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Friday, December 16, 2011

Results In: The Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting

By Susan Duclos

The other day I linked to the Media Research Center's online open voting which was your chance to pick the worst liberal media bias of 2011 in 16 different categories.

Results are in for The Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting!

I am listing the winners by category, but to see the runner-ups by order of votes, and videos of some of the quotes, click over and see for yourself, then go to the bottom and click "next category."

Discussion about the survey is over at NewsBusters.


1. The Tea Party Terrorists Award- Winner was Paul Krugman with 2,116 votes.

“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s 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, 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 hate-mongers.”

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a 3:22pm ET January 8 blog posting, less than two hours after news broke of Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting.

2.Tying Granny to the Train Tracks Award for Condemning Budget Cuts- Winner was Christiane Amanpour with 1,023 votes.

“People who have been studying your numbers very carefully have been saying that the numbers don’t add up....[They say] two-thirds of the savings that you want to make in spending cuts come at the expense of programs designed for the poor, for the disadvantaged. And this is reverse Robin Hoodism, if you like — take from the poor, give back to the rich again.”

— ABC’s Christiane Amanpour to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on This Week, May 1.

3. The Obamagasm Award- Winner was Stephen Marche with 1,528 votes.

“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.”

4. Hopeless Dopes Award for Discrediting Obama’s Opponents- Winner was Brian Williams with 1,267 votes.

“Question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times — [ audience cheers and applause ] — have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?...What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here, the mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?”

“Senator Santorum, on another front, you’re a devout Catholic....Having said that, the Catholic faith, has as a part of it, caring for the poor. One in seven people in this country, now, qualifies as poor. Where do the poor come in, where do they place in this party, on this stage, in a Santorum administration?”

— Moderator Brian Williams to candidates Rick Perry and Rick Santorum during MSNBC’s Republican presidential candidates debate, September 7.

5. Damn Those Conservatives Award- Winner was Ed Schultz with 1,102 votes.

“President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday, but you know what they’re talking about? Like this right-wing slut, what’s her name, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.”

— Ed Schultz on his radio program, May 24. The next night, Schultz appeared on his 10pm ET MSNBC show to apologize: “I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize.”

6. The Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes Award- Winner was Christiane Amanpour with 1,069 votes.

Host Christiane Amanpour:
“Some 75 percent of Americans agree with an increase in tax on millionaires as a way to pay for these jobs provisions. Do you not feel that by opposing it you’re basically out of step with the American people on this issue?...Are you concerned that these budget cuts are going to hurt the people who can least afford it?...There doesn’t seem to be the sense amongst people here that the sacrifice is being shared because they point to taxes and tax cuts and who it benefits and who it doesn’t.”

House Speaker John Boehner: “Come on! The top one percent pay 38 percent of the income taxes in America. How much more do you want them to pay?”

— ABC’s This Week, November 6.

7. The Grim Reaper Award for Saying Conservatives Want You to Die- Winner was Chris Matthews with 1,192 votes.

“Most people who follow the news and watch the newspapers every day and watch television shows like this on Fox or this network, MSNBC, or anywhere, on CNN, they — those most attuned to this debate over the budget are either retired or close to it....Let them [Republicans] offer a big slash in Medicare, which is going to kill half the people who watch this show.”

— Chris Matthews talking about the House GOP budget plan on MSNBC’s Hardball, April 11.

8. Occupy My Heart and Soul Award for Left-Wing Protest Promotion- Winner was Diane Sawyer with 1,191 votes.

“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.”

9. The Media Hero Award- Winner was Chris Matthews with 823 votes.

“Bill Clinton has taken the prestige of his time in office, his relationships with other heads of state and forged something never known before, a global force for good. He’s fighting AIDS in Africa, the devastation of floods and earthquakes, and nearly every other challenge facing mankind on the face of the globe....We’ve never had a world leader like this before! Bill Clinton: President of the World.”

— Chris Matthews on the February 9 Hardball, touting his upcoming MSNBC documentary on Clinton.

10. Flunk the Founding Fathers Award- Winner was Norah O'Donnell / Ezra Klein with 894 votes.

Fill-in anchor Norah O’Donnell: “When Republicans take over next week, they’re going to do something that apparently has never been done in the 221-year history of the House of Representatives. They are going to read the Constitution aloud. Is this a gimmick?”

Washington Post writer/blogger Ezra Klein: “Yes, it’s a gimmick. [Laughs] I mean, you can say two things about it. One, is that it has no binding power on anything. And two, the issue of the Constitution is not that people don’t read the text and think they’re following. The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than a hundred years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done.”

— MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, December 30, 2010.

11. The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble- Winner was Maureen Dowd with 969 votes.

“Tea Party budget-slashers....were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country’s reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama. They were like the metallic beasts in Alien flashing mouths of teeth inside other mouths of teeth, bursting out of Boehner’s stomach every time he came to a bouquet of microphones.”

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, August 3 column.

12. MSNBC = Mean-Spirited, Nasty, Belligerent Chris Award- Winner was Chris Matthews with 769 votes.

Host Chris Matthews:
“One thing I notice about black people at different conventions. You go to a Democratic convention with Donna [Edwards] and black folk are hanging together and having a good time. They’re smiling, they’re enjoying themselves. They feel very much at home. You go to a Republican event, you get a feeling that you are all told, ‘Individually now, don’t bunch up. Don’t, don’t, don’t get together. Don’t get together, don’t crowd, you’ll scare these people.’ Is that true in the Republican Party? Is that still true in your party? Did you fear that if you got together with some other African-Americans, these white guys might get scared of you?”

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele: “No! What are you talking about?!”

— MSNBC’s Hardball, January 17.

13. The Ku Klux Con Job Award for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges- Winner was Lawrence O’Donnell with 856 votes.

Clip from RNC ad: “Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

Host Lawrence O’Donnell: “The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?”

Ex-Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI): “Wow, I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones....”

— MSNBC’s The Last Word, February 25.

14. Refusing to Acknowledge the Obvious Award for Denying Liberal Media Bias- Winner was Chris Matthews with 1,331 votes.

Hardball is absolutely non-partisan.”

— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in an interview with local Washington, D.C. host Carol Joynt, as quoted by The Politico’s Patrick Gavin in a December 9, 2010 article.

15. The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year- Winner was Katie Couric with 1,173 votes.

“The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn’t enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong, and so disappointing....Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show....I know that sounds crazy. But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of things they don’t understand.”

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on her @KatieCouric Web show, December 22, 2010.

16. The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity- Winner was Sean Penn with 529 votes.

“You have what I call the ‘Get the N-word out of the White House party,’ the Tea Party.... At the end of the day, there’s a big bubble coming out of their heads saying, you know, ‘Can we just lynch him?’”

— Actor Sean Penn on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, October 14.