The 15th Annual Awards For The Years Worst Reporting
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Media Research Center  today released its Best Notable Quotables of 2002, The 15th Annual Awards For The Years Worst Reporting . The winners were selected by 52 judges including renowned columnists, talk show hosts, editorial page editors, editorial writers, authors and editorial cartoonists.
Media Hero Award Barbara Walters, ABC News: For Castro, freedom starts with education, and if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on earth. 20/20, ABC, 10/11/02.
Good Morning Morons Award CNN.com: Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office. Preview of a segment of CNNs American Morning with Paula Zahn, 10/14/02.
Politics of Meaninglessness Award (For Silliest Analysis) David Wright, ABC News: 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 thats a true measure of the Iraqi peoples feelings. World News Tonight, ABC, 10/15/02.
Mount St. Helen Award for Helen Thomas Eruptions: I censored myself for 50 years. Now I wake up and I ask myself Who do I hate today? I have never covered a president who wanted to go to war. Bushs policy of pre-emptive war is immoral such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. Its as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam. Wheres the outrage? Hearst Newspapers White House columnist and former UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on November 14 and quoted on MITs web site two days later.
Blame America First Award Walter Cronkite: I think very definitely foreign policy could have caused what has happened (September 11th). We are suffering from a revolution of the poor and have-nots against the rich and haves and thats us. Cronkite, on Larry King Live, CNN, 9/9/02.
Begala & Carville War Room Award For Bush Bashing Tom Friedman, New York Times: I think these guys are bought and paid by Big Oil in America, and they are going to do nothing that will in any way go against the demands and interests of the big oil companies. Friedman, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, 10/17/02 issue.
Ashamed of the Red, White and Blue Award Phil Donahue, MSNBC: Let me tell you what is impressive. Youre not wearing a flag. Well, I dont want to damn you with my praise but I say hip-hip-hooray for that. Donahue, to NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw, Donahue, MSNBC, 7/25/02.
General Phil Cheap Shot Donahue Award (for Swipes at the War on Terrorism) Charles Gibson, ABC News: 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. Was the president really surprised? Gibson, questioning ABC News White House correspondent Terry Moran, Good Morning America, ABC, 5/16/02.
See No Liberal Media Bias Award George Stephanopoulos, ABC News: If I were biased, I dont believe I would have gotten the job.Stephanopoulos, after being named the new host of ABCs This Week, to Newsday reporter Verne Gay, 6/19/02.
Carve Clinton Into Mt. Rushmore Award Barbara Walters, ABC News:
- Joy Behar: I want to ask the audience: Clap if you would have your daughter be an intern Bill Clinton.
- Barbara Walters: I think thats so unfair. So unfair.
- Behar: Why
- Walters: Because the man was the President. He does need people to work in that office, and come on, I mean, let it go already. Exchange on The View, ABC, 9/13/02.
Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Pontificating Actress Jessica Lange: I despise him (President Bush). I despise his administration and everything they stand for. It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. Its humiliating. Lange, speaking at a press conference at a film festival in Spain, replayed on the syndicated show Inside Edition, 10/4/02.
Fourth Reich Award (for Portraying John Ashcroft as a Fascist) Evan Thomas, Newsweek: But the German prosecutorial system was pretty laid back and didnt want to be John Ashcroft, you know, they didnt want to be the SS, they had that worry there, no Gestapos. And so it was a great place for terrorists to operate. Thomas, referring to German surveillance of an al Qaeda group before 9/11, Inside Washington, WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., 8/31/02.
To find out what the judges selected as Quote of the Year and to read the complete list of award winners, go to www.mrc.org . To schedule an interview with an MRC spokesperson contact Keith Appell at (703)-683-5004, ext. 112