Media Research Center DisHonors Awards
Last evening, I attended the Media Research Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala as a guest of Matt Sheffield of MRC’s Newsbusters blog. While the festivities went late into the evening, thanks to not starting the presentation until after everyone had finished dessert and a rather rambling performance by substitute presenter Mary Matalin, it was quite fun.
Cal Thomas, Neal Boortz, Herman Cain, Mary Matalin, Michael Steele, G. Gordon Liddy, Pat Sajak, Ward Connerly and “Osama bin Laden” highlighted the presentations and acceptances of the MRC’s “2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006” — the showcase of the MRC’s 20th Anniversary Gala — presented on Thursday night, March 29, before an audience of more than 1,000 packed into the Independence Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C.
Following the presentation of the DisHonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at some “funny clips” from 2006, a highlight reel of past galas and the audience picking the “Quote of the Year,” the evening was topped off with Rush Limbaugh accepting the MRC’s first annual “William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence.”
New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. won both the “God, I Hate America Award” and the top DisHonor, “Quote of the Year,” for this line from his May 21 graduation address at the State University of New York at New Paltz:
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it’s the rights of immigrants to start a new life, or the rights of gays to marry, or the rights of women to choose. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren’t. But you are. And for that, I’m sorry.
Here’s the video:
MRC has the videos from the other nominees at their site. So far, no videos of the “acceptance” speeches by substitute guests. Some of them were quite funny while others, notably “Osama bin Laden” accepting for CNN’s Jack Cafferty, were lame. Godfather Pizza CEO and failed Senate candidate Herman Cain, who most people have never heard of but is a rock star at these events, was especially good.
The “Funny Clips,” some of the best video spoofs from “The Tonight Show,” the closing segment of “Fox Special Report,” and elsewhere, were hysterical. I particularly loved the “Endless Love” mashup featuring George Bush and Tony Blair, which is apparently nearly a year old but that I’d never seen before. The clips aren’t yet up on the MRC site–there’s a placeholder for them, so I expect they’re forthcoming–but I found an abridged version of that one at YouTube:
There was a lot of red meat and hyperbole directed at the mainstream media in particular and liberals generally, as one might expect at this sort of thing.
Potential controversy was averted as Ann Coulter, an invited presenter, called in sick at the last minute, along with Sean Hannity. This meant not only did we not get to see whether there would be some sort of protest but we were treated to several suggestive jokes about the coincidence.
The evening closed, around 11:30, with the presentation of the first annual “William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence” to Rush Limbaugh. While Limbaugh is undoubtedly a very divisive figure, and I find that his over-the-top style sometimes sabotages the message he’s trying to deliver, he’s undeniably the seminal figure in the New Media movement of the last twenty years. Were there no Rush Limbaugh, talk radio as we know it simply would not exist. He was, as usual in these situations, funny, humble, and gracious. I’ve uploaded the acceptance video to YouTube (with permission) but it’s not there yet. In the meantime, you can watch it here.