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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Bozell Columns
  Dishonors Awards
  Best of NQ Archive
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Best of NQ 2004

The Seventeenth Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Captain Dan the Forgery Man Award

First Place

“The story is true. The story is true....I appreciate the sources who took risks to authenticate our story. So, one, there is no internal investigation. Two, somebody may be shell-shocked, but it is not I, and it is not anybody at CBS News. Now, you can tell who is shell-shocked by the ferocity of the people who are spreading these rumors.”
— Dan Rather in a September 10 sidewalk exchange with reporters, denying rumors that CBS would investigate whether or not the “memos” were forged. [62 points]

CBS's Dan Rather



“Anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I’m independent. People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, ‘Because he won’t report it our way, we’re going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.’ They know that I’m fiercely independent and that’s what drives them up a wall.” 
— Rather as quoted by USA Today’s Peter Johnson and Jim Drinkard in a September 16 article. [55]


“Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake....The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far, there is none.”
— Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, Sept. 10. [35]

CBS's Dan Rather


Damn Those Conservatives Award

First Place

“You have made so many offensive comments over the years. Do you regret any of them?”
“You seem indifferent to suffering. Have you ever suffered yourself?”
— Two of the questions posed to National Review founder William F. Buckley by the New York Times Magazine’s Deborah Solomon, July 11. [83 points]



“I heard from God just the other night. God always seems to call at night. ‘Andrew,’ God said to me. He always calls me ‘Andrew.’ I like that. ‘Andrew, you have the eyes and ears of a lot of people. I wish you’d tell your viewers that both Pat Robertson and Mel Gibson strike me as wackos. I believe that’s one of your current words. They’re crazy as bedbugs....Mel is a real nut case. What in the world was I thinking when I created him?’”
— Commentator Andy Rooney on the February 22 edition of CBS’s 60 Minutes. [74]

CBS's Andy Rooney


“The Only Superbad Power: Three years into the presidency of George W. Bush, many people here and abroad fear and loathe our country, its power, its policies, its pride. Is America an evil empire? Seven new books seem ready to think so.”
— Cover headline and subheadline of the New York Times Book Review, January 25. [36 points]


Kooky Keith Award
(for Keith Olbermann’s Conspiratorial Rants)

First Place

“John Dean, who was at the center of the greatest political scandal in this nation’s history, has produced a book with perspective, and that perspective is simply terrifying. The bottom line: George Bush has done more damage to this nation than his old boss, Richard Nixon, ever dreamt of....John Dean, joining us here in the studio....” 
“The feeling that I had been left after reading Worse Than Watergate was that this could have been the historical, essentially, prequel to George Orwell’s novel 1984, that if you wanted to see what the very first step out of maybe 50 steps towards this totalitarian state that Orwell wrote about in his novel, this [President Bush’s policies] would be the kind of thing that you would see....”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to former Nixon aide John Dean on his Countdown program, April 5. [56 points]

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann



“Intimidation, harassment, fabrication, doctoring, spinning, de-contextualizing and actual truth-telling have all been facets of the continuing firestorm over the probity of the elections on the Internet. The latest dueling weapons: scholarly analyses from researchers at major universities. One suggests that the actual statistical odds that the exit polling was wrong — that wrong — were 250 million to one.”
— Olbermann on the November 12 Countdown. [38]


MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

“Since 9/11, it has been a dangerous thing, even career-jeopardizing, to question warnings about prospective terror attacks....[But] from the anti-Catholic Know Nothing Party of the 1850s to the Palmer Raids of the 1920s, from Joe McCarthy to Lyndon Johnson’s manipulation of the Gulf of Tonkin, our politics have been filled with politicians who have created a kind of evil twin to FDR’s famous phrase, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ All of that seems particularly relevant when the Secretary of Homeland Security changes the threat level three days after his boss’s challenger accepts the nomination of the rival party.”
— Olbermann on the August 2 Countdown discussing new terror warnings. [38]


“The book you mentioned, [Unfit for Command] and we mentioned it here before, it is, in essence, a book-length version of this commercial coming out next week. And just to ratchet up the stakes, it’s from Regnery Press [sic], which is supported in some way by Richard Mellon Scaife of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and you now bring in the whole mystical right-wing conspiracy jazz.”
— Olbermann on Countdown, August 6. Regnery is actually owned by Eagle Publishing, not Scaife. [38]

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann




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