Winning Quotes in the MRC's Best of NQ Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

The winning quotes in the MRC's 'Best Notable Quotables of 2011: The Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting.' As announced in a CyberAlert Special last Monday, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 19, but following tradition, today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - the last weekdays of the year -'s BiasAlert and corresponding CyberAlert e-mail newsletter will run the winning quotes followed on succeeding days by the runners-up.

The page linked above also has links for the text of the entire issue in MS Word, OpenOffice Writer or WordPerfect formats. You can also download a colorful and easily read-able PDF version.

(Tip: There's an extra quote in most categories in the online version over the PDF one.)

To determine this year's winners, a panel of 48 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight 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 alongside each quote. Each judge was also asked to choose a 'Quote of the Year' denoting the most outrageous quote of 2011.

The MRC's Michelle Humphrey distributed the ballots and was assisted in their tabulation by Melissa Lopez. Alex Fitzsimmons helped produce the numerous audio and video clips included in the Web-posted version. Rich Noyes and Brent Baker assembled this issue and Brad Ash posted the entire package to the MRC's Web site.

The list of the judges, who were generous with their time, is posted online and listed below after the winning quotes.

> Now, the winning quotes in the 17 award categories, plus Quote of the Year (see the 'Best Notable Quotables of 2011' pages for video and audio clips - 57 have them - for the quotes):

The Tea Party Terrorists Award

'We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She's been the target of violence before....Her father says that 'the whole Tea Party' was her enemy. And yes, she was on Sarah Palin's infamous 'crosshairs' list. Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it's been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing....Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it's long past time for the GOP's leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.'
— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a 3:22pm ET January 8 blog posting, less than two hours after news broke of Gabrielle Giffords' shooting. [91 points]

Tying Granny to the Train Tracks Award for Condemning Budget Cuts

'People who have been studying your numbers very carefully have been saying that the numbers don't add up....[They say] two-thirds of the savings that you want to make in spending cuts come at the expense of programs designed for the poor, for the disadvantaged. And this is reverse Robin Hoodism, if you like — take from the poor, give back to the rich again.'
— ABC's Christiane Amanpour to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on This Week, May 1. [60 points]

The Obamagasm Award

'Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph....'I am large, I contain multitudes,' Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy....Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a 'world-historical soul,' an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.'
— Esquire's Stephen Marche in a column for the magazine's August 2011 issue: 'How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us.' [85 points]

Hopeless Dopes Award for Discrediting Obama's Opponents

'Question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times — [ audience cheers and applause ] — have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?...What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here, the mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?'
'Senator Santorum, on another front, you're a devout Catholic....Having said that, the Catholic faith has, as a part of it, caring for the poor. One in seven people in this country now qualifies as poor. Where do the poor come in, where do they place in this party, on this stage, in a Santorum administration?'
— Moderator Brian Williams to candidates Rick Perry and Rick Santorum during MSNBC's Republican presidential candidates debate, September 7. [60 points]

Damn Those Conservatives Award

'So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn't he, or am I wrong here?'
— Left-wing radio host and former CNN producer Mike Malloy on The Mike Malloy Show, May 2. [63 points]

The Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes Award

'Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they're already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?...If the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would seem to me that's where you get revenue.'
— Bob Schieffer to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on CBS's Face the Nation, April 17. [68 points]

The Grim Reaper Award for Saying Conservatives Want You to Die

CNN's Gloria Borger: '[House Budget Chairman Paul] Ryan became popular by pushing the unpopular, things like killing his colleagues' pork projects, or trying to revamp Social Security, and eventually change Medicare into a program of vouchers for private insurers....'
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: 'To be a little melodramatic, the voucher would kill people, no question....The cuts in Medicare that he's proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system, would in the end mean that tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me.'
— From a profile of Ryan that aired on CNN's Stories: Reporter, September 25. [64 points]

Occupy My Heart and Soul Award for Left-Wing Protest Promotion

'We thought we'd bring you up to date on those protesters, the Occupy Wall Street movement. As of tonight, it has spread to more than 250 American cities, more than a thousand countries — every continent but Antarctica.'
— Diane Sawyer on ABC's World News, October 10. On a later edition, Sawyer corrected her still-absurd hype: '...more than a thousand cities around the world.' [64 points]

The Media Hero Award

'You thought that Anthony Weiner should resign, and that seems to be what a great many people are saying. So I don't think so. I think what he has done is unfathomable. I think the pictures are disgusting....The ethics committee can investigate him and chastise, but not necessarily throw him out. And we had a President named Bill Clinton who went through a great deal of trouble, weathered the storm and is now not only respected, but he's beloved by many people with a very good marriage. So, I think Anthony Weiner should hang in there. He was a good Congressman, and maybe he can weather this all and be effective.'
— Barbara Walters to her co-hosts on ABC's The View, June 9. [61 points]

