The Media Research Center is out with its annual Best Notable Quotables in recognition of the most biased, outrageous, or unintentionally humorous media quotes from December 2008 through November 2009.
These are a few of the Monitor’s favorites (as was to be expected, the media’s worship of President Obama came in for heavy representation among this year’s entries). To read the complete selection and to find out which statement was chosen as Quote of the Year, visit www.mrc.org.
Let’s Slander Rush
● “Limbaugh’s perceived racist diatribes are too many to name but here’s a sampling: He once declared that [words on screen] ‘Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark,’ said Limbaugh.” – CNN’s Rick Sanchez promoting a made-up quote on the 3 p.m. ET hour of “Newsroom,” October 12.
● “The heavens were weeping for Teddy Kennedy today.” – Andrea Mitchell noting the rainy weather for Kennedy’s funeral, August 29 “NBC Nightly News.”
● Mary Jo [Kopechne] wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan…. We don’t know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she’d have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history…. [One wonders what] Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted’s death, and what she’d have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows – maybe she’d feel [her death] was worth it.” – Discover magazine deputy web editor Melissa Lafsky, who formerly worked on The New York Times’s Freakonomics blog, writing at the Huffington Post, August 27.
● You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ‘Damn, this is hard. Damn, I’m not going to get the things done I want to get done, and it’s just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish’?” – CBS’s Katie Couric in an exchange with Obama shown on “The Early Show,” July 22.
● “The president showed his analytical mind…. He was at his best intellectually. I thought it was a great example of how his mind works…. What a mind he has, and I love his ability to do it on television. I love to think with him.” – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during live coverage following Obama’s February 9 press conference.
● [Star Trek’s Mr.] Spock’s cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we’ve put a sort of Vulcan in the White House. All through the election campaign, columnists compared President Obama’s unflappably logical demeanor and prominent ears with Mr. Spock’s…. Like Obama, Spock is the product of a mixed marriage (actually, an interstellar mixed marriage), and he suffers blunt manifestations of prejudice as a result….” – Newsweek’s Steve Daly in his May 4 cover story, “We’re All Trekkies Now.”
● “Reagan [at the 1984 D-Day commemoration] was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is, ‘We are above that now. We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something.’ I mean, in a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world. He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.” – Newsweek’s Evan Thomas to host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” June 5.
● “Between workouts during his Hawaii vacation this week, he was photographed looking like the paradigm of a new kind of presidential fitness, one geared less toward preventing heart attacks than winning swimsuit competitions. The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.” – Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow in a December 25, 2008 front-page story about Obama’s vacation fitness regimen.
● “When they were both walking to the helicopter the other day, Marine One … you could tell, like, they were experiencing the – I’m getting old here – the grooviness, the excitement of being this first American couple heading towards Marine One, which is cool in itself, heading from there to Air Force One, to a quick flight across the Atlantic, on your own plane, and to meet with the world leaders as, like, the centerpiece of the world…. I’m saying it again, I’m getting a thrill…. We agree, we girls agree. I don’t mind saying that. I’m excited. I’m thrilled.” – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking to Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women’s Forum and Washington Post writer Lois Romano about the Obamas’ trip to Europe, April 1 “Hardball.”