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Media
by Marvin Olasky

Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2015, at 10:15 am

Be careful, be very careful, when you’re a guest on Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show. Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles learned that when he said, “If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan. …” Harris-Perry jumped at him: “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. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker, I do, but in the context of relative privilege.”

That Oct. 24 exchange (see video clip above) is the winner of the Media Research Center’s 28th annual award for the nuttiest or most humorous media quotations of the year. I voted for one by Chris Matthews on straightening train tracks—see my column in WORLD Magazine’s 2015 News of the Year issue—but Harris-Perry certainly deserves recognition. Some others that didn’t make it into my column but also have enough lard to win laud:

“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. It could be a long wait for the next one.” —Dick Meyer, Scripps News Washington Bureau Chief

“The entire Republican Party is controlled by climate denialists, and anti-science types more broadly. And in general, the modern GOP is basically anti-rational analysis; it’s at war not just with the welfare state but with the Enlightenment.” —New York Times columnist Paul Krugman 

“As a Times columnist, I can’t do endorsements, so you have no idea which party I favor in general elections.” —Krugman again, in an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein

“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.” —Former NBC and CBS morning news host Bryant Gumbel, who currently hosts HBO’s Real Sports, speaking of the National Rifle Association in an interview with Rolling Stone 

“[Pro-Trump voters] talk about taking the White House back. They’ve said, and he retweeted this, they want the White House, capital W-H-I-T-E again. You know, there is a disaffected, highly racialized, highly us-versus-them part of the American electorate that he is firing up.” —CNN analyst Sally Kohn on CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello 

“This particular issue [emails on Clinton’s personal server] really shouldn’t have any impact on Clinton. The issue of the emails has been out there for a long time. This is not a criminal matter. In fact, it’s far from it. If there are any questions about trustworthiness, it comes, maybe, for TheNew York Times or the Department of Justice.” —Correspondent Paula Reid on CBS This Morning 

“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.” —Mark Halperin, co-host of Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect, discussing Hillary Clinton on MSNBC’s Morning Joe 

“The fear among anybody who’s ever been there, or cares at all about the Cuban people, as so many of us do—the last thing they need is a Taco Bell and a Lowe’s. … You wonder, are we about to get up in there and ruin that place?” —Fox News anchor Shepard Smith 

“[Americans will] be rushing to get to Cuba before it turns into Miami Beach, while it’s still that unspoiled, seemingly, place with the classic cars. … People want to see Cuba as it is, before it becomes more developed.” —The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group

“[Carly Fiorina] played really fast and loose, though, with the facts around Planned Parenthood and I think she really is overreaching in the criticism she’s making of an organization that millions of women in this country have gotten services from. And to imply that they are selling and harvesting and selling baby parts—that doesn’t bear out with the facts and I think it’s really offensive.” —Clift again on The McLaughlin Group 

“The police killing unarmed civilians. Horrifying income inequality. Rotting infrastructure and an unsafe ‘safety net.’ An inability to respond to climate, public health and environmental threats. A food system that causes disease. An occasionally dysfunctional and even cruel government. A sizable segment of the population excluded from work and subject to near-random incarceration. You get it: This is the United States.” —New York Times food critic Mark Bittman in the newspaper’s “Sunday Review” section

Listen to WORLD Radio’s Nick Eicher discuss the Media Research Center’s awards with Cal Thomas on The World and Everything in It.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is World View: Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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