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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Best of NQ 2002

The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Ashamed of the Red, White & Blue Award

First Place

Phil DonahuePhil Donahue: “Let me tell you what is impressive. You’re not wearing a flag. Well, I don’t want to damn you with my praise, but I say hip-hip-hooray for that, and I think you gave the right answer when you spoke at Northwestern University....”
Tom Brokaw: “Right. I said, you know, I wear a flag in my heart, but I think if you wear a flag, it’s a suggestion somehow that you’re endorsing what the administration is doing at the time. And I don’t think journalists ought to be wearing flags.”
Donahue: “And I say hear, hear, hear.”
– Exchange on MSNBC’s Donahue, July 25. [89 points]


“It’s an obscene comparison, and I’m not sure I like it, but there was a time, in South Africa, where people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways, the fear is that you’ll be necklaced here [in the U.S.], you’ll have the flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it’s that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I’m humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.”
– Dan Rather on BBC’s Newsnight, May 16. [80]

“As President Bush toured Asia last week, some world leaders worried publicly that the war on terrorism was starting to look suspiciously like the last great American campaign – against Communism....The McCarthy years in some ways were eerily similar to the present moment....Communists were often conceived as moral monsters whose deviousness and unwavering dedication to their faith made them capable of almost anything....The first victims of anti-Communist hysteria were immigrants, and hundreds of immigrants have been detained since Sept. 11, many with little apparent cause beyond the fact that they were Middle Eastern men.”
New York Times reporter Robert F. Worth in a February 24 “Week in Review” article headlined “A Nation Defines Itself By Its Evil Enemies.” [71]


Give Appeasement a Chance Award

First Place

“The President disclosed that he has been reading Supreme Command, a new book by Eliot A. Cohen, a neoconservative hardliner on Iraq....
“In his reading choice, Bush seems to be following the advice of Bill Kristol, the arch-neoconservative who has been using his Weekly Standard magazine to chide Bush for being too soft on Saddam Hussein....Kristol, suspected of playing puppeteer to a number of hawkish officials in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council, appears to have added the marionette-in-chief to his act.” 
Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank in his “White House Notebook” column, August 20. [84 points]



“Can you assure the American people that this elevated [terrorism] threat alert is not part of the administration’s effort to convince people that the danger is such that military action against Iraq is necessary?”
– ABC’s Terry Moran to White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at a September 10 briefing. [59]

Peter Jennings: “We’re going to take ‘A Closer Look’ tonight at the mood in the country as the President’s determination to wage war against Iraq becomes more defined. The country appears to be less confident than the President.”
Bill Redeker: “Voices of opposition. Not so much against getting rid of Saddam Hussein but how, when and at what cost....Military retirees remember getting bogged down in Vietnam and losing support at home. Many here are leery of a rerun....Unilateral action also troubles those we talked to in Denver. Few want to go it alone....In all three cities, there is a feeling the administration is moving too fast....Contrary to what the President says, when it comes to war, America does not speak with one voice.”
– ABC’s World News Tonight, October 14. The story on public opinion in San Diego, Denver and Charleston only quoted people reluctant or opposed to using military force. [53]

“Many Iraqis believe America’s true motive is to remove Saddam Hussein from power, install a puppet government and seize Iraq’s vast oil wealth. On the streets, many see Hussein’s offer to allow the inspectors back as a wise, brave decision showing strength.”
– NBC’s Ron Allen reporting from Baghdad for the September 17 Nightly News. [47]

“Wherever you live in the world today, the sound of war drums being beaten in Washington has become unmistakable. With the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks behind us...the administration’s preoccupation with Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction has rapidly become the number one issue in international affairs.”
– ABC’s Peter Jennings during a live report before President Bush’s speech to the United Nations, Sept. 12. [45]


Begala & Carville War Room Award
for Bush Bashing

First Place

Rolling Stone’s Will Dana: “Some people on the Left have said that the war on terrorism is actually about making sure the Middle East keeps pumping oil on our terms. In your book, you refer to ‘Mr. Bush and his oil-industry paymasters.’ What do you mean?”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: “I think these guys are bought and paid by Big Oil in America, and they are going to do nothing that will in any way go against the demands and interests of the big oil companies. I mean, let’s face it. ExxonMobil – I think this is a real group of bad guys, considering that they have funded all the anti-global-warming propaganda out there in the world. And Bush is just not going to go against guys like that. They are bad, bad guys – because of what they are doing in fighting the science of global warming.”
– Interview published in the October 17 Rolling Stone. [68 points]



Ceci Connolly“What also struck me, aside from how frightening much in this speech was, were the things that were missing. Very little with respect to minorities, the uninsured, the homeless, the elderly, Enron workers who have lost their life savings.”
Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly during Fox’s broadcast coverage of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address on January 29. [59]

“Gun-rights advocates have been emboldened by an administration that is sympathetic to their cause. The closeness was underscored by the fact that the military-style gun used in the sniper attacks – named, unfortunately for the White House, Bushmaster XM15 – was manufactured by a company owned by Richard Dyke, a Bush fundraiser.”
Time’s Karen Tumulty and Viveca Novak, November 4 issue. [49]

“When we come back, the other big news from the White House today. President Bush makes a major announcement. Tonight, why the U.S. is deliberately going back on its word in front of the rest of the world.”
– MSNBC’s Brian Williams promoting an item on Bush’s decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty, on the December 13, 2001 News with Brian Williams. [47]




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