This week, NewsBusters is presenting the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2015,” our annual awards for the year’s worst journalism. Today, the “Harsh to the Huddled Masses” award, for attacks on the GOP candidates for their supposed hostility to immigration. (Thanks to our 39 judges who patiently reviewed dozens of quotes to select the very worst of the worst; the full list of winners can be found at www.MRC.org.)
Winning the trophy: Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric (you might remember her from NBC’s Today and the CBS Evening News), for suggesting to GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz that he lacked “empathy” because he didn’t support Barack Obama’s unilateral executive action on amnesty:
“I know you staunchly oppose President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. You’ve worked to block every legislative effort to allow undocumented immigrants to remain legally in this country. So, given the fact that your father immigrated here from Cuba, do you have any empathy for people who come here looking for a better way of life?”
Next up, ABC News correspondent Tom Llamas, who at an August 19 press conference indignantly lectured GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for being “offensive” when he used the phrase “anchor babies” to talk about the automatic citizenship granted to children born in the U.S., even to those here illegally. Llamas theatrically included his rebuke of Trump in the story he filed the next morning for Good Morning America:
“Are you aware that the term ‘anchor baby,’ that’s an offensive term? People find that hurtful....Look it up in the dictionary. It’s offensive!”
A few weeks earlier, on July 13, longtime Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt, who now works at Bloomberg News, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to bash Trump’s rhetoric against illegal immigration as the same as the racist segregationist rhetoric spouted by Alabama’s Democratic Governor George Wallace in the 1960s:
Clip of Donald Trump: “I don’t blame the Mexicans. I respect Mexico. I don’t blame the Mexican government. I just wish our people were smart. They’re really smart doing that. They’re sending them to us and we’re either putting them in jails, or letting them go free — which is even worse.”...
Bloomberg’s Al Hunt: “This is George Corley Wallace, 40 years later.”
Finally, Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos argued in an August 24 appearance on CNN’s AC360 that Trump’s views were the same as the entire Republican Party:
“Let’s remember that Donald Trump is a creation of the Republican Party. The same ideas that other Republicans have espoused in the past, but only that he expresses them with more violence and in an extreme way.”
Tomorrow: the “Ruining the Revolution Award,” for wailing about how awful it will be for communist Cuba to suffer closer ties with the capitalist U.S. The full report, with 10 categories plus the judges’ selection of Quote of the Year, is available at: www.MRC.org.