Best of NQ 1996 Contents
  Craig Livingstone Award
  Freddy Krueger Award
  Chris Dodd Talking Points Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  The Contract's Not Done Until Every Child is Dead Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  I Still Can't Stop Blaming Reagan Award
  I Am Woman Award
  Fear of the Competition Award
  Al Gore Risky Tax Cut Scheme Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Which Way Is It?
  Media Hero Award
  Timothy McVeigh Award
  Bryant Gumbel Journalism Fellowship Award
  If the Bias Fits, We Won't Admit Award
  What's the Frequency Award
  Quote of the Year
  1996 Award Judges

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  30-Day Archive
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
Media Bias Videos
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1996:

The Ninth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Al Gore Risky Tax Cut Scheme Award

First Place

CBS reporter Eric Engberg: "....Okay, how about Forbes' number one wackiest flat tax promise?"
Steve Forbes: "Parents would have more time to spend with their children, and with each other."
Former IRS commissioner Donald Alexander: "That's right. The sky would be blue all the time."
Engberg: "The fact is, the flat tax is one giant untested theory. One economist suggested that before we risk putting it in, we ought to try it out someplace, like maybe Albania. Eric Engberg, CBS News, Washington."
-- Conclusion of February 8 CBS Evening News Reality Check segment on the Forbes flat tax . [102 points]

"Americans are forever grumbling about high taxes and big government. You'd think promising a tax cut would be like giving away free candy....Everybody knows what happens when you eat too much candy. You get cavities. You get sick. You get fat....`Candy?' Dole says. `No thank you,' the voters reply. `We're feeling much better now and we don't want to get sick again.' Dr. Dole and Dr. Kemp are supply-side specialists. They have a revolutionary theory that says `Candy is good for you! More tax cuts, more growth. More growth, more income.' Now what a terrific theory! And so what if Democratic doctors say they are a couple of quacks. Gene [Randall], have some candy!"
-- CNN analyst Bill Schneider on Inside Politics, September 14. [78]

"[Steve Forbes] is changing the debate in a really sorry way. This was the week that we left an honest attempt to do something about entitlements and we traveled into cloud cuckoo land, which is where the flat tax is."
-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, January 20 Inside Washington. [45]


Damn Those Conservatives Award

First Place

"By being so nice to Pat Buchanan and treating him as a good guy with bad policies, are we not all guilty of legitimizing his views and putting a smiling face on a hateful voice?"
-- Today's Bryant Gumbel on what he asked the show's political roundtable off-air, quoted by Peter Johnson, Feb. 22 USA Today. [57]

"Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian ultra-nationalist, embarrassed Pat Buchanan today by embracing him as an ideological soulmate. `Today,' said Zhirinovsky, `there is a presidential candidate in America who is not afraid to speak the truth, that truly the Congress of the United States is an occupied territory of Israel. Your press,' Zhirinovsky went on, `is occupied, and all of your finances. Americans don't manage those. Israel does, through American Jews or Negroes.' The Buchanan campaign immediately issued a message of rejection to Zhirinovsky. It's not that Buchanan hasn't expressed some of the views that Zhirinovsky echoed, but perhaps he'd never realized how ugly they sounded until he heard them in the mouth of a genuine bigot."
-- Ted Koppel concluding a February 23 Nightline profile of Pat Buchanan. [56]

"Under pressure he [Gingrich] reverted to the pompous thug of late-night cable, the backbencher lobbing grenades on C-SPAN about sick Democrats who were enemies of normal Americans....[Voters have] learned how far he is willing to go to achieve his larger goals: shut the government down to make a point with the President; invite lobbyists not just to lobby, but to draft the laws themselves; and give a huge tax break to his party's allies at the expense of services for the poor, with the explanation that this is what it takes to keep his Republican coalition together."
-- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs and Washington reporter Karen Tumulty, December 25/January 1 Man of the Year cover story on House Speaker Newt Gingrich. [51]


Which Way Is It?

First Place

"About 3.7 million Americans, wage-earning Americans, are paid the minimum wage or less."

-- ABC economics correspondent Tyler Mathisen, April 23 Good Morning America.

"On Capitol Hill today, the minimum wage and how best to embarrass your opponent. For ten million Americans, it's a very personal issue."
-- Peter Jennings, April 23 World News Tonight.

"In fact, only about 330,000 employees, most of them part-timers, today work for the minimum." -- ABC reporter Bob Zelnick, April 24 Good Morning America. "An estimated 9.7 million Americans make the minimum wage or close to it."
-- ABC anchor Carole Simpson, April 28 World News Sunday.



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