The Media Research Center, a watchdog organization, again has put out its annual list of "the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes" from the past year. The list, which the Free Press editorial page has helped judge for years, compiles obvious bias from supposedly impartial journalists and absurd remarks by both "impartial" journalists and acknowledged opinion writers.
Here are a few of the dubious "winners" and runners-up in the MRC's 24th annual compilation of media bias and silliness:
• Discussing budget reforms proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., ABC's Christiane Amanpour declared "[T]his is reverse Robin Hoodism, if you like: Take from the poor, give back to the rich again." (She did not explain how our nation can continue spending recklessly on welfare programs, when we have a $15 trillion debt that is crippling our capacity for economic growth.)
• In a fawning analysis, Stephen Marche wrote in Esquire magazine: "[C]an we just take a month or two to contemplate [President Obama] the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or ... a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. ... Barack Obama is developing into ... an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be." (Actually, considering our nation's vast unemployment, sky-high debt and unresolved threats from nations such as Iran, we "hope" we can go in a direction different from the one in which the president is leading us.)
• Former CNN writer Mike Malloy asked after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the chief terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks, by a U.S. Navy SEAL team: "So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn't he, or am I wrong here?"
• Chris Matthews suggested on MSNBC that Republicans are seeking "a big slash in Medicare, which is going to kill half the people who watch this show." (That is an absurd claim. The real danger is what is going to happen to Medicare recipients when the program goes broke in a few years if it isn't reformed.)
• Time magazine featured a picture of the U.S. Constitution going through a paper shredder, with the headline, "Does It Still Matter?" Managing editor Richard Stengel declared, "If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn't say so." (Of course it does! The 10th Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.")
We doubt that in 2012, the major news media are going to abandon their well-entrenched liberal bias, so it is important for public understanding that groups such as the Media Research Center perform the vital task of documenting that bias. We appreciate their work.