MRC Announces Awards for the Worst Media Performance of 2009

The Media Research Center today announced its Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting, and Discover magazine’s Melissa Lafsky has won the dis-honor of “Quote of the Year.” On August 27, a few days after Senator Edward Kennedy's death, Lafsky posted the following on the Huffington Post blog:

Mary Jo wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan....We don’t know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she’d have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history....[One wonders what] Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows -- maybe she'd have thought it was worth it.

For reference, Kopechne died in the backseat of Kennedy's car after he drove off a bridge in Chappaquiddick in 1969, an accident the Senator did not report for several hours.

In razor-close balloting, the runner-up for MRC's "Quote of the Year" went to Newsweek's Evan Thomas for making this absurd comparison on MSNBC's Hardball on June 5: "In a way, Obama is standing above the country, above the world. He's sort of God." Thomas later posted a statement on Newsweek's web site: "I was not being literal."

MRC President Brent Bozell reacted: “2009 was the first year of the liberal media’s God, President Barack Obama.  The biased coverage and blatant praises the media lavishly bestowed upon the golden boy and his cronies aren’t bad for laughs. But laughter isn’t what Americans are really after from the news media – We’d like some news.”

Other "winners" from the MRC’s Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting:

The Coronation of the Messiah Award for Fawning Inaugural Coverage

"Never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity."
— ABC’s Bill Weir on World News, January 20. (Originally reported by Brent Baker on NewsBusters, January 20.)

Damn Those Conservatives Award

"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."
— MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on The Ed Show, September 23. (Originally reported by Kyle Drennen on NewsBusters, September 24.)

Barry’s Big Brain Award for Journalists Bedazzled by Obama’s Brilliance

"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 "Morning Media Menu" podcast. (Originally reported by Scott Whitlock on NewsBusters, February 20.)

The Obamagasm Award for Seeing Coolness In Everything Obama Does

Correspondent John Harwood: "He had this fly that was persistently buzzing around him....He swatted his hand and he said, ‘I got the sucker.’ He threw it onto the ground. It was a, you know, Dirty Harry ‘make my day’ moment."...
MSNBC anchor David Shuster: "Amazing...An amazing interview....It never fails — great weather, rainbows, incredible speeches, and three-point basket. A fly and he nails it. Unbelievable. Unbelievable."
— Exchange on MSNBC after Harwood’s CNBC interview with President Obama concluded, June 16. (Originally reported by Kyle Drennen on NewsBusters, June 16.)

The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble

CNN analyst David Gergen: "Republicans are pretty much in disarray....They have not yet come up with a compelling alternative, one that has gained popular recognition. So-"
Anchor Anderson Cooper: "Teabagging. They’ve got teabagging."
Gergen: "Well, they’ve got the teabagging....[But] Republicans have got a way — they still haven’t found their voice, Anderson. They’re still — this happens to a minority party after it’s lost a couple of bad elections, but they’re searching for their voice."
Cooper: "It’s hard to talk when you’re teabagging."
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, April 14. "Teabagging" is a vulgar slang term for a certain variety of oral sex; Cooper later apologized. (Originally reported by Matt Balan on NewsBusters, April 15.)

The Un-Fairness Doctrine Award for Slamming Media Conservatives

"Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition....The best antidote to their garbage is elegant, intelligent governance."
— Time’s Joe Klein on the magazine’s "Swampland" blog, October 23. (Originally reported by Noel Sheppard on NewsBusters, October 24.)

Media Hero Award

"I’m honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation: Former Vice President Al Gore."
— Katie Couric opening her November 2 "@KatieCouric" webcast. (Originally reported by Brent Baker on NewsBusters, November 3.)

The winners were selected by a panel of 48 judges, including nationally syndicated talk radio hosts Neil Boortz and Mark Levin, columnist Cal Thomas, George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams and American Spectator Editor-in-Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

To read the complete issue of The Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22 Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting, access full quotes, or watch video clips of the broadcast quotes, please visit

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