Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center
An organization that says its purpose is to expose liberal media bias is having fun with this year’s election press coverage, announcing a lighter look back at some of the worst, most gratuitous and slanted statements of 2008.
Near the top of the list on the Media Research Center’s Best Quotables of 2008: The 21st Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting was a statement by Time’s Nancy Gibbs in the magazine’s Nov. 17 cover story.
“Some princes are born in palaces,” wrote Gibbs. “Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope.”
For her not-so-veiled comparison of Barack Obama to Jesus Christ, the MRC honored Gibbs with the dubious “Obamagasm Award.”
The organization also made fun of ABC’s David Wright, who trumpeted Sen. Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama as the day the presidential hopeful became “an adopted son of Camelot, his candidacy blessed not just by the Lion of the Senate, patriarch of the clan, but by JFK’s daughter.”
“Just listening to that,” pondered MRC’s founder and president, L. Brent Bozell, on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, “you wonder if these people can look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m an objective journalist.’”
This year’s “award” recipients were selected by a panel of 44 judges from a spectrum of media outlets, reports the MRC website.
Where did they find the quotes to lampoon? All over the place, says Bozell.
“I could give you 10,000 quotes from election night alone that would qualify. This was the worst year ever. This was shameless,” Bozell said on the “Fox & Friends” interview. “When Dan Rather bemoans liberal media bias, like he did this year, you know there’s a problem.”
Bozell began the interview by stating he had a “thrill” running up leg to be on the show, a reference to the Chris Matthews line that was not only mocked by Republican candidate John McCain’s website but also won the MRC list’s “Quote of the Year.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews achieved the distinction by gushing over an Obama speech in February, saying, “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. … And that is an objective assessment.”
“Year after year, the liberal media outdo themselves in providing conservatives the sheer joy of laughing at their own words,” states Bozell on the MRC website. “The year of the Obama Paparazzi was no different, as they salivated over their savior and did everything in their power to crush conservatives. And we wonder why Americans don’t trust the media.”
Other quotables to make list included the following:
- An April 1 quote from CNN’s Ted Turner on PBS’ “Charlie Rose,” which won the MRC’s “Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis”: “Not doing it [fighting global warming] will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 10, not 10 but 30 or 40 years, and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.”
- Another quote from Chris Matthews, which won the “Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin”: “The fact of the matter is, the comparison between her [Sarah Palin] and Hillary Clinton is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!”
- The winner of “The Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh” came from a conversation between author P.J. O’Rourke and HBO’s Bill Maher on the Feb. 8 Real Time with Bill Maher. O’Roarke commented, “It’s the twilight of the radio loud-mouth, you know? I knew it from the moment the fat guy [Limbaugh] refused to share his drugs,” to which Maher responded, “You mean the OxyContin he was on? … Why couldn’t he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?”
MRC’s website also claims to have honored members of the press with the “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Soft & Cuddly Interviews,” the “Good Morning Morons Award,” and the “Admitting the Obvious Award,” among others.
Coming in behind Chris Matthews as the top runner-up for “Quote of the Year” was a Reuters post-election headline: “Media bias largely unseen in U.S. presidential race.”