, more growth. More growth, more income.' Now what a terrific theory! And so what if Democratic doctors say they are a couple of quacks. Gene [Randall], have some candy!"

-- CNN analyst Bill Schneider on Inside Politics, September 14. [78]

"[Steve Forbes] is changing the debate in a really sorry way.
This was the week that we left an honest attempt to do something
about entitlements and we traveled into cloud cuckoo land, which
is where the flat tax is."

-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, January 20 Inside Washington. [45]


Damn Those Conservatives Award



"By being so nice to Pat Buchanan and treating him as a good guy with bad policies, are we not all guilty of legitimizing his views and putting a smiling face on a hateful voice?"

-- Today's Bryant Gumbel on what he asked the show's political roundtable off-air, quoted by Peter Johnson, Feb. 22 USA Today. [57]


Runners-up


"Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian ultra-nationalist, embarrassed
Pat Buchanan today by embracing him as an ideological soulmate.
`Today,' said Zhirinovsky, `there is a presidential candidate in
America who is not afraid to speak the truth, that truly the
Congress of the United States is an occupied territory of Israel.
Your press,' Zhirinovsky went on, `is occupied, and all of your
finances. Americans don't manage those. Israel does, through
American Jews or Negroes.' The Buchanan campaign immediately
issued a message of rejection to Zhirinovsky. It's not that
Buchanan hasn't expressed some of the views that Zhirinovsky
echoed, but perhaps he'd never realized how ugly they sounded
until he heard them in the mouth of a genuine bigot."

-- Ted Koppel concluding a February 23 Nightline profile of Pat
Buchanan. [56]

"Under pressure he [Gingrich] reverted to the pompous thug of
late-night cable, the backbencher lobbing grenades on C-SPAN
about sick Democrats who were enemies of normal Americans... [Voters have] learned how far he is willing to go to achieve his larger goals: shut the government down to make a point with the President; invite lobbyists not just to lobby, but to draft the laws themselves; and give a huge tax break to his party's allies at the expense of services for the poor, with the explanation that this is what it takes to keep his Republican coalition together."

-- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs and Washington reporter Karen Tumulty, December 25/January 1 Man of the Year cover story on House Speaker Newt Gingrich. [51]


Which Way Is It?



"About 3.7 million Americans, wage-earning Americans, are paid
the minimum wage or less."

-- ABC economics correspondent Tyler Mathisen, April 23 Good Morning America.

"On Capitol Hill today, the minimum wage and how best to embarrass your opponent. For ten million Americans, it's a very personal issue."

-- Peter Jennings, April 23 World News Tonight.

"In fact, only about 330,000 employees, most of them part-timers,
today work for the minimum."

-- ABC reporter Bob Zelnick, April 24 Good Morning America.

"An estimated 9.7 million Americans make the minimum wage or
close to it."

-- ABC anchor Carole Simpson, April 28 World News
Sunday.

Media Hero Award



"How can anyone argue that Bill Clinton has not been a good
President? Business should love him. The country has been in a
controlled boom since he bludgeoned through by one vote his first
economic package....Workers should love him. There are more jobs
than ever....Minorities should love him. He has a terrific record
of appointing women and minorities to judgeships and high federal
posts. He has put civil rights back on the table after 12 years
of Republican neglect...."
"No, it makes you wonder what the President and his wife could
have accomplished these four years if they had not been consumed
by these scandals, these lawsuits and these clippings. By almost
any measure, the past four years have been spectacular for many
Americans. Still, if Bill Clinton had been a full-time President,
if Hillary Clinton had been a full-time First Lady..."
"Would the poor be a little richer? Would the old be a little
healthier? Would the young be a little smarter? Would the nation
be a little more prosperous? Would the world be a little less
troubled? You wonder. And you wonder if he wonders."

-- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his June 11 USA Today column. [71 points]


Runners-up


"I can't bring myself to hate the Unabomber. Quite the opposite;
I find his story curiously affecting. The original Unabomber --
the anonymous, hooded fellow, hiding behind aviator glasses --
was uninteresting, a freak, a nobody. But Theodore Kaczynski is
someone very interesting indeed...I envy his disobedience....the
[manifesto] tells us what we all know: that American society can
be a powerfully compromising, deadening, even saddening force... If Kaczynski proves to be the Unabomber, he is nobody's hero, certainly not mine. The bomber murdered three people, and might well have many more, all by design. Coincidentally, Kaczynski invaded our front pages just before Easter Sunday, mute, pathetic and manacled before his captors. But maybe he accomplished what the Unabomber set out to do, to make us think about ourselves, and the society that drove him to madness."

-- Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, April 10. [58]

"It's likely that your view of Mikhail Gorbachev depends on your
point of view. From the perspective of the West, the former
President of the Soviet Union of course was a courageous, far- seeing prophet whose reforms set in motion the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship and the end of the Cold War."
"We always welcome you in this country, Mikhail Gorbachev. We're
especially pleased to have you tonight on InterNight. And we
offer our very best, of course, to Raisa Gorbachev and we hope
that you'll have a long and happy life. Perhaps one day again
we'll see you in political office in Russia. We know that you've
devoted your life to peace and to changing your country and those
of us who have gotten to know you count ourselves among the
privileged."

-- Tom Brokaw opening and closing his October 29 MSNBC InterNight interview with former communist dictator Mikhail Gorbachev. [55]


Timothy McVeigh Award (for Blaming Conservatives for Violence)



"The torching of black churches throughout the South punctuates
the ugly rhetoric of the Buchanan campaign....In fact, all the
conservative Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Pete Wilson, who
have sought political advantage by exploiting white resentment
should come and stand in the charred ruins of the New Liberty
Baptist Church in Tyler [Alabama]...and wonder if their coded
phrases encouraged the arsonists. Over the past 18 months, while
Republicans fulminated about welfare and affirmative action, more
than 20 churches in Alabama and six other Southern and Border
states have been torched....there is already enough evidence to
indict the cynical conservatives who build their political
careers, George Wallace-style, on a foundation of race-baiting.
They may not start fires, but they fan the flames."

-- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, March 18 issue. [130
points]


Runner-up


"But he is worse than oblivious to the political sewage. It is
the medium he has chosen to swim in. Sometimes this evil nonsense
takes the form of language....In waging the culture wars, he
introduces a hateful ethnic dimension. Almost all the 20th
century's horrors (the slaughter of the Armenians, Stalin's
starvation of the Ukrainian kulaks, the Hitler Holocaust) have
begun with a demonization of others. Buchanan has a genius for
techniques that bundle his enemies together and subtly satanize
them."

-- Time essayist Lance Morrow on Pat Buchanan, March 4.
[74]

Bryant Gumbel Journalism Fellowship Award (for Liberal Advocacy)



"[Clinton] knows that he is consigning helpless people to
terrible hardship, and some to premature burials. He called the
press conference to announce that he will sign the bill anyway... Mr. Shumyatsky is in the U.S. legally, but is not a citizen. Thus his SSI checks will cease when the welfare bill becomes law. He will have no money at all. Perhaps he will set up light house-keeping in a park. Maybe he'll curl up on a grate. Maybe he'll do the politicians a favor and just die."

-- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his New York Times column on the welfare reform bill, August 2. [88 points]


Runners-up


"Let me go to the minimum wage though for a minute...Ten million
people would be affected by it. Most of them live at or below the
poverty level. And this Congress which is trying to cut the
Earned Income Tax Credit, which conservatives used to tell us was
the alternative, and refuses to do anything about the minimum
wage makes Marie Antoinette look like Mother Teresa. It is just
an outrage!"

-- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, March 30 edition of CNN's Capital Gang. [72]

"For the fourth time this year Washingtonians were warned to boil
the drinking water because more than 10 percent of samples tested
positive for bacteria. The warning was lifted late Thursday but
not before thousands of people from all over the world, here to
see the fireworks in the nation's capital, were treated to water
that would embarrass a Third World country and Bob Novak. Maybe
this is enough to get your Republicans bent on cutting spending
for clean water to reconsider."

-- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, July 6 Capital Gang. [48]

If the Bias Fits, We Won't Admit Award (for Bias Denial)



"When you're talking about pure journalists, I mean reporters,
when you're talking about reporters, not columnists, I don't
think there's any liberal bias. I don't think there really ever
has been."

-- Los Angeles Times Senior Washington correspondent Jack Nelson on CNBC's Politics '96, March 9. [71 points]


Runners-up


"People are just stunned. It's such a wacky charge, and a weird
way to go about it....I don't know what Bernie was driving at. It
just sounds bizarre."

-- CBS News Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer on CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg's charge of liberal bias made in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, quoted by Howard Kurtz in the February 15 Washington Post. [67]

Larry King: "Over all these fifteen years, how do you react to
the constant, especially, far right-wing criticism that the news
on CBS is mainstream biased?"
Dan Rather: "...Well, my answer to that is basically a good Texas
phrase, which is bullfeathers....I think the fact that if someone
survives for four or five years at or near the top in network
television, you can just about bet they are pretty good at
keeping independence in their reporting. What happens is a lot of
people don't want independence. They want the news reported the
way they want it for their own special political agendas or
ideological reasons."

-- CNN's Larry King Live, March 11. [49]


What's the Frequency Award (for Ratherisms)


"I'm all news, all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to
break in when news breaks out. That's my agenda. Now
respectfully, when you start talking about a liberal agenda and
all the, quote, liberal bias in the media, I quite frankly, and I
say this respectfully but candidly to you, I don't know what
you're talking about. Now if you want to talk about an issue,
what do I believe as a citizen of the United States of America, I
can tell you what I believe in. I believe in a strong defense,
clean water, and tight money."

-- Dan Rather to talk radio host Mike Rosen of KOA in Denver, November 28, 1995. [75 points]


Runner-up


"In New Hampshire, closest Senate race in the country, this race
between Dick Swett and Bob Smith is hot and tight as a too small
bathing suit on a too long car ride back from the beach."

-- Dan Rather during CBS News election night coverage, November 5. [73]


Quote of the Year



"In her Wednesday Commentary page column, Linda Bowles stated
that President Clinton and his former campaign adviser Dick
Morris both were `guilty of callous unfaithfulness to their wives
and children.' Neither man has admitted to being or been proven
to have been unfaithful. The Tribune regrets the error." 

-- Chicago Tribune correction, September 5. [88 points]


Runners-up


"The Rapture, and I quote, `is the immediate departure from this
Earth of over four million people in less than a fifth of a
second,' unquote. This happily-volatilized mass of the saved were
born again in Jesus Christ. Everybody left behind will basically
go to Hell, but not before experiencing Armageddon, which is a
really bad end of the world. If you find yourself in this
situation, there isn't much you can do except one, starve
yourself, and two, get your head cut off. This loving Christmas
message coming as it did amid the jingle of the mall Santa and
the twinkling manger at the corner of Canal and the Ramparts made
it clear that the Rapture is indeed necessary. The evaporation of
four million people who believe this crap would leave the world
an instantly better place."

-- New Orleans-based National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu, December 19, 1995 All Things Considered. [79]

"He [Jack Kemp] is a rare combination -- a nice conservative.
These days conservatives are supposed to be mean. They're
supposed to be haters."

