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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Tuesday December 28, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 191)

Best NQs of 1999: Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

1) The winning quotes in 14 categories in the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 1999: The Twelfth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting.

2) List of the 44 judges who picked the winners.

3) Video clips of many award quotes viewable online. Plus, read the winners as picked by visitors to the MRC's Web site.


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes)Starting with the Quote of the Year, below are the winning quotes in 14 categories in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 1999: The Twelfth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." CyberAlert editions distributed later this week will feature the top runners-up. Amongst the award categories:

-- The Alec Baldwin Award (for Hate Speech Against the Presidential Impeachers)
-- Soft on Crime Award (for Promoting Those Opposed to Holding Clinton Accountable)
-- China Syndrome Award (for Dismissing Nuclear Espionage)
-- I Am Woman Award (for Hillary Rodham Worshipping)
-- Good Morning Morons Award
-- Littleton Shop of Horrors Award (for Exploiting a Tragedy to Push Gun Control)
-- Politics of Personal Destruction Award (for Geraldo Rivera's Hatemongering)

    To determine this year's winners, a panel of 44 talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and media observers generously gave of their time to select their choices for the first, second and third best quote from six 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. (See item #2 for the list of judges.) Point totals are listed in the brackets at the end of the attribution for each quote.

Quote of the Year

    ABC News anchor Carole Simpson to Bill Clinton: "You've got the big plane, you've got the big house, you've got the cars, the protection. Aren't you going to suffer great post-partum depression after you leave office?"....
    Simpson to Clinton while inside Arkansas tomato factory: "I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas..."
    Clinton, cutting her off: "A place like this."
    Simpson: "Place like this. I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?"
-- From Simpson's taped interview with President Clinton, on ABC's World News Tonight/Sunday, November 7. [82 points]

The Alec Baldwin Award (for Hate Speech Against the Presidential Impeachers)

"I think there are real questions about separation of powers and I don't think he [Clinton] should go up there [appear before the Senate]. And second of all, that herd of managers from the House, I mean frankly all they were missing was white sheets. They're like night riders going over. This is bigger than Bill Clinton."
-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, January 9 McLaughlin Group. [67 points]

Soft on Crime Award (for Promoting Those Opposed to Holding Clinton Accountable)

"You know who the hero of this whole thing is, it's that guy, what was his name, Richard Llamas, the guy who stood up in the Senate gallery last week and said, 'Good God vote and get over with this, will you.' If they had stretched this out for another two or three weeks, which if they would have had the kind of witnesses Bob [Novak] wanted to have, I want to tell you something, I think the people may have stormed the United States Capitol."
-- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on a special edition of CNN's Capital Gang, February 11. [66 points]

China Syndrome Award (for Dismissing Nuclear Espionage)

"Where have you gone, Joe McCarthy, oh, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you....Yes folks, Republican efforts to warn Americans of the danger of fuzzy liberals in charge of the nation's political system -- and its nuclear secrets -- are about to go into overdrive."
-- May 24 Time Daily online story by Tony Karon. [53 points]

I Am Woman Award (for Hillary Rodham Worshipping)

"She emerged on health care, only to beat a very bruised retreat. She clearly hated being thought of as just Bill Clinton's wife. But ironically, it would take his scandals, finally, to free her. Finally, last November 1998, Hillary Clinton showed the world what she could do on the campaign trail without him. Political mastery, every bit as dazzling as his, the thoughtful speech, unapologetically strong, emboldening Democrats, electing Senators. So her friends say she has really earned this campaign, this moment, if she chooses, earned it by changing herself, searching, stumbling, and at the end, by standing, not by her man, but by herself."
-- Co-host Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, March 12. [63 points]

Media Hero Award

"Yet his achievements as a Senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne....He deserves recognition not just as the leading Senator of his time but also as one of the greats in the history of this singular institution, wise in its workings, especially its demand that a Senator be more than partisan to accomplish much."
-- Excerpt in the August 2 Time from a forthcoming biography of Ted Kennedy by New York Times reporter Adam Clymer. [59 points]

