The Media Research Center is out with its annual Best Notable Quotables awards – a compilation of the most outrageous and/or unintentionally revealing news media quotes from December 2010 through November 2011.
Votes were cast by a panel of 48 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers.
The following are some of the more egregious examples of media bias and foolishness. (For the complete list, as well as the order in which they were ranked, visit www.mrc.org.)
Tea Party Terrorists
“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. [Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has] been the target of violence before…. Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy. And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous ‘crosshairs’ list. Just yesterday, [liberal writer] Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing…. Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hatemongers.” – New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a 3:22 p.m. ET January 8 blog posting, less than two hours after news broke of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Salon’s Joan Walsh: “These people, the Tea Partiers and their friends and their enablers and their corporate friends…they have created this shrieking on the right…. They’re paying the lowest taxes in 50 years – more than 50 years, more than my lifetime – and they are still complaining. And some of them aren’t complaining. There are some good business people who know this game of chicken, in particular, is deadly and it’s wrong and it’s hostage-taking. And you shouldn’t negotiate with hostage-takers.” Host Chris Matthews: “I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree. It’s terrorism.” – MSNBC’s “Hardball,” July 5.
“If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the GOP on a suicide mission.” – New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, July 27.
“You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them. These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people…. For now, the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests. But rest assured: They’ll have them on again soon enough.” – New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, August 2.
The Object of Their Worship
“Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph…. ‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy…. Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.” – Esquire’s Stephen Marche in a column for the magazine’s August 2011 issue: “How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us.”
By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself – vividly, in almost biblical terms – to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States.” – Ex-Newsweek correspondent and editor Howard Fineman writing at the Huffington Post, May 2.
Left-Wing Protest Promotion
“We thought we’d bring you up to date on those protesters, the Occupy Wall Street movement. As of tonight, it has spread to more than 250 American cities, more than a thousand countries – every continent but Antarctica.” – Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “World News,” October 10. On a later edition, Sawyer corrected her still-absurd hype: “…more than a thousand cities around the world.”
“Good evening. We begin tonight with what has become by any measure a pretty massive protest movement. While it goes by the official name ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ it has spread steadily and far beyond Wall Street, and it could well turn out to be the protest of this current era.” – Anchor Brian Williams leading off the October 5 NBC “Nightly News.”
“This week: people power making history. A revolt in the Midwest and a revolution sweeping across the Middle East…. Populist frustration is boiling over this week – as we’ve said, not just in the Middle East, but in the middle of this country as well.” ABC’s Christiane Amanpour opening “This Week,” February 20, referring to Wisconsin and Egypt.