If we're counting press clips, in politics the year 2015 was dominated by Donald Trump. The liberal press is emotionally conflicted on this one. Some are delighted with the notion that he's going to destroy the Republican brand with oafish overstatements. Some are disgusted that he's still in the race despite all the negativity they've piled all over him. And now some are worried he might even win and, in so doing, end civilization as we know it.
Liberals would have you believe they are far more nuanced and far less mean-spirited than the Trumps of the world. It's a good reason for unveiling our annual "Worst of the Worst" awards for the year's worst media outrages. Once again, a panel of esteemed judges in the conservative media has helped us identify the most ridiculous of the ridiculous.
You decide which camp is more obnoxious.
Bryant Gumbel won the "Damn Those Conservatives" Award for this tirade about the National Rifle Association in a Rolling Stone interview posted on Jan. 20: "There are a few things I hate more than the NRA. I mean truly. I think they're pigs. I think they don't care about human life. I think they are a curse upon the American landscape."
But it's conservatives that are the mean-spirited ones.
Then there's MSNBC pundit Donny Deutsch on "Morning Joe," that alleged oasis of civil chatter over coffee. Deutsch won the "Hopeless Haters" Award for this March 23 commentary on presidential contender Ted Cruz: "Everybody keeps saying he's a smart guy. This is a guy who basically is saying that climate change is not a fact. ... So wait, that's not smart. That's dumb. That's ignorance. ... I think he's the worst. I think he's scary. I think he's dangerous. I think he's slimy, and I think he brings no fresh ideas."
Liberals can call people pigs and scary and slimy, and that's somehow not Trump-esque.
Now ask them to comment about liberal leaders and it can get downright embarrassing. Former CBS News producer Dick Meyer won the "Obamagasm" Award for lecturing an "ungrateful nation" in a July 16 op-ed on the glories of Obama. "Americans are lucky to have Barack Obama as president and we should wake up and appreciate it while we can. President Obama will go down in history as an extraordinary president, probably a great one. ... It would be a morale booster and a sign of civic maturity if more Americans appreciated what an exceptional president they have right now."
In 2015, some liberals were even praised for anything -- including stooping to eat a burrito at Chipotle. The "Pantsuit Patrol" Award for boosting Hillary Clinton came from Bloomberg TV host Mark Halperin, gushing on the April 14 "Morning Joe" as Clinton opened her campaign. "The two words she needs are 'fun' and 'new.' And part of why yesterday was so successful is she looks like she's having fun and she's doing, for her, new stuff. We've never seen her get a burrito before. Fun and new."
Now they're applauding her for taking long bathroom breaks during live debates.
The "Quote of the Year" Award went to professor Melissa Harris-Perry. When guest Alfonso Aguilar praised Paul Ryan as a "hard worker" on Oct. 26, the MSNBC schoolmarm took exception. "I want us to be super-careful when we use the language 'hard worker,' because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like."
Comparing the speaker of the House to antebellum slaves? She concluded: "So, I feel you that he's a hard worker, I do, but in the context of relative privilege." After the show, Aguilar's reaction perfectly matched our panel of judges': "That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard."