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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Friday December 10, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 186)

Clarence Thomas Accepted Award on Behalf of Woman Who Wished Him Dead

>> Just one topic today, a special once in a decade event: In a fun evening of joking and frivolity, on Thursday night, December 9, at the Monarch Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Media Research Center presented the "Dishonor Awards for the Decade's Most Outrageous Liberal Bias" culled from the MRC's archive of news video and print publications from the 1990s.
    Stan Evans of the National Journalism Center emceed the dinner event. Serving as presenters of archival videos of the award nominees as originally seen on television during the past decade: Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, radio talk show host Michael Reagan and National Review publisher Ed Capano. <<

1) Surprise award acceptor: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas received the "I'm a Compassionate Liberal But I Wish You Were All Dead Award" on behalf of Julianne Malveaux who had wished Thomas "dies early like many black men do, of heart disease."

2) Text and RealPlayer clips of all award-winning quotes and runners-up now online.

3) List of the quotes award dinner attendees saw and the conservatives who accepted each in jest.

4) An applause meter tie for Quote of the Decade.

5) List of the 13 leading media observers who served as judges.


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes)To a standing ovation from about 450 attendees packed into the Monarch Hotel ballroom, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted the "I'm a Compassionate Liberal But I Wish You Were All Dead Award (for media hatred of conservatives)" for this November 4, 1994 quote from then-USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Thomas:
    "The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that's how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person."


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes)Thanks to some all-day work Thursday by the MRC's Andy Szul, you can now watch via RealPlayer all the television quotes, just as dinner attendees saw them Thursday night, as prepared by Wall to Wall Video for the MRC. Plus, text of the 19 nominees in six categories.
Go to:


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes)Here are the quotes in the order seen by those at the awards presentation Thursday night. In each of six award categories a presenter showed three or four nominees, which were determined by the judges listed in #5 below, and then announced the winner. In the place of the actual media figure a well-known conservative accepted each award in jest.

    -- How Do I Hate the Gipper? Let Me Count the Ways Award, presented by Michael Reagan.

"The boom years following World War II saw the U.S. economy take off, giving rise to the growth of the great American middle class. The rising standard of living meant homes, cars, TVs, college for the kids - all in all, a piece of the American dream. But in the Reagan years, economic erosion set in, so much so that the middle class now finds itself in ever-deepening trouble." -- Bryant Gumbel on Today, January 22, 1992.

"In the plague years of the 1980s -- that low decade of denial, indifference, hostility, opportunism, and idiocy - government fiddled, and medicine diddled, and the media were silent or hysterical. A gerontocratic Ronald Reagan took this [AIDS] plague less seriously than Gerald Ford had taken swine flu. After all, he didn't need the ghettos and he didn't want the gays." -- CBS Sunday Morning TV critic John Leonard, Sept. 5, 1993.

"The amazing thing is most people seem content to believe that almost everybody had a good time in the '80s, a real shot at the dream. But the fact is, they didn't. Did we wear blinders? Did we think the '80s left t behind just the homeless? The fact is that almost nine in ten Americans actually saw their lifestyle decline." -- NBC reporter Keith Morrison, February 7, 1992 Nightly News.

"You place the responsibility for the death of your daughter squarely at the feet of the Reagan Administration. Do you believe they're responsible for that?" -- NBC reporter Maria Shriver interviewing AIDS sufferer Elizabeth Glaser, July 14, 1992 Democratic convention coverage.

    +++ And the winner is....John Leonard. Accepting for Leonard: Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese.

    -- Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Wackiest Analysis, presented by Michael Reagan:

"It's short of soap, so there are lice in the hospitals. It's short of pantyhose, so women's legs go bare. It's short of snowsuits, so babies stay home in the winter. Sometimes it's short of cigarettes so millions of people stop smoking, involuntarily. It drives everybody crazy. The problem isn't communism; nobody even talked about communism this week. The problem is shortages." -- NBC Nightly News commentator John Chancellor on the Soviet Union, Aug. 21, 1991.

"He [Ted Kaczynski] wasn't a hypocrite. He lived as he wrote. His manifesto, and there are a lot of things in it that I would agree with and a lot of other people would, that industrialization and pollution all are terrible things, but he carried it to an extreme, and obviously murder is something that is far beyond any political philosophy, but he had a bike. He didn't have any plumbing, he didn't have any electricity." -- Time Washington reporter Elaine Shannon talking about the Unabomber, April 7, 1996 C-SPAN Sunday Journal.

"It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem." -- Newsweek Senior Writer Jerry Adler, Dec. 31, 1990 issue.

    +++ And the winner is....Elaine Shannon. Accepting for Shannon: Long-time Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger.

-- Presidential Kneepad Award (for the best journalistic Lewinsky), presented by Cal Thomas.

"Mr. President, we love you. I want to hug you, I want to hug you, please do the right thing. This is nothing, this is nothing. Thomas Jefferson did not have this in mind, I swear to God....I would give Ken Starr the Nobel Peace Prize were he to be man enough not to refer a sex lie to the House for impeachment. We'll be right back, stay tuned folks" -- Geraldo Rivera urging Clinton not to cooperate, August 6, 1998 edition of Rivera Live on CNBC.

