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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  Notable Quotables
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1996:

The Ninth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

I Still Can't Stop Blaming Reagan Award

First Place

"The legacy of the Reagan administration will be with us for years. The deficit under Reagan totaled more than a trillion dollars. Someday we're going to have to pay those bills. As officials look to cut spending and taxes at the same time, we can't afford another round of voodoo economics....I remember that campaign slogan one year `It's morning again in America.' Well, it may have been morning for some, but for a lot of people in this country it's become a nightmare."
-- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in an April 28 speech to Benedictine University in Illinois, aired May 11 on C-SPAN. [73 points]

"Reagan was an exceedingly likeable guy, just a heck of a nice fellow, despite his politics. He was funny and loved a good joke, the dirtier, I'm afraid the more ethnic, the better. I don't think he brought very much to the presidency, except charisma and success."
-- Walter Cronkite on Cronkite Remembers, May 23. [65]

"Lou, I know you feel as if Reagan had few, if any, character flaws. But let me ask you this. When one sidesteps, or refuses to acknowledge the consequences of their policies or actions, why shouldn't that be viewed as a character flaw? Or when one lies. For example, let me roll a clip and then we'll come back. This one deals with Iran-Contra."
-- Bryant Gumbel to reporter Lou Cannon, October 10 MSNBC InterNight. [64]


I Am Woman Award
(for Hillary Rodham Worshipping)

First Place

"Nancy pushed Ronnie into an arms treaty with the Russians because she wanted him to win a Nobel Prize. So maybe astrology was healthier than whatever the rest of the nuke-Managua globo-cops were smoking in the Reagan White House. That Hillary should talk to Eleanor Roosevelt bothers some of us less than the fact that her husband obviously doesn't....Isn't it amazing that women have invented or designed or discovered the prototype computer, nitrate fertilizer, penicillin, integral calculus, food refrigeration, space helmets, atomic parity, automatic flight control, pulsars and even DNA, not to mention square-bottomed bags, ice cream cones, vacuum canning and the gardenia. And yet we're still afraid of what they'll whisper into the ears of their powerful husbands. Might we at least concede that the people we'll marry say more about us than the people we select for the second place on the ticket of our glory-hounding selves; nobody elects vice presidents, either. Our pathological fear of Hillary and any other uppity woman, whatever her politics, is a form of foot-binding as well as a species of hate radio."
-- John Leonard on CBS's Sunday Morning, September 1. [79 points]

"You also quote a letter in [It Takes a Village] that Nelson Mandela wrote to one of his daughters while he was in prison, and I'm paraphrasing a bit, but he wrote that there is no personal misfortune that one cannot turn into a personal triumph if one has the iron will and the necessary skills. You clearly have an iron will, you clearly are skilled. How are you going to turn this personal misfortune into a personal triumph?"
"You think government should do a lot more than it's doing in terms of making children a priority, doing things for kids. We're clearly living in an age where people are anti-government. How do you get across the message that we all need to see everybody's kids as our own, we need to have more programs, the government needs to be more involved?"
-- Questions to Hillary Rodham Clinton from Today substitute co-host Maria Shriver (who called the book "really terrific"), January 16. [78]


Fear of the Competition Award
(for Impugning Talk Radio)

First Place

NBC's Bryant Gumbel: "You mention talk radio. They [relatives of Oklahoma bombing victims] have some very hard feelings about talk radio and the hate being spewed by some of those on the far end of the spectrum."
Bill Moyers: "If anything, talk radio in that part of the world is more anti-government today than ever. The airwaves are saturated with hostility, it's just an unremitting vilification of government. Sometimes it's, sometimes it's, you know, the government makes mistakes and there are justifiable grievances against government. But this is, this goes beyond that, it's excessive. And these people take it like salt in the wound. They drive around, they turn on their radio, they hear some vicious attack on government, and they think, `You know, if you strike the government, you kill my daughter.'"
-- Bill Moyers on the April 12 Today promoting that night's Dateline on the families of and victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. [105 points]


"Limbaugh's draft-avoiding, non-churchgoing, non-voting, non-fact-checking, painfully insecure triple-wife lifestyle all are topics delicately touched upon by Franken. Where I think he really hits the jackpot, though, is when he actually quotes Limbaugh directly as in: ...`I'm sick and tired of playing the one phony game I've had to play and that is this so-called compassion for the poor. I don't have compassion for the poor.' He may not have cancer, either, and I would pray that he never have to walk that particular path of pain: Yet who am I to say, or how can any of us know, the ways of God in unlocking a heart grown hard? It could happen more gently; I notice a couple of weeks ago, for instance, they shut down that `Rush Room' at Blackie's House of Beef. Limbaugh `is fading right now' in popularity among the restaurant's patrons, according to catering manager Paul DeKoning. Is this a great country, or what?"
-- Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs (whom Limbaugh ridiculed in 1994) on Saturday Night Live writer Al Franken's new book Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, January 19 Style section. [64]

"When I heard the quote it sounded to me like it was Limbaugh or Liddy or Ollie North. It was like wacko talk radio. It didn't sound like Brinkley. In other words, Brinkley's always been irreverent, but always kind of classy."
-- CNN's Larry King on David Brinkley's election night comments that Clinton is a "bore" and his speech delivered "more goddamn nonsense," November 7 Larry King Live. [57]



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