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

Evil Elephant Empire Award
(for Bashing Congressional Republicans) 

First Place

"In fact, the Speaker will forever remain his own caricature -- a Dennis the Menace meets Darth Vader kind of guy. A fellow who, for instance, wants to give all children in America laptops but take away their free school lunches."
-- U.S. News & World Report Assistant Managing Editor Gloria Borger, April 7. [71 points]

ABC reporter John Cochran: "Flood victims in Grand Forks do not understand why Republican leaders refuse to pass an aid bill without strings attached."
A flood victim: "The river took our home, our possessions, our neighbors, our neighborhood and we still have our spirit. But the government is taking our spirit and our strength. And that's what's going to kill us."
Cochran: "Doug Sprehe is a life-long conservative Republican."
Doug Sprehe: "I believed in these guys and I voted for some of them and I'm beginning to lose my faith in the conservative party."
Cochran: "...People whose homes and businesses were destroyed say GOP leaders should realize that what they really need is money to rebuild."
-- ABC's World News Tonight, June 6. [68]

"But there's another reason why all but nine of the 225 House Republicans backed Gingrich: deep reservations about the man next in line, the hard-right majority leader, Dick Armey. Just as Dan Quayle's lack of gravitas led many Republicans to pray for the health of George Bush, Armey's ideological stubbornness and hot-headed rhetoric inspire in his colleagues protective optimism about Gingrich....In a House brimming with mean-spirited rhetoric, Armey stands out."
-- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writers Kent Jenkins Jr. and Paul Glastris, January 20 issue.[62]

"It'll be interesting when he sits down with Jiang Zemin, the President of China, and starts lecturing him about the rule of law though, I think. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in that session."
-- New York Times columnist and former reporter Thomas Friedman disdaining Gingrich, March21 PBS Washington Week in Review. [44]


Che Guevara Award
(for Nostalgia for Communism)

First Place

"I thought that we Americans overreacted to the Soviets and the news coverage sometimes seemed to accentuate that misdirected concern. Fear of the Soviet Union taking over the world just seemed as likely to me as invaders from Mars. Well, perhaps I was naive, but I'd seen those May Day parades and Soviet bread lines and miserable conditions hidden behind them. That war-devastated country didn't seem that threatening to me...The nuclear arms race was on in earnest. All the anti-Soviet paranoia that had been festering since the war really blew up then. A Soviet bomb was seen as an assault on us. But I saw it as part of their pursuit of nuclear equality. After all, what should we expect, that our enemy's just going to sit still there and not try to develop the bomb?"
-- Walter Cronkite on the year 1948 in Part 3 of the Discovery Channel's Cronkite Remembers, January 16. [64 points]

"Open societies, it turns out, haven't been as generous as socialism and communism to women who want to serve in public office. From Albania to Yemen, the number of women in power plummeted after the transition from socialist governments, which sought to develop female as well as male proletariats. As those governments died, so went the socialist ideals of equality and the subsidies for social programs that aided women. In many countries, traditional patriarchal cultures resurfaced."
-- Los Angeles Times correspondent Robin Wright, October 2 Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed. [61]

"Under Cuba's communist form of government, a Cuban family's basic necessities, housing, education, health care, and transportation, are provided by the state for free or at very little cost."
-- CBS This Morning co-host Jane Robelot, March 24. [57]

"An editor's note: When your reporter was in China recently, a very high ranking Chinese government official was repeatedly asked questions about religious persecution. He told me, and I quote directly, 'These stories are untrue. We do, as you do, have some trouble with cults and we, like you, deal with them accordingly, but that's all.' End quote."
-- CBS News anchor Dan Rather after a story on persecution of Christians in China, July 22 Evening News. [52]


John Glenn Award
(for Ensuring the Hearings Got Lost in Space)

First Place

"John Huang isn't the poster boy for what ails money and politics -- Steve Forbes is...Forbes represents the purest, most offensive challenge to the idea that money should equal speech...Must we really accept a doctrine that lets a vain twit pour Daddy's millions into so much flat tax propaganda that it lands him on the cover of Time and Newsweek and influences the national agenda? Forbes has been encouraged by what money can buy and won't go away. If anything's sinister about campaign finance nowadays, it's this..." 
"Thus the key question: Is Steve Forbes constitutional? The court might tell us that Forbes' fetishes are among those ugly things we have to tolerate in a free society. In any event, this is the kind of conversation that might begin to fix our campaigns, not witch hunts for red perils that don't exist."
-- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Matthew Miller in a July 17 op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. [107 points]


"The UFO comparison is apt in his case. He is considered flaky and a bit of a crackpot, even though a nice guy. Some crackpots are nice."
-- Time columnist Margaret Carlson on House Government Operations Committee Chairman Dan Burton, referring to Hillary Clinton's comment that attention to Whitewater "reminds me of some people's obsession with UFO's and the Hale-Bopp comet." Apr. 12 CNN Capital Gang. [48]

"President Clinton's best defense for any campaign fundraising excesses or irregularities by Democrats appears to be that the Republicans do it too. And even more."
-- NBC's JimMiklaszewski, Feb. 19 Today. [47]



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