Tonight the NewsBusters staff is attending the Media Research Center’s 35th Anniversary Gala, “Night of the Unwoke!”
To mark this luminous event we’ve put together the 35 most obnoxious quotes of the MRC’s history.
It’s a pretty offensive display of smug disdain for everyday conservatives, rabid hatred for conservative leaders, embarrassing sycophancy for liberals, and a little anti-American treason thrown in for good measure.
So here they are! 35 outrageous quotes for 35 years!
Damn Those Conservatives
“Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan Administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II.”
— NBC Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, July 17, 1989.
“Good morning. The Gipper was an airhead! That’s one of the conclusions of a new biography of Ronald Reagan that’s drawing a tremendous amount of interest and fire today, Monday, September the 27th, 1999....”
— Co-host Katie Couric opening Today, September 27, 1999.
“The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her.”
— Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, September 23, 2009.
“The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor.”
— Dan Rather, March 16, 1995 CBS Evening News.
“I think he [Senator Jesse Helms] ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”
— National Public Radio and ABC News reporter Nina Totenberg reacting to Helms’ claim that the government spends too much on AIDS research, July 8, 1995 Inside Washington.
“I’ve never heard of a guy who is a one-time rapist. I’ve never heard of a one-time sexual assaulter. I grew up with guys [Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh] like this. He’s from around this area, right? He is the fifth guy in a gang rape. He’s the guy who comes in after he is drunk because everybody else encourages him and he can get away with it. He’s been pretty much covered his entire life. And now he’s on the Supreme Court, where he can move that same despicable misogynist attitude he has gotten away with his entire cowardly life to the greatest misogynist of all, which is the President of the United States.”
— MSNBC contributor and TheRoot.com’s Jason Johnson on MSNBC’s AM Joy, September 15, 2019.
“The torching of black churches throughout the South punctuates the ugly rhetoric of the [Pat] Buchanan campaign.... In fact, all the conservative Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Pete Wilson, who have sought political advantage by exploiting white resentment should come and stand in the charred ruins of the New Liberty Baptist Church in Tyler [Alabama]...and wonder if their coded phrases encouraged the arsonists. Over the past 18 months, while Republicans fulminated about welfare and affirmative action, more than 20 churches in Alabama and six other Southern and Border states have been torched....there is already enough evidence to indict the cynical conservatives who build their political careers, George Wallace-style, on a foundation of race-baiting. They may not start fires, but they fan the flames.”
— Time national correspondent Jack E. White, March 18, 1996 issue.
“These seem to be appeals to the extreme white wing of the Republican Party. That is to say that there continues to be among many conservatives a real resentment against blacks....I think it is part of a hateful campaign that is being very methodically run in the hope it’s going to appeal to voters who would love to see us return to the good old days of Jim Crow.”
— Former CNN correspondent Bob Franken talking about the GOP candidates on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, January 6, 2012.
“Clarence Thomas is the best only at his ability to bootlick for Ronald Reagan and George Bush....And the thing that bothers me about his appointment — if they had put David Duke on, I wouldn’t scream as much because they would look at David Duke and reject him for what he is. If you gave Clarence Thomas a little flour on his face, you’d think you had David Duke talking.”
— Columnist Carl Rowan on Inside Washington, July 7, 1991.
“I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
— USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994 PBS To the Contrary.
“One of the most comprehensive firstperson accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years.... In 1756, he records that ‘a slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.’ This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose,’ a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners’ savagery and inhumanity....When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.”
— MSNBC host Martin Bashir on November 15, 2013 reacting to Sarah Palin’s comparison of excessive debt to slavery. Bashir apologized the following Monday, but MSNBC permitted him to stay on the air that entire week. After an extended Thanksgiving “vacation,” he quit on December 4, 2013.
Co-host Sunny Hostin: “When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re this a dangerous situation. Look I’m Catholic. I’m a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him.”
Co-host Joy Behar: “Like I said before, it’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you....That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
— ABC’s The View, February 13, 2018.
Scornful of Everyday Americans
“What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming president, the Clinton campaign machine or America’s inherent racism?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to Barack Obama in a December 20, 2007 interview on Good Morning America.
“If you voted for Trump, you voted for the person who the Klan supported. You voted for the person who Nazis support. You voted for the person who the alt-right supports. That’s the crowd that you are in.”
— Host Don Lemon on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, January 14, 2021.
“It ain’t a dog whistle, it is a racist P.A. announcement that all of Trump supporters in America can listen to: ‘I know the facts aren’t on our side, I know we’re not gonna win in the courts, but let me just tell you I’m trying to keep brown people....from Latin America out of the United States. Because when I say....let’s make America great again, I’m really just saying, as Donald Trump your president, let’s keep America white, majority white.’...Put that on your bumper sticker if you’re supporting Donald Trump in 2020 because that, he has proven at last, is all his presidency is about.”
— Host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 18, 2019.
