Media Bias Year-in-Review: The Most Horrendous Bias of 2012

It's the last day of 2012, and NewsBusters is recounting the worst media bias of the year, as catalogued in the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2012.

Earlier, we documented journalists' most partisan potshots against the Romney-Ryan ticket, as well as the most effusive "Obamagasms" of the preceding twelve months. Today, some of the most infuriating and/or wacky quotes of 2012, including the ridiculous entry that was chosen by our esteemed panel of 46 judges as the most outrageous "Quote of the Year."

First up, winning our "Damn Those Conservatives Award," two Newsweek/Daily Beast staffers reacted to the news of a health crisis for former Vice President Dick Cheney by impugning him as "one of the most evil people in the world." Chatting on the "NewsBeast" Web show, assignment editor Allison Yarrow fretted about Cheney's heart transplant operation: "Can you imagine being that organ donor?"

Senior writer Ramin Setoodeh insisted: "I would never give my heart to Dick Cheney. It would freeze over," to which Yarrow absurdly responded: "I would never do it. I’d say ‘give me my heart back.’...He may be one of the most evil people in the world."

Conservatives were also impugned after the tragic Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting back in July. ABC's Brian Ross won our "Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste" Award, for exploiting tragedy to promote liberalism, as he suggested a (false) Tea Party connection to the murders. During live coverage on the morning of July 20, ABC's George Stephanopoulos put Ross on air because the investigative correspondent had supposedly "found something that might be significant" about the suspected killer, James Holmes.

Ross told ABC viewers: "There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”


As it turned out, there was absolutely no connection between the Tea Party and the Jim Holmes who killed 12 people and wounded 58 others. A few hours after making his sleazy remark on national television, Ross took it back: "An earlier report that I had was incorrect, that he was connected to the Tea Party. In fact, that’s a different Jim Holmes.”

While conservatives were maligned, liberals were celebrated. In a performance that won him our "Media Hero Award," CNN host Piers Morgan was thrilled just to be near former President Bill Clinton back on September 25. Channeling "people" who were "electrified" by Clinton's convention speech on behalf of Barack Obama, Morgan flattered and fawned over the ex-President: "They all say, ‘Why do we have this goddamned 22nd Amendment? Why couldn’t Bill Clinton just run again and be President for the next 30 years?’…We’re trying to change the rules in Britain, actually, because if you can’t be President again here, we’d quite like you to be Prime Minister in our country. Are you available if it comes to it, if I get this through?”

Morgan also won our "Audacity of Dopes Award" for the wackiest analysis of the year after fawning over the dictator of Iran in an interview on September 24. The CNN host wondered: "How many times in your life, Mr. President, have you been properly in love?"

The saber-rattling, Holocaust-denying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seemed delighted with the question: “I’m in love with all of humanity. I love all human beings."

Morgan beamed in response: “That might be the best answer I’ve ever heard to that question.”

Finally, the winners of our "Good Morning Morons Award," for the sheer idiocy that some TV hosts display before noon. Onetime MSNBC and CNN host Bill Press, whose Full Court Press radio program is now simulcast on Al Gore's Current TV, declared back in June how he is "embarrassed" by America's national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. "I mean, when you think about it, it’s ‘bombs bursting in air,’ ‘rocket’s red glare,’ it’s all kinds of — you know a lot of national anthems are that way, too — all kinds of military jargon....I mean, it’s just stupid, I think. I’m embarrassed, I’m embarrassed every time I hear it."

Second place went to current MSNBC host, Chris Hayes, who announced right before Memorial Day how he was "uncomfortable" using the word "hero" to talk about America's war dead. "It seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war, and I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that."

Rounding out that category, but impressing enough of our judges to also "win" the dubious distinction of the "Quote of the Year" for 2012: MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry giving a very left-wing rendition of the American story, what she called her "footnote for the Fourth of July," for her July 1 program.

"The land on which they [the Founders] formed this Union was stolen. The hands with which they built this nation were enslaved. The women who birthed the citizens of the nation are second class," Harris-Perry railed. "This is the imperfect fabric of our nation, at times we’ve torn and stained it, and at other moments, we mend and repair it. But it’s ours, all of it. The imperialism, the genocide, the slavery, also the liberation and the hope and the deeply American belief that our best days still lie ahead of us."

2012 is about to be history, but with journalists like these still on the payroll, you can be assured that media bias will be as strong as ever in 2013.

Rich Noyes
Rich Noyes
Rich Noyes is the Senior Editor for Newsbusters