The 1,407th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Tuesday December 31, 2002 (Vol. Seven; No. 206) |
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1. Cal Thomas on FNC, NY Post & Mike Rosen Highlight Best of NQ
Today’s New York Post, Cal Thomas on his Saturday night FNC show and Mike Rosen in the Denver Rocky Mountain News last week, all highlighted their favorite quotes in the MRC’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.”

2. Third Runners-Up Quotes in the MRC's Annual Awards
The third runners-up quotes in the MRC's “Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.”


Cal Thomas on FNC, NY Post & Mike Rosen
Highlight Best of NQ

      The lead editorial in today’s New York Post is devoted to the favorite quotes the paper’s editorial writers culled from the MRC’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.” Saturday night on his FNC show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, the host of the same name opened his program with a rundown of the quotes which most disturbed him. And on Friday, Denver Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosen, who also hosts a talk show on KOA Radio, penned a column relaying what he considered the most egregious media utterings of the year.

     -- “Hoist on Their Own Petard” promised the headline over the December 31 lead New York Post editorial, which began:
     “For 15 years, the Media Research Center has been compiling its list of 'notable quotables.' The quotes come from prominent members of the mainstream news media and provide a clear window into the leftist mindset that pervades most of America's large news organizations. At the end of the year, the center -- helped by a panel of judges -- chooses the 'best' examples. Once again, this year's crop tellingly reveals the media's perennial contempt for all things conservative. Actually, the winners more or less explain themselves. (The full set of winners and finalists can be found at the center's Web site, Happy New Year!...”

     For which seven quotes the paper chose to highlight, pick up a copy of the newspaper, or go to:

     -- Cal Thomas on FNC. The MRC’s Kristina Sewell alerted me to how Thomas opened his 11pm EST interview show on Saturday night with a “Column One” commentary focused of the MRC’s annual awards quotes.

     Thomas began, as recounted in a posting on FNC’s Web site:
     “Certain groups and individuals regularly accuse the big media of bias. Almost always the accusation is of bias in a liberal direction. 'Not so,’ say the accused. But here's some more evidence that the accusers may be right. It's from the Media Research Center -- admittedly a conservative organization -- but the quotes speak for themselves....”

     Yes they do. To learn which quotes Thomas felt best illustrated the media's bias, check the online version of his commentary:,2933,74163,00.html

     The Web site for After Hours with Cal Thomas:

     -- Mike Rosen opened his December 27 column in the Denver Rocky Mountain News: 
     “Hot off the presses, the Media Research Center's 15th annual awards for the most biased, manipulative or downright goofy quotes from liberals in the 'mainstream' media. I'm honored to serve, once again, on MRC's distinguished panel of conservatively biased judges. Here are some of the highlights from among the winners and runners-up of Best Notable Quotables of 2002:...”

     To read the rest of Rosen's column:,1299,DRMN_86_1634540,00.html

     Rosen's column archive:,1299,DRMN_86_114,00.html

     Three pieces appeared earlier, as listed in the December 20 CyberAlert:

     -- Commentary by Patrick B. McGuigan posted December 19 on, appropriately titled: “Liberal Bias Awards 2002.”
Go to:

     -- World magazine “Closing Thoughts” article by Marvin Olasky in the December 14 edition titled, “Paranoia, hatred, ignorance: But what's this about a journalist wanting to dance with Janet Reno?” Go to:

     -- Mona Charen’s December 4 column:

     Cal Thomas noted: “By the way, full disclosure: I was one of the 50 bias-award judges for the Media Research Center this year.”

     Indeed he was, as were Mike Rosen, Patrick McGuigan, Marvin Olasky and Mona Charen. For the complete list of judges:


Third Runners-Up Quotes in the
MRC's Annual Awards

     Thursday's CyberAlert featured the winners, Friday's the first runners-up quotes, Monday's the second runners-up and so today the third and fourth runners-up quotes in the MRC's “Best Notable Quotables of 2002: The Fifteenth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting.”

