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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN,
ELEANOR CLIFT AND LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

TAPED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2004
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 24-26, 2004

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
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(Music: "Entry of the Gladiators.")

ANNOUNCER: It's the 23rd annual McLaughlin Group Year End Awards, 2004. Here's the master of ceremonies, John McLaughlin.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Biggest Winner of 2004, Patrick Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: George W. Bush makes the Republican party the nation's majority party for the first time in 70 years, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I give it to the 9/11 families, who pressed and persevered. Without them, there wouldn't have been a 9/11 commission, there wouldn't have been any accountability for the 9/11 attacks. And they forced the reorganization of the intelligence community, which is the
closest thing they're going to get to an apology from this administration.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: With the exception of George Bush, who would get a lot of awards otherwise tonight, the Internet bloggers. They've come of age. They took down Dan Rather. They've got to the point now where serious reporters have to read them every day.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: This year the award goes to of course the men and women of the Boston Red Sox. And I include the women because, I mean, Meg Vaillancourt, the front office people, the owners, everybody involved
in that team in Boston did the impossible.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The envelope, please, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Mm.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we'll see what we have here, huh? Does that remind you of anything, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Carnac the Magnificent.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Carnac. Here's a little bit more stage business. (Blows envelope open.) (Laughter.) Let's see what we have, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Hermetically sealed as it is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Biggest Winner of 2004: Dick Cheney. The vice president gets to run the government for four more years. (Laughter.)

Okay. Biggest Loser, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Hollywood and Hollywood values, routed by Bush politically, by Mel Gibson culturally. They had their worst year, from Chevy Chase to Sean Penn. They made a mess of things.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Bernard Kerik, a good Republican, who didn't get the job of Homeland Security chief and whose colorful but messy life has now been exposed for all to see as the gift that keeps on giving for the New York tabloids.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Pat got most of it. It's actually old media, which includes Hollywood and publishing in New York and the big traditional media, who threw everything they had at President Bush, and he won anyway.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence, I'm glad you're here to defend your field of interest. (Soft laughter.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Come on! The Biggest Losers? The New York Yankees. They were up 3-0 against the Red Sox, and they went down.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Biggest Loser of 2004: collectively, the Democrats. They don't know how to win. They don't know how to lose. Now they're wandering out on the heath like King Lear in a thunderstorm. "Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks. Rage, blow." (Laughter.)

Pat, the Best Politician.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's got to be boy genius Karl Rove, Bush's brain.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: President Bush, who did everything to lose and still won. And I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Bush/Orwell '04. Ignorance is strength."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: It is Karl Rove; there's no question about it. He's going to win a number of awards. He's -- he designed the system that won the election.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he cynical?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, he's a wonderful fellow.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Best Politician: John Kerry. A Massachusetts liberal gets 49 percent of the vote in the United States of America, more votes than any Democrat who's ever run for president has gotten, more votes
than anyone who's run for president, except the other guy who was running this year. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fifty-five million?

MR. O'DONNELL: A lot.

MR. BUCHANAN: Fifty-seven (million). Fifty-seven (million) --

MR. O'DONNELL: A whole lot.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fifty-seven million?

MR. BUCHANAN: Fifty-seven million, yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What was the winning vote?

MR. BUCHANAN: Sixty (million).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you sure of that?

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm fairly sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Best Politician of 2004, a two-way tie: Australian Prime Minister John Howard and U.S. President George W. Bush. Both won reelection this year.

Okay. Worst Politician, Patrick.

MR. BUCHANAN: Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, hands down a ruling and tells the state of Massachusetts, "Start handing out marriage licenses to homosexuals." They do. It goes on 13 ballots. It sinks John Kerry, the Politician of the
Year. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this case ever, they're going to support the majority will.

MR. BUCHANAN: They will. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ms. Marshall.

MR. BUCHANAN: Then comes the revolution, John. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I give it to New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, who tried to cover up a record of corruption that was emerging by claiming he was being persecuted for having a homosexual affair.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian candidate who had a fixed election, and he's still going to lose. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, for Worst Politician, if honor means anything in being a good politician -- and very few of us are left thinking that it does -- then Dick Cheney was the Worst Politician, because he sunk
lower than any presidential campaigner before him by suggesting that if he was not reelected, America would be attacked. No candidate suggested that during World War II. No candidate suggested that during the Cold War. Only the administration that was on guard when we were attacked
suggested it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Worst Politician: Yasser Arafat, recently deceased chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat had within his grasp statehood and peace with Israel. He had the chance to achieve sovereignty for his people. But he couldn't bring himself to compromise
politically, a blunder without historical parallel.

