On Thursday, the Media Research Center announced our “Best Notable Quotables of 2014,” as selected by a distinguished panel of 40 expert judges who reviewed dozens of quotes to select the worst examples of media bias in 2014.
Over the next several days, we’ll present these Notable Quotables as a way to review the worst media bias of 2014. Today, the winner and top runners-up for this year’s “Obamagasm Award,” a title which should need no additional explanation.
Winning this category, MSNBC contributor and fill-in host Michael Eric Dyson, for likening Barack Obama to Jesus Christ. Dyson was on the August 23 edition of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry as he urged the President to visit Ferguson, Missouri:
“You know, I’m a Christian preacher, and God finally said, ‘Look, I can’t send nobody else. I got to go myself.’ And I ain’t saying that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is.”
Finishing second was New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who penned the October 23 cover story for Rolling Stone magazine titled, “In Defense of Obama.”
“Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflicted disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history....I don’t care about the fact that Obama hasn’t lived up to the golden dreams of 2008, and I care even less about his approval rating. I do care that he has, when all is said and done, achieved a lot. That is, as Joe Biden didn’t quite say, a big deal.”
Next up was CBS’s Bob Schieffer, who in a November 9 Face the Nation interview felt Obama’s pain as he suggested that the many problems facing the U.S. in 2014 amounted to a coincidence of bad luck for Obama, not the consequence of his poor leadership:
“You had a tough summer. We saw the rise of ISIS, the outbreak of Ebola, trouble in the Ukraine, illegal immigrants coming across the border. Did you ever go back to the residence at night and say, ‘Are we ever going to get a break here?’...You came here talking about hope and change. Do you still hope? Is change, was it harder than you thought it would be?”
Rounding out this year’s group: The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who on the January 20 edition of PBS’s Charlie Rose argued that despite Obama’s growing unpopularity, the President had already racked up “huge” achievements:
David Remnick: “The fact that this country didn’t fall into a depression, an economic depression, which it could easily have done; the fact that we are out of Iraq, for all the problems in Iraq, getting there in Afghanistan; the auto industry saved; gay rights more and more ensured, not without help from the President of the United States; the fact that there’s been no scandal, major scandal, in this administration, which is a rare thing in an administration; the fact that science is now discussed as science; the fact that climate change, however woefully inadequate the measures for it, is now-”
Host Charlie Rose: “Does this measure up to greatness for you?”
Remnick: “Well, let’s wait ‘til the end....[But] I think those achievements are huge.”
Tomorrow: the “Blue State Brigade Award,” detailing the worst campaign bias 2014. The full report, with 14 categories plus the judges’ selection of Quote of the Year, is available at: www.MRC.org.