Best of NQ 1997 Contents
  Clinton Camelot Award
  The Harold Ickes "System Made Me Do It" Award
  Lanny Davis No Controlling Legal Authority Award
  Evil Elephant Empire Award
  Che Guevara Award
  John Glenn Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Satan of the South Award
  Bryant Gumbel Journalism Fellowship Award
  The Paul Wellstone Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Politics of Meaningless Award
  Media Hero Award
  If The Bias Fits We Won't Admit Award
  Which Way Is It?
  Quote of the Year
  1997 Award Judges

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  Notable Quotables
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1997:

The Tenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

The Paul Wellstone Award
(for Championing Welfare Dependency)

First Place

"The most shameful act of '96 was welfare reform....welfare reform became a political football in '96, an easy way to kick around the poor and especially poor children and immigrants, even legal immigrants. Bill Clinton thought the GOP had a hot issue, so he closed his eyes and signed a bill that punishes children and people who want to work, but can't find a job in a tough market for entry level employment. This was a criminal act, further dividing us as haves and have nots. It was shameful."
-- Washington Post reporter Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang, December 29,1996. [94 points]

"Like an ominous storm blown in from the East, the reality of welfare reform has descended with relentless and unsparing force on thousands of families like that of [Yvonne] Parris who begin the new year today with less cash to live on and the prospect of a welter of new rules aimed at restricting their access to government aid....Many who are against the cuts argue that the welfare overhaul does little to address the fundamental causes of poverty, but is instead based on long-standing myths and prejudices."
-- Los Angeles Times reporters Carla Rivera and Hector Tobar in a front-page news story, January 1. [64]

"Are some current policies in Washington, however, exacerbating the problem? For example, the new welfare reform bill is going to put about a million kids on the street without a safety net beneath them. We're also now pulling back from the benefits that we've provided in the past to legal immigrants in this country and it's putting a big burden on a lot of the states out there. You come from an immigrant experience yourself. Do you think that the welfare reform bill went too far in just those two areas?"
-- Tom Brokaw to Colin Powell, April 27 Meet the Press broadcast from the volunteer summit in Philadelphia. [52]


Damn Those Conservatives Award

First Place

"The right wing has lied repeatedly in an effort to move public opinion on this issue....Lie No.1: Conservatives care about life. The renowned quipmeister, Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, once said, 'Conservatives' interest in life begins at conception and ends at birth.' Truer words were never spoken. If they did care about taking care of babies and protecting the helpless, they would not be so driven to cut government programs that help the poor, nor so concerned about paying a few dollars less of their own money in taxes."
-- NBC Radio/Westwood One reporter and PBS To the Contrary host Bonnie Erbe on pro-choice lies on partial-birth abortion in her syndicated column, March 29 Washington Times. [81 points]

"You were raised, sir, in a subsidized housing project by a single mother and yet you support welfare reform and oppose affirmative action. How do you square those two sides?"
NBC's Ann Curry to Paul Harris, the first black Republican elected to the Virginia House of Delegates since 1891, on the November 5 Today. [58]

Michael Barone, Reader's Digest: "I'm not as confident as Bill Press that I know the inner workings of the mind of Paula Jones. I don't feel that I do..."
Margaret Carlson, Time: "What mind?"
-- CNBC's Equal Time, September 11. [55]

"The head of the Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote, 'the Christian Coalition' said today he's leaving to start a political consulting business. Ralph Reed's group took a beating on some of its hard-right agenda in the last election."
-- Dan Rather, April 23 CBS Evening News. [49]


Politics of Meaningless Award
(for the Silliest Analysis)

First Place

"What if Watergate had elected McGovern?....The Cold War would have ended in the '70srather than in the '90s. McGovern, in his campaign, debunked the threat and invincibility of the so-called evil Soviet empire. Republican and Democratic Presidents preached that myth for four decades, until the USSR self-destructed ....George McGovern. A man before his time. Prescient. Decisive, but decent. The USA and the world would have been far better off if we'd been heedful of his early Watergate warnings and had put McGovern in the White House in 1972."
-- USA Today founder Al Neuharth in his June 20 column. [78 points]


"I said to somebody that if O.J. killed his first wife, Marguerite [who is black], and her friend, then do I think George Will and William F. Buckley would have written about it? No way. Not on God's green earth. They wouldn't have even noticed."
-- Bryant Gumbel in a Los Angeles Times Magazine profile, January 12 (Brackets theirs). [62]

Crime Keeps On Falling; but Prisons Keep On Filling 
-- September 28 New York Times headline over Week in Review article [59]

"Overlaying this structure was a national politics heavily conditioned by nearly half a century of cold war. Strength and toughness trumped everything else. At one military briefing during the1980s, Reagan was shown models of American missiles. The American power phalluses were long and white; the Soviets', shorter and black. We were still safely ahead, but only by the margin of our machismo."
-- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter reviewing the 1996 political landscape, December 30, 1996/January 6, 1997 issue. [43]



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