Before we ring in 2008, it's worth taking a look back at some of the liberal media's goofiest or most outrageous moments, courtesy of the Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2007: The Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting. The awards were determined by a panel of 53 distinguished media observers, including radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, editorial writers and informed media observers.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews was a big "winner" this year, taking the top slot in three categories -- the "Blue State Brigade Award for Campaign Reporting," the “Channeling the Nut Roots Award,” and the "Dynamic Duo Award for Idolizing Bill and Hillary," for (in order) gushing over Barack Obama, suggesting Bush and Cheney be tried for Nuremberg-style war crimes, and equating Bill Clinton with Jesus Christ. Oh, what a busy year he had.
With such a record, it may seem odd that Matthews was not even a runner-up for the “Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories” which was instead snatched by ABC daytime host Joy Behar for wondering on-air if the stroke that sickened Democratic Senator Tim Johnson was a Republican dirty trick: “I know what this party is capable of,” Behar informed her colleagues on The View. Behar edged out her former colleague, Rosie O’Donnell, who revealed the news that Rudy Giuliani had shipped “all of the steel” from the fallen World Trade Center twin towers to China “so there was no, like, metal to test.”
Barbara Walters -- she really knows how to hire them, doesn’t she?
Speaking of Walters, she won top honors in our “Media Hero Award” for a puffball interview she conducted with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez back in March. Walters made sure to inform the American public that Chavez “was warm, friendly…He talked about how hard his life was, how he wished he could be in love but you can’t be when you are heading a country.”
William Arkin, military columnist for the WashingtonPost.com, won the “America Makes Us Sick Award” for his January 30 screed against U.S. soldiers in Iraq wishing for more public support for their mission. “Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform,” Arkin railed. “[It] is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary -- oops sorry, volunteer -- force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.” Arkin later apologized, but just for using the word “mercenary.”
Perhaps trying to compete with Arkin’s idiocy, an ex-Washington Post writer won the “Madness of King George Award” for Bush bashing. Peter Mehlman, in a June 20 posting to the HuffingtonPost, explained how Bush was worse than “even the world’s worst fascist dictators, [who] at least meant well. They honestly thought they were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc….Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of ‘I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my friends’ good?”
CBS’s Harry Smith won the “O Great Goracle Award” for slobbering at the toes of Al Gore. In a May 30 Early Show interview, a smitten Smith tried to stick a “Gore 2008” button on the great crusader against global warming. “Here, let’s see what it looks like,” Smith beamed. Runner-up Margaret Carlson fawningly raised Gore to Biblical heights: “He rose above a great injustice….[and] became a prophet on an issue that is crucially important to the world.”
On the issue of global warming, NBC’s Meredith Vieira won our “Good Morning Morons Award” for her panicky response to a warm day in January: “So I’m running in a park on Saturday, in shorts, thinking this is great, but are we all gonna die? I can’t figure this out?”
There are many more such quotes, most posted with Flash video as well as downloadable audio and video clips, at our awards section at www.MRC.org. Be sure to check them out before next year’s foolishness makes 2007 seem a distant memory.