Best of NQ 1999 Contents
  The Alec Baldwin Award
  Soft on Crime Award
  China Syndrome Award
  I Am Woman Award
  Media Hero Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Littleton Shop of Horrors Award
  Shooting the Constitution Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  See No Evil Award
  Politics of Personal Destruction Award
  Doris Kearns Goodwin Award
  Too Late for the Ballot
  Quote of the Year
  1999 Award Judges
  Press Coverage

Publications & Analysis
  30-Day Archive
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
Media Bias Videos
Bozell Columns
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  Free Market Project
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  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  What Others Say
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1999:

The Twelfth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Good Morning Morons Award

First Place

Tim Russert Tim Russert: "Is it hard holding your own views in check?"
Bryant Gumbel: "You know what? In terms of my political views, I hold them in check. I don’t think that someone who watches is inclined to think that I’m one way or the other."
-- CNBC’s Tim Russert, October 30. [91]


"Bush is using this term ‘compassionate conservative’ as he campaigns, which is an interesting juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory terms."
-- Good Morning America co-host Charlie Gibson to William Safire in discussing phrases used by presidential candidates in the campaign, November 18. [49]

"But are you comfortable with our national obligations, our national prestige, being held hostage by the most conservative wing of your party?"
-- Early Show co-host Bryant Gumbel on holdup of UN dues by conservatives who did not want U.S. money to fund abortions, to House Republican Chairman J.C. Watts, November 10. [31]

Gumbel: "Final note. If my research is correct, you sign papers next week, final papers, on the house in Chappaqua. Do you happen to know what’s the closest golf course to your house in Chappaqua?"
Clinton: "I don’t know."
Gumbel: "Whippoorwill Country Club in Armonk. Do you know who is a member there?"
Clinton: "Are you?"
Gumbel, laughing: "Yes, sir."
Clinton, laughing: "I’d be happy to be your guest, any time. I’m easy about that."
-- End of November 1 The Early Show interview. [26]

"And so it is that you revolve your story around one [Netscape founder] Jim Clark. A most unusual and successful businessman, but a strange guy, yeah?"
"But underneath it all, I mean, is he Gordon Gekko? Is he greed is good?"
"But he is in love with money?"
"So you’re going to sit there and tell me that the next great idea is what drives Silicon Valley and not greed, ultimately?"
-- Most of Bryant Gumbel’s questions to Michael Lewis, author of a book on Silicon Valley successes, Nov. 3. [23]


Littleton Shop of Horrors Award
(for Exploiting a Tragedy to
Push Gun Control)

First Place

"Republicans are betting that this too [Columbine] will pass, that as with Jonesboro and Paducah, Pearl and Springfield, once the white coffins are in the ground and the cameras gone, the outrage will subside. But maybe not this time. In town meetings and talk radio, the public has had its fill of politicians talking resignedly about our gun culture, as if there’s nothing to be done about a subgroup that finds schoolyard massacres an acceptable cost for its right to be armed to the teeth."
-- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, May 10. [75]

"Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move the majority of Americans into a position more powerful than that of the NRA. Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move us from people who support gun control to people who vote it. But as we continue to let the widows and the wounded do the work, be warned. That next school may be the one your children attend; the next accident could be close to home."
-- Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen, Nov. 1. [39]

"Is there any reason, Howard, to believe that this tragic attack on children, for goodness sakes, will trigger any movement by this Congress to enact tougher, meaningful new gun laws?"
"You know, Howard, I asked Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver, who certainly has had to wrestle with this, about why her colleagues consistently reject tougher gun control measures. She said two things, they’re too afraid of the NRA and they’re too beholden to the NRA. Does it really come down to that? Do Congress people care more about perpetuating personal power than they do about saving the lives of children?" -- MSNBC’s News with Brian Williams fill-in anchor Gregg Jarrett to Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, Aug. 12. [38]
Part 1     Part 2

"When you went to Littleton, a friend of yours, who supports you on gun control, said to me in the last 48 hours, the President, because as he said Littleton has seared the national conscience, the President had a chance to roar on gun control and he meowed, and that was a friend of yours. There are very basic measures that could be taken that people agree on. We register every automobile in America. We don’t register guns. That’s a step that would make a difference."
-- Charlie Gibson in Good Morning America’s live interview with Bill Clinton at the White House, June 4. [30]

"Littleton, Colorado, is 1700 miles from Washington, D.C., but it might as well be a million. For many survivors of the Columbine shooting, today’s collapse of gun control legislation feels like a slap in the face. NBC News correspondent Jim Avila has that part of the story."
-- MSNBC’s News with Brian Williams anchor Sara James, June 18. [27]


Shooting the Constitution Award
(for Advocating the Banning of Guns)

First Place

Geraldo Rivera "That smells of bullsh...How much longer are we gonna take that? How much longer are we gonna be wrapping in the flag of patriotism to justify 250 millions guns out there? How much longer?"
-- Geraldo Rivera responding to video clip of NRA chief Charlton Heston, May 3 Rivera Live on CNBC. [62]


"Get rid of the guns. We had the Second Amendment that said you have the right to bear arms. I haven’t seen the British really coming by my house looking for it. And besides, the right to bear arms is not an absolute right anyway, as New York’s Sullivan Law proves. We talk about ourselves as a violent society, and some of that is right and some of it is claptrap. But I think if you took away the guns, and I mean really take away the guns, not what Congress is doing now, you would see that violent society diminish considerably."
-- PBS NewsHour essayist Roger Rosenblatt, May 20. [61]

"Whatever is being proposed is way too namby-pamby. I mean, for example, we’re talking about limiting people to one gun purchase, or handgun purchase a month. Why not just ban the ownership of handguns when nobody needs one? Why not just ban semi-automatic rifles? Nobody needs one."
-- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, May 1 Inside Washington. [53]

"Repealing the Second Amendment is no cause for the faint-hearted, but it remains the only way for liberals to trigger an honest debate on the future of our bullet-plagued society. So what if anti-gun advocates have to devote the next 15 or 20 years to the struggle? The cause is worth the political pain. Failing to take bold action condemns all of us to spend our lives cringing in terror every time we hear a car backfire."
-- USA Today columnist Walter Shapiro, Sept. 17. [50]




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