Some quotes were shorter and yet even dumber. The "Politics of Meaninglessness Award for the Silliest Analysis" went to CNN weekend anchor Carol Lin. She was so politically correct she couldn't be factually correct. Riots in Paris centered on the deaths of two black French citizens of Tunisian heritage. What did she report on national television? "It's been 11 days since two African-American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this."
Some of the awards were predictable. David Gergen of U.S. News won the "Media Hero Award" for sucking up to someone who might be the next president, oozing on CNN that uber-feminist Hillary Clinton has "always had strong religious faith. She's been a strong Methodist. She does have conservative social values on many issues."
Speaking of journalistic apple-polishers, the "Crazy Chris Award for Matthews' Left-Wing Lunacy" was a real contest. He swooned over Jane Fonda's Vietnam views. But the winning quote came on the night Matthews fawned over Cindy Sheehan for being so bright she should run for Congress: "I have to tell you, you sound more informed than most U.S. congresspeople, so maybe you should run."
But the media's biggest losers continue to be the die-hards who went down on the "60 Minutes 2" ship that tried to destroy President Bush with phony National Guard documents. Dan Rather remained "Captain Dan the Forgery Man" by boasting to old colleague Marvin Kalb on C-SPAN that "To this day no one has proven whether it was what it purported to be or not. . . . You know, I didn't give up on my people, our people. I didn't and I won't." Kalb replied: "I believe you just said that you think the story is accurate." Rather affirmed: "The story is accurate."
He's still clueless. And so is his comrade in concoction, former CBS producer Mary Mapes, who won "Quote of the Year" honors for her interview with ABC's Brian Ross. Ross was stunned when Mapes claimed she would retract her story if anyone could disprove it. "But isn't it the other way around? Don't you have to prove they're authentic? . . . Isn't that really what journalists do?" Replied Mapes: "No, I don't think that's the standard."
And they wonder why only one in four Americans trust their work.
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