     For the winners, see the December 26 CyberAlert:

     For the first runners-up, see the December 27 CyberAlert:

     For the second runners-up, see the December 30 CyberAlert:

     And for the names of the 52 judges who gave generously with their time:

     Or, you can find it all on the MRC Web site in the special section devoted to the awards issue. For the full results, with RealPlayer clips of many of the television quotes, go to:

     For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version:

     For the list of judges, with links to Web pages for each:

     As explained in the December 26 CyberAlert, to determine this year’s winners, a panel of 52 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers and media observers each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of six to nine quotes in each of 16 categories. Each received a paper ballot in late November and returned it within two weeks.

     First place selections were awarded three points, second place choices two points, with one point for the third place selections. Point totals are listed in the brackets at the end of the attribution for each quote.

     Not all categories had third or fourth runners-up, but for the 12 categories with a third runner-up and for the three with a fourth runner-up, here are those third and fourth runners-up:

Media Hero Award [third and fourth runners-up]:

“He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless....The 30-year-old with nothing but a name to run on turned 70 as one of the premier legislators of the 20th century....He has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care. His name is on hundreds, probably thousands, of bills....He is an undiluted, undeterrable liberal, but a closet pragmatist. He prefers half a loaf to none, something to nothing, results over rhetoric.”
-- CNN’s Candy Crowley, noting the 70th birthday of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, on the February 22 Inside Politics. [33 points]

“I leave my friends behind and rush the stage to try to dance with [former Attorney General Janet] Reno, only to find myself in a small crowd of men living the same fantasy. When I finally push my way past them, she is gone.”
-- Time staff writer Joel Stein, recounting Reno’s dance party fundraiser for her campaign for Florida Governor, in the magazine’s July 29 issue. [27 points]

General Phil “Cheap Shot” Donahue Award (for Swipes at the War on Terrorism) [third runner-up]:

“Good morning. What did he know and when did he know it? The Bush administration admits the President was warned in an intelligence briefing last summer of the possibility that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network might hijack American planes, raising more questions about whether the attacks on America could have been prevented.”
-- NBC’s Katie Couric introducing the May 16 Today. [45 points]

Fourth Reich Award (for Portraying John Ashcroft as a Fascist) [third runner-up]:

“Increasingly, there are important questions that need to be asked....For example, the Attorney General of the United States before, just before September 11th, started inexplicably taking private aircraft to places where normally the Attorney General wouldn’t take private aircraft, you know, government planes. Well, that would indicate that somebody somewhere was getting pretty worried, but if you’re going to share that with the Attorney General, you know, why wasn’t it shared with the public at large?” 
-- CBS’s Dan Rather on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning radio show, May 22. According to NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski: “It was determined that since John Ashcroft is such a polarizing figure, that the threat assessment against him would be high,” so shortly after taking office “he started taking government planes all the time....It had nothing at all to do with any terrorist threat.” [35 points]

Give Appeasement a Chance Award [third and fourth runners-up]:

“Many Iraqis believe America’s true motive is to remove Saddam Hussein from power, install a puppet government and seize Iraq’s vast oil wealth. On the streets, many see Hussein’s offer to allow the inspectors back as a wise, brave decision showing strength.”
-- NBC’s Ron Allen reporting from Baghdad for the September 17 Nightly News. [47 points]

“Wherever you live in the world today, the sound of war drums being beaten in Washington has become unmistakable. With the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks behind us...the administration’s preoccupation with Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction has rapidly become the number one issue in international affairs.”
-- ABC’s Peter Jennings during a live report before President Bush’s speech to the United Nations, Sept. 12. [45 points]

Begala & Carville War Room Award for Bush Bashing [third runner-up]:

“When we come back, the other big news from the White House today. President Bush makes a major announcement. Tonight, why the U.S. is deliberately going back on its word in front of the rest of the world.”
-- MSNBC’s Brian Williams promoting an item on Bush’s decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty, on the December 13, 2001 News with Brian Williams. [47 points]