Okay. The Most Defining Political Moment, Patrick.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Chuckling.) The Dean scream at the close of the Iowa caucuses sank him forever. He was the front-runner for the nomination. He still could have come back. That scream played over and over again is the defining moment of his life.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It was a bum rap! Eleanor was there.

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor -- (laughs) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She said in that context, with that crowd, it was not inordinately loud.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The press played --

MR. BUCHANAN: Despite what Newsweek said --

(Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Democratic press played that to the hilt because they didn't want him as their candidate.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm afraid we played it to the hilt at MS.

MS. CLIFT: Right. You did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: And it's true I was in the hall. You couldn't even hear it.

But anyway, I give that award to the Massachusetts Supreme Court and the fact that they helped hand President Bush his election, just as the U.S. Supreme Court handed him his election in 2000.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's a favorite topic, isn't it, here today.

MS. CLIFT: On both sides, though.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The first ad began the demise. They torpedoed the Kerry presidency.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: John Kerry's statement that "I voted for the 87 billion (dollars) before I voted against it" -- a perfectly reasonable statement when you include the paragraph that followed it, explaining the distinction. (Laughter.) But the media distortion made it the moment that it turned out to be.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm joining the group here. The Most Defining Political Moment was George W. Bush's announcement in early 2004 that he would support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That act
defined the political field of play, and it defined Mr. Bush as a candidate who will do anything it takes to win.

Patrick, Turncoat of the Year.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm going to give it to Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard -- (laughter) -- who just wrote an article calling for the resignation of Don Rumsfeld, the long-time hero of the neoconservatives, knifing him in the back, setting him up as scapegoat for a war the neocons
supported, propagandized for and plotted.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What did he say about Rumsfeld precisely?

MR. BUCHANAN: He should resign. Get rid of him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What else? What else did he say?

MR. BUCHANAN: He said Rumsfeld is arrogant, Rumsfeld --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Failed to prepare for the aftermath?

MR. BUCHANAN: He also said Rumsfeld's problem is, he's not building up the Army for the great intervention in the Middle East we have to do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there's a little CYA in Kristol's behavior, as it were, for being frank here at the end of the year?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: All right. Turncoat: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, when Bush looked into his soul, didn't notice that he was moving from small-d democrat to dictator.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The AARP that had promised President Bush that after endorsing his prescription drug bill, they'd spend a year campaigning and selling it to the public, then reversed their position and refused to
do any of that support.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Turncoat of the Year was of course Zell Miller.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I can't improve on that. (Laughter.) I'll just add to it. Has anyone ever stabbed in the back his or her own political party with Zell's degree of spitefulness and venom?

MR. BUCHANAN: That was the speech of year. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most Boring, Patrick.

MR. BUCHANAN: Most Boring? The Lieberman Trophy is retired this year by Joe Lieberman himself -- (laughter) -- with his explosive, charismatic performance in the primaries. A good man, but not charismatic,
John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I give it to Treasury Secretary John Snow, who is basically a seat-warmer in the job because the president can't find anybody else to sell his absolutely outlandish economic policies.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: These are all good choices, but can you improve on them?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, but I have a different one. John Edwards, who is utterly boring, hearing him repeat again and again the old Southern demagogue, Huey Long, Depression-era story that nobody cares about anymore.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does he have a future --

MR. BLANKLEY: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- in politics?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I don't believe so.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Senate majority leader Bill Frist, who will go from being the Most Boring to being one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination for president.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Most Boring Person is Tom Ridge. The alerts go up. The alerts go down. Who cares?

Okay. Most Charismatic, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I was going to say Bernie Kerik, but he had a bad December, John. (Laughter.) So I'm going to give it to Barack Obama, Democratic -- who lit up the Democratic Convention and was the only thing that lit up the Democratic Convention.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Big future.

MR. BUCHANAN: Big future.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Most Charismatic: President Clinton, who sold over a million books, toured the country, got up from his hospital bed to campaign.

