To wrap up our list of the Best of NQ's worst quotes of the year, a look now at the more recent winners in the Dubya era. For reasons which shall become obvious (length), we'll go backwards in this post. 2005's Quote of the Year (Mary Mapes on her strange philosophy of journalism) is here.


Picking up where we left off, here are the judges' picks for worst Quote of the Year during the Slick Willie era.


To welcome in 2006, I thought it might be fun (as one radio host suggested) to take a look back at all of our Quotes of the Year from the Best of Notable Quotables of the Year, all the worst, dumbest, and most bizarre quotes of each particular year. First, a look at the four years of President Bush Number One.


Last Friday, the National Security Archive, a research institute and library located at George Washington University that collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Former PBS host Bill Moyers gave a speech to the attendees that evening in which, as has been typical for him, he didn’t have very nice things to say about the Bush administration. The full text is too long to do justice to the breadth of Moyers’ antagonism towards this White House, but some of the lowlights are: 

  • “It has to be said: there has been nothing in our time like the Bush Administration's obsession with secrecy.”
  • “No wonder the public knows so little about how this administration has deliberately ignored or distorted reputable scientific research to advance its political agenda and the wishes of its corporate patrons. I'm talking about the suppression of that EPA report questioning aspects of the White House Clear Skies Act; research censorship at the departments of health and human services, interior and agriculture; the elimination of qualified scientists from advisory committees on kids and lead poisoning, reproductive health, and drug abuse; the distortion of scientific knowledge on emergency contraception; the manipulation of the scientific process involving the Endangered Species Act; and the internal sabotage of government scientific reports on global warming.”

James Taranto begins his Opinion Journal piece today by reporting that the TV show "Journal Editorial Report" will not be discontinued after it leaves PBS. It will be moving to the Fox News Channel beginning in January. Its last PBS airing is December 2.  This will no doubt annoy liberals who can't stand the Wall Street Journal's editorialists, but it's quite imaginable that those who like their PBS to be a complete liberal playground will say the Paul Gigot show is moving to its more natural home.


In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, Bill Moyers claims that while he was at the helm of PBS's Now, the show was guilty of "aggressive reporting," but not liberal bias. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Following is the relevant portion of the interview. The questioner is B&C's John Eggerton.


A Monday New York Times editorial, "Public Broadcasting's Enemy Within," goes way over the top in its rhetorical assault on Kenneth Tomlinson, the former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman who had the audacity to attempt to bring some political balance to PBS, which has long used tax money to fund liberal programming:


In his Monday chat with Charlie Rose on PBS, Ted Koppel played armchair general or armchair Secretary of State and explained why he would not have gone to war with Iraq, didn't see the urgent need to remove Saddam, saw no connection with terrorism, and worst of all, smeared Ronald Reagan as not caring about the gassing of Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. This is, as a matter of historical record, untrue.


Ted Koppel did a long interview with Charlie Rose on PBS Monday night, a day before he retired as host of "Nightline." One segment of the interview that stuck out was their discussion of racism and racial inequality and how passionate they are about it. Koppel said it "just infuriates" him. Rose agreed:


The Wall Street Journal editorial page today takes the time to explain its side of the controversy over former CPB Board Chairman Ken Tomlinson, PBS's expiring "Journal Editorial Report" program and the report of CPB inspector general Kenneth Konz. They were not impressed with Mr. Konz's amazing lack of contact: "As it happened, Mr. Konz conducted merely a cursory interview with [WSJ TV chief Kathryn] Christensen and Journal lawyer Stuart Karle, said he had no interest in even talking to Mr. Gigot, and never asked at all about Mr. Tomlinson.


A New York Sun editorial (subscription may be required) notes the New York Times and a couple of (surprise) Democratic liberal senators are "in a lather over Kenneth Tomlinson's just-ended chairmanship at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They're particularly incensed over a report released yesterday by CPB's inspector general, for which [Democratic Senators] Dingell and Obey pressed, that suggests Mr. Tomlinson 'broke the law' in the course of pursuing his attempt to restore some balance to public broadcasting."

Concluding a probe prodded by Senate Democrats, the inspector general of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Konz, released his report yesterday on whether former CPB Board Chairman Ken Tomlinson violated agency rules and procedures in his attempt to bring some (or any) balance to the routinely liberal on-air content of public broadcasting. Konz said yes.