See it, Decree it -- I'd Rather
A column in January 25, 2002 the Daily
By Patrick B. McGuigan
Thomas, a frequent contributor to The Oklahoman's editorial page, served
as master of ceremonies and as a judge at last week's 2001 "Media
The event was
held in the atrium of the mammoth Ronald Reagan International Trade
Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Thomas, critical
of naming the building for his favorite president, was in fine form.
Curiously, no "winners" accepted in person, necessitating a
lineup of conservative celebrities to pick up the trophies. (The evening
included an optimistic update from columnist David Limbaugh, who
reported his brother Rush, the radio commentator, had recovered most of
his hearing after an operation.) The Wall Street Journal's John Fund
named Time magazine's Margaret Carlson winner of the "We're All
Going to Die and It's Bush's Fault" award for environmental
reporting. Decrying steps by George W. Bush to balance regulations,
Carlson observed in a commentary that "soon we won't be able to
eat, drink or breathe." Helen Thomas, formerly of United Press
International, won the "Bring Back Bubba" award for remarks at
a Washington dinner in October, where she praised Bill Clinton for
personifying "the human spirit."
Westin, president of ABC News, had already gained nationwide attention,
and prior recognition from MRC, for his confused answer, soon after
Sept. 11, on the Pentagon as "a legitimate target" for
terrorists. At the "dishonors" he got the "Peter Arnett
Award (for Hopelessly Foolish Wartime Reporting)." Bryant Gumbel
was a double nominee in the "Damn Every Conservative We Can Think
of to Hell Award." Gumbel won for repeated assaults, a year ago
this month, on Attorney General-nominee John Ashcroft.
CBS News anchor
Dan Rather won the "Sore Losers" award recognizing those who
can't get over the 2000 election. His winning quote, from Nov. 26, 2000,
repeatedly denigrated Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris for
certifying election results "as she sees it and decrees it."
Rather also won the Gilligan Award for the year's flakiest comment. In
an exchange with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, Rather called former
President Clinton "an honest man." In a final presentation,
Rather won further honors for the "honest" comment - the 2001
"quote of the year."
concluded with serious reflections from L. Brent Bozell III, the
center's founder. He defended the awards as focusing needed attention on
stunning mainstream news media bias and unfairness, fulfilling the
center's goals to bring "political balance and responsibility to
introduced a video compilation of the best news coverage and commentary
on and after Sept. 11, when terrorists in the name of Islam attacked the
World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Rather and Geraldo Rivera,
frequent targets earlier in the evening, were honored for poignant
reflections during "live" coverage of a day of infamy. Bozell
said it was only proper to lift up powerful and positive reporting as an
antidote to the normal fare of liberal bias in television journalism.
competition were well-known conservative and libertarian journalists or
analysts, including Bozell, Fund, Thomas, columnist Robert Novak,
National Review writer Kate O'Beirne and others. The gala
"dishonors" awards dinner is a relatively recent project at
the MRC. The event grew out of and builds on the annual "Notable
Quotables" competition, for which I still serve as judge.
Columns drawn from the 2001 "quotables" appeared here
recently. Much of the organizational work for the competition is
performed by Brent Baker, a veteran critic of the national press corps.
information on the work of Bozell, Baker and their colleagues, contact:
Media Research Center, 325 S Patrick St., Alexandria, VA 22314,
telephone (703) 683-9733; fax: (703) 683-9736; e-mail (mrc@MediaResearch.org)
and Web site (www.MediaResarch.org).
Free RealPlayer plug-in required to watch these clips
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe