Best of NQ 2002 Contents
  Media Hero Award
  General Phil “Cheap Shot” Donahue Award
  Fourth Reich Award
  Ashamed of the Red, White & Blue Award
  Give Appeasement a Chance Award
  Begala & Carville War Room Award
  Media Millionaires for Smaller Paychecks Award
  Blame America First Award
  Bill Moyers (Subsidized) Sanctimony Award
  Carve Clinton into Mount Rushmore Award
  Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
  Mount St. Helen Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  See No Liberal Media Bias Award
  Quote of the Year
  2002 Award Judges

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  30-Day Archive
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
Media Bias Videos
Bozell Columns
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  Free Market Project
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  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
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Best of NQ 2002

The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Carve Clinton into Mount Rushmore Award

First Place

Joy Behar & Barbara WaltersJoy Behar: “I want to ask the audience: Clap if you would have your daughter be an intern for Bill Clinton.”
Barbara Walters: “I think that’s so unfair. That’s so unfair.”
Behar: “Why?”
Walters: “Because the man was the President. He does need people to work in that office and come on, I mean, let it go already.”
– Exchange on ABC’s The View on Sept. 13. [72 points]


Howell RainesCharlie Rose: “What will be the judgment of history about him [former President Bill Clinton]?”
New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines: “Huge political talent. Huge political vision and I suspect – none of us, I can’t predict who’s going to win the next election, much less what history is going to say about anyone. But I think President Clinton’s role in modernizing the Democratic Party around a set of economic ideas and also holding onto the principles of social justice, and presiding over the greatest prosperity in human history. Those would seem to me to have to be central to his legacy.”
– Exchange on PBS’s Charlie Rose, August 6. [70]

“In a crowded conference room at the Waldorf, some 300 world leaders in politics, industry and finance were held spellbound by a freewheeling, solo seminar conducted by someone whose idea of a great meal was the Mexican platter at the White House mess: former President Bill Clinton, the ultimate Davos Man, always ready to expound on globalization until the last top-dog dies....
“Dapper in a double-breasted blue blazer and hand-held microphone, the man the official program described as ‘Founder, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation,’ held forth on North Korea, the Middle East, Enron and health care. At one point, he welcomed a guest star, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel, who declared, ‘I wish we’d had just a few more months, then we’d have peace in the Middle East.’”
– Todd Purdum and David Sanger’s front-page New York Times article, “It Was Clinton at Waldorf Instead of Dessert,” February 5. [62]

Joe Klein: “The ‘90s will be remembered more for the ferocity of their prosecutions than for the severity of their crimes. I think we all went a little bit berserk during that time. I think that there really was a conspiracy against Bill Clinton on the right, and I think that he did some terrible things. But there is such a thing as balance and...James Carville said to me, ‘All you have to do is say one sentence in favor of Bill Clinton and you’re an apologist.’ It shouldn’t be like that. It shouldn’t be like that. We should be able to acknowledge the fact that he made life a lot better for a lot of people in this country.”
Tim Russert: “And yet many people will say, if he’s the President of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer, and he breaks the law he should be penalized.”
Klein: “So Franklin Roosevelt too, huh? You think he should have been penalized for lying about lend-lease?”
– Discussion with Klein, a New Yorker columnist and former Newsweek Senior Writer, about his book, The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton, on CNBC’s Tim Russert, March 9. [49]


Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
for Celebrity Pontificating

First Place

Jessica Lange“I despise him [President George W. Bush]. I despise his administration and everything they stand for....To my mind the election was stolen by George Bush and we have been suffering ever since under this man’s leadership....And I think this latest thing with Iraq is absolute madness and I’m stunned that there is not opposition on a much more global scale to what he’s talking about....There has to be a movement now to really oppose what he is proposing because it’s unconstitutional, it’s immoral and basically illegal....It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It’s humiliating.” 
– Actress Jessica Lange at a September 25 press conference at an international film festival in San Sebastian, Spain where she was given a lifetime achievement award. Her remarks were shown in the U.S. on the syndicated show Inside Edition on October 4. [79 points]