MR. BUCHANAN: Deja vu. (Chuckles.)

MS. CLIFT: Democrats love him. New library. What more is there?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's Best Comeback. You're in the wrong category. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I got a better one for Comeback.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm going to pick Lawrence's choices from last year, of Arnold Schwarzenegger, for sheer --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BLANKLEY: -- glitter.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Glitter?

MR. BLANKLEY: The most charismatic --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Bling bling?

MR. BLANKLEY: He was, I think, unsurpassed this year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Pat's exactly right: Barack Obama.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most Charismatic -- fasten your seat belts! -- Osama bin Laden. Let's not delude ourselves. We may detest him, but bin Laden is seen across the Muslim world as charismatic. Charisma is defined
by the Oxford Dictionary as the capacity to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm. In fact, bin Laden may be the single most charismatic individual on the planet. Of the 1.2 billion Muslims, hundreds of
millions admire bin Laden's leadership. Chew on that.

We'll be right back with more enthralling group 2004 year end awards after this.

MR. BUCHANAN: I would have said the pope.

(Announcements.)

(Music: "Entry of the Gladiators.")

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you get that beat, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: Mm-hmm. (Affirmative.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I didn't see the shoe moving and all.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Bummest Rap?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Bummest Rap --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Concentrate hard, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm concentrating. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want us to go back to you?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, come back to me.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Bummest Rap: the attack on John Kerry that he didn't deserve his purple medals (sic) -- one of the slimiest and yet effective attacks in modern politics.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you get an attack of memory?

MR. BUCHANAN: I got an attack of memory. It is the imprisonment of Martha Stewart for telling lies about a crime she did not commit. It is an outrage.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You lurched into the truth, Patrick.

MR. BUCHANAN: Thank you.

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The Bummest Rap on the left wing is that Bush stole the election in Ohio.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: The Bummest Rap was that John Kerry would require U.N. approval or French approval before defending the United States of America. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: (It was great ?). (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Bummest Rap -- Pat is right; it's Martha Stewart, the second year in a row. Martha is a two-time winner. Last year she was -- she won for malicious prosecution. This year she's winning for unmerited incarceration. But Martha will have her last laugh. She --the shares in her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia --

MR. BUCHANAN: And a new TV show.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- have already gone up. They're on the rebound. Next year reality TV impresario --

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- your friend Mark Burnett, of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," is going to launch Martha's post-prison television career. As Arnold would say, she'll be back!

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Finest -- Fairest Rap.

MR. BUCHANAN: Dan Rather and CBS News went so overboard to get George W. Bush, John, that they grabbed a bunch of memos that turned out to be forgeries, have egg all over their face, and damaged and maybe permanently destroyed their reputations. It's their own fault. They deserved it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: That the administration gave the green light to the abuses that occurred at Abu Ghraib and in Guantanamo, with the dismissive attitude they took towards the Geneva Convention and their aggressive attempts to redefine the boundaries of torture. And we're seeing more of that come out even now, with new memos about what's going on, with administration sanction and e-mails from the FBI and -- connecting the White House to what happened in Guantanamo -- really disgusting things.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Very good, Eleanor, but once again, you're in the wrong category.

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The Fairest Rap is that Teresa Heinz was a real ball-and-chain drag on the Kerry campaign. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: What a sweetheart.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- as reported brilliantly by Eleanor's magazine, Newsweek.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Have you seen Teresa Heinz's philanthropy? How can you say that?

MR. BLANKLEY: Had nothing to do with the campaign. Read Newsweek! You'll find out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Fairest Rap is that John Kerry is a Massachusetts liberal, the worst two words you can apply to an American politician, which makes his coming within 100,000 votes of the presidency in Ohio all the more miraculous.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Fairest Rap is the U.N. oil-for-food program corruption. It is real, and it is massive.

Okay. Best Comeback, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's O'Donnell's Boston Red Sox, four straight over the Yankees when they were down by three; four straight over the Cards; avenged 1946. Bambino's curse is gone. Well done, O'Donnell. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Viktor Yushchenko, who came back, after being poisoned and disfigured, to be the leading candidate to be the new top man in Ukraine.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And by the time the -- Sunday rolls around -- we're not quite there yet -- he may already have won.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: John Kerry, after being Botoxed, actually, not poisoned. But in Iowa he came back from the political dead. He even overcame my assessment that he was likely to be a loser and came back brilliantly and won his nomination in Iowa.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: I'm with Tony -- John Kerry in Iowa -- (laughter) -- also with Pat on the Red Sox. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughing.) (Lots of homework ?).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: By the way, are the Bostonians able to cope with that victory? Are they able to cope with the fact that they're no longer losers? You know the way they used to trade off that.

