The Media Research Center (MRC) is out with its annual Best Notable Quotables a compendium of the most outrageously biased and unintentionally humorous statements made by liberal journalists during the past year (December 2002 through November 2003). The following represents an extensive sampling of what passes for objective reporting and trenchant analysis in today’s media culture.
Ashcroft American Torquemada
Attorney General John Ashcroft has earned himself a remarkable distinction as the Torquemada of American law. Tomas de Torquemada…was largely responsible for… [the] torture and the burning of heretics – Muslims in particular.
Now of course I am not accusing the attorney general of pulling out anyone?s fingernails or burning people at the stake (at least I don’t know of any such cases). But one does get the sense these days that the old Spaniard’s spirit is comfortably at home in Ashcroft?s Department of Justice.  * Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite in his syndicated column published in the September 22 Philadelphia Inquirer.

Isn’t Saddam Grand?

Diane Sawyer: I read this morning that he’s [Saddam Hussein] also said the love that the Iraqis have for him is so much greater than anything Americans feel for their president because he’s been loved for 35 years he says the whole 35 years. 

Dan Harris in Baghdad: He is one to point out quite frequently that he is part of a historical trend in this country of restoring Iraq to its greatness its historical greatness. He points out frequently that he was elected with a hundred percent margin recently.  * ABC’s Good Morning America March 7.

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Saddam Hussein Feminist

Tom Brokaw: NBC News ‘In Depth’ tonight. In the aftermath of the war on Iraq new anxieties for some of the country’s educated successful women. Although many may be glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein many are also worried that a new government could set them back….? 

Mike Taibbi in Baghdad: While the end to the Saddam regime means a return to long-denied freedoms for all Iraqis it may also mean at least a temporary rollback of some hard-won freedoms for millions of Iraqi women…. While Saddam’s regime brutalized women – rape torture even beheadings – his secular government also gave women more rights than their counterparts in many other Islamic countries.  * NBC Nightly News April 22.

Why We Just Love Saddam!

Iraqis are growing increasingly enraged by the mounting damage to civilian sites – including this maternity hospital smashed up by a bomb that exploded nearby. Several people were killed even though patients had been evacuated at the start of the war. Walking through the streets of Baghdad today it’s clear that this war is not popular. I asked this man if he thinks the war is about liberating him from Saddam?s brutal regime. Liberation? he asked me. Who asked for America to liberate us?  * Freelancer Richard Engel reporting from Saddam-controlled Baghdad ABC’s World News Tonight April 2.

Saddam Patron Of The Arts

This week we were surprised to see several hundred artists and writers walking through the streets of Baghdad to say thank you to Saddam Hussein. He had just increased their monthly financial support. Cynical you could argue at this particular time but the state has always supported the arts and some of the most creative people in the Arab world have always been Iraqis. And whatever they think about Saddam Hussein in the privacy of their homes on this occasion they were praising his defense of the homeland in the face of American threats.  * ABC’s Peter Jennings in Baghdad concluding the January 21 World News Tonight
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