Winning Quotes in the MRC's Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting; A Survivor Contestant Denounced the News Media
1) The 15 winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable
Quotables of 2001: The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst
Reporting." Plus, a list of the 41 judges who picked the winning
2) Last Thursday on CBS's Survivor: Africa, contestant
Frank Garrison denounced gun control advocates and even raised liberal
media bias as he lamented "these liberal special interest groups that
the media give open market to..." The Early Show's Russ Mitchell
chided him: "You went mouthing off about liberals the day of the
tribal council. A lot of people saw that and said that's not a good
winning quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The
Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," a
compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from
2001 -- actually December 2000 through November 2001.
To view the award winners and the top
runners-up, as well as RealPlayer video clips for many of the broadcast
quotes, go to where the MRC's Mez Djouadi has posted them: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/2001/best2001/bestofnq2001.html
To determine this year's winners, a panel of
41 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers
and media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and
third best quote from a slate of six to nine 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, as
determined by the MRC's Kristina Sewell, are listed in the brackets at
the end of the attribution for each quote.
A list of the judges, who were generous with
their time, appears after the quotes listed below.
Without further delay, the winning quotes in
15 award categories as presented in the December 24 edition of Notable
Swiss Press Corps Award for Remaining Neutral in War Coverage
"The Pentagon as a legitimate target? I actually don't have an
opinion on that, and it's important I not have an opinion on that as I
sit here in my capacity right now....I can say the Pentagon got hit, I can
say this is what their position is, this is what our position is, but for
me to take a position this was right or wrong, I mean, that's perhaps
for me in my private life, perhaps it's for me dealing with my loved
ones, perhaps it's for my minister at church. But as a journalist I feel
strongly that's something that I should not be taking a position on.
I'm supposed to figure out what is and what is not, not what ought to
-- ABC News President David Westin at a Columbia University Graduate
School of Journalism event on Oct. 23 shown four days later on C-SPAN. [83
Media Hero Award
"What an exhilarating moment it must have been for her -- the
first First Lady in history to be elected to public office. There, for all
the nay-sayers to see, was the woman who had finally come into her own,
free at last to be smart, outspoken, independent, and provocative, all
qualities she had been forced as First Lady, to 'hide under a bushel.'
Still she was voted one of America's most admired women. Just wait. You
ain't seen nothin' yet."
-- End of "On My Mind" ABCNews.com commentary by ABC anchor
Carole Simpson, January 7. [82 points]
Pushing Bush to the Left Award
"Arsenic in the water. Starting up the Cold War. Make as much
carbon dioxide as you like. Laugh about it. Bush has set himself up as a
huge target. And the arsenic is going to be the equivalent of what your
boss [Newt Gingrich] did with cutting school lunches."
-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, addressing Tony Blankley, on the McLaughlin
Group, March 24. [52 points]
Poisoning the Planet Award for Portraying Bush as Destroyer of the
"Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the
school lunch program by classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the
Bush administration went further, axing a regulation that forced the meat
industry to test hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad
Cow Disease among children, K through 12. The day it hit the papers the
proposal was quickly withdrawn. [If] the Bush administration keeps trying
to kill health and safety regulations at this pace, soon we won't be
able to eat, drink or breathe."
-- "Outrage of the Week" from Time magazine's Margaret
Carlson, April 7 Capital Gang on CNN. [69 points]
Picking the Lockbox Award for Denouncing Bush's Tax Cut
"Adios, surplus. When retired boomers dine on dog food, will they
say thanks for that $600?"
-- Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" box, assigning
President Bush a "down" arrow, Sept. 3 issue. [52 points]
Carve Clinton Into Mount Rushmore Award
"Throughout the eight years that he was in office, President
Clinton warned us that the next great menace was international
terrorism....He also brought unprecedented prosperity to our nation, and
because of that, President [Bush] can use the surplus Mr. Clinton left
behind to pay for many of the nation's needs in this time of
crisis....This lecture series is about the human spirit. To me and
millions of others, President Clinton has always personified that. He is
the man from Hope, and that is what he has given us, hope. We miss him.