MR. O'DONNELL: We're doing very well with it, thank you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. The Best Comeback -- here's a side-pocket shot for you -- mountain lions. More mountain lions roam in America today than when the Puritans landed 400 years ago. There are 31,000. They're moving from the mountain West and have been spotted as far midwest as Iowa. They're now advancing east, which is another worry for Tom Ridge.

MR. BUCHANAN: How about 60 million deer in the country? (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most Original Thinker.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, I'm going to give it to a young fellow named Tom Woods, who has just written a book, "Revisionist History," about the myths of American history. It's moved on to The New York Times best-seller list. Young writer, young paleoconservative coming on.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Thomas Frank, author of "What's the Matter with Kansas," whose theory is that if the Democrats don't offer a compelling economic message, people are going to vote their cultural concerns and line themselves up with the Republican Party on false values.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Karl Rove, who came up with the first original idea in running a presidential campaign since Roosevelt, which is ignore the center and maximize your base. And it turned out to be right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony's obsessed with Rove. (Laughter.) Can you believe it? What kind of a sickness is that? You don't even encounter that in Hollywood, do you?

Dr. Elissa Epel, E-P-E-L, a psychiatrist at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Epel has proven that chronic stress causes many sicknesses. It shrivels the tips of the genes inside the cells. Scientists have sought that link for decades. Epel found it. Stress makes you sick.

Okay --

MR. O'DONNELL: Let me just get in my Most Original Thinker.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes. You forgot him.

MR. O'DONNELL: Author Nicholson Baker, novelist, whose latest book, "Checkpoint," shows you how fiction can brilliantly pierce the fog of war in Iraq better than journalism ever could.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Most Stagnant Thinker.

MR. BUCHANAN: The neoconservatives, John. Three years after 9/11, they're still howling for World War IV, an invasion of Iran, invasion of Syria, and all the rest of it, with our hellish problems in Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Unlike Lawrence, I'm trying to move on from the election last year. So I'm going to give this as a collective award to the Kerry campaign, for failing to come up with anything for the candidate to say that was memorable.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The people who run EMILY's List, who are spending more and more money electing less and less candidates, and stick with exactly their same failed strategies.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: The Most Stagnant Thinker is stuck in the Middle Ages, in the Inquisition, a guy named Bill Donohue, who is the leader of a thing called the Catholic League, which has no relationship with the Catholic Church, who has said on cable television recently that Jews
control Hollywood and that they hate Christianity. His reward for having said this is that he's been invited back on cable news to say more such evil things.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want to say anything about that, Pat?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I'll pass on that, since he has said on my program -- (chuckles) --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, the Most Stagnant -- well, you know Bill.

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure I do. Sure. Well, just let me say this about Bill. It's being -- I think it was an unfortunate statement that he made there, and controversial. But it was a violent argument with Rabbi
Boteach --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, yeah. Okay. Don't give us too much, Pat. (Laughter.)

The Most Stagnant Thinker: Kim Jong Il. North Korea is stagnation institutionalized. Kim Jong Il runs the North Korean show, so he is Stagnant Man.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Best Photo Op, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Unfortunately, it's little Lynndie from Abu Ghraib and those terrible --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lynndie England.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- Lynndie England, from Abu Ghraib, and the pile-up photo and that man standing out there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is as memorable as the photos from Vietnam of the shooting of the Viet Cong and that poor naked little girl running down the street, napalmed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to speed it up a little. Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Yes, I agree with everything Pat just said. But I would add, on a lighter side, the bulge on Bush's back in the debate -- (laughter) -- which we've never gotten to the bottom of.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean with Rove on the microphone --

MS. CLIFT: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and the triangle picking it up and on his back?

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's all, you know, been disproven. Has it not?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Or has it?

MR. BLANKLEY: It -- I don't know, actually.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the Best Photo Op? Quickly!

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, Pat's right. But my other choice would be Michael Moore in the presidential box at the Democratic National