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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  30-Day Archive
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
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  Dishonors Awards
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Best of NQ 2004

The Seventeenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

The Madness of King George Award
(for Bush Bashing)

First Place

“Even if Mr. Bush wins re-election this November, he, too, will eventually be dragged down by the powerful undertow that inevitably accompanies public deception. The public will grow intolerant of partisan predators and crony capitalists indulging in a frenzy of feeding at the troughs in Baghdad and Washington. And there will come a time when the President will have no one to rely on except his most rabid allies in the right-wing media. He will

PBS's Bill Moyers

discover too late that you cannot win the hearts and minds of the public at large in a nation polarized and pulverized by endless propaganda in defiance of reality....
“Even now the privates patrolling the mean streets of Baghdad and the wilds of Afghanistan make less than $16,000 a year in base pay, their lives and limbs are constantly at risk, while here at home the rich get their tax cuts — what Vice President Cheney calls ‘their due.’ Favored corporations get their contracts, subsidies and offshore loopholes. And even as he praises sacrifice, the President happily passes the huge bills that are piling up onto children not yet born....”
— PBS’s Bill Moyers on his weekly newsmagazine Now, March 26. [73 points]


“Two and a half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?”
New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller to Bush at an April 13 news conference. [56]

New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller

“What happens when you go in the Oval Office is you start living in a bubble, you know....David Kay, for instance, comes out with a report and says Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction. What does George W. Bush say? ‘Well, I still think they had them.’ That’s not just spin. That’s dementia.” 
— MSNBC contributor Ron Reagan, Jr., during live coverage of the January 27 New Hampshire primary. [50]

MSNBC contributor Ron Reagan, Jr.

Bob Woodward: “The President still believes, with some conviction, that this [the Iraq war] was absolutely the right thing, that he has the duty to free people, to liberate people, and this was his moment.” 
Mike Wallace: “Who gave George Bush the duty to free people around the world?”
Woodward: “That’s a really good question. The Constitution doesn’t say that’s part of the Commander-in-Chief’s duties.” 
Wallace: “The President of the United States, without a great deal of background in foreign policy, makes up his mind and believes he was sent by somebody to free the people — not just in Iraq, but around the world?” 
Woodward: “That’s his stated purpose. It is far-reaching, and ambitious, and I think will cause many people to tremble.” 
— Exchange on CBS’s 60 Minutes, April 18. [32 points]


Bedazzled in Beantown Award
(for Democratic Convention Coverage)

First Place

“John Kerry working himself literally into a sweat. Or as my high school English teacher would prefer, into a high state of perspiration. An almost literal thunder inside the hall, shaking the Fleet Center in a way that it seldom shakes, if ever, even during a Celtics basketball playoff game or a Bruins hockey playoff game. These Democrats, as the speech built, having what amounted to maybe a three-thousand-gallon attack about every three minutes, united in a way the Democratic Party has not been for about half a century.” 
— CBS’s Dan Rather moments after John Kerry’s speech to the Democratic convention, July 29. [72 points]

CBS's Dan Rather



“It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry’s home in Boston, I’m told he whispered to his sister, ‘Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, ‘John,’ knowing he would run for President some day, ‘remember, John, integrity, that’s what matters.’ Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity.” 
— CBS’s Byron Pitts during live coverage of John Kerry’s speech to the Democratic convention, July 29. [47]



“For Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, tonight’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it’s his destiny....A gifted athlete and captain of the debate team at Yale, Kerry followed his idol’s [John F. Kennedy’s] lead and enlisted in the Navy in 1966. In Vietnam, Lieutenant John F. Kerry rescued a comrade in combat, killed an enemy soldier, won three Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star....The day before his speech, Kerry crossed Boston Harbor with some of his crewmates from Vietnam, his band of brothers. They have one battle left. But tonight the loner will stand alone here in his hometown one more time and look to do what John F. Kerry has nearly always done — find a way to win.” 
— Pitts on CBS’s The Early Show, July 29. [41]



“People who served with him [Kerry] in Vietnam said, ‘You can’t believe what he’s like in battle. He just changes. He gets this look over him.’ And when I saw him walking down the aisle tonight on the way into the speech, I said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s that look.’ And I just knew at that point that he’s going to nail this, and he did. I have never seen the man speak so well.” 
Time’s Joe Klein on CNN’s NewsNight, July 29. [33]


Bitter in the Big Apple Award
(for Republican Convention Coverage)

First Place

“You and Olympia Snowe, the other Senator from Maine, are known as moderate Republican women. You have no place in this convention. The [Republican Party] platform does not seem to speak to a lot of women in this country. It’s anti-abortion, it does not expand stem cell research, on other social issues in which women have some interest, for example, gay unions, it's firmly opposed to that. Do you think that this platform and this party is doing enough to reach out to moderate women across the country?” 
— Tom Brokaw to Senator Susan Collins on his 4pm EDT MSNBC show Brokaw in New York, August 31. [47 points]




“The President’s team knows that it can’t get back to the White House by taking only hard right turns, so it has, as three of its featured speakers, Republicans who have been successful by navigating the middle of the road as well the right-hand side: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain who often calls himself John Kerry’s best friend in the U.S. Senate. Streetwise New Yorkers may call that the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town — three-card monte. But then, that’s a game in which the dealer almost always wins.” 
— Tom Brokaw on the August 29 NBC Nightly News. [37]

NBC's Tom Brokaw

“They’re having all these moderate speakers, but the moderate speakers, we discussed last night, aren’t giving moderate speeches, they’re giving speeches in which they’re echoing a lot of this red meat. This is a very angry convention, it’s a very belligerent convention. I mean, I’ve covered 16 conventions....I’ve never heard such an angry speech [as Zell Miller’s].” 
— CNN political analyst Bill Schneider on NewsNight with Aaron Brown following the third night of the Republican convention, September 1. [35]




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