Thank you, Mr. President."
-- Former UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas introducing Clinton at
Oct. 9 Greater Washington Society of Association Executives lecture shown
on C_SPAN. [80 points]
Good Morning Morons Award
Bryant Gumbel: "At the risk of starting an argument, are you a
believer in global warming?"
Mark McEwen: "Absolutely."
Jane Clayson: "Of course."
Julie Chen: "Yeah."
Gumbel: "So am I....And you wonder what it's gonna take. I mean, is
it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg
have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes,
-- Exchange during CBS Early Show's co-op time at 7:25 am on
April 18. [55 points]
Damn Those Conservatives Award
Bill Maher, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect: "I do
think, if it turns out that this beautiful young girl is gone, I think,
and he [Condit] is responsible in some way, you have to look to Ken Starr
for a little bit of guilt."
Larry King: "Why?"
Maher: "Because, you know, Ken Starr made it so that you, in the old
days, you had an affair with somebody, and you know, okay, you had an
affair. The press didn't report it. They didn't make a political
criminal case of it. Now, it's almost like you have to get rid of
-- Exchange on CNN's Larry King Live, July 27. [52 points]
Selected Not Elected Award for Claiming Bush Is an Illegitimate
"If Bush is elected and it's proved on a hand count that Gore
actually carried Florida (not to mention the popular vote), what will the
country say? 'Ooops' isn't going to cut it....However agreeable and
successful he turns out to be, the new President is doomed to be seen by
many Americans as a bastard."
-- Jonathan Alter, Dec. 11, 2000 Newsweek. [55 points]
Department of Injustice Award for Denigrating John Ashcroft
"Well, you know, Attorney General is actually an important job.
Why can't they buy off the right wing with unimportant jobs? I mean,
this is a sop, I assume, to buy off the wing nuts, but it's like giving,
I mean, the Attorney General counts, it matters."
-- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on Inside
Washington, December 23, 2000. [55 points]
Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis
"What are you, a bunch of Jesus freaks? You ought to be working
-- CNN founder Ted Turner on Ash Wednesday to CNN employees with ash marks
on their foreheads at Bernard Shaw's retirement party, as reported March
6 on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume. [73 points]
Euro-Envy Award for Advocating More Government Spending
NBC News reporter Keith Miller in Paris: "Break out the band,
bring on the drinks. The French are calling it a miracle. A
government-mandated 35-hour work week is changing the French way of life.
Two years ago, in an effort to create more jobs, the government imposed a
shorter work week on large companies, forcing them to hire more
workers....Sixty percent of those on the job say their lives have
improved. These American women, all working in France, have time for lunch
and a life."
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: "More Americans should be more aware that an
economy as successful as the French one managed to be successful without
giving up everything else in life."
Katie Couric, following the end of Miller's taped piece: "So great
that young mother being able to come home at three every day and spend
that time with her child. Isn't that nice? The French, they've got it
right, don't they?"
-- NBC's Today, August 1. [78 points]
Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award for Denying Liberal Bias
Newsweek's Evan Thomas: "There is a perception, even among
journalists, that the [New York] Times is going a little bit left,
is getting more liberal, and that's disquieting."
Time magazine's Jack White: "That's a lot of hokum, with
all due respect to Evan. There is no liberal bias in the press in the
whole. In fact, if there is a bias, it's on the other side. It's hard
to find a person really, truly, of the liberal persuasion who are making
any important decisions in any important media institutions in this
country now. I've looked for them, I consider myself one, I have very
few birds of a like feather around."
-- Exchange on the September 1 Inside Washington. [56 points]
Blame America First Award
"Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my
leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have
paid the price with their lives.