Damn Those Conservatives Award

"There is a scene [in Roots] where kidnapped African Kunta Kinte won't settle down in his chains. 'Want me to give him a stripe or two, boss?' the old slave, Fiddler, asks his Master Reynolds. 'Do as I say, Fiddler,' Reynolds answers. 'That's all I expect from any of my niggers.' 'Oh, I love you, Massa Reynolds,' Fiddler tells him. And instantly, my mind draws political parallels. Ward Connerly, I think to myself. Armstrong Williams. Shelby Steele. Hyperbole, some might say. I say dead-on. 'Clarence Thomas,' I say to my Cousin Kim. And she just stares at me. She may be a little tender yet for racial metaphors. I see them everywhere."
-- Washington Post reporter Lonnae O'Neal Parker, on watching Roots with her 20-year-old cousin, August 8 "Style" section piece. [65 points]

Good Morning Morons Award

    Tim Russert: "Is it hard holding your own views in check?"
    Bryant Gumbel: "You know what? In terms of my political views, I hold them in check. I don't think that someone who watches is inclined to think that I'm one way or the other."
-- CNBC's Tim Russert, October 30. [91 points]

Littleton Shop of Horrors Award (for Exploiting a Tragedy to Push Gun Control)

"Republicans are betting that this too [Columbine] will pass, that as with Jonesboro and Paducah, Pearl and Springfield, once the white coffins are in the ground and the cameras gone, the outrage will subside. But maybe not this time. In town meetings and talk radio, the public has had its fill of politicians talking resignedly about our gun culture, as if there's nothing to be done about a subgroup that finds schoolyard massacres an acceptable cost for its right to be armed to the teeth."
-- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, May 10. [75 points]

Shooting the Constitution Award (for Advocating the Banning of Guns)

"That smells of bullsh...How much longer are we gonna take that? How much longer are we gonna be wrapping in the flag of patriotism to justify 250 millions guns out there? How much longer?"
-- Geraldo Rivera responding to video clip of NRA chief Charlton Heston, May 3 Rivera Live on CNBC. [62 points]

Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis

    Rudy Giuliani joking on CBS's Late Show about going to Arkansas to run for the Senate: "I've never lived here. I've never worked here. I ain't never been here. But I think it would be cool to be your Senator."
    Jeralyn Merritt, MSNBC legal analyst: "That's just so unfair."
    MSNBC anchor Gregg Jarrett: "It's ugly."
    Merritt: "It's ugly and it's unfair because she has spent a lot of time in New York and she has the desire to help and she is bright. She's the best of the group."
-- Exchange during MSNBC InterNight discussion of the New York Senate campaign, June 25. [53 points]

See No Evil Award (for Burying the Juanita Broaddrick Rape Charge)

    Cliff May of the Republican National Committee: "We have right now a credible allegation by Juanita Broaddrick that while Attorney General, Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her and he won't answer."
    MSNBC host David Gregory: "Now hold on. You know what, Cliff? I'm not going to let you go there. We are not talking about this today. We're not going to turn that into this. I want to go around the horn a little bit. Cliff, wait a minute. Cliff, I'm going to stop you. I'm hosting the program. It is not a double standard. We have a clear focus today. I'm asking the questions."
-- MSNBC afternoon discussion of allegations about past illegal drug use by Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, August 19. [53 points]

Politics of Personal Destruction Award (for Geraldo Rivera's Hatemongering)

"Don't you think 13 guys, all of whom, you know, are not noted for any contribution to civil rights. I'm talking about the House managers. All of whom are born-again, all of whom are right-to-lifers, all of whom are you know, anti-immigration, pro-English Only, etc, etc, don't you think that when that face is presented, isn't that one of the reasons the majority, the vast majority of the American people support the President? When they look at the people prosecuting, some say persecuting him, and say, wait a second, those people wouldn't even let me into their home or their neighborhood or to work alongside them?"
-- Geraldo Rivera, Feb. 2 Rivera Live on CNBC. [79 points]

Doris Kearns Goodwin Award (for Campaigning to Revive the Camelot Myth)