Flunk the Founding Fathers Award

'The framers were not gods and were not infallible. Yes, they gave us, and the world, a blueprint for the protection of democratic freedoms — freedom of speech, assembly, religion — but they also gave us the idea that a black person was three-fifths of a human being, that women were not allowed to vote and that South Dakota should have the same number of Senators as California, which is kind of crazy....If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn't say so.'
— Time managing editor Richard Stengel in the magazine's July 4 edition, which featured a picture of the U.S. Constitution going through a shredder with the headline, 'Does It Still Matter?'[75 points]

The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble

'Tea Party budget-slashers....were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country's reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama. They were like the metallic beasts in Alien flashing mouths of teeth inside other mouths of teeth, bursting out of Boehner's stomach every time he came to a bouquet of microphones.'
— New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, August 3 column. [78 points]

MSNBC = Mean-Spirited, Nasty, Belligerent Chris Award

Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page: 'Well this is Newt's time to run....He has a good shot at winning the nomination. Winning the general is a whole different matter. But this-'
Host Chris Matthews, interrupting: 'But he looks like a car bomber. He looks like a car bomber, Clarence. He looks like a car bomber. He's got that crazy Mephistophelian grin of his. He looks like he loves torturing. Look at the guy! I mean this, this is not the face of a President.'
— MSNBC's Hardball, March 2. [66 points]

The Ku Klux Con Job Award for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges

Clip from RNC ad: 'Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.'
Host Lawrence O'Donnell: 'The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can't be the real boss?'
Ex-Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI): 'Wow, I hadn't thought about the racial overtones....'
— MSNBC's The Last Word, February 25. [63 points]

America Is the Real Evil Empire Award

'What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.'
— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a September 11 posting to his blog. [91 points]

Refusing to Acknowledge the Obvious Award for Denying Liberal Media Bias

'Hardball is absolutely non-partisan.'
— MSNBC's Chris Matthews in an interview with local Washington, D.C. host Carol Joynt, as quoted by The Politico's Patrick Gavin in a December 9, 2010 article. [80 points]

The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year

'The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn't enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong, and so disappointing....Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show....I know that sounds crazy. But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of things they don't understand.'
— CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on her @KatieCouric Web show, December 22, 2010. [64 points]

The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity

'You have what I call the 'Get the N-word out of the White House party,' the Tea Party.... At the end of the day, there's a big bubble coming out of their heads saying, you know, 'Can we just lynch him?''
— Actor Sean Penn on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, October 14. [70 points]

Quote of the Year

'What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.'
— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a September 11 posting to his blog.

> The 48 judges, check the online listing for links to Web pages for each of them:

- Lee Anderson, Assistant Publisher and Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press

- Chuck Asay, syndicated editorial cartoonist, Creators Syndicate

- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research & Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and MRC's NewsBusters blog

- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee

- Robert Bluey, Director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation

- Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- L. Brent Bozell III, Founder and President of the Media Research Center

- Priscilla L. Buckley, author of Living It Up at National Review

- Bill Cunningham, syndicated radio talk show host, Premiere Radio Networks

- Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees

- Bob Dutko, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Erick Erickson, Editor of

- Eric Fettmann, Associate Editorial Page Editor, New York Post

- David Freddoso, Online Opinion Editor for The Washington Examiner

- Mike Gallagher, syndicated radio talk show host and Fox News contributor

- Michael Graham, host on WTKK radio and Boston Herald columnist

- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog

- Lucianne Goldberg, Publisher of news forum

- Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor of The American Spectator

- Mark Hyman, TV commentator, Sinclair Broadcast Group

- Jeff Jacoby, syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe

- Cliff Kincaid, Director, AIM Center for Investigative Journalism

- Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ/KPRZ in San Diego

- Mark Levin, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and President, Landmark Legal Foundation

- Matt Lewis, senior contributor for The Daily Caller

- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor-at-Large, National Review Online

- Brian Maloney, radio analyst, creator of The RadioEqualizer blog

- Steve Malzberg, national radio talk show host

- Tom McArdle, Senior Writer for Investor's Business Daily

- Patrick McGuigan, Editor of; Senior Editor for The City Sentinel

- Vicki McKenna, radio talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee and WIBA in Madison, Wisconsin

- Colin McNickle, Editorial Page Editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

- Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO in Des Moines

- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog

- Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of World magazine

- Henry Payne, The Detroit News editorial cartoonist, Editor of

- Kerry Picket, editorial page writer/editor, The Washington Times

- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator

- Dan Rea, host of Nightside, on WBZ Radio in Boston

- Chris Reed, Editor,; San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer

- Mike Rosen, radio host at KOA; columnist for the Denver Post

- James Taranto, editorial board member, The Wall Street Journal and Editor of 'Best of the Web Today'

- Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist and Fox News contributor

- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator

- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site

- Walter E. Williams, Professor of economics, George Mason University; nationally syndicated columnist

- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events

- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host, Georgia News Network

For links to Web pages for the judges.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brent Baker on Twitter.