"Keep crying, Mr. Bush. Keep running to Omaha or wherever it is you
go while others die, just as you ran during Vietnam while claiming to be
'on duty' in the Air National Guard. Nine boys from my high school
died in that miserable war. And now you are asking for 'unity' so you
can start another one? Do not insult me or my country like this!
"Yes, I, too, will be in church at noon today, on this national day
of mourning. I will pray for you, and us, and the children of New York,
and the children of this sad and ugly world."
-- Message posted by left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore on his Web site,
September 14. [54 points]
Glimpses of Patriotism Award
"For once, let's have no 'grief counselors' standing by with
banal consolations, as if the purpose, in the midst of all this, were
merely to make everyone feel better as quickly as possible. We shouldn't
feel better. For once, let's have no fatuous rhetoric about
'healing.' Healing is inappropriate now, and dangerous. There will be
time later for the tears of sorrow. A day cannot live in infamy without
the nourishment of rage. Let's have rage....
"As the bodies are counted, into the thousands and thousands, hatred
will not, I think, be a difficult emotion to summon. Is the medicine too
strong? Call it, rather, a wholesome and intelligent enmity....Anyone who
does not loathe the people who did these things, and the people who cheer
them on, is too philosophical for decent company....The worst times, as we
see, separate the civilized of the world from the uncivilized. This is the
moment of clarity. Let the civilized toughen up, and let the uncivilized
take their chances in the game they started."
-- Lance Morrow in a special edition of Time published after the
September 11 terrorist attacks. [67 points]
END Reprint of winning quotes in the MRC's
awards for the year's worst reporting.
Now, the list of the judges who gave
generously of their time to complete our extensive ballot and return it to
us in under two weeks:
-- Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The
Gazette in Colorado Springs
-- Brent Baker, Editor of MRC's CyberAlert
and Notable Quotables
-- Mark Belling, talk show host, WISN in
-- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media
-- David Brudnoy, radio talk show host, WBZ in
Boston; journalism professor at Boston University
-- Priscilla Buckley, Contributing Editor of National
-- Mark Davis, talk show host, ABC Radio and
WBAP in Dallas-Ft. Worth; columnist, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
-- Midge Decter, author; Trustee for the
-- Jim Eason, KSFO in San Francisco talk show
-- Barry Farber, radio talk show host
-- Eric Fettmann, columnist and Associate
Editorial Page Editor, New York Post
-- David Gold, syndicated radio talk show
-- Tim Graham, White House correspondent, World
-- Stephen Hayes, staff writer for The Weekly
-- Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio
-- Quin Hillyer, editorial writer, Mobile
-- Marie Kaigler, radio talk show host,
-- Cliff Kincaid, commentator
-- Mark Larson, talk show host and GM at KCBQ/KPRZ
in San Diego
-- Jason Lewis, talk show host, KSTP in
-- Ross Mackenzie, Editor of the editorial page, Richmond
-- Tony Macrini, talk show host, WNIS in
-- Michelle Malkin, syndicated columnist and Fox
-- Patrick McGuigan, Editor of the editorial
page, The Oklahoman
-- Jan Mickelson, talk show host, WHO Des
Moines/WMT Cedar Rapids
-- Wes Minter, Operations Manager and talk host,
KRMG in Tulsa
-- Jane Norris, talk show host, WHAS in
-- Rich Noyes, Director of Media Analysis for the
Media Research Center
-- 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
-- Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The
-- Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Distinguished
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
-- Mike Rosen, talk show host, KOA in Denver;
columnist, Denver Rocky Mountain News
-- Ted J. Smith III, Professor of journalism,
Virginia Commonwealth U.
