MRC's Dishonorable Discharges

Brent Bozell's Conservative Media Research Center gave out its "Dishonor Awards" for liberal bias in the media Thursday night in Washington, D.C., with CBS coming up big.

MRC's mission is to document and advertise the "strident liberal bias" of the mainstream media.

"Quote of the Year" went to CBS anchor Dan Rather for the now-famous National Guard story defense, while Conservative of the Year" went to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth founder John O'Neill.

Other Dishonors went to:

Former CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite--the (rather harsh) "REALLY Time to Retire Award"--for Cronkite's suggestion that Bush strategist Karl Rove "probably set up" Ossama bin Laden to release that threatening videotape to "tilt the election a bit."

Bill Moyers--the (curiously named) "Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award"--for an exchange with a nun that ended with Moyers' comment: “Somebody said to me the other day that Americans don’t behead, but we do drop smart bombs that do it for us.”

CNN's Bruce Morton--the "Al Franken Award for Stupidest Analysis"--for the comment (made, to be fair and balanced, on Jan. 30 of 2004): “Veterans haven’t been a big force in past campaigns... but the Vietnam vets may feel bound together more strongly....It may be too early to know how influential they’ll be in Kerry’s campaign, but they have already done one thing: If the Republicans had any hope of casting Kerry as some Michael Dukakis-style effete Eastern liberal, that’s over. The band of brothers stands in its way.”

Activist/comic Janeane Garofolo--the "I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award"--for the comment on Innauguration Night 2005: "George W. Bush is Unelectable."

CBS' Byron Pitts--the "John Kerry Suck-Up Award"--for this comment during Kerry's convention speech: “It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry’s home in Boston, I’m told he whispered to his sister, ‘Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, ‘John,’ knowing he would run for President some day, ‘remember, John, integrity, that’s what matters.’ Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity.”

Various high-profile conservatives served as stand-ins for the awardees, including former Democrat turned Bush cheerleader Zell Miller, and Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens. Judges included Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Robert Novak and Cal Thomas.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.