MRC Announces Winners of Worst Quotes of 2006

And the winner of this year’s Media Research Center award for the worst quote of 2006! Well, only if “you” are Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the liberal activist who is also publisher of the New York Times. Sulzberger “won” for his May 21 commencement address in which he declared abortion and gay marriage were “fundamental human rights” and decried how America was “fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land.”

For our 19th annual Best Notable Quotables issue, the Media Research Center asked a panel of 58 distinguished media observers (top radio hosts, columnists, editorial page writers, etc.) to select their choices for the most outrageous quotes of the year in 16 different categories (such as the “Good Morning Morons” category, or the “Cranky Dinosaur Award for Trashing New Media”).

Full results are available at, but here are the winners and runners-up for “Quote of the Year,” all of which shared the theme of bashing America:

Winner, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr for his May 21 commencement address at SUNY New Paltz:

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it’s the rights of immigrants to start a new life, or the rights of gays to marry, or the rights of women to choose. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren’t. But you are. And for that, I’m sorry.” (Video here.)

First runner-up, Rosie O’Donnell, for this exchange on ABC’s The View, September 12:

Co-host Rosie O’Donnell: “As a result of the [9/11] attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries.”
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck: “But do you understand that, that the belief funding those attacks, okay, that is widespread. And if you take radical Islam and if you want to talk about what’s going on there, you have to-”
O’Donnell, interrupting: “Wait just one second. Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam [loud applause] in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state. We’re a democracy.” (Video here.)

Second runner-up, Los Angeles Times columnist (and former Time magazine staff writer) Joel Stein, for a January 24 column:

“I don’t support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse....I’m not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn’t be celebrating people for doing something we don’t think was a good idea.” (More here.)

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