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.

I sat next to David All of the eponymous Group, who dubbed the event the “conservative Oscars.” Mary Katharine Ham prefers the “Red Meat Awards.”

Our tablemate Kathryn Jean Lopez gives her thoughts on the gala here and on Limbaugh here.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tano says:

    What I find odd is that you seem proud to be associated with these wackos.
    For the record, the fact that you usually operate on a higher level than them is your main redeeming feature.
    Keep your distance from those creeps, that would be my unsolicited advice.

  2. Tano says:

    Oh, and btw – I dont see anything wrong at all with the Sulzberger quote. Thats the “worst” of “librul” quotes? ? ???

  3. The Bush-Blair “Endless Love” bit is hy-larious. Indeed, we were been talking about the British system in Comparative Government today and we watched some YouTube’d clips of Prime Minister’s Questions in class and as a finale we watched the “Endless Love” bit along with “Should I Stay or Should I go”.

  4. one bit shy says:

    It sadddens me to see something like Sulzberger’s quote named winner of the “God, I Hate America Award”

    A few people might think such a statement is obviously born of love for his country – and expression of sorrow at what has been done to his home that he cares so much about.

    Just as someone of a different political persuasion might speak of the evil of abortions performed in America.

    Or another might speak of their horror at interrogation techniques that remind them of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

    Or another might speak of the criminal government takings of people’s personal property for the sake ofsweetheartt deals with developers.

    Or any other issue that moves people, not because they hate their country, but because they love it and care what is done in it and to it. Contrary views do not imply evil motive.

    This is not a partisan comment, but my own expression of sorrow at the state of political debate from all directions. Its stubborn determination not to listen, and its consequent dishonesty at core.

    This event… I’m sorry, but the way it comes across is as a celebration of ridicule as the height of discourse.

  5. Paul Barnes says:

    Actually, most of the things that Sulzberger is defending are evil. Now, the oil and environmentalist stuff are not intrinsically, but sure as hell the abortion is, while I would argue that gay rights are as well.

  6. bains says:

    Quick, send in the Waa-bulance! The hypersensitive left is wailing that the right is mocking the hypersensitivity of the left.

  7. carpeicthus says:

    That Sultzberger quote is the worst they could find? That’s like the nation’s conservatives gathering together to say “We got nothin’.” I can find more outrageous quotes from just closing my eyes and pointing to a random sentence on

  8. cian says:

    Limbaugh may have influence, but he is utterly devoid of character, an attribute not greatly prized by today’s republicans.

    Accusing Elizabeth Edwards of using her cancer as a political tool for her husband is just the latest in a long line of hateful statements.

    I have to say, as a regular visitor to this blog, I am quite taken aback by James attending a function Coulter was invited to speak at, given his recent remarks and open latter condemning her and asking others to co-sign his demand that conservative groups no longer ask her to speak at such events.

    I guess he thought, had she come, those in attendance would have booed. His, had he the courage, would I imagine have been a lone boo.

    Sulzberger’s statement winning the ‘God how I hate America’ award shows either how humourless the Media Research Centre (how Orwellian) is or just how out of touch they are with the majority in America.

    Bain’s comment shows just how far the right has rotted. If you say something that upsets the left its OK, like calling McCains child a bastard. Did you see how they howled at that one! It seems anything goes in the weired weird world of Limbaugh and Bushes America.

  9. bains says:

    Actually Cian, your comment proves my point.