Today’s installment of the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by our 42 expert judges: The “Damn Those Conservatives Award,” recounting journalists’ nastiest attacks on conservatives.
Past winners of this venerable award include: Nina Totenberg in 1991, for verbally accosting then-Senator Alan Simpson after a Nightline appearance on October 9 of that year: “You big [expletive]....You are so full of [expletive]. You are an evil man....You’re a bitter and evil man and all your colleagues hate you.”
In 2005, Helen Thomas took top honors for a quote she gave The Hill newspaper: “The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for President, I’ll kill myself. All we need is one more liar.” Luckily for Helen, Mr. Cheney did not choose to run in 2008. (This year’s winners and videos after the jump.)
Winning this year: MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, for the crude and vicious attack he launched against Sarah Palin back on November 15. While Bashir apologized the following Monday, MSNBC had him to stay on the air that entire week. After an extended Thanksgiving “vacation,” he finally quit on December 4.
“One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years....In 1756, he records that ‘a slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.’ This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose,’ a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners’ savagery and inhumanity....When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.”
Coming in second, MSNBC regular and occasional fill-in host Michael Eric Dyson, who tore into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after a June 25 decision voided one section of the Voting Rights Act as outdated:
“Clarence Thomas’s actions here today, though consistent, though tragic to me, are even more so in light of the bulk of decisions he’s rendered in the name of a judicial vote on the Supreme Court: A symbolic Jew has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit holocaust and genocide upon his own people.”
Third place went to MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe for attacking Margaret Thatcher just a couple of hours after news broke of the Iron Lady’s passing on April 8:
“She most certainly punished communities. She punished branches of government. She punished industries, she took a brutal, brutal look at what industries were working and just said, ‘We’re going to close it down.’...Margaret Thatcher, no question, she stood up to communism. As I said before though, she had an attitude to her domestic enemies that, frankly, was the antithesis of freedom.”
Rounding out this category, MSNBC daytime host Krystal Ball, who appeared on Al Sharpton’s PoliticsNation program to note the 25th anniversary of the hugely successful Rush Limbaugh Show. (She’s obviously not a dittohead.)
“With his outrageous and horrible comments, he’s really more of a benefit to the Democratic Party....He is offensive in every way you can be offensive. He is racism in the big sense in terms of whole classes of people. There’s sexism in the big sense, and then there’s the direct personal attacks, which are also unbelievable.”
Tomorrow: journalists who get thrills up their legs over Hillary Clinton. The full report, with 15 categories plus the judges' selection of Quote of the Year, is available at: www.MRC.org.
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