The year 2005 is ending as it began, with another successful election in Iraq and a liberal media still flapping around trying to find other controversies to submerge it. It does not matter to them that a Gallup poll found that 74 percent of Americans express confidence in their military, but only 28 percent express confidence in their newspapers or TV news outlets. The "mainstream" media excels in excoriating the performance of nearly everyone else, but acts as if nothing they do should be held up as ineffective, inaccurate or just plain absurd.
That's why the Media Research Center and a panel of more than 50 judges have compiled an annual "Best Notable Quotables," a collection of the media's greatest stinkers in the past 12 months. The utterances speak volumes about our supposedly ideologically detached press corps.
In August, NBC's "Today" show was in Iraq, and Specialist Steven Chitterer told co-host Matt Lauer that "Morale is always high. Soldiers know they have a mission. They like taking on new objectives and taking on the new challenges." Lauer won the "Good Morning Morons Award" for interjecting: "Don't get me wrong here, I think you are probably telling me the truth, but a lot of people at home are wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the attacks you're facing. What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale can be that high?" Capt. Sherman Powell unloaded a quote for the ages: "Sir, if I got my news from the newspapers also, I'd be pretty depressed as well."
The networks specialize in moral equivalence, that we in America need to be held to the highest standard, but what that really meant in 2005 was that our leaders and our troops were to be constantly presented as nearly identical to terrorists. The more extreme example of this came from NBC anchor Brian Williams, who won the "Slam Uncle Sam Award." He tried to dismiss concerns that the new radical Muslim leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, might have been a holder of American hostages in Iran in 1979-80 thusly: "What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all." The father of our country, a terrorist? Why, yes, said Williams, according to some.