Year-End Awards: The Ku Klux Con Job Award, for Smearing Conservatives With Phony Racism Charges

Yesterday, the Media Research Center announced our "Best Notable Quotables of 2013," with disgraced MSNBC host Martin Bashir "winning" Quote of the Year for his disgusting attack on Sarah Palin. (Thanks to our 42 judges who patiently reviewed dozens of quotes to select the very worst of the worst.)

Over the next few days, we'll present the best of this year's Notable Quotables as a way to review the worst media bias of 2013. Today, the winner and top runners-up of our "Ku Klux Con Job Award, for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges." (Winning quotes and video below the jump.)

MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews won this award for a March 20 diatribe in which he smeared the Tea Party as a bunch of intolerant racist yahoos, as he interviewed author Christopher Parker:

“What does your study tell you about the nature of the racial piece here of the Tea Party?...Is it sort of a resumption of the Old South, of the way things were before the Civil War, for example? Is it like that old dreamy nostalgia you get in the old movies, Gone With the Wind? Is it that kind of America they want to bring back or what? When there were no gays, where blacks were slaves, Mexicans were in Mexico? I mean, is this what they want?”


Giving Matthews a real fight for first place in this category was — Chris Matthews (of course). On the May 15 edition of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, Matthews argued that criticism of President Obama's policies was rooted in racism:

“The problem is there are people in this country — maybe 10%, I don’t know what the number, maybe 20% on a bad day — who want this President to have an asterisk next to his name in the history books, that he really wasn’t President....They can’t stand the idea that he is President, and a piece of it is racism. Not that somebody in one racial group doesn’t like somebody in another racial group. So what? It is the sense that the white race must rule. That’s what racism is. And they can’t stand the idea that a man who is not white is President.”


Next up, ABC's Cokie Roberts, who on the August 25 edition of This Week lashed out at the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act as well as new laws requiring a photo ID:

“You know, having grown up in the deep south in the era of Jim Crow, the difference is dramatic. And the fact that Andy Young was Mayor of Atlanta and John Lewis is a member of Congress from Georgia, is a great testament to the fact that when you do something like pass a voting rights bill, that it makes a difference. Which is why, at the moment, what’s going on about voting rights is downright evil because it is something that really needs to keep going forward not backward.”


Rounding out the category: On the July 11 edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid cast Republicans as racist when it came to immigration reform, equating the idea of temporary work visas as akin to indentured servitude:

“Didn’t we do this before? Wasn’t it called ‘indentured servitude,’ where you come, and you pay all this money out, his money out — you’re not a citizen, but you’re legally allowed to work on the farm? This sounds like indentured servitude, is what they want....It is also a very ugly, sort of, ethnic argument, that they don’t want to add more brown people to the population of the United States underlying this argument....This whole premise is so racially ugly.”

Tomorrow: the worst "Obamagasms" of 2013, along with reporters' most embarrassingsoftball questions to the Dear Leader. The full report, with 15 categories plus the judges' selection of Quote of the Year, is available at:

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Race Issues ABC MSNBC Cokie Roberts Joy Reid Chris Matthews