Streetcar Line

The Ever-Worse Establishment Media

Once again, the Media Research Center identifies the real haters.

By 12.1.11

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If I had the lack of class and perspective that much of the establishment media has, I would call them all hateful, moronic, bigoted, murderous Stalinists.

Since I'm not, maybe I'll just leave the "hateful" and "moronic" in place.

Such reflections come as smoke pours from my ears after considering this year's ballot for the Media Research Center's invaluable, annual "Notable Quotable" awards for the year's worst reporting. The MRC asks about 40 conservative media folks each year to judge the contest, providing choices in 17 different categories such as the "Tea Party Terrorists Award" (for, yes, equating the Tea Party with terrorists) and the Obamagasm Award (for gushing, in chill-up-leg fashion, about how heroic the current Occupy the Oval Office leader is). We each rank the three worst examples of bias (or, worse, sheer hate directed at conservatives) in each category, and then also vote for the (worst) Quote of the Year.

To show just how low the lickspittle Lilliputians of the establishment media are, consider that none of the following examples even made it into my votes for "worst three" examples in any of those 17 categories. If these are the also-rans, just think how bad the others are.

1) Salon's Joan Walsh: "These people, the Tea Partiers and their friends and their enablers and their corporate friends like Dick Armey, they have created this shrieking on the right…. They're paying the lowest taxes in 50 years -- more than 50 years, more than my lifetime -- and they are still complaining. And some of them aren't complaining. There are some good business people who know this game of chicken, in particular, is deadly and it's wrong and it's hostage-taking. And you shouldn't negotiate with hostage-takers.
Host Chris Matthews: "I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree. It's terrorism." -- MSNBC's Hardball, July 5.

2) "I have a confession to make. I can describe the legal arguments and the judicial conclusions, but on a fundamental level, I just don't get the attack on the federal law…. I don't understand the moral compass of the owner of the fancy car I saw the other day that sported the bumper sticker: 'Repeal ObamaCare.'" -- Longtime New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in a column for the Times' "Opinionator" blog, Sept. 21.

3) "So when does SEAL Unite 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn't he, or am I wrong here?" -- Left-wing radio host and former CNN producer Mike Malloy on The Mike Malloy Show, May 2.

4) "The interesting question is: what is it about this President that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the office of the President? Why do Republicans think this President is unpresidential -- unpresidential, and shouldn't dare request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008, or it could be, let's face it, the color of his skin." -- MSNBC political analyst and ex-Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe talking about the brief contretemps over scheduling Obama's speech to Congress, The Last Word, August 31.

5) "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 Dec. 9, 2010 article.

And, while these last two aren't mainstream media, it's beyond contempt that the mainstream media gives a forum to such people… In MRC's category called "The Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award" for Celebrity Vapidity, consider these:

1) "America's full of such hatred in terms of politics, and the politics of hate is so rampant. And now, the only kind of minority that can really be dealt with in that way is the gay population…. I think that the Tea Party have some very, very -- some quite sensible notions, actually, when -- on paper. But also that kind of seems to be an umbrella thing that just covers up a lot of real homophobia and racism." -- Actor Alan Cumming, who stars on CBS' The Good Wife, on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Sept. 22.

2) "The Scale of Right Wing sociopolitical sabotage necessitates a Nuremberg-scale trial for all the corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascist architects of our democracy's current and most pressing misery. From the blatant Republican policy doublespeak emanating from think-tank sponsored word doctors to the outright obstruction and lies expectorated by Republican congressional representatives and senators, the very concept of governance can only be considered once the culprits are removed. Driven to the real madness by unadulterated greed they have embraced an ideology, the success of which hinges upon the very ruin of this nation." -- Actor Steven Weber (from the 1990s sitcom Wings) writing at the Huffington Post, October 24.

And now, as a special treat, I will let you, the readers, help me select the Quote of the Year. I have particular criteria for my QoY. For one thing, except in rare instances I rule out entries in which the author/speaker self-identified it as opinion journalism rather than straight news reporting. The opinions may be more outrageous, but the journalistic sin is usually not as bad (unless the opinion is just so disgustingly hateful, or so cloyingly hero-worshipping of a leftist, that it shouldn't be aired at all). (Actually, I am breaking my rule here for an Obamagasm entry, the first one below, because it's so over-the-top. But if you, the reader, consider this criterion important, you may consider not voting for it for that reason.) For a second consideration, if the ludicrous statement actually has a demonstrable error of fact (in addition to obscene opinions), it gets bonus points in my mind for worst of the year. Third, I never use "celebrity vapidity" statements as my QoY, no matter how bad, because they aren't even claiming to be journalists. That said, here are the three quotes to which I've narrowed down my choice this year. I'll explain this how you can help me vote at the end:

1) "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 11 issue, "How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us."

2) "The House began debating a spending bill today that cuts $833 million from the WIC nutrition program, which provides healthy food to low-income women and children…. Now what was it that Jesus said? 'Give me your poor and needy, and I'll tell them to pound sand.' That's at least the Republican vision of Jesus." -- Anchor Cenk Uygur during the 6 pmET hour of MSNBC News Live, June 14.

3) "I get out of all of these things that many of these candidates would rather take legislation to build a time machine and go back in time to where we had, you know, no women voting, slavery was cool. I mean, it's just kind of ridiculous." -- Daytime anchor Thomas Roberts on MSNBC Live, Sept. 23, talking about the previous night's GOP debate.

There. Those are my three finalists -- although plenty of others were close. Anyway, here's how you can vote. Please, for once, do NOT provide general comments to this column. Instead, if you all will be nice and do this, just enter a one-word comment as your vote: Either "Marche," "Uygur," or "Roberts," for the author of one of those three quotes. If I get at least 50 votes in the comment section, and one of the entries wins by at least 5 percentage points while getting at least 40 percent of the overall votes, I'll put it on my ballot as the Quote of the Year. (Otherwise, I'll just pick from among those three myself.) How's that sound?

Meanwhile, the question presents itself: How do these some of these spewmongers even consider themselves journalists? For that matter, how do they even consider themselves to be decent human beings?

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About the Author
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator and a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom. Follow him on Twitter @QuinHillyer.