Second Runners-Up Quotes in the MRC’s Best of NQ Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting

The second runners-up quotes in the MRC’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2012: The Twenty-Fifth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.” As announced in a CyberAlert Special last week, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 17, but Wednesday, yesterday and today - 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 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 46 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 seven 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 2012.

The MRC’s Michelle Humphrey distributed the ballots and tabulated the results. Senior news analyst Scott Whitlock 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 second runners-up quotes in the 16 award categories, plus Quote of the Year (see the “Best Notable Quotables of 2012" pages for video and audio clips for the quotes):

The Throwing Granny Off a Cliff Award
for Portraying Romney and Ryan as Heartless [Second Runner-Up]

“If his [the House GOP] budget were ever come to pass, then Meals on Wheels would be killed, transportation services to the disabled would be destroyed, food stamps would be eviscerated. I think many Americans would end up in soup kitchens like that. So I don’t think we should be critical. I think we should be grateful that what Mr. Ryan has shown us is exactly what will happen to people if the kind of vicious and callous budget that he would wish to impose on American people ends up coming to pass.”
— MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on NewsNation, October 16. [36 points]

The Obamagasm Award [Second Runner-Up]

“Given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb.... What I see in front of my nose is a President whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.”
— Andrew Sullivan in Newsweek’s January 23 cover story, “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?” [32]

The “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste” Award
for Exploiting Tragedy to Promote Liberalism [Second Runner-Up]

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen: “These nine Supreme Court Justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus. [to Julie Walters, Violet’s mother] Are you worried about what the Supreme Court might do?”
Julie Walters: “I’m really scared. Very scared. Like, ‘I can’t sleep’ scared.”
Cohen: “Violet’s mother, Julie, knows if the Justices overturn health care reform, Violet will lose her health insurance. [to Walters] Tell me why it’s scary for you.”
Walters, crying: “Our daughter could die, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
— CNN Newsroom, March 27. [32]

The Sandra Fluke Award
for Promoting Obama’s Phony “War on Women” [Second Runner-Up]

“Are you prepared to leave this gathering and own the fact that the platform of this party allows a woman who has been raped, no exception but to carry that child to term?...In a business where you and your opponent are trying to attract, especially, suburban women, does it send the right message?”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, August 30. [44]

The Ku Klux Con Job Award
for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges [Second Runner-Up]

“Plus, what Mitt Romney has in common with the KKK. Details on a rare Romney campaign blunder ahead....So you might not hear Mitt Romney say ‘keep America American’ anymore. That’s because it was a central theme of the KKK in the 1920s. It was a rallying cry for the group’s campaign of violence and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews. The progressive blog Americablog was the first to catch onto that.”
— Anchor Thomas Roberts on MSNBC Live, December 14, 2011. He apologized the next morning, admitting his item was “irresponsible and incendiary” and “showed an appalling lack of judgment.” [41]

The Politics of Personal Destruction Award
for Ripping Romney [Second Runner-Up]

“Tonight on World News, campaign curve ball. Mitt Romney’s high school classmates accuse him of bullying a vulnerable student. How does the candidate respond tonight?...Good evening. As we begin, there is a surprising turn of events on the campaign trail. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, accused of bullying a very vulnerable fellow student when he was in high school.”
— Anchor Diane Sawyer leading off ABC’s World News, May 10. [46]

Damn Those Conservatives Award [Second Runner-Up]

“Remember earlier in the campaign when Newt Gingrich was worrying everybody about Sharia law: the Muslims were going to impose Sharia law in America? Sometimes Santorum sounds like he’s creeping up on a kind of Christian version of Sharia law.”
— Ex-New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, now a columnist for the paper, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 28. [32]

Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award
for Obsequious Obama Interviews [Second Runner-Up]

ABC’s Barbara Walters: “I know that you answer people’s letters all the time. And what we thought that we might do, we asked middle school and high school students to throw a few questions. I’d like to read their questions: ‘If you were a superhero, and you could have one superpower, what would it be?’”
President Obama: “You know, I’ve talked to Malia about this. We both agree that flying seems like it would be a pretty good thing to be able to do.”
— Clip of interview played on ABC’s The View, December 19, 2011. [45]

The True But False Award
for Fatuous Fact Checking [Second Runner-Up]

Representative Michele Bachmann: “It’s absolutely irresponsible what President Obama is doing to get behind measures to, to increase spending to such a level that we’re going into debt $1.5 trillion every year. This compares to President George Bush. Back in 2007, our debt for the entire year was $160 billion.”
Moderator David Gregory: “Congresswoman, that just misstates the record....I mean, the Bush presidency, the-”
Bachmann: “There’s no comparison. We’re talking-”
Gregory: “-the, the debt — wait a minute, Congresswoman....I just want to stop you for accuracy.”
Bachmann: “Let me just finish. We’re talking ten times-”
Gregory: “For accuracy, Congresswoman....For accuracy, the debt exploded under the Bush administration.”
— NBC’s Meet the Press, December 18, 2011. In fact, as Bachmann stated, the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2007 was $162.8 billion; the annual deficit for fiscal year 2011 was $1.299 trillion, an eight-fold increase over four years. [55]

