First Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting --12/28/2007
2. List of the 53 Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
3. Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're Counting on Your Donation
The first runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2007: The Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." As noted in previous CyberAlerts, the awards issue was posted, with videos, on Monday, December 17, but following tradition, yesterday, today and Monday -- the last weekdays of the year -- CyberAlert runs the winning quotes followed on succeeding days by the runners-up. Thursday's CyberAlert listed the winning quotes.
A list of the judges, who were generous with their time, appears in item #2 below.
The MRC's Michelle Humphrey, Kristine Lawrence and Melissa Lopez distributed and counted the ballots, then produced the numerous audio and video clips that accompany the Web-posted version. Brent Baker and Rich Noyes assembled this issue and Eric Pairel posted the entire package, with dozens of Flash videos, on the MRC's Web site: www.mrc.org
MS Word and Corel WordPerfect files of the entire text of the issue are also available at the above link.
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mrc.org
Now, the first runners-up quotes in the 17 award categories:
Dynamic Duo Award for Idolizing Bill and Hillary [first runner-up]
"Nobody can bask in applause with quite so much style -- the gentle wave, the grin the shape of a sideways comma, the sense that he knows he deserves the accolades and yet is humbled by all the clapping, which makes people clap harder....He still has this way of presenting his ideas for reforms as simple, elegant solutions....Listening to the man think out loud again, it was hard not to pine for an era before bad news got really bad, before Sept. 11 showed up on the calendar every year as Patriot Day."
-- Washington Post staff writer David Segal on the launch of Bill Clinton's latest book, Sept. 5 Style section. [58 points]
"I think a draft produces a better Army than the one we would have with all volunteers, because I think you get average Americans if you have a draft. And if it's an all-volunteer Army, you get people who join up because of some problem in their own lives. They don't have anything else to do, they don't have a job, or they can't find what they want to do, so they join the Army. And it doesn't produce the best Army."
-- CBS's Andy Rooney on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, March 14. 
"When doctors pronounced the Rev. Jerry Laymon Falwell Sr. dead at 12:40 p.m. EST Tuesday....my first thoughts were not of what to say or write. In fact, my very first thought upon hearing of the Rev. Falwell's passing was: Good. And I didn't mean 'good' in a oh-good-he's-gone-home-to-be-with-the-Lord kind of way. I meant 'good' as in 'Ding-dong, the witch is dead.'"
-- Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani in her May 18 piece, "Sigh of relief over Falwell death." 
ABC's Sam Donaldson: "[Senator Barack Obama is] an African-American. Is the country ready? Well, I think it is. And he said he thinks it is. He said he thinks he'll lose some votes because of that, and so the question is, what does the word '€˜some' mean?..."
Moderator George Stephanopoulos: "Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm naive, but Sam, I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway."
-- Exchange on ABC's This Week, May 13. 
"Probably there should be a rule against it. But there's a rule against murder. If someone had murdered Hitler -- a journalist interviewing him had murdered him -- the world would be a better place. I only feel good, as a citizen, about getting rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly don't regret it."
-- New Yorker magazine writer Mark Singer explaining why he donated $250 to the liberal "Victory Campaign 2004." 
"The list of Bush administration crimes is very real, but I have not paid much attention to the blogs, petitions and other efforts to promote impeachment, on the theory that they are diversionary to the more important efforts to end the war in Iraq....The crimes are real and probably impeachable, and the monarchial arrogance of the Bush-Cheney administration is monumental. But the timing is wrong."
-- Former NBC and CNN newsman Ken Bode, now the ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in a July 20 column in the Indianapolis Star. 
"You're also looking at a [global warming] solution here in Europe: smaller vehicles, more energy efficient, many which use diesel fuel which is more efficient. And the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling. A lot of big ideas and innovations coming out of Europe."
-- ABC's Chris Cuomo reporting from Paris for Earth Day, April 20 Good Morning America. 
"Incredible as it may seem, Al Gore is not only totally carbon neutral, but geek-chic cool. No velvet rope can stop him....'He is more popular now than he ever was in office, and he knows it,' says Laurie David, one of the producers of Inconvenient Truth and a Hollywood environmental activist (and wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David) who has traveled around the world promoting the film with Gore. 'He's a superhero now.'"
-- Washington Post reporter William Booth in a February 25 front-page profile of Gore headlined, "Al Gore, Rock Star; Oscar Hopeful May Be America's Coolest Ex-Vice President Ever." 
"As part of our ongoing series of reports on the environment, 'America Goes Green,' we take on the question that can make otherwise competent adults quake with fear. We've all been there. You come to the end of the checkout line and then comes that question: 'Paper or plastic?' For that one brief moment, we grocery buyers are made to feel like the fate of the planet hinges on our decision."
-- NBC's Brian Williams on the May 7 Nightly News. 
Co-host Diane Sawyer: "A number of people have already said, '€˜Is there anything surprising, personal about [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad that we didn't know?' Well, it turns out, someone told me he cries a lot. That he is dramatically sentimental and sympathetic if someone comes up and expresses a personal plight. So I just asked him, are you often in tears?"
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Yes, that's true. Not only for Iranians, of course, they are very close to me and I love all Iranians. And anywhere, when I see people suffering, I have the same reaction....Even when I see on TV that, for example, some Americans, because of tornadoes or a hurricane, they have lost their homes, I become sad."
-- ABC's Good Morning America, February 13. 
