Hillary Clinton was also lionized, most egregiously as she finally packed up her long-spoiled campaign in June. The day after the last primary, ABC's Diane Sawyer won the "Media Hero Award" by conflating Hillary's presidential campaign to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown." (The quoted "someone" was William Penn, who wrote a book on Christianity and Quakerism in 1669 titled "No Cross, No Crown.")
By contrast, liberal journalists loathed Gov. Sarah Palin from the moment she took the stage in Dayton, Ohio, as John McCain's running mate. Chris Matthews won the "Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin" for insisting in October that comparing Palin to Hillary Clinton "is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!" Liberal reporters often assumed that anyone who criticized these sainted Democrats must be inventing things out of whole cloth. Deborah Solomon of The New York Times Magazine won the "Damn Those Conservatives Award" by trying to shame T. Boone Pickens for backing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against John Kerry in 2004. She asked if he regretted funding them, and when he responded, "Why would I?," Solomon shot back: "Because it's such an ugly chapter in American political history." Boone protested: "Everything that went into those ads was the truth." Solomon retorted: "Really? I thought it was all invented." Thus proclaimeth a scribe for that bastion of objective news, The New York Times.
But Solomon was no Bill Maher, who's in his own category of viciousness. On his little HBO show in February, Maher earned the "Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh" by reveling in P.J. O'Rourke's mockery of Rush Limbaugh's old OxyContin addiction. Asked Maher: "Why couldn't he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?" Maher's HBO rants also won the "Barbara Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity" when he railed against the Catholic Church as both "a child-abusing religious cult" and "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ran away with the "Madness of King George Award" for yelling at President Bush in May to "shut the hell up" and attacked him for "a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense." (That would pretty much describe the entirety of Keith's not-so-special comments during the Bush era.) Olbermann also insisted Bush was a "fascist" who was "urinating on the Constitution."
Up until convention season was over, MSNBC thought this kind of commentary qualified Olbermann for "objective" anchorman duties sitting beside ecstatic Chris Matthews. That also sums up the media's year in review.