“It’s hard to be a parent, tonight, for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don’t be a bully. You tell your kids, don’t be a bigot....And then, you have this outcome....how do I explain this to my children?...This was a ‘white-lash.’ This was a ‘white-lash’ against a changing country. It was a ‘white-lash’ against a black president.”
— CNN’s political analyst Van Jones during live election night coverage 12:44 am ET, November 9, 2016.
“This is a moral 9/11. Only 9/11 was done to us from the outside and we did this to ourselves.”
— New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, November 11, 2016.
“Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.”
— ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings in his daily ABC Radio commentary, November 14, 1994.
“Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that [Jerry] Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”
— Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf writing about Christian conservatives in a February 1, 1993 news story.
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, talking about radical Muslims: “Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.”
Host Tavis Smiley: “But Christians do that every single day in this country.”
Ali: “Do they blow people up every day?”
Smiley: “Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is – I could do this all day long....There are folk in the Tea Party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people ‘nigger’ as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people. That’s within the political – that’s within the body politic of this country.”
— PBS’s Tavis Smiley, May 25, 2010.
“There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank....How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.”
— New York Times columnist Frank Rich talking about Tea Party protests against ObamaCare, March 28, 2010.
“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children....We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children....We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
— MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry in an early April, 2013 “Lean Forward” spot.
Contemptuous of Conservative Talk Radio
“What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno’s hands-on management of Waco, the Branch Davidian compound?...Obviously, the answer is talk radio. Specifically, Rush Limbaugh’s hate radio....Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now and you have had it for 15 years.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann naming Rush Limbaugh the “Worst Person in the World,” April 19, 2010 Countdown.
“In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years with hot talk on the radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of the ’90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast.”
— Time Senior Writer Richard Lacayo writing about the explosion at the Oklahoma City federal building that killed 168 people, May 8, 1995 issue.
Drooling Over Their Media Heroes
“If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners...Thank you very much and tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we’re pulling for her.”
— Dan Rather at a May 27, 1993 CBS affiliates meeting talking via satellite to President Bill Clinton about his new on-air partnership with Connie Chung.
“Maya Angelou, the late Maya Angelou, wrote a poem about her during the 2008 presidential campaign. It contains these lines: ‘There is a world of difference between being a woman and a being an old female. If you’re born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies. Hillary Clinton is a woman.’ Some say she may be the first woman in the White House. I am pleased to have Hillary Clinton back at this table. Welcome.”
— Host Charlie Rose setting up an interview with Hillary Clinton on his PBS program, July 17, 2014.
“I like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office. I mean, from visionary leader of a giant movement, now he’s got an executive position that he has to perform in, in a way.”
— ABC Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran to Media Bistro’s Steve Krakauer in a February 20, 2009 “Morning Media Menu” podcast. (MP3 audio)
Bill O’Reilly: “I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”
Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man.”
O’Reilly: “Do you, really?”
Rather: “I do.... I think at core he’s an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
— Exchange on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, May 15, 2001.
“If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”
— Charles Pierce in a January 5, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy’s submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.
Co-anchor Chris Matthews: “I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My — I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”
Co-anchor Keith Olbermann: “Steady.”
Matthews: “No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.”
— Exchange during MSNBC’s coverage of the Virginia, Maryland and Washington D. C. primaries, February 12, 2008.
“I would be happy to give him [Bill Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
— Time contributor and former reporter Nina Burleigh recalling what she told the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz about her feeling toward Bill Clinton, as recounted by Burleigh in the July 20, 1998 New York Observer.
Soft on Communism
“Few tears will be shed over the demise of the East German army, but what about East Germany’s eighty symphony orchestras, bound to lose some subsidies, or the whole East German system, which covered everyone in a security blanket from day care to health care, from housing to education? Some people are beginning to express, if ever so slightly, nostalgia for that Berlin Wall.”
— CBS reporter Bob Simon on the March 16, 1990 Evening News.
“Elian [Gonzalez] might expect a nurturing life in Cuba, sheltered from the crime and social breakdown that would be part of his upbringing in Miami....The boy will nestle again in a more peaceable society that treasures its children.”
— Brook Larmer and John Leland, April 17, 2000 Newsweek.
Mustn’t Offend the Terrorists
“We all know that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist....To be frank, it adds little to call the attack on the World Trade Center a terrorist attack.”
— Steven Jukes, global head of news for Reuters News Service, in an internal memo cited by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz in a September 24, 2001 article.
Openly Aiding America’s Enemies
“Within the United States, there is growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war. So our reports about civilian casualties here....help those who oppose the war.
“Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces....And I personally do not understand how that happened, because I’ve been here many times and in my commentaries on television I would tell the Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of the government, and the willingness to fight for their country. But me, and others who felt the same way, were not listened to by the Bush administration.
“Now America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week, and re-writing the war plan. The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance; now they are trying to write another war plan.”
— Then-NBC/MSNBC/National Geographic Explorer correspondent Peter Arnett’s comments on Iraq’s state-controlled television network, March 30, 2003 shown by C-SPAN.