Bozell Column: Safeguarding Obama Throughout 2013

Liberal journalists were glowing and full of hope after Barack Obama won a second term. As 2012 drew to a close, there was the traditional hour of ABC’s Barbara Walters fawning: “Mr. President, Mrs. Obama. There is a photograph of you [hugging] that went viral, became the most shared photograph in the history of Twitter. How do you keep the fire going?”

As the second inauguration neared, Newsweek put out a cover image even though they’d stopped printing magazines. Over a picture of Obama, it read: “The Second Coming. America Expects. Can He Deliver?” He laid an egg.

These are two winners in the annual Best of Notable Quotables vote held by the Media Research Center. Forty-two conservative opinion leaders – I was one – and journalists picked these winners in the “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews” and the “Obamagasm Award.”

The outrages are endless. Some examples:

Newsweek editor Tina Brown wasn’t stingy in boasting of the “magnificence” of liberals. She won “The Pantsuit Patrol Award for Boosting Hillary Clinton” for dismissing every concern about the Benghazi fiasco. Forget the embassy security failures, Hillary was “Her Magnificence” as she retired from government service (for now).

“The idea of losing Hillary has seemed especially unbearable at this political moment. It’s as if she has become, literally, the ship of state. She stands for maturity, tenacity, and self-discipline at a time when everyone else in Washington seems to be, in more senses than one, going off a cliff — a parade of bickering, blustering, small-balled hacks bollixing up the nation’s business,” Brown wrote. “What a disgrace that John Bolton and his goaty Republican ilk accused Her Magnificence of inventing a concussion to get out of testifying at the Benghazi hearings. Bolton is not fit to wipe her floor with his mustache.”

The media briefly consented to a few weeks of news coverage of Obama scandals in May, but even with Benghazi, the flagrant politicization of the IRS, the domestic spying of the NSA, and the Justice Department cracking down on journalists, pundits put blinders on and pledged to see nothing. The “Move Along, Nothing to See Here Award” was won by Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus and CNN analyst David Gergen, who agreed on NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show” that Obama somehow ran “a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term.”

This utterance of ignorance came in November, after the completely botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, which became the most damaging scandal of Obama’s presidency, combining the president’s dishonesty and his incompetence. MSNBC host Ed Schultz made a complete fool of himself and won the “Obamacare Orderlies Award” for promising this Internet black hole was going to be tremendous, amazing, fantastic.

“This is the website, folks, HealthCare.gov,” he crowed on the night before the disaster began. “If you go to this website, you will find out how easy it is to read, how easy it is to navigate all the information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to take to get involved, to get health care. This is a great guide, if I may say, for any of you out there who feel so confused by all of these right-wing commercials that are just permeating through your television screen.”


Schultz not only lacked reading comprehension, he also flunked mathematics. Schultz took another “prize” in the “Let Them Eat Dog Food Award for Freaking Out Over the Sequester’s Puny Cuts.” This brain cramp was unleashed on his radio show in February: “Now you’ve got a budget of three and a half trillion dollars in this fiscal year. This will take $85 billion out of it. That’s damn near a third.” A junior-high math teacher would tell Big Eddie that $85 billion is only about 2.4 percent of $3.5 trillion.

The statist media despised sequestration in February, and hated the shutdown in October. Politico columnist Roger Simon won the “Kamikaze Award for Disparaging Conservatives During the Shutdown” with this snide riddle. “Question: If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America.”

There was an obvious “Quote of the Year” for 2013: the one that removed Martin Bashir from MSNBC. On November 15, he carefully laid out the diary of one Thomas Thistlewood, who punished slaves by having someone urinate and defecate in their mouth. Bashir concluded  “if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she [Palin] would be the outstanding candidate.”

For this, Bashir was out standing – on the street corner looking for a new job. Maybe there’s a slot at the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. He’d feel right at home.

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center