1. NewsBusters.org Blog Postings on Brokaw, Koppel and Olbermann While I'm away, the blog boys (and girls) continue to play. Some links to postings over the past few days, on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog, which caught my eye: More bad Reuters math, the Tom Brokaw-Ted Koppel liberal gabfest on Meet the Press, Olbermann compares Janet Parshall to "Al-Qaeda show on al-Jazeera," CNN calls Cindy Sheehan a bigger 2005 news story than the passing of Pope John Paul and Olbermann pushes impeachment.
2. Second Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards for the Worst Reporting The second runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
NewsBusters.org Blog Postings on Brokaw,
Koppel and Olbermann
While I'm away, the blog boys (and girls) continue to play. Some links to postings over the past few days, on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog, which caught my eye: More bad Reuters math, the Tom Brokaw-Ted Koppel liberal gabfest on Meet the Press, Olbermann compares Janet Parshall to "Al-Qaeda show on al-Jazeera," CNN calls Cindy Sheehan a bigger 2005 news story than the passing of Pope John Paul and Olbermann pushes impeachment. From oldest to newest:
# From December 23, "Keith Olbermann's 'Worst Person In the World' Shtick to Be Made Into Book," by Tim Graham: newsbusters.org
# From December 23, "Taranto: Reuters Flunks Math on 'Bellicose' Bush Poll," by Tim Graham: newsbusters.org
# From December 26, three items by Tim Graham on the Sunday, December 25 pre-taped Meet the Press session with Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel.
# From December 28, "Olbermann Hits FNC Hosts, Compares Janet Parshall to 'Al-Qaeda Show on Al-Jazeera,'" by Brad Wilmouth: newsbusters.org
# From December 28, "CNN: Cindy Sheehan Bigger News than Pope John Paul?," by Megan McCormack: newsbusters.org
Second Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Awards
for the Worst Reporting
Tuesday's CyberAlert listed the winners and Wednesday's the first runners-up, so today the second runners-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2005: The Eighteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
The Media Research Center's annual awards issue provides a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2005 (December 2004 through November 2005). 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 category. 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. Each judge was also asked to choose a "Quote of the Year" denoting the most outrageous quote of 2005.
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mrc.org
Now, the second runners-up in the 15 award categories with a second runner-up (there were only two quotes in the Quote of the Year category):
"Stealth is a pretty fair military-hardware action movie until you start thinking about it -- at which point it turns incredibly sour in your mouth. I can therefore recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions. Sea cucumbers, perhaps. Ones waving American flags.... This is exactly the sort of movie we don't need right now: a delusional military fantasy in which collateral damage doesn't exist....For a movie to pretend, in the face of the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children directly or indirectly caused by our presence there, that we can wage war without anyone really getting hurt isn't naive, or wishful thinking, or a jim-dandy way to spend a Saturday night at the movies. It's an obscenity." -- Boston Globe movie critic Ty Burr in a July 29 review of the movie Stealth, about a fighter jet that is piloted by a computer with artificial intelligence. 
"In the words of one of his [Ayatollah Sistani's] aides, 'the representation of our Sunni brethren in the coming government must be effective, regardless of the results of the elections.' As an Iraqi politician said to me, 'There are currently two Grand Ayatollahs running Iraq: Sistani and Bush. Most of us feel that Sistani is the more rational.'" -- Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria in a column published in the magazine's January 24 edition. 
"For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect, also, a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are wondering how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans. For him, it is a shame, in all senses of the word. A few changes of pronouns in there and he might not have looked so much like a 21st century Marie Antoinette." -- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Sept. 5 Countdown. 
"I want to ask you about this 1991 opinion...[Judge Sam Alito] was the lone dissenter. He argued that a woman should have to notify her husband before she gets an abortion. Now, let me just say Sandra Day O'Connor heard this same case and Sandra Day O'Connor said this reflects a repugnant view of marriage. Women do not lose their constitutional rights because they're married....Does this opinion give even you pause? Again, Sandra Day O'Connor's notation that it was a repugnant view of marriage?" -- Diane Sawyer to conservative commentator Joe Watkins on ABC's Good Morning America, November 1. 
"I don't have a clue as to whether [former House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay violated the law or not, this very old Texas statute that he's been indicted on, but I do know it's the first time in 200 years that the House of Representatives has been run for a whole decade, or almost a decade, by a corrupt zealot." -- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, October 3. 
