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

Good Morning Morons Award

First Place

Katie Couric:Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue hits news stands today and this year it honors the American soldier. Jim Kelly is Time’s Managing Editor and veteran war photographer James Nachtwey was embedded with the Army’s First Armored Division in Baghdad and took the remarkable images in this week’s issue. He was also wounded while on assignment. Gentlemen, welcome, good morning, nice to have you both. I was so, I have to say, just personally, I was so pleased to see this....Tell me why you all decided to honor the American soldier? Wondering why there’s no woman on the cover, too?” 
Time’s Jim Kelly, pointing to cover: “This is a woman.” 
Couric: “Oh, there you go, oh sorry....I couldn’t tell because of her helmet.” 
— Discussing a Time cover showing three U.S. soldiers in combat gear, NBC’s Today, December 22, 2003. [65 points]

NBC's Katie Couric



Matt Lauer: “Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group — not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessians — could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today, where the insurgents — not well equipped, smaller in numbers — the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What’s the lesson here?” 
Lynne Cheney: “Well, the difference, of course, is who’s fighting on the side of freedom.”
— Exchange on the November 9 Today show, where Mrs. Cheney was promoting her new children’s book on General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. [57]


NBC's Matt Lauer & Lynne Cheney

“Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, you now know where John Kerry stands on what has happened in Iraq.” 
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer discussing Kerry’s performance in the first debate, October 1 Early Show. [37]


Rene Syler: “Let’s start [with] this CBS poll of uncommitted voters. Thirty-nine percent said they thought Kerry won the debate, 25 percent said they thought the President won and 36 percent thought it was a dead heat....” 
CBS political analyst Craig Crawford: “Rene, even before these polls came out, you could feel the presidency slipping away from George Bush.”
— Exchange on the October 14 Early Show. [34]


CBS's Rene Syler & Craig Crawford


Admitting the Obvious Award
(for Acknowledging Liberal Bias)

First Place

“Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox — but they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all. There’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.” 
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the July 10 Inside Washington. [67 points]




“Of course it is....These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.”
New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent in a July 25 column which appeared under a headline asking, “Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?” [61]

“Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections. They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are ‘conservative positions.’...”
“The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush’s justifications for the Iraq war....It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy....It remains fixated on the unemployment rate....”
“The worldview of the dominant media can be seen in every frame of video and every print word choice that is currently being produced about the presidential race....On the strength of all the negative coverage of the President and all his own positive coverage, Senator Kerry heads into today’s twin primaries on a roll. “
— From the February 10 edition of’s “The Note,” a daily political memo assembled by ABC News political director Mark Halperin and his staff. [50]

Jack Cafferty: “Can you say liberal? And the liberal talk radio station Air America debuts today....The question is, does America need additional ‘liberal’ media outlets?...” 
Bill Hemmer: “I think it’s a good question....Why hasn’t a liberal radio station or TV network never taken off before?”
Cafferty: “We have them. Are you, did you just get off a vegetable truck from the South Bronx? They’re every-where....What do they call this joint? The Clinton News Network!”
— Exchange on CNN’s American Morning, March 31. [37]


Quote of the Year

First Place

“What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy it may be, for some, the only job they can find.”
— Dan Rather teasing a report on the CBS Evening News on March 31, the day four American civilians were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, Iraq.

CBS's Dan Rather



“I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him.”
— CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer recalling Ronald Reagan on CNN’s Larry King Live, June 14.

CBS's Morley Safer

“Powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can’t deny the fundamental truth of the story. If you can’t deny the information, then attack and seek to destroy the credibility of the messenger, the bearer of the information. And in this case, it’s change the subject from the truth of the information to the truth of the documents. This is your basic fogging machine, which is set up to cloud the issue, to obscure the truth....Over the long haul, this will be consistent with our history and our traditions and reputation. We took heat during the McCarthy time, during Vietnam, during civil rights, during Watergate. We haven’t always been right, but our record is damn good.” 
— Dan Rather discussing CBS’s forged memo scandal, as quoted by the New York Observer’s Joe Hagan, Sept. 15.


“Zell Miller’s speech was a speech of hate, it was a speech of venom. This is a man who started his political career with Lester Maddox and last night he imitated Lester Maddox. Lester Maddox, as we all know, was a segregationist, but he was a man of hate. Zell Miller is not a segregationist, not that at all....[But] I grew up in the South, I’ve seen the face of anger, I’ve seen the face of hatred....There are lines in politics and that speech went over the line.”
U.S. News & World Report Editor-at-Large David Gergen during MSNBC’s live coverage following Miller’s speech to the Republican National convention, September 2.

U.S. News & World Report's David Gergen


2004 Award Judges

Lee Anderson, Associate Publisher, Chattanooga Times Free Press
Chuck Asay, editorial cartoonist, The Gazette in Colorado Springs
Brent H. Baker, MRC’s Vice President for Research and Publications; 
     Editor of CyberAlert and Notable Quotables
Mark Belling, radio talk show host, WISN in Milwaukee
L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center 
Priscilla Buckley, retired National Review Managing Editor
Blanquita Cullum, syndicated talk show host for Radio America;
     Governor, Broadcasting Board of Governors
Mark Davis, radio talk show host, WBAP in Dallas-Ft. Worth;
     columnist for the Dallas Morning News
Midge Decter, President, The Philadelphia Society
Bob Dutko, radio talk show host, WMUZ in Detroit
Jim Eason, San Francisco radio talk show host emeritus
Barry Farber, national radio talk host on the Talk Radio Network
Don Feder, media consultant and free-lance writer
Eric Fettmann, Associate Editorial Page Editor, New York Post
Ryan Frazier, editorial writer and associate editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Mike Gallagher, syndicated radio talk show host; FNC contributor
Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center
Kirk Healy, Executive Producer, WDBO Radio in Orlando
Quin Hillyer, editorial writer for the Mobile Register
Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe
Marie Kaigler, radio talk show host and mass media consultant
Cliff Kincaid, Editor, Accuracy in Media
Mark Larson, radio talk show host, KOGO in San Diego
Jason Lewis, radio talk show host, WBT in Charlotte
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online
Bernadette Malone, editor, Penguin Group USA and columnist for
     The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Patrick B. McGuigan, Contributing editor, Tulsa Today and
     The MidCity Advocate (Oklahoma City, OK)
Joe McQuaid, Publisher, The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Jan Mickelson, radio talk show host, WHO/WMT in Des Moines
Wes Minter, radio talk show host, WTMJ in Milwaukee
Robert D. Novak, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times,
     co-host of CNN’s Crossfire
Rich Noyes, Director of Research, Media Research Center
Marvin Olasky, visiting professor of politics, Princeton University
Henry Payne, editorial cartoonist, The Detroit News
Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, Editorial Director, The American Spectator
Mike Rosen, radio talk show host, KOA in Denver;
     columnist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News
William A. Rusher, Distinguished Fellow, Claremont Institute
James Taranto, Editor,
Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist; host of FNC’s After Hours
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator
Clay Waters, Editor of MRC’s
Dick Williams, host of Fox Atlanta’s Georgia Gang; columnist
Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events

In Memoriam:

During 2004 we lost two dedicated judges who loyally completed their ballots each year. On January 4, Dr. Ted J. Smith III, a journalism professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, died at age 58. On December 9, David Brudnoy, a talk radio host on WBZ-AM in Boston and professor at Boston University, passed away at age 64.




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