-- Philip Terzian, nationally syndicated
-- Bruce Tinsley, Mallard Fillmore
-- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; panelist on
FNC's Fox Newswatch
-- Armstrong Williams, nationally syndicated
-- Dick Williams, columnist; host of Atlanta's Georgia
-- Walter Williams, Professor of economics,
George Mason University
-- Thomas Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human
END of list of judges. On Friday, the first
Thursday on CBS's Survivor: Africa contestant Frank Garrison denounced
gun control advocates and even raised liberal media bias as he lamented
"these liberal special interest groups that the media give open
market to instead of the average working class American that founded this
(That's a different attitude than the one
expressed by a contestant in the original Survivor back in 2000, as
reported by CyberAlert: "In the June 28 episode of the CBS show about
16 people living on an island with one voted off by the others each week,
an older man named Rudy, the former Navy SEAL who gained some publicity on
the opening show when he couldn't start a fire, is annoyed by a younger
guy named Dirk who reads the Bible: 'It's funny to me that a guy would
read the Bible out here. The only reason I'd bring a Bible is if, I mean
I'm religious too, if I needed toilet paper.'")
These fresh remarks on the show set in Africa
aroused the concern of CBS's Early Show, which began scheduled
interviews with Garrison on both Friday and Saturday by playing clips of
his comments as hosts asked him to explain how he could have been so
foolish just hours before the "tribal council" during which he
was voted out. Russ Mitchell chided him: "You went mouthing off about
liberals the day of the tribal council. A lot of people saw that and said
that's not a good idea."
On the December 20 Survivor: Africa, MRC
analyst Patrick Gregory observed, Garrison outlined his political views as
he sat outside with a group of other contestants who weren't that
interested: "My argument always with the gun activists is that they
think that guns kill people and everything, there's like, there's
everything else you can kill someone with, you know, a piece of fishing
line I can kill somebody with. There are automobiles that kill people
every day, drug overdose, malpractice, just everything."
As a female contestant tried to shut him up by
pleading "Alright. Okay, enough!" Garrison plowed ahead:
"You can't help it, these liberal special interest groups that the
media give open market to instead of the average working class American
that founded this country."
He also suggested: "The NRA might invite
me to their banquet, their convention down there."
The next morning, on the December 21 Early
Show, Hollywood Squares host Tom Bergeron, who filled in all week for
Bryant Gumbel, set up an interview with Garrison: "Frank Garrison
waited nearly four weeks to show his soft side to the remaining
competitors on Survivor Africa but it turns out his soft side is, well a
CBS then played clips from Garrison on
Survivor: "To be here is just awesome, just loving the outdoors, the
animals and wildlife, and people in a way as well."
Garrison amid pleas [female: "Alright. Okay,
enough!"] from the other survivors for him to stop: "These
little liberal special interest groups that the media give open market to
instead of the average working class American that founded this
Garrison: "My love for being here grows
Bergeron's first question, as taken down by
MRC intern Donald Goodman: "Frank is a telephone technician from
Odessa, New York. Now Frank, I'm watching this last night, now that little
thing you're doing, you know that rant you went on is on the morning of
tribal council. And I'm watching this, and I understand they edit this
thing for dramatic effect and not always show you guys the way you feel
you should be shown, but I'm thinking as a viewer, 'Somebody took his
stupid pills today.' Because I figured you were definitely out after
that and it turns out I was right. Was that an accurate representation,
were you trying to annoy them?"
Garrison explained: "No, that was an
accurate representation, 100 percent, but I can't remember initially how
the conversation, I didn't start the conversation; simply my opinion was
brought into the circle and my opinion wasn't liked, so."
The next morning, the Saturday Early Show
played the same set up clips before host Russ Mitchell scolded him:
"You went mouthing off about liberals the day of the tribal council.
A lot of people saw that and said that's not a good idea. Why'd you
decide to do that -- at that time?"
Garrison: "We were having a conversation
that morning and it was my opinion and I just piped in on it. And
unfortunately it wasn't accepted by a lot of them..."
For a bio and picture of Garrison, go to:
Another episode of Survivor: Africa airs
tonight at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST on CBS.
And doesn't CBS have anyone who actually
works for CBS News who would like to fill-in as co-host of The Early Show.
How seriously can you take a news program which brings in a game show host
from Hollywood to serve as co-host? -- Brent Baker
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