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The Best Notable Quotables of 2007

The 20th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

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Politics of Meaninglessness Award for Silliest Analysis
Winner

“Perhaps the outpouring of sympathy for [the falsely arrested Duke lacrosse players] Reade Seligman, Collin Finnerty and David Evans is just a bit misplaced....As students of Duke University or other elite institutions, these young men will get on with their privileged lives....They are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.”
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran writing on his “Pushback” blog on ABCNews.com on April 12, the day after the North Carolina Attorney General declared the players innocent of highly-publicized rape charges. [66 points]



Runners-up:

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“As part of our ongoing series of reports on the environment, ‘America Goes Green,’ we take on the question that can make otherwise competent adults quake with fear. We’ve all been there. You come to the end of the checkout line and then comes that question: ‘Paper or plastic?’ For that one brief moment, we grocery buyers are made to feel like the fate of the planet hinges on our decision.”
— NBC’s Brian Williams on the May 7 Nightly News. [47]

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“[High ratings for Fox’s American Idol] cannot solely be explained by technological advances or a regression in human nature. It cannot be a coincidence that television voting rights arose so soon after the 2000 election left slightly more than half the voting population feeling cheated. Those who didn’t go to the polls and fear that their abstention inadvertently made possible the invasion of Iraq may feel even worse. Idol could be a displacement ritual: a psychological release that allows people to vote — and even vote often — in a contest that has no dangerous or even lasting consequences.”
New York Times TV reporter Alessandra Stanley in an April 4 article. [46]


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CNN’s Larry King: “Are you sorry about that [60 Minutes National Guard story] now?”
Ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather: “No.”
King: “You think the report was correct?”
Rather: “Yes. And I think most people know by now that it was correct.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Larry King Live, September 20. [37]

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