"A panel was appointed by CBS News to look into this....They concluded that whatever happened, whatever you thought about it, it was not motivated by political bias, and they said that, although they had four months and millions of dollars, they could not demonstrate that the documents were not authentic, that they were forgeries. They said they couldn't make that conclusion.... Whatever one thinks of what we did or didn't do with the story in question here, nobody broke the law, nobody lied. Depending on your point of view, it was a mistake, and who hasn't made a mistake somewhere along the line?" -- Outgoing CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather discussing the investigation into his forged memo story, on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, March 3. 
Chris Matthews: "What does it smell like over there [in Baghdad]? Do you sense fireworks?" NBC's Campbell Brown: "You do, Chris....On the street, you get the sense that something big is about to happen, something big and fairly ugly." -- Exchange on MSNBC's Hardball January 28, just before Iraq's first free elections. 
Chris Matthews: "Do you think President Bush used this [emotional hug at the State of the Union between an Iraqi voter and Janet Norwood, the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq] to push his numbers on Social Security reform, just to get his general appeal up a bit, a couple of points?" MSNBC political analyst Ron Reagan: "Well, I don't want to speculate on what was in President Bush's mind." Matthews: "How about his handlers? Do you think the PR guys...around the White House did this to promote the President's agenda?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "Please, come on." Reagan: "Well, of course they did. Oh, sure they did." Scarborough: "Oh, come on!...I mean, that's just the height of cynicism." Matthews: "No, I'm just asking you, I'm not taking sides here, but you know who makes these decisions, the PR people around the President....They make the decision about who sits in the box and where they're seated....The only question is whether that Iraqi woman was prompted to go up and hug Janet Norwood by some staffer." -- Exchange during MSNBC's live coverage following Bush's State of the Union address, February 2. 
"The President is a moron! I'm saying it. I don't care. He's an idiot. Cheney is evil. I'm sick of, impeach them, get them out! I hate them! I hate them. Get them out. They got to go!...What is it going to take for you people? Get Bush out! Impeach. Out! Out! Out!" -- Actress/comedienne Kathy Griffin on Comedy Central's Weekends at the DL, September 10. 
"If there's an upside to Katrina, it's that the Republican agenda of tax cuts, Social Security privatization and slashing government programs is over. It may be too much to predict an upsurge of progressive government, but the environment and issues of poverty, race and class are back on the nation's radar screen." -- Eleanor Clift in her weekly "Capitol Letter" column published on Newsweek's Web site, September 9. 
Co-host Matt Lauer: "Pain at the pump. Gas prices are going sky high. I paid $2.94 a gallon over the weekend to fill up the car." Co-host Katie Couric: "It's ridiculous. I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It's crazy." -- Exchange at the top of NBC's Today, August 15. Couric makes about $15,000,000 a year. 
"Cutting the [worldwide] military budgets back by ten percent and using that money to basically solve the real, the real serious poverty problems in the world would be a much better investment in fighting terrorism than -- you don't stop terrorism with tanks, you stop it with giving people hope so they won't want to blow themselves up." -- CNN founder Ted Turner on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, September 16. 
"What do you hope your legacy will be?...You literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders." -- Katie Couric's questions to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in an interview shown June 7 on NBC's Today. 
FNC's Bill O'Reilly: "Now the right wing thinks you're a raving liberal, you and Rather contrived to put Bush in the worst possible light....So are you a liberal?" Fired CBS News producer Mary Mapes: "Well, I'm not sure what a liberal is. I'm more liberal than some people. I can tell you my eight-year-old son thinks he's being raised by the most conservative parents in the world...." O'Reilly: "Are you registered Democrat?" Mapes: "You know, I don't know....I don't know if I'm independent or Democrat. I know I'm not -- in Texas, I'm not sure how I'm registered." O'Reilly: "So you would describe yourself politically as?" Mapes: "Oh, my goodness. I'm liberal on some things, I'm conservative on some things." -- FNC's The O'Reilly Factor, November 10. 
Host Hugh Hewitt: "Are there members of the White House press corps, Terry, who actually hate Bush?" ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran: "I would say the answer to that is yes." Hewitt: "And what percentage of them, do you think that amounts to?" Moran: "Uh, small, I would say, but some big fish." Hewitt: "What's your guess about the percentage of the White House press corps that voted for Kerry?" Moran: "Oh, very high. Very, very high." Hewitt: "95 percent?" Moran: "No, I don't think that high....Upwards of 70 [percent], maybe higher....I would say very, very high...." -- Exchange on the May 18 Hugh Hewitt Show, a nationally-syndicated weekday radio program. 
-- Brent Baker