Best of NQ 2004 Contents
  Blue State Brigade Award
  GI John Award
  Darth Vader vs. “The Sunshine Boy” Award
  The Madness of King George Award
  Bedazzled in Beantown Award
  Bitter in the Big Apple Award
  Captain Dan the Forgery Man Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Kooky Keith Award
  Media Hero Award
  Bring Back Saddam Award
  Real Reagan Legacy Award
  Debbie Downer Award
  Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Admitting the Obvious Award
  Quote of the Year
  2004 Award Judges

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Best of NQ 2004

The Seventeenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Debbie Downer Award
(for Economic Doom & Gloom)

First Place

NBC’s Carl Quintanilla: “They’re calling it the middleclass blues....the feeling that happy days aren’t quite here yet...” 
Woman: “I’ve never been in a, like, depression, but I think this is pretty close to it.” 
Quintanilla: “The numbers, of course, say different. A million new jobs added since February, gas prices back below $2, the cheapest in a month. Enough to give comfort to some....But overall, the price of life in America is up from last year, everything from hospital visits to tuition. Last month alone, milk prices made their single biggest jump since World War II.” 
— Report aired on NBC’s Today, June 16. [35 points]

NBC's Carl Quintanilla



John Roberts: “What the President didn’t say was that the employment numbers in August again fell short of expectations, and it is now certain he will end his first term as the first President since the Great Depression to lose jobs on his watch....The situation is worse than it seems. While the President touts the results of his economic recovery plan-” 
President Bush: “We have added 1.7 million jobs.” 
Roberts: “-job creation hasn’t kept up with population growth. By that measure, experts say, he is several million more jobs in the hole.” 
— September 3 CBS Evening News story on the unemployment rate falling to 5.4 percent. [34]


“Not a va-room, but a putt, putt, putt. Tonight, America’s economic engine creates some new jobs, but not nearly enough to replace the thousands lost.” 
— Dan Rather at the top of the February 6 CBS Evening News, teasing a story on 112,000 new private-sector jobs created in January, the most in three years. [31]

CBS's Dan Rather


Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
(for Celebrity Vapidity)

First Place

Singer Linda Ronstadt“People don’t realize that by voting Republican, they voted against themselves....I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don’t know anything about the Iraqis, but they’re angry and frustrated in their own lives. It’s like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we’ve got a new bunch of Hitlers.”
— Singer Linda Ronstadt, as quoted by USA Today reporter Elysa Gardner in a November 17 profile. [64 points]



“I wondered to myself during ‘Shock and Awe,’ I wondered which of the megaton bombs Jesus, our President’s personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping families of Baghdad?” 
— Actress Meryl Streep at a July 8 Kerry-Edwards fundraiser held at Radio City Music Hall, as quoted by the July 9 Boston Globe. [54]

Michael Moore “I’ve always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest, are always the first to step up....They serve so that we don’t have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkable, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm’s way unless it’s absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?...
“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not a victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.”
— Michael Moore’s voiceover at the conclusion of his movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, released October 5 on DVD. [37]

“He’s [John Kerry] running against the worst President in the history of the United States! [audience applause] And that’s not hyperbole. That’s not hyperbole. The environment, the demonization of gays, the repression of black voters, the favoritism of Halliburton, this unending war....We can’t consume everybody’s life with this fear when we’ve been attacked twice in twenty years.” 
— Actor/comedian Richard Belzer, who plays “Detective John Munch” on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, October 29. [30]


Politics of Meaninglessness Award
(for the Silliest Analysis)

First Place

“When you tell me, ‘Let the states decide,’ that scares me, okay? I’ve got a little map here of [the] pre-Civil War [United States], free versus slave states. I wish you could see it in color and large. But if you look at it, the red states are all down in the South, and you have the Nebraska Territories, the New Mexico Territories, and the Kansas Territories. But the Pacific Northwest and California were not slave states. The Northeast was not. It looks like the [Electoral College] map of 2004.”
— Former World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson, who travels the country for ABC News to talk to high schoolers about how to consume news, at a November 8 National Press Club forum shown on C-SPAN. [62 points]

Former World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson



“I have a feeling that it [bin Laden’s new videotape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaign right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa dump, explosive dump. Right now that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign.” 
— Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite on CNN’s Larry King Live, October 29. [56]



“I do think one of the factors was we were of different sexes. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have been happy to be married to several friends I had of the same sex. It just never came up in our particular relations.”
— Walter Cronkite, when asked why his marriage to Betsy Cronkite had lasted so long, as quoted in the March 2 San Francisco Chronicle. [47]

“Today the government said that America’s prison population grew 2.9 percent last year to nearly 2.1 million. That’s a record number of people in jail and prison. One out of every 75 American men was incarcerated. The number went up even though the crime rate continued to fall.”
— ABC’s Peter Jennings on the May 27 World News Tonight. [35]




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