Carve Clinton into Mount Rushmore Award [third runner-up]:

     Joe Klein: “The '90s will be remembered more for the ferocity of their prosecutions than for the severity of their crimes. I think we all went a little bit berserk during that time. I think that there really was a conspiracy against Bill Clinton on the right, and I think that he did some terrible things. But there is such a thing as balance and...James Carville said to me, 'All you have to do is say one sentence in favor of Bill Clinton and you’re an apologist.’ It shouldn’t be like that. It shouldn’t be like that. We should be able to acknowledge the fact that he made life a lot better for a lot of people in this country.”
     Tim Russert: “And yet many people will say, if he’s the President of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer, and he breaks the law he should be penalized.”
     Klein: “So Franklin Roosevelt too, huh? You think he should have been penalized for lying about lend-lease?”
-- Discussion with Klein, a New Yorker columnist and former Newsweek Senior Writer, about his book, The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton, on CNBC’s Tim Russert, March 9. [49 points]

Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Pontificating [third runner-up]:

     Larry King: “We [Americans] try to do good, don’t we? I mean, we’re basically good.”
     Bill Maher: “No. Not for the rest of the world....Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn’t have to kill them for their oil.”
-- Exchange on CNN’s Larry King Live, November 1. [49 points]

Mount St. Helen Award for Helen Thomas Eruptions [third runner-up]:

     Helen Thomas: “Does the President consider this [election outcome] a mandate to fulfill his agenda? Going to war with Iraq, privatizing Social Security, weakening the Civil Service Commission and so forth?”
     Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: “Helen, you sound like a commercial that didn’t work.”
-- Exchange at White House press briefing, Nov. 6. [28 points]

Good Morning Morons Award [third runner-up]:

“Last week the President spoke, the market went down. Yesterday, the President spoke, the market went down. Should he be quiet for a while?”
-- CBS’s Mark McEwen on the July 16 Early Show. [35 points]

Damn Those Conservatives Award [third runner-up]:

“A supportive spouse, surprisingly accepting colleagues, and a mandate to legislate. For Sen. Clinton, life is almost perfect. If only they weren’t still out to get her.”
-- Subhead of Washington Post reporter John Harris’s profile, “The Liberation of Hillary,” the cover story for the Post’s Sunday magazine, January 27. “They” referred to Clinton’s conservative critics. [40 points]

Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis [third and fourth runners-up]:

“Since the early 1970s, the number of state prisoners has increased 500 percent, growing each year in the 1990s even as crime fell.”
-- New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield, Jan. 21. [41 points]

“There are a lot of stories about the struggles Cuban people face here. Stories about the lack of things, the lack of cars, the lack of human rights, the lack of certain foods. But if you go asking Cubans, and even if you look at statistics from international groups, you’ll find there are some areas where Cubans have made successes. According to a United Nations study, Cuba’s regular schools rank at the top in Latin America....
“Another success Cubans point to: health care...every Cuban has a primary care physician....Doctors get to know their patients and even make house calls....Cuba may not have the nicest facilities or equipment, medicine is sometimes in short supply, but everyone has access and the concept of paying is completely foreign.”
-- CNN’s Kate Snow on CNN’s prime time Live From Havana during Jimmy Carter’s visit, May 13. [33 points]

See No Liberal Media Bias Award [third runner-up]:

“[Former CBS News correspondent Bernard] Goldberg has picked this moment in time to haul out the old canard about the media being 'liberal’ and the news being slanted leftward. It’s the first refuge of a no-talent hack.”
-- Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales in a review of Goldberg’s book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, in Electronic Media, Jan. 7. [53 points]

     END Rundown of third and fourth runners-up quotes

     That completes the listing of all the quotes published in the awards issue.

     Wishing you a happy new year in which you remain vigilant against liberal media bias. -- Brent Baker


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