Cal Thomas, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Neal Boortz, Zell Miller and T. Boone Pickens highlighted the presentations and acceptances of MRC’s “2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004,” which were presented on Thursday night, April 21, before an audience of more than 950 -- the MRC’s largest crowd ever -- packed into the Grand Ballroom of the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.
Following the presentation of the DisHonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at the Best of the Worst of Dan Rather and the audience picking the Quote of the Year, we presented a 12-minute video tribute to the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. MRC President L. Brent Bozell then honored a founder of the group, John O’Neill, with the MRC’s Conservative of the Year Award.
DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 16 leading media observers, including Rush Limbaugh, who served as judges.
Cal Thomas opens the evening's festivities before the dinner.
Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours with Cal Thomas, served as Master of Ceremonies. Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC’s Hannity & Colmes and a national radio talk show host, was the first presenter of nominee videos and announcement of the winner, followed by author Ann Coulter and then Atlanta-based nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest. Those standing in for the winners: Colin McNickle of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the target of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s “shove it” remark; renowned businessman T. Boone Pickens; national radio talk show host Janet Parshall; Midge Decter, author and conservative intellectual; and former U.S. Senator Zell Miller.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Vincent Rigdon and the Pledge of Allegiance led by MRC Trustee Dick Eckburg.
After the second award category, we paid tribute to Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy in Media who passed away last year, and then Ann Coulter narrated a video review of Dan Rather’s worst bias. Later, Cal Thomas urged the audience to put Peter Jennings in their prayers. To introduce acceptor Colin McNickle, attendees watched videos of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s “shove it” attack of him and, leading into Zell Miller, attendees were treated to video of the Miller/Chris Matthews “duel” exchange from MSNBC’s Republican convention coverage.
REALLY Time to Retire Award
Full Presentation for "REALLY Time to Retire"
“Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake.... “The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far, there is none.”
CBS’s Morley Safer: “You talk about a vision, and it’s some kind of abstract, vague idea. Did his [Ronald Reagan’s] vision include extraordinary deficits? Did his vision include cutting of the budgets for education and a back of the hand in terms of public education?”
King: “History will not be kind to him?”
Safer: “No, I don’t think history particularly will be kind.”
King: “You don’t?”
Safer: “They’ll talk about all that superficial stuff that all of you have been talking about. But when it gets down to the real substance, I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him.”
And the winner is...
“I have a feeling that it [bin Laden’s new videotape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.”
Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award
Full Presentation for "Send Bush to Abu Ghraib"
“The President’s team knows that it can’t get back to the White House by taking only hard right turns, so it has, as three of its featured speakers, Republicans who have been successful by navigating the middle of the road as well as the right-hand side: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Rudy Giuliani, New York’s former Mayor, and Senator John McCain who often calls himself John Kerry’s best friend in the U.S. Senate. Streetwise New Yorkers may call that the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town — three-card monte. But then, that’s also a game in which the dealer almost always wins.”
“To move to the 9/11 Commission, you yourself have acknowledged in the, that Osama bin Laden was not a central focus of the administration in the months before September 11th....Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?”
And the winner is...
Bill Moyers: “There have been 37,000 civilians killed in Iraq, or as many perhaps as 100,000. Why is abortion a higher moral issue with many American Christians than the invasion of Iraq and the loss of life there?”
Sister Joan Chittister: “Could I ask you that question? Because that is the moral question that brings me closest to tears. I do not understand that, Bill. You see, I’m absolutely certain that some of the people that we’re killing over there are pregnant women. Now what do you do? Now what do you do? That’s military abortion.”
Moyers: “Somebody said to me — that’s what?”
Chittister: “That’s military abortion. Why is that morally acceptable?”
Moyers: “Somebody said to me the other day that Americans don’t behead, but we do drop smart bombs that do it for us.”
Al Franken Award for the Stupidest Analysis
Full Presentation for "Al Franken Award for the Stupidest Analysis"
Matt Lauer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group — not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessians — could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today, where the insurgents — not well equipped, smaller in numbers — the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What’s the lesson here?"
Lynne Cheney: "Well, the difference, of course, is who’s fighting on the side of freedom."
“Tonight, savagery in the streets of Iraq. Ten Americans die in a single day, four of them civilians murdered, mutilated and dragged through the streets. Who is behind this? What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy, it may be, for some, the only job they can find.”
And the winner is...
“Veterans haven’t been a big force in past campaigns... but the Vietnam vets may feel bound together more strongly....It may be too early to know how influential they’ll be in Kerry’s campaign, but they have already done one thing: If the Republicans had any hope of casting Kerry as some Michael Dukakis-style effete Eastern liberal, that’s over. The band of brothers stands in its way.”
I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award
Full Presentation for "I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award"
Cynthia McFadden: “There’s the last image of the video where President Bush, or a President Bush look-alike, kisses Saddam Hussein-”
Madonna: “On the cheek.”
McFadden: “On the cheek. What are we supposed to think about that?”
Madonna: “Although, you know, they [President Bush and Saddam Hussein] are very different people serving very different purposes. I think they both have very equally narrow views about how to solve problems and it is all about power, the struggle for oil and the struggle for world domination, and at the end of the day, are they that different? You know what I mean? I don’t want to equate George Bush with Saddam Hussein. But I believe that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are both behaving in an irresponsible manner, so in that respect, they’re alike.”
“We must make it clear that a hundred million women in this country will not have their rights rolled back by political extremists! The far right have already squandered your Social Security! They better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!”
And the winner is...
Joe Scarborough: “Since George Bush got into public life, he’s been underestimated by his opponents....
Is that a part of an act that this guy does to lull Democrats into underestimating him, or do Democrats just put up really, really bad candidates against this guy every four years?”
Comic/liberal radio host Janeane Garofalo: “Well, I don’t recognize that as a valid question. First of all, George W. Bush is a bad candidate. George W. Bush is unelectable, in my opinion. And secondly-“ Scarborough: “Well, why does he keep winning?”
Garofalo: “I don’t know, voter fraud? A failed mainstream media that fails to inform the electorate about what their government is doing? Ignorance? Apathy? I don’t know.”
John Kerry Suck-Up Award
Full Presentation for "John Kerry Suck-Up Award"
Byron Pitts: "For Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, tonight’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it’s his destiny. Best understood from the beginning. Back not simply to when John Forbes Kerry was born in 1943 to a Catholic couple from the privileged class, but to that time when America embraced Camelot. Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant has covered Kerry’s career from the start.”
Tom Oliphant, Boston Globe: “I’m absolutely convinced that this all started out of a very sincere belief in President Kennedy’s words.”
John F. Kennedy (1961 Inaugural Address): “Ask not what your country can do for you-“
Pitts: “A gifted athlete and captain of the debate team at Yale, Kerry followed his idol’s lead and enlisted in the Navy in 1966. In Vietnam, Lieutenant John F. Kerry rescued a comrade in combat, killed an enemy soldier, won three Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star. He returned home both angry and ambitious.”
Kerry: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake.”...
Pitts: “The day before his speech, Kerry crossed Boston Harbor with some of his crew mates from Vietnam. His band of brothers. They have one battle left. But tonight the loner will stand alone here in his hometown one more time and look to do what John F. Kerry has nearly always done — find a way to win.”
Dan Rather: “Speaking of angry, have you ever had any anger about President Bush — who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard — running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam? You have to be at least irritated by that, or have you been?”
John Kerry: “Yup, I have been.”
And the winner is...
“It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry’s home in Boston, I’m told he whispered to his sister, ‘Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, ‘John,’ knowing he would run for President some day, ‘remember, John, integrity, that’s what matters.’ Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity.”
Quote of the Year
"60 Minutes has now obtained a number of documents we are told were taken from Colonel Killian’s personal file. Among them, a never before seen memorandum from May 1972 where Colonel Killian writes that Lieutenant Bush called him to talk about how he 'can get out of coming to drill from now through November.’ We consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic."
"The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources."
Brent Bozell leads the on stage participants in judging the audience’s pick, via cheers and jeers, for the Quote of the Year, won by Dan Rather.
Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host
President of the Media Research Center
Founder of National Review
Columnist and author of How to Talk to a Liberal
Columnist for OpinionJournal.com
Publisher of Lucianne.com
Co-host of FNC’s Hannity & Colmes and an ABC Radio talk show host
Host of the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Show
Host of The Rush Limbaugh Show
FNC contributor and editor of MichelleMalkin.com
CNN host, Chicago Sun-Times columnist
Washington Editor of National Review and panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang
Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute
Syndicated columnist and host of FNC’s After Hours
Columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University
Editor-in-Chief of Human Events