"For the first time in the 218-year history of the Congress, a woman was voted by her colleagues to be Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, took the gavel. But in a picture perhaps even more symbolic, the new Speaker was on the floor for a time, holding her 6-year-old [6-month-old] grandson, all the while giving directions on how events were to proceed. It seemed the ultimate in multitasking: Taking care of the children, and the country."
-- ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson, Jan. 4. 
Co-host Joy Behar: "One thing is that Giuliani post-9/11 appeared to be very heroic. But now they're saying that he was not that efficient in helping the people who were the recovery people, the responders."
Rosie O'Donnell: "Also he was, you know, instrumental in making sure that all of the steel was removed and shipped to Canada right away, Giuliani -- was shipped to China, sorry, right away."
Behar: "For what purpose?"
O'Donnell: "Well, to get it out of there and to have, you know, all of the stu -- but it was all gone. So there was no, like, metal to test."
-- Exchange on ABC's The View, May 14. [67 points]
"As the throngs of celebrities greeted Al Gore as a secular saint, I wondered if this might usher in a backlash against environmentalists....It seems like we're reaching critical mass when it comes to this issue. And all the experts agree. Well, almost every expert. (There are a handful of scientists -- many of them on the payroll of big oil companies -- who wonder if global warming is a reality.) But my fervent hope is that Hollywood's embrace of Al Gore doesn't give people an excuse to condemn and mock the effort -- and oppose taking steps that we as a society need to take to deal with the issue of climate change."
-- Anchor Katie Couric writing about the Oscars on her CBSNews.com blog, "Couric & Co.," February 26. 
"Over the past six years we've had to add to the American picture: rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeas corpus, the neglect of our great city New Orleans and the people, an attack on the Constitution and the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war. And this is a song about things that shouldn't happen here, happening here. And so right now we plan to do something about it -- we plan to sing about it."
-- Bruce Springsteen introducing his song "Living in the Future" before a live concert on NBC's Today, September 28. 
"A top Democrat is coming out guns blazing against conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. It's an angry new shot in the dispute over the war in Iraq and Limbaugh's charge that some veterans who are criticizing the war are, in his words, quote, 'phony soldiers.'"
-- CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room, October 1. In fact, Limbaugh was talking about leftist anti-war groups touting tales of U.S. atrocities from Jesse Macbeth, a soldier who flunked out of basic training and who is going to prison for making it all up. 
"Comedians, such as yourself, Jon Stewart and others, are a valuable supplement, and here's why: Good journalism at its best frequently speaks truth to power. What's happened with journalists -- again, I don't except myself from this criticism -- in some ways we've lost our guts. We need a spine transplant. What's happened is comedians, in their own way, speak truth to power and fill that vacuum that we in journalism have too often left, particularly post 9/11."
-- Dan Rather to Bill Maher on HBO's Politically Incorrect, March 16. 
"Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda -- worse for our society. It's as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was."
-- MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann in an interview with Playboy magazine, October issue.
In recognition of their time and effort, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2007: The Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
As explained in item #1 above, the panel of 53 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and media observers received a ballot and each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category.
- Lee Anderson, Associate Publisher and Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist via the Creators Syndicate
- Brent H. Baker, MRC's Vice President for Research and Publications; Editor of CyberAlert and Editor the NewsBusters blog
- Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN-AM in Milwaukee
- Neal Boortz, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center and author of Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will - Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor for National Review
- Bill Cotterell, political editor at the Tallahassee Democrat
- Blanquita Cullum, Podjockey.com
- Bill Cunningham, nationally syndicated radio talk show host from WLW in Cincinnati
- Midge Decter, author, member of the Heritage Foundation's Board of Trustees
- Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ-FM in Detroit
- Jim Eason, retired radio talk show host
- Don Feder, former Boston Herald columnist; author, media consultant at Don Feder & Associates
- Eric Fettmann, Associate Editorial Page Editor, New York Post
- Ed Flynn, radio talk host on WATR in Waterbury, CT
- Michael Graham, radio talk show host on WTKK in Boston and Boston Herald columnist
- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Steven Greenhut, senior editorial writer and columnist, Orange County Register
- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando
-Quin Hillyer, Senior Editor, The American Spectator
- Fred Honsberger, radio talk show host, Newsradio 1020 KDKA in Pittsburgh
- Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe
- Marie Kaigler, mass media and developmental consultant, Detroit
- Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
- Mark Larson, Program Director and talk show host on San Diego 1700 AM
- Mark Levin, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Jason Lewis, talk show host, 100.3 KTLK-FM in Minneapolis
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online - Brian Maloney, radio analyst, creator of The RadioEqualizer blog
- Steve Malzberg, nationally syndicated talk show host from WOR in New York City
- Patrick McGuigan, Contributing Editor, The City Sentinel in Oklahoma City
- Colin McNickle, Editorial Page Editor, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Joe McQuaid, Publisher, New Hampshire Union Leader
- Jan Mickelson, talk show host on WHO in Des Moines
- Paul Mirengoff, co-author of PowerLine blog
- Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times; author of The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington
- Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center; Senior Editor of the NewsBusters blog
- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News
- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator
- Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
- Chris Reed, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
- Mike Rosen, radio talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist for the Rocky Mountain News
- William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute; syndicated columnist
- Matthew Sheffield, Executive Editor of NewsBusters, the MRC's blog
- James Taranto, Editor of OpinionJournal.com
- Philip Terzian, Literary Editor for The Weekly Standard
- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on FNC's Fox News Watch
- Chris Warden, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Troy University
- Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org
- Walter E. Williams, economics professor, George Mason University
- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
- Martha Zoller, radio talk show host for WDUN in Gainseville, GA
For links to Web pages for the judges: www.mrc.org
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