Barbra Streisand“It was 1993...a time of hope...of new possibilities. We believed that our children and grandchildren would live in an age of extraordinary opportunity. We had a Democratic Congress that put the country on the road to prosperity... passed the Family and Medical Leave Act...legislation to increase funds for anti-crime bill that banned assault weapons and violence against women... safe water and clean air acts.
“Unprecedented Growth in the Economy/The Dow Was Up, the Deficit Was Down/As Long as Democrats Were the Majority/I Could Sleep Nights, Not Weep Nights.
“I find George Bush and Dick Cheney frightening...Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft frightening.
“Global Warming? Don’t Believe a Word of It/And What’s a Drop of Arsenic or Two?/Saving Medicare? They Never Heard of It/To Them, Health Care Is Wealth Care
“Now we have tax cuts for the rich, but no raise in the minimum wage for the poor... poison in the water, salmonella in the food, carbon dioxide in the air and toxic waste in the ground that polluters no longer have to pay to clean up - the taxpayers do.
“So on next Election Day I Pray/That the Country Will Deliver, a House Without Tom Delay!/We Need a Team Change/A Definite Regime Change/Oh, That Would Be a Dream Change/From the Way We Are.”
– Barbra Streisand interspersing comments with singing of customized lyrics to “The Way We Were,” at a Sept. 29 fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidates and later posted on her Web site, (Ellipses are speaking pauses as in original.) [68]

“This is a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them ‘hawks’, but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation’s grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist.”
– Former Cheers star Woody Harrelson in an op-ed headlined “I’m an American tired of American lies” published Oct. 17 in London’s The Guardian newspaper. [65]

Larry King: “We [Americans] try to do good, don’t we? I mean, we’re basically good.”
Bill Maher: “No. Not for the rest of the world....Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn’t have to kill them for their oil.”
– Exchange on CNN’s Larry King Live, November 1. [49]


Mount St. Helen Award
for Helen Thomas Eruptions

First Place

“I censored myself for 50 years....Now I wake up and ask myself, ‘Who do I hate today?’...I have never covered a President who actually wanted to go to war. Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war is immoral – such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It’s as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam....Where is the outrage?” 
– Helen Thomas, Hearst Newspapers White House columnist and former UPI reporter, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Nov. 4 and quoted on MIT’s Web site two days later. [76 points]



“Reagan turned the country to the right. There was a Reagan revolution, a very conservative revolution, and it was social Darwinism. If you can’t make it, tough. I mean, he did not believe in social welfare and, but at the same time, he did build up our military. He had a secret plan to spend one trillion dollars on new arms when he came in....”
“Clinton, I think his heart was in the right place. He certainly built up a great prosperity and surplus, balanced the budget, I think that he had great ideals, but, of course, he tarnished the White House with his liaisons and, but eventually, you know, every President, time is the great healer, and every President looks better in retrospect, so I think that he has a legacy that will be worthwhile.”
– Thomas speaking at a March 3 Newseum session shown by C-SPAN on March 4. [49]

Helen Thomas“I think the chipping away of our civil liberties is unprecedented. Even in World War II, I never saw anything like that in Washington or any of the wars. I think that people are standing mute, and I remember the rabbi in the March on Washington program. He said that the greatest sin of all in the Nazi era was silence. He had been in a concentration camp for many years. People have got to, they must speak up now or forever hold their peace.”
– Thomas on MSNBC’s Donahue, July 22. [47]

Helen Thomas: “Does the President consider this [election outcome] a mandate to fulfill his agenda? Going to war with Iraq, privatizing Social Security, weakening the Civil Service Commission and so forth?”
Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: “Helen, you sound like a commercial that didn’t work.”
– Exchange at White House press briefing, Nov. 6. [28]




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