In an article posted on CNN.com's Political Ticker associate producer Martina Stewart touted the top ten quote list from this year's edition of "Yale Book of Quotations". The only problem is the list is nothing more than one liberal editor's opinion on which quotes best humiliate Republicans.
Here is an excerpt:
With less than three weeks left in the year, the Yale Book of Quotations is out with its list of the 10 quotes for 2008, and statements some politicians probably wish they could take back dominate this year's list.
This year had "a particularly important and dramatic election," said Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, about the fact that so many political quotations appeared on the 2008 list. "An election that had a cast of characters among the candidates," Shapiro added
The list starts out with Tina Fey's famous belittling parody of Governor Sarah Palin, "I can see Russia from my house". That liberal favorite is quickly followed by another, the overblown Palin quote in regards to which newspapers she reads. And the top three is rounded out with former McCain economic advisor's comment that "we have sort of become a nation of whiners".
But "not to be outdone", as Stewart puts it, McCain actually appears twice on the list. At fifth is McCain's assurance that "the fundamentals of the American economy are strong" and at seventh is McCain's assertion that American troops could remain in Iraq for "maybe 100" years.
Of course the best part about the two McCain quotes is that even Shapiro admits that they are completely out of context and have been misconstrued:
Shapiro [...] noted that McCain was potentially misunderstood in both of the quotes that made the list this year.
In the end the list includes eleven quotes (there's a tie for tenth place) and of those eleven, by my count, eight of them are intended to be embarrassing to Republicans or Bush administration officials. Those eight don't include border line quotes from Paris Hilton, and Paul Krugman of the New York Times which could easily be considered, and probably were meant to be, enjoyable to liberals and abrasive to conservatives.
So, in other words, while there are many quotes meant to portray Republicans as idiotic or foolish, there are zero quotes meant to portray Democrats in that same light.(Read the full list here and see what you think)
But does Stewart of CNN point this out? Of course not.
Instead she simply passes along, without challenge, Shapiro's reasons for leaving out famous gaffes from Democrats:
Quotes from Republicans take center stage in this year's top ten because they were all potentially game changers that might have cost the GOP ticket the White House, according to Shapiro who also noted that McCain was potentially misunderstood in both of the quotes that made the list this year.
President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden had their own memorable quotes in 2008 that fell just shy of making the top ten. Shapiro cited Obama's comment that rural Americans "cling" to guns and religion and Biden's statement that leaders of other countries would test Obama if elected as statements that might have made the list in another year when there wasn't a "super abundance" of political quotes from which Shapiro had to choose.
Yes, that's right, CNN willfully passed along the absurd idea that Barack Obama insulting a large swath of America and Joe Biden predicting that his own running mate's victory would cause an international incident are somehow smaller and less important mishaps than John McCain stating American troops could be stationed in Iraq in a similar manor as they are throughout the world.
However, what's most appalling, yet not surprising, about all this is the fact that CNN's Stewart never makes any kind of qualifying statements about the political leanings of the list or its creator. It is almost as though the thought never occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, Fred Shapiro is a smidge liberal and his list is by no means the objective measurement of the top ten quotes of the year she makes it out to be.