Best of NQ 2001 Contents
  Swiss Press Corps Award
  Media Hero Award
  Pushing Bush to the Left Award
  Poisoning the Planet Award
  Picking the Lockbox Award
  Carve Clinton Into Mount Rushmore Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Selected Not Elected Award
  Department of Injustice Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  Euro-Envy Award
  Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award
  Blame America First Award
  Glimpses of Patriotism Award
  Too Late for the Ballot
  2001 Award Judges
  Press Coverage

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  Notable Quotables
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The Best Notable Quotables of 2001:

The Fourteenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting


Poisoning the Planet Award for Portraying Bush as Destroyer of the Earth

First Place

Margaret Carlson


"Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the school lunch program by classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the Bush administration went further, axing a regulation that forced the meat industry to test hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad Cow Disease among children, K through 12. The day it hit the papers the proposal was quickly withdrawn. [If] the Bush administration keeps trying to kill health and safety regulations at this pace, soon we won’t be able to eat, drink or breathe."
– "Outrage of the Week" from Time magazine’s Margaret Carlson, April 7 Capital Gang on CNN. [69 points]


"Around the world, the anger runs as deep as the flood waters being blamed on the global warming the Kyoto treaty was supposed to fight. President Bush says he’s putting American economic interests first in rejecting Kyoto, and in Britain, where they’re having their wettest winter ever, they sadly agree....Others point to severe weather conditions around the planet – flooding for the second consecutive year in Mozambique, drought and famine in the Sudan – and they say the U.S. is substantially to blame. With only about four percent of the world’s population, the United States famously produces about twenty-five percent of the world’s harmful greenhouse gas pollution."
– Mark Phillips on the March 29 CBS Evening News. [36]

"Fairly or unfairly, critics of President Bush’s environmental policy believe the only green policy he’s displayed is the color of big business money. Today the President made moves to change that image, upholding a new rule on industries pumping lead into the environment. So, is the Bush push really getting the lead out, or just blowing smoke?"
– Dan Rather on the April 17 CBS Evening News. [36]

"President Bush insisted today that he was not caving in to big money contributors, big-time lobbyists, and overall industry pressure when he broke a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the air was thick today with accusations from people who believe that’s exactly what happened."
– Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, March 14. [29]

President Bush:
"I think the message is getting out. There are some issues, like the environment, some accuse me of not being environmentally sensitive, which is ridiculous."
Matt Lauer: "So you can look me in the eye and say that you are a President committed to cleaning up the environment?"
– Exchange on NBC’s Today, April 25. [27]


Picking the Lockbox Award for Denouncing Bush’s Tax Cut

First Place

"Adios, surplus. When retired boomers dine on dog food, will they say thanks for that $600?"
Newsweek’s "Conventional Wisdom" box, assigning President Bush a "down" arrow, Sept. 3 issue. [52 points]


"Democrats, collaborating on a smaller tax cut proposal, have vowed to fight the Bush plan, targeting it as a budget buster that caters to the rich....On the Republican side, Mr. Bush faces a different problem. Already they’re talking up adding more tax cuts to his plan. And then, there’s the lobbyists who wonder why Mr. Bush gave nothing to corporate America. Critics charge the bill could eventually top $3 trillion....Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice can’t forget the last time Congress went on a tax cut spree in 1981. America is still paying the bill."
– CBS White House correspondent John Roberts in a February 5 CBS Evening News story which cited a critic but not a supporter of Reagan’s tax cuts. [36 points]

"On Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled House voted mostly along party lines tonight to pass President Bush’s federal budget blueprint. This includes his big tax cut plan, partly bankrolled, critics say, through cuts in many federal aid programs for children and education."
– Dan Rather on the March 28 CBS Evening News. [33]

"President Bush tonight outlines his cut-federal-programs-to-get-a-tax-cut plan to Congress and the nation. Democrats will then deliver their televised response, which basically says Mr. Bush’s ideas are risky business, endangering among other things, Social Security and Medicare."
– Dan Rather, February 27 CBS Evening News. [33]

"The Bushes held their first state dinner. POTUS served buffalo meat, wore cowboy boots and welcomed Clint Eastwood. Meanwhile, the rest of America priced horse meat."
– Summary of previous week’s events according to Newsweek’s "Conventional Wisdom" in the magazine’s September 17 issue. [29]

"That’s what’s pernicious here, is seizing on this as a way to get a tax cut...he could create something self-fulfilling, talk down the economy because he wants to use that as a tool to get a tax cut that we don’t really need and is a bad idea."
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, December 23, 2000. [26]


Carve Clinton Into Mount Rushmore Award

First Place

Helen Thomas




"Throughout the eight years he was in office, President Clinton warned us that the next great menace was international terrorism....He also brought unprecedented prosperity to our nation, and because of that, President [Bush] can use the surplus Mr. Clinton left behind to pay for many of the nation’s needs in this time of crisis....This lecture series is about the human spirit. To me and millions of others, President Clinton has always personified that. He is the man from Hope, and that is what he has given us, hope. We miss him. Thank you, Mr. President."
– Former UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas introducing Clinton at Oct. 9 Greater Washington Society of Association Executives lecture shown on C-SPAN. [80 points]


"Now, the return of the Prodigal Son. The, you know, the man who left office disgraced, burdened down by at least three major scandals that I can think of, got a hero’s welcome today, and I couldn’t be happier....After impeachment, after Pardongate, after the fake stories about their pilfering of the White House, Bill Clinton’s appearance today in Harlem must have been the feel-good event of the season for the former President, and he soaked up the sunshine and love."
– Geraldo Rivera discussing Bill Clinton’s "heroic re-emergence" at the opening of his new Harlem offices, on CNBC’s Rivera Live, July 30. [40]

"Elvis, the first rock star. Clinton, the first rock star President....Clinton had a talent for convincing anyone listening to him that he was speaking only to them, just as Elvis convinced someone in the 100th row that he was singing only to them. Presley drew on black culture for inspiration. Clinton draws on black culture for solace."
– CNN political analyst Bill Schneider, prompted by the August "convergence" days apart of Bill Clinton’s birthday and the day Elvis died, August 16 Inside Politics. [31]

"In every family there are people and situations you would just as soon keep from others. So, when you express shock and outrage at Bill and Hillary’s brothers’ involvement in the pardon controversy, consider what your own relatives might do if you possessed the power of the presidency."
– Carole Simpson, anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight/Sunday, in her "On My Mind" commentary, February 24. [29]




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