on Their Own Words
New York Post
As printed in the
December 31, 1998 edition
in the New York Post
For 11 years now, the
Media Research Center in Alexandria, Va., has been compiling its list of ''notable quotables.'' The quotes come from prominent members of the mainstream news media and provide a clear window into the left-liberal mindset that pervades most of America's large news organizations.
At the end of the year, the center - with the assistance of a panel of outside judges - chooses ''the best'' notable quotables. This year's crop tellingly reveals the media's contemporary spirit and obsessions - which revolve, as usual, around sycophancy for the Clintons and contempt for all things Republican.
Actually, the winners more or less explain themselves. Happy New Year!
Corporal Cueball Carville Cadet Award (for Hating Ken Starr)
''Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the president's speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the president of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?''
- Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's ''Big Show,''to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren
Presidential Kneepad Award (for Best Lewinksy Impression)
''The ironies for a president not given to irony are endless. Consider this: The best chance for Clinton to shine in history might be for Congress to force him to pay the price for lying about sex. In the unlikely event he is pushed from office, it would take only weeks, maybe just days, before a vast national remorse set in. We destroyed our lovable rogue prince of prosperity over this? Clinton would become a martyr to a legal system run amok. His defeat would mean victory over not just sheet-sniffing prosecutors but all those who would criminalize politics with endless investigations. As legacies go, balancing the budget might look puny by comparison.''
- Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter
Hallucinating Hillary's Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Award
''Where does Lewinsky fit into this conspiracy theory? Is she victimizing the president or is she too a victim?''
- Bryant Gumbel to James Carville on CBS's ''Public Eye''
Media McCarthyism Award
''The Christian Right per se and some particular members on Capitol Hill have helped inflame the air so that the air that these bad people breathed that night was filled, filled with the idea that somehow gays are different, and not only are they different in that difference, they're bad and not only are they bad, they are evil and therefore evil can be destroyed. ... I mentioned Trent Lott, Jesse Helms and Dick Armey particularly. The Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council and the Concerned Women for America.''
- Syndicated columnist Deborah Mathis of Gannett News Service on who inspired the murder of Matthew Shepard
The Everybody But Us Shut Up Award
''For those of us who worship the constitutional guarantee of free press and speech, the spectacle of political hustlers like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) using the First Amendment to justify legalized bribery is offensive.''
- Wall Street Journal Executive Editor Al Hunt
Good Morning Morons Award
''Women who've been polled seem to put it behind them as well, and are willing to move on and forget about it. Is that because Bill Clinton's been such a great president whom they elected in great part, or is there something I want to say almost sexy about a man who can get away with things over and over again?''
- ''Good Morning America'' co-host Lisa McRee to Deborah Tannen
Move Over, Buddy, Award (for Pro-Clinton
''Twinkle, twinkle Kenneth Starr, now we see how crude you are Up above your jury high, like the judge up in the sky Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how wrong you are When you drag the agents in, when you bully moms and kin Then you kiss the treacherous Tripp, twinkle, twinkle DC drip Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how small you are.''
- Geraldo Rivera, after playing video of Rep. Mike Pappas (R-N.J.) on the House floorsinging a birthday tribute to Kenneth Starr
Carve Clinton Into Mt. Rushmore Award
''He invited his exhausted audience to take a holiday from Lewinsky and spend a refreshing hour and 12 minutes feeling like a country again. For once the talk on the screen was not of oral sex, but of our lives and fortunes and sacred happiness. He had become all human nature, the best and the worst, standing there naked in a sharp, dark suit, behind the TelePrompTer. That which does not kill him only makes him stronger, and his poll numbers went through the roof. ... That may have been a miracle, but it was no accident: Americans are less puritanical and more forgiving than the cartoon version suggests, and this president is never better than in his worst moments.''
- Time magazine Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs, on Clinton's State of the Union address
Quote of the Year
''I would be happy to give [Clinton oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.''
- Former Time White House reporter Nina Burleigh recalling what she toldThe Washington Post's Howard Kurtz about her feeling toward Bill Clinton.