Media's Most Outrageous Quotes of 2009

From Katie Couric to Rush Limbaugh, lefties and righties chart the media's off-the-wall comments.


He didn't have much political luck on Capitol Hill in his first year, but President Obama did succeed in winning the attention of both sides of the political media. But the result was the same: The left adored him, and the right mocked him.

At least that's what the two leading media watchdogs tell Whispers. Representing the mainstream—or left, say conservatives—Media Matters is out with its "Most Outrageous Comments of 2009," starring Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck.

On the right, the Media Research Center just issued its "Best Notable Quotables of 2009," starring Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and cable's Chris Matthews, among many others.

Media Matters uses categories like "racially charged comments," "birthers," and "Nazis and fascists and communists, oh my!" For example, in the racially charged category, Limbaugh is featured talking about Obama: "We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles . . . because his father was black." In the birther category, Media Matters features Lou Dobbs saying, "I'm starting to think we have a document issue here. Do you suppose he's un-? No, I won't even use the word undocumented. It wouldn't be right." And in the Nazi category, Limbaugh is quoted again: "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate."

The Media Research Center has 17 categories in its 2009 list of outrageous quotes. Topping the "damn those conservatives award" is MSNBC's Ed Schultz: "The Republicans lie. They want to see you dead. They'd rather make money off your dead corpse!" Couric won the "let us fluff your pillow award" for an Obama interview in which she said, "You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?"

But it's not just liberals the Media Research Center quotes. It even featured New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks dissing Sarah Palin: "She's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously."

  • Read more coverage of the political stories of the year.
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  • See a gallery of political caricatures.