Best of NQ 1994 Contents
  Sore Losers Award
  Honey, I Shrunk the Democratic Party Award
  Oliver Stone Award
  I Still Hate Ronald Reagan Award
  Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award
  Media Hero Award
  Flatliner Award
  Rodney Dangerfield Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  Clinton Enemies List Award
  You're No Anita Hill Award
  No Money Down Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Bring Back the Iron Curtain Award
  Which Way Is It?
  Dumbest Quote of the Year
  1994 Award Judges

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  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1994:

The Seventh Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

I Still Hate Ronald Reagan Award

First Place

"Then one day in the summer of 1981 I found myself at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine. I was a correspondent in the White House in those days, and my work -- which consisted of reporting on President Reagan's success in making life harder for citizens who were not born rich, white, and healthy -- saddened me....My parents raised me to admire generosity and to feel pity. I had arrived in our nation's capital [in 1981] during a historic ascendancy of greed and hard-heartedness....Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it."
-- New York Times editorial page editor (and former Washington Bureau Chief) Howell Raines in his book Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis.
     [Clarification, November 2003: It has come to our attention that while the sentence, "Reagan couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it,” appeared on page 84 of the book by Raines, it came in the midst of a multi-paragraph quote in a chapter in which he favorably recited the comments on things great and small (during a fishing venture to Hunting Creek near Thurmont, Maryland), from his companion on the trip, Dick Blalock. The other quotes attributed in the book to Raines are accurate and reflect his personal views. 
     The paragraph in full from which the quote came: "'See that pool?' said Dick. 'That was Jimmy Carter's favorite pool when he was President We’re only about a mile from Camp David. The Fish and Wildlife Boys kept the stream lousy with big brood fish from the hatcheries when he was up here. I knew a guy who used to slip in and give every big trout in the stream a sore lip whenever he heard Carter was coming. Of course, I liked Carter. Charlie Fox and Ben Schley taught him a lot about fishing, and he ties a good fly. Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it.'"
     We regret the confusion.]

"America is cheering [for Forrest Gump]. Much as it cheered Ronald Reagan, who more than Schweik or Candide, is the real proto-Gump. Reagan too was relentlessly upbeat. Reagan too was extraordinarily lucky. And his luck, like Gump's, was often built on the backs of people who suffered off-screen. Forrest had bankrupt shrimpers, martyred Vietnam buddies, and his wife, whose death was remarkably demure, considering her ailment. Reagan scored points off America's poor; somehow managed to cloak himself in heroism while apologizing for a needless screw-up that killed 241 servicemen in Beirut; and avoided tarnishing his reputation for optimism by spending too much time on AIDS."
-- Essay by Time Associate Editor David Van Biema, August 29 issue.

"Both Greedy and The Ref find comic pay dirt in the spectacle of blood relations uncorking their revulsions and resentments in open insult. You could read them as belated tantrums against the patriarchal, money-obsessed Reagan '80s."
-- Newsweek movie critic David Ansen, March 14 issue.


Nobody Here But Us
Apolitical Observers Award

First Place

"A liberal bias? I don't know what a liberal bias is. Do you mean we care about the poor, the sick, and the maimed? Do we care whether people are being shot every day on the streets of America? If that's liberal, so be it. I think it's everything that's good in life -- that we do care. And also for the solutions -- we seek solutions and we do think that we are all responsible for what happens in this country."
-- UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas on C-SPAN's Journalists Roundtable, December 31, 1993.

"I won't make any pretense that the American Agenda is totally neutral. We do take a position. And I think the public wants us now to take a position. If you give both sides and `Well, on the one hand this and on the other that' -- I think people kind of really want you to help direct their thinking on some issues."
-- ABC News reporter Carole Simpson on CNBC's Equal Time, August 9.


Media Hero Award

First Place

"It's a big loss for the President. It's a big loss for the Congress, and I think it's a big loss for the country."
-- NBC reporter Lisa Myers on indictment of Dan Rostenkowski, May 25 Today.


"To his family, to his friends, he is not Rodney. They call him by his middle name, Glenn. He hurts inside. He's changed outside. Slimmed down, his 210 pounds resembling those of a pro football wide receiver. He leads his family with serious focus."
-- Bernard Shaw anchoring a CNN special on Rodney King, Feb. 23.

"In an essay on turning 60, Steinem writes: `I'm looking forward to trading moderation for excess' -- which is good news. And there's a precedent. In 1895 [Elizabeth Cady] Stanton finally published a book she had been planning for many years: a roaring attack on the Bible for its misogyny. The book was a best seller, the horrified suffrage association voted to censure her and to Stanton's pleasure, `the clergy jumped parched peas on a hot shovel.' She was 80. Now that's a feminist."
-- Newsweek General Editor Laura Shapiro reviewing Gloria Steinem's Moving Beyond Words, June 20.



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