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Giants Of Journalism


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The Media Research Center is out with its annual “Best Notable Quotables” awards for the most biased – or just plain idiotic – statements, observations and questions to come out of the mouths of media people in the 12-month period from December 2006 through November 2007. For the complete list by category, as well as the Quote of the Year, visit www.mrc.org.

Meanwhile, here a few of the Monitor’s favorites:

● “When doctors pronounced the Rev. Jerry Laymon Falwell Sr. dead at 12:40 p.m. EST Tuesday….my first thoughts were not of what to say or write. In fact, my very first thought upon hearing of the Rev. Falwell’s passing was: Good. And I didn’t mean ‘good’ in a oh-good-he’s-gone-home-to-be-with-the-Lord kind of way. I meant ‘good’ as in ‘Ding-dong, the witch is dead.’” – Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani in her May 18 piece, “Sigh of relief over Falwell death.”

● “You could argue that even the world’s worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought [they] were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc….Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of ‘I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends’ good?’” – Ex-Washington Post sports reporter and “Seinfeld” writer Peter Mehlman in a June 20 Huffington Post blog item.

● Co-host Harry Smith: “President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The president said yesterday we’re not going to participate….If you were president, you would have probably signed on?”

Former Vice President Al Gore: “Yeah, yeah.”

Smith: “Do you mind if I-? [holds up a ‘Gore 2008’ pin]…There you go. You can hold it. [laughter]….Here, let’s see what it looks like. [holds pin to Gore’s lapel]…All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.” – Exchange on CBS’s “The Early Show,” May 30.

● CNN’s Larry King: “Are you sorry about that [“60 Minutes” National Guard story] now?”

Ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather: “No.”

King: “You think the report was correct?”

Rather: “Yes. And I think most people know by now that it was correct.” – Exchange on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” September 20.

● Co-host Diane Sawyer: “A number of people have already said, ‘Is there anything surprising, personal about [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad that we didn’t know?’ Well, it turns out, someone told me he cries a lot. That he is dramatically sentimental and sympathetic if someone comes up and expresses a personal plight. So I just asked him, are you often in tears?”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Yes, that’s true. Not only for Iranians, of course, they are very close to me and I love all Iranians. And anywhere, when I see people suffering, I have the same reaction….Even when I see on TV that, for example, some Americans, because of tornadoes or a hurricane, they have lost their homes, I become sad.” – ABC’s “Good Morning America,” February 13.

● Co-host Joy Behar: “One thing is that Giuliani post-9/11 appeared to be very heroic. But now they’re saying that he was not that efficient in helping the people who were the recovery people, the responders.”

Rosie O’Donnell: “Also he was, you know, instrumental in making sure that all of the steel was removed and shipped to Canada right away, Giuliani – was shipped to China, sorry, right away.”

Behar: “For what purpose?”

O’Donnell: “Well, to get it out of there and to have, you know, all of the stu – but it was all gone. So there was no, like, metal to test.” – Exchange on ABC’s “The View,” May 14.

● “Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda – worse for our society. It’s as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.” – MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann in an interview with Playboy magazine, October issue.

● “You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, ‘Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?’ And I said, ‘That’s what journalists do.’ And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I’ve ever had.”
– Co-host Diane Sawyer joking on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” July 12.

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About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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