It's the end of another year, but before 2008 is finally consigned to the ash heap of history, let's spend just a few more minutes reviewing some of the goofiest media moments of the past 12 months.
A great deal has already been written here at NewsBusters about the Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2008, with much mocking of "Quote of the Year" winner Chris Matthews for the thrills and tingles he felt listening to Barack Obama this election year.
Matthews was such a perfect poster boy of the DNC media, he merited his own category this year: the "MSNBC = Maudlin Sycophantic Nutty Blathering Chris Award." The winning quote came from Matthews gushing over Obama's convention speech back on August 28. Perhaps referring to the grief he took for admitting to the "thrill" running up his leg earlier in the year, Matthews defiantly declared: "I’ve been criticized for saying he inspires me, and to hell with my critics!"
A few minutes later, Matthews kept fawning: "You know, in the Bible they talk about Jesus serving the good wine last, I think the Democrats did the same.”
The "Good Morning Morons" category offers ripe material every year. American Morning co-host John Roberts was the runner-up for starting an interview with Barack Obama by obsequiously declaring that it would be "a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we’re going to move on. Is that okay with you?”
"Fair enough," a smiling Obama replied. "That sounds just fine."
Of course it was.
Winning the "Morons" category this year: CBS Early Show co-host Julie Chen, for seeming baffled by basic geography. "Hawaii is not in the Atlantic ocean," her co-host Harry Smith finally told Chen. "Oh, it's in the Pacific!" Chen realized.
The "Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis" was taken by CNN founder Ted Turner, who last won this award in 2001 (although he was a runner-up in 2003 and 2005). This year, Turner chose to opine about the supposed dangers of not fighting global warming: “Not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten 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."
Turner beat out this headline from the New York Times: "East Germany Had Its Charms, Crushed by Capitalism."
Ex-ABC and CNN newsman Walter Rodgers took the "Pay Up You Patriots" award in a runaway. Back on April 2 (right before the income tax deadline), Rodgers wrote a Christian Science Monitor piece lecturing: "There seems to be an inconsistency about people who insist on wearing flag pins in their lapels, but who grumble about paying taxes....Genuine patriots don’t complain about their patriotic obligations....Pay up and be grateful!”
Close behind was a former Democratic operative who ABC now presents as a newsman, George Stephanopoulos. The host of This Week pushed Alan Greenspan to endorse his liberal policy prescription: "What would be wrong with letting the tax cuts for the top one percent expire and plowing that money into education?”
One semi-bright spot in 2008: our "Admitting the Obvious Award" for those who at least acknowledged the media's liberal bias. Winning this award was NBC's Lee Cowan, who wrote about how his "knees quaked" when he found out he'd be covering Obama's presidential campaign. "I wondered if I was up to the job. I wondered if I could do the campaign justice."
I'm sure team Obama had no complaints.
Runner-up in this category went to the normally obnoxious Bill Maher, who could not help by scoff at the Obama worship he saw while watching MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic convention. Referring to co-anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, Maher quipped: "I think there is a problem, though, with the media gushing over him [Obama]....I mean, these guys were ready to have sex with him."
There's much more at www.MRC.org. And there will no doubt be plenty of bias in 2009, which you can read about right here at Newsbusters.org.