NewsBusters Year-in-Review: The Dopiest Media Quotes of 2016

December 29th, 2016 9:59 AM

All this week, NewsBusters is recounting the most obnoxious liberal bias of 2016. Tuesday, we presented some of the most outrageous examples of journalists fawning over liberal or left-wing icons, and yesterday we showcased some of this year’s nastiest attacks on Republicans or conservatives.

Today, brace yourself for some the dopiest news media quotes of 2016 — everything from claims that Melania Trump’s white outfit at the Republican Convention was proof of her husband’s racist agenda, to a journalist committed to raising her cats as “gender neutral,” to Brian Williams’s expert commentary telling viewers “exactly” which vehicles Cubans would rather have for transportation.

Lyin’ Brian Williams: “Purveyor of Truth and Justice”

“Don’t believe everything you see and hear tonight. We hopefully will be the purveyors of truth and justice here.”
— Former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who had to resign over lies, talking about the entrance polls during MSNBC’s live coverage of the Iowa caucuses, February 1.

Melania Trump’s White Outfit = “Scary” Proof of Racist Agenda

“So while [Melania] Trump appeared flawless on the Cleveland stage Monday night, whether she intended it or not, her all-white ensemble displayed the kind of foreignness that is accepted by her husband’s political party. To many, that outfit could be another reminder that in the G.O.P. white is always right.”
Philadelphia Inquirer fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington in a July 19 article, “Melania Trump’s Fashion: A Scary Statement.”

It’s “Bogus” to Doubt Hillary’s Honesty

“When Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear ‘Hillary Clinton,’ the most common response can be summed up as ‘dishonest/liar/don’t trust her/poor character.’ Another common category is ‘criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail.’ All this is, I think, a mistaken narrative....She’s not a saint but a politician, and to me this notion that she’s fundamentally dishonest is a bogus narrative.”
New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof in his April 24 column, “Debunking the ‘Crooked Hillary’ Myth.”

Donald Trump vs. the “Neutral” Washington Post

“Trump does not discriminate when it come to news outlets. He has blackballed the right-leaning National Review and the left-leaning Mother Jones. The Washington Post, of course, is neutral, Scott, but Trump argues that the paper famed for exposing the Watergate scandal is, quote, ‘phony and dishonest.’”
— CBS’s Nancy Cordes on the June 16 Evening News, talking about Trump’s feud with the Washington Post.

How to Tell If Your Child Is a Republican

“When my daughter was twelve she started to become selfish and money grubbing and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I got a Republican in the family.’”
— Host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 22.

Hillary Clinton, Victim of Media Bias?

Howard Kurtz: “There’s a lot of people out there who think the liberal press wants Hillary Clinton to win.”
CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl: “Yeah, I’ve heard that, but I don’t think — I’ve never bought that, you know? Having covered the White House through Democrat Jimmy Carter and Reagan following — I mean, Reagan got a much softer, easier press than Jimmy Carter did....I think Hillary is getting a pretty tough press, and I think she will continue to get a pretty tough press because she is powerful now.”
— Exchange on FNC’s MediaBuzz, May 8.

MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid: “She has run, essentially, for the last 20 years against — with the media in her face, right? She has run against the wind, against the tide of coverage....”
Chris Matthews: “You think the media is biased against Hillary Clinton?”
Reid: “I think the media has a very negative relationship with Hillary Clinton and has done for 30-plus years.”
— Exchange during MSNBC’s live coverage of the April 19 New York primary.

Barack Obama, Savior of the World

“I read somewhere that what you’ve done with your climate change plan is the most significant thing any single human being has ever done to protect the planet. That’s amazing because there are so many skeptics out there.”
— Host Bear Grylls with Barack Obama in Alaska on NBC’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls, December 17, 2015.


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Climate Change: More Dangerous than Terrorism

“On the same day as the attacks, a paper by James E. Hansen and other climate experts was released arguing that carbon emissions are transforming our world far more quickly than expected, in ways that may inundate coastal cities and cause storms more horrendous than any in modern history. The response? A yawn....The upshot is that Brussels survived this week’s terrorist attacks, but it may not survive climate change.”
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof in a March 24 column “Terrorists, Tubs and Snakes.”

Writer Strikes a Blow for “Gender Neutral” Cats

“I decided to raise my cats to be gender neutral. The cats’ lives wouldn’t change, I reasoned, and it would help me learn to use plural pronouns for my friends, neighbors and colleagues who individually go by they, their and them....People are coming to understand that not all of us fit into the ‘girl’ box or the ‘boy’ box. Those who don’t are claiming space to be who they are. We all need to find ways to acknowledge and respect that. My way of respecting it just happens to be raising my cats gender neutral.”
— Lauren R. Taylor writing in an April 5 blog for

Why Drive a Car When You Can Enjoy a Donkey Cart?

“It’s still one of those nations where you see donkey carts alongside cars, trucks and buses in downtown Havana, because that’s exactly what they’d rather have for transportation.”
— Disgraced ex-NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during MSNBC live coverage of Castro’s death early in the morning of November 26.