"If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners...Thank you very much and tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for her." -- Dan Rather at a May 27, 1993 CBS affiliates meeting talking via satellite to President Clinton about his new on-air partnership with Connie Chung as co-anchor of the CBS Evening News.

"I would be happy to give him [Bill Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs." -- Time contributor and former reporter Nina Burleigh recalling what she told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz about her feeling toward Bill Clinton, as recounted by Burleigh in the July 20, 1998 New York Observer.

    +++ And the winner is....the woman who inspired the award title, Nina Burleigh. Accepting for Burleigh, a proud member of the VRWC: Wall Street Journal editorial writer John Fund.

    -- Corporal Cueball Carville Cadet Award (for impugning the character of Clinton's adversaries), presented by Cal Thomas.

"Yes, the case is being fomented by right-wing nuts, and yes, she is not a very credible witness, and it's really not a law case at all. But Clinton has got a problem here. He has a history of womanizing that most people believe is a problem....That's a dangerous attitude to have. It lead to things like this, some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks....I think she's a dubious witness, I really do." -- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on Paula Jones, May 7, 1994 Inside Washington.

"Women who've been polled seem to put it behind them as well, and are willing to move on and forget about it. Is that because Bill Clinton's been such a great President whom they elected in great part, or is there something I want to say almost sexy about a man who can get away with things over and over again?" -- Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Deborah Tannen, August 18, 1998.

Geraldo Rivera: "Do you believe that they had, at least indirectly, something to do with your ex-husband, Jim McDougal's, ultimate demise?
Susan McDougal, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you"
Geraldo Rivera: "Did they help speed your husband's sickness and his ultimate death?"
McDougal: "Oh, there's no doubt in my mind!"
-- Geraldo Rivera referring to Ken Starr's prosecutors in a question to Susan McDougal, April 14, 1999 Upfront Tonight on CNBC.

    +++ And the winner is....Evan Thomas. Accepting for Thomas: Another member of the VRWC, American Spectator Editor-in-Chief Bob Tyrrell.

    -- Damn Every Conservative We Can Think of to Hell Award, presented by Ed Capano.

"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming....Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old." -- ABC's Peter Jennings in his radio commentary after the GOP won the House, Nov. 14, 1994.

"The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one's suggesting that right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President of the United States....The list of those the President may have had in mind is at once long and familiar. Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people....Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden or encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue." -- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 25, 1995.

"Next week on ABC's World News Tonight, a series of reports about our environment which will tell you precisely what the new congress has in mind: the most frontal assault on the environment in 25 years. Is this what the country wants? On ABC's World News Tonight next week." -- Peter Jennings in an ABC promo during the July 9, 1995 This Week with David Brinkley.

    +++ And the winner is....Bryant Gumbel. Accepting for Gumbel: A man impugned by him, Ollie North.

    -- I'm a Compassionate Liberal But I Wish You Were Dead Award (for media hate of conservatives), presented by Ed Capano.

"The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that's how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person." -- USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994 PBS To the Contrary.

"Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President's speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?" -- Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Big Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, Aug. 18, 1998.

Inside Washington host Tina Gulland: "I don't think I have any Jesse Helms defenders here. Nina?"
Nina Totenberg: "Not me, I think he ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." -- National Public Radio and ABC News reporter Nina Totenberg reacting to Senator Jesse Helms' claim that the government spends too much on AIDS research, July 8, 1995 Inside Washington.

    +++ And the winner is....Julianne Malveaux. Accepting for Malveaux, as noted above, Clarence Thomas.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes)The MRC employed audience participation to determine the Quote of the Decade, but we got a tie. Following the presentation of the six award categories, the MRC played for the audience the four winning quotes from reporters, dropping the Leonard and Malveaux quotes since they have never been reporters.

    So, people again saw the Shannon, Burleigh, Thomas and Gumbel quotes. Then, as a picture of each was displayed, audience members were asked by MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell to clap to indicate which they thought should win. In the opinion of emcee Stan Evans it was a tie between Burleigh on giving Clinton oral sex and Gumbel blaming conservative talk show hosts for inspiring the Oklahoma City bombing.

    For the dinner we edited Burleigh's quote so as to not offend anyone, and that's how it appears above, but here's what she actually wrote:
    "I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes)To determine the nominees and winners, 13 leading media observers generously gave of their time to evaluate six to eight quotes in six award categories and then cast their vote for the first and second best in each category. In tabulating the results, first place picks were assigned two points and second place choices were assigned one point. The top three quotes in each category served as the nominees shown at the awards presentation dinner. The judges:

William F. Buckley Jr., syndicated columnist and National Review Editor-at-Large
John Fund, Wall Street Journal editorial page writer
Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes; radio talk show at WABC Radio
Rush Limbaugh, national radio talk show host
Marlin Maddoux, USA Radio Network host
Mary Matalin, co-host of CNN's Crossfire
Oliver North, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
Robert Novak, syndicated columnist and CNN commentator
Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review
Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute
Cal Thomas, nationally syndicated columnist
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator

    We still expect the awards presentations to be shown soon by C-SPAN, but don't know exactly when. Also, Fox News Channel may do a story Friday night on the awards. -- Brent Baker


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