This morning, the Media Research Center is releasing the “winners” of our 25th annual Best Notable Quotables awards, with MSNBC weekend anchor Melissa Harris-Perry taking the dubious honor of “Quote of the Year” for a bizarre Fourth of July tribute to America that referred to “the imperialism, the genocide, [and] the slavery” upon which our country was built.
Runner-up was David Chalian, who was fired from his job at Yahoo! News after being caught on an open microphone disparaging Mitt and Ann Romney during an ABCNews.com Webcast of the first night of the Republican National Convention: “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
Here are a few of the “winners” of 2012, each with video of their offending quote. The results were determined by a panel of 46 judges -- radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers -- who were extremely generous with their time. For the full issue, please visit www.MRC.org:
The Throwing Granny Off a Cliff Award for Portraying Romney and Ryan as Heartless
“What the press should be focused on is what are the consequences of repeal of ObamaCare. And the consequences, as Mike [Kinsley] just indicated, are death. Repeal equals death. People will die in the United States if ObamaCare is repealed. That is not an exaggeration. That is not crying ‘fire.’ It’s a simple fact....They [the Obama campaign] need to move on to a debate about the main issue, which is ObamaCare. And they can bring death into the conversation and say, ‘No, we’re not calling Mitt Romney a murderer. What we are saying is that if he’s elected President, a lot of people will die.’”
— Ex-Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, now an MSNBC political analyst, on The Ed Show, August 9.
The Obamagasm Award
“This guy’s done everything right. He’s raised his family right. He’s fought his way all the way to the top of the Harvard Law Review, in a blind test becomes head of the Review, the top editor there. Everything he’s done is clean as a whistle. He’s never not only broken any law, he’s never done anything wrong. He’s the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect American. And all they do is trash the guy.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about President Obama on Hardball, July 17.
The Ku Klux Con Job Award for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges
“They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
— Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief and former political director for ABC News David Chalian talking over a picture of Ann and Mitt Romney, as caught on an open microphone during ABCNews.com coverage of the Republican National Convention, August 28.
Damn Those Conservatives Award
Newsweek/Daily Beast assignment editor Allison Yarrow: “Can you imagine being that organ donor? I mean, it’s such a difficult decision to say ‘I want to give my body to someone else after I’m dead.’”
Newsweek senior writer Ramin Setoodeh: “To Dick Cheney? I would never give my heart to Dick Cheney. It would freeze over.”
Yarrow: “I would never do it. I’d say ‘give me my heart back.’ Exactly ...”
Host/columnist John Avlon: “Seriously, the ill will toward Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant is stunning.”
Yarrow: “He may be one of the most evil people in the world.”
— Exchange on Newsweek/Daily Beast’s daily “NewsBeast” Web show, March 26.
The True but False Award for Fatuous Fact Checking
“[Newt] Gingrich lies repeatedly. First of all, we know today that more people were collecting food stamps under George W. Bush than are under President Obama. So, that’s the first — something like a difference of about a half a million people.”
— MSNBC host Martin Bashir on The Ed Show, January 23. In fact, U.S. Department of Agriculture showed more than 46 million Americans on food stamps at the end of 2011, a figure 40 percent greater than the highest number of recipients recorded during the Bush years (31.98 million, in January 2009).
The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year
Host Piers Morgan: “How many times in your life, Mr. President, have you been properly in love?”
Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (via translator): “I’m in love with all of humanity. I love all human beings.”
Morgan: “That might be the best answer I’ve ever heard to that question.”
— CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, September 24.
Good Morning Morons Award
“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, and the land — there’s only one phrase ‘the land of the free,’ which is kind of nice, and ‘the home of the brave?’ I don’t know....Are we [Americans] the only ones who are brave on the planet? I mean, ‘all the brave people live here.’ I mean, it’s just stupid, I think. I’m embarrassed, I’m embarrassed every time I hear it.”
— Former CNN and MSNBC host Bill Press on his Full Court Press nationally-syndicated radio show, June 5.
Quote of the Year
“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....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.”
— MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry on her eponymous July 1 program, delivering what she called “my footnote for the Fourth of July.”
For the full results, plus the runners-up in each category, please visit www.MRC.org.