- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 24, 2005

L. Brent Bozell III’s Media Research Center was confounding liberal media types well before any bloggers hooked up their modems.

Nailing ideologues left and far left is the Center’s specialty, especially at its annual Media DisHonors Awards gala, which took place Thursday at the J.W. Marriott.

Good thing some journalists still haven’t gotten the memo about liberal bias.

Conservative talk titans Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz and recent Time cover girl Ann Coulter were all there to stick it to scribes who can’t help letting their guard down? and biases show.

CBS’ Dan Rather, who left his anchor chair last month after airing a story based on fraudulent National Guard documents about President Bush, took the heaviest fire.

The tough-talking Texan walked away with Quote of the Year honors for the embarrassing fiasco, although many guests admitted between guffaws that they will miss their favorite liberal target.

A 950-plus strong band of MRC supporters, which included GOP strategist Mary Matalin, former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore and radio host G. Gordon Liddy, roared at the assembled clips and commentary.

“They did it again. They knew we needed material to dishonor tonight,” returning emcee Cal Thomas quipped as he kicked off the program. “They’ll be in denial until they turn off the last light.”

Among the nominees were radio host Janeane Garofalo, who declared the president “unelectable” after his re-election; and Walter Cronkite, who suggested GOP adviser Karl Rove somehow got Osama bin Laden to make a video denouncing President Bush before the election.

“What a Rolodex - Osama on speed dial,” joked the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Colin McNickle, who was on hand to accept the award “on Mr. Cronkite’s behalf.”

Other highlights included a clip of “60 Minutes” mainstay Morley Safer saying history wouldn’t have any reason to be kind to President Ronald Reagan, and PBS’ Bill Moyers equating terrorist insurgents beheading innocents to Iraqi civilians accidentally killed by U.S. smart bombs.

The MRC couldn’t have written this stuff themselves.

The news watchdogs also feted the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, led by Vietnam veteran John O’Neill, with its Conservative of the Year award for their broadsides against presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry last year.

Mr. Hannity (who was all smiles at a pre-gala reception despite the fact that Miss Coulter drew a thicker throng) said no matter how hard the MRC toils, mainstream media types aren’t likely to change ? even if their professional hides are at stake.

“They’re going to go down being arrogant,” he said.

- Christian Toto



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