"The star power has diminished. John Kennedy Jr. was the Sun God, the most charismatic of any of the Kennedy children. So that will lower their wattage some, but there are enough Kennedys out there making enough contributions that they will be part of the life of this country well into the next century."
-- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on the Kennedy family without John F. Kennedy Jr., July 23 Dateline NBC. [63 points]


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes)In alphabetical order, the 44 judges who generously gave of their time to evaluate six to ten quotes in each of 14 categories:

-- Brent Baker, Editor of the MRC's CyberAlerts and Notable Quotables
-- Mark Belling, talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee
-- L. Brent Bozell III, Chairman of the Media Research Center
-- David Brudnoy, talk show host on WBZ Radio; TV commentator; and Boston University communications professor
-- Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor of National Review
-- Tucker Carlson, staff writer, The Weekly Standard
-- Mark Davis, talk host, WBAP in Dallas/Ft. Worth and ABC Radio Network; columnist, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
-- Midge Decter, author, New York City
-- Jim Eason, talk show host, KSFO in San Francisco
-- Don Feder, syndicated columnist and Boston Herald columnist
-- Eric Fettman, op-ed columnist, New York Post
-- David Gold, national talk show host, Salem Radio Network
-- Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center
-- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, Cox Radio, Orlando
-- Quin Hillyer, editorial writer, Mobile Register
-- Marie Kaigler, radio talk show host and broadcaster, Detroit
-- Cliff Kincaid, host, Peoples Radio Network
-- Mark Larson, General Manager and talk show host at KPRZ/KCBQ in San Diego
-- Jason Lewis, talk show host, KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul
-- Tony Macrini, talk show host, WNIS/WTAR in Norfolk, Virginia
-- Don Markwell, talk show host, WACV in Montgomery
-- Tom Marr, talk show host, WCBM in Baltimore
-- Patrick McGuigan, Editor, editorial page, The Oklahoman
-- Jan Mickelson, talk show host, WHO in Des Moines
-- Gary Nolan, national radio talk show host, Radio America
-- Jane Norris, radio talk show host, WHAS in Louisville
-- Rich Noyes, Director of the MRC's Free Market Project
-- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor for National Review
-- Marvin Olasky, Senior Fellow, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty; Editor of World magazine
-- Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
-- Dan Pierce, Program Director and talk host, WGIR, Manchester NH
-- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Executive Editor, The American Spectator
-- Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
-- Mike Rosen, talk show host, KOA in Denver; columnist, Denver Rocky Mountain News
-- William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute
-- Ted J. Smith III, Professor of mass communications, Virginia Commonwealth University
-- Philip Terzian, nationally syndicated columnist
-- Cal Thomas, nationally syndicated columnist
-- R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator
-- Armstrong Williams, nationally syndicated columnist
-- Dick Williams, columnist; host of Fox Atlanta s The Georgia Gang
-- Walter Williams, Professor of economics, George Mason U.
-- Thomas Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events
-- Barry Young, President & CEO WestStar TalkRadio Network, Phoenix


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes)Best of NQ online with video clips as well as the results as picked by visitors to our Web page.

    -- Check out the online version and you'll be able to view many of the TV quotes via RealPlayer as put together by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul from videotapes cued up for him by MRC research associate Kristina Sewell.

    Go to the MRC home page, http://archive.mrc.org, and click on the blue box just to the left of the picture. Or, go to:
and click on: "1999 Winners -- Official Version Enhanced for the Web with Video Clips."

    -- Also now accessible online from the same Best of NQ page: "1999 Special Web-Visitor-Judged Edition as picked by over 530 people." From December 8 to 20 visitors to the MRC Web site were able to fill out a ballot to cast their votes for the most biased media quotes of the year. The MRC's Andy Szul calculated the results and posted them last week. To learn which quotes Web visitors considered the worst, go to:
and click on "1999 Special Web-Visitor-Judged Edition." Or, go to:

    Keep your eyes open for recitations of these annual awards issue quotes. At year-end several columnists and editorial writers around the country usually devote a column or editorial to listing their favorites.
 -- Brent Baker


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