The Move Along, Nothing to See Here Award
for Burying Obama’s Benghazi Scandal [Second Runner-Up]

“This business about the, you know, the Libya consulate has been like the October Mirage — it really isn’t an issue. And so, once again, tomorrow, Obama is going to have a very strong position because his foreign policy has been largely successful in terms of substance.”
Time’s Joe Klein on CBS’s Face the Nation, October 21. [35]

The Media Hero Award [Second Runner-Up]

“Let me start with one of the great days in this country’s history. Today, the United States Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice himself, decided that President Barack Obama’s health care act squares with the American Constitution....Today’s hero: Chief Justice John Roberts, who walked to the forefront of history and said ‘yes’ to progress and ‘no’ to the role prescribed for him by the Right....Let’s start today by standing back and looking back at this bold, defiant, grand decision by Mr. Roberts and his Supreme Court.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 28. [47]

The Audacity of Dopes Award
for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year [Second Runner-Up]

“Mitt Romney’s rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. ‘Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country’s national anthem.’ This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling: ‘@Ari_Shapiro: As a reporter I’m torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I’m a rally observer, not a participant.’”
— NPR’s Ari Shapiro writing at’s “It’s All Politics” blog on September 11. [42]

MSNBC = Mean-Spirited, Nasty, Belligerent Chris Award [Second Runner-Up]

“This stuff about getting rid of the work requirement for welfare is dishonest. Everyone has pointed out it’s dishonest and you are playing that little ethnic card there...You know what game you’re playing, and everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card.”
Hardball host Chris Matthews to Republican Party chairman Reince Preibus on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, August 27. [43]

Good Morning Morons Award [Second Runner-Up]

“The land on which they [the Founders] formed this Union was stolen. The hands with which they built this nation were enslaved. The women who birthed the citizens of the nation are second class....This is the imperfect fabric of our nation, at times we’ve torn and stained it, and at other moments, we mend and repair it. But it’s ours, all of it. The imperialism, the genocide, the slavery, also the liberation and the hope and the deeply American belief that our best days still lie ahead of us.”
— MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry on her eponymous July 1 program, delivering what she called “my footnote for the Fourth of July.” [53]

The Denying the Obvious Award
for Refusing to Acknowledge Liberal Bias [Second Runner-Up]

“I think the thing that is underappreciated about MSNBC is that we don’t really do anything as a company, that we all sorta get to do our own thing....There may be liberals on TV at MSNBC, but the network is not operating with a political objective.”
— MSNBC 9pm ET host Rachel Maddow in a December 21, 2011 interview posted at [56]

The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
for Celebrity Vapidity [Second Runner-Up]

“Compared to George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Obama has been more fiscally conservative than any other president in recent history, with the exception of President Bill Clinton.”
— Singer/actress/liberal activist Barbra Streisand writing on The Huffington Post under a heading that read “Here are truths they will try to bury,” September 18. [43]

Quote of the Year [Second Runner-Up]

“I am so proud of the country, to re-elect this President....A good day for America. I’m so glad we had that storm [Hurricane Sandy] last week, because I think the storm was one of those things — no, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people — the storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
— Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s live election night coverage shortly before 3am ET, November 7. (He apologized on the November 7 Hardball: “I said something not just stupid, but wrong.”)


> The 46 judges, check the online listing for links to Web pages for each of them:

- Chuck Asay, syndicated editorial cartoonist

- 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 (retired)

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

- Bill Cunningham, syndicated radio talk host and host of TV’s Bill Cunningham Show
- Mark Davis, talk host on KSKY (660 AM The Answer) in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Salem Radio Network; Dallas Morning News columnist

- Midge Decter, author; Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees

- Bob Dutko, nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- Jim Eason, retired radio talk show host

- Erick Erickson, Editor of

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

- David Freddoso, Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Examiner
- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the MRC’s NewsBusters blog

- Michael Graham, radio talk show host and Boston Herald columnist

- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of news forum

- Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor of The American Spectator; Senior Fellow, Center for Individual Freedom

- Mark Hyman, news commentator, Sinclair Broadcast Group

- Jeff Jacoby, syndicated columnist for the Boston Globe

- Cliff Kincaid, Director, Accuracy in Media’s Center for Investigative Journalism

- Lars Larson, nationally syndicated talk radio host, Compass Media Networks

- Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KCBQ-AM 1170 in San Diego

- Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller

- Jeffrey Lord, contributing editor to The American Spectator

- 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

- 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

- Kate O’Beirne, former Washington Editor of National Review

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

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

- James Pinkerton, Fox News contributor, panelist on Fox Newswatch

- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator

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

- 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; Fox News contributor

- 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 emeritus of Human Events

- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host and political analyst

In Memoriam: Priscilla L. Buckley, National Review’s longtime Managing Editor and a devoted NQ judge every year since 1990, passed away on March 25 at age 90.

Again, for this list of judges online with links to their sites.

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