-- CNN analyst Bill Schneider, August 9 Inside Politics. [71]

"He [Ted Kaczynski] wasn't a hypocrite. He lived as he wrote. His
manifesto, and there are a lot of things in it that I would agree
with and a lot of other people would, that industrialization and
pollution all are terrible things, but he carried it to an
extreme, and obviously murder is something that is far beyond any
political philosophy, but he had a bike. He didn't have any
plumbing, he didn't have any electricity."

-- Time Washington reporter Elaine Shannon talking about the Unabomber, April 7 C-SPAN Sunday Journal. [67]


Media Research Center staff:
-- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
-- Brent Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Eugene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski,
   Clay Waters; Media Analysts
-- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director
-- Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager
-- Joe Alfonsi, Intern


1996 Award Judges



Ray Archer, Arizona Republic editorial writer and columnist
Brent Baker, Editor of MediaWatch and Notable Quotables
Mark Belling, talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee
L. Brent Bozell III, Chairman, the Media Research Center
George Brown, talk show host, WTAG in Worcester Mass.
David Brudnoy, television and radio talk host, WBZ in Boston
Priscilla Buckley, Senior Editor of National Review
Tucker Carlson, staff writer, The Weekly Standard
Don Cook, Program Director, WCHS in Charleston, WVa.
Sandy Crawford, Editor, Family Guide to Prime Time Television
Mark Davis, talk host, WBAP; columnist, Ft. Worth
Star-Telegram
Midge Decter, author, New York City
Jim Eason, talk show host, KSFO in San Francisco
Don Feder, Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist
John Fund, editorial board member, The Wall Street
Journal
Tim Graham, Co-Editor of Notable Quotables
David Gold, talk show host, KLIF in Dallas/Ft. Worth
John Hancock, talk show host, WBT AM/FM in Charlotte, NC
Johnny Hart, cartoonist, B.C. and The Wizard of Id
Kirk Healy, talk show host, WDBO in Orlando
Arianna Huffington, Chair, Center for Effective
Compassion
Tom Joyner, talk show host, PTF Network, Raleigh, NC
Marie Kaigler, news talk radio host and broadcaster,
Detroit
Cliff Kincaid, media columnist, Human Events
Paul Koloski, Editorial Editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tim Lamer, Director, Free Market Project; Editor,
MediaNomics
John Leonard, TV and radio interviewer, Florida
Richard Lessner, Editorial Page Director, Union Leader
N.H.
Jason Lewis, talk show host, KSTP in Minneapolis/St.
Paul
Don Markwell, Operations Manager, WACV in Montgomery
Tom Marr, talk show host, WWDB in Philadelphia
Mary Matalin, nationally syndicated talk show host, CBS
Radio
Patrick McGuigan, Editor, editorial page, The Oklahoman
Jan Mickelson, talk show host, WHO in Des Moines
Wes Minter, talk show host, KCMO in Kansas City
M. Jane Norris, WAVE-TV host, WHAS talk radio host,
Louisville
Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist; TV commentator
Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor for National Review
Marvin Olasky, Professor of journalism, U. of Texas
at Austin
Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show
host
Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, Scripps Howard News
Service
Dan Pierce, talk show host, WGIR in Manchester, NH
Mike Pintek, talk show host, KDKA in Pittsburgh
Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Executive Editor, American
Spectator
Michael Reagan, national radio talk show host
Mike Rosen, talk show host, KOA; columnist, Denver Post
William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute
Ron Smith, talk show host, WBAL in Baltimore
Ted J. Smith III, journalism professor, Virginia Commonwealth
U.
Philip Terzian, syndicated columnist, The Providence Journal
Cal Thomas, nationally syndicated columnist
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Editor-in-Chief of The American
Spectator
Carl Wiglesworth, talk show host, WOAI in San Antonio
Armstrong Williams, nationally syndicated columnist,
talk host
Dick Williams, columnist; host of Atlanta's The Georgia
Gang
Walter Williams, Professor of economics, George Mason U.
Thomas Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
Barry Young, host, WestStar TalkRadio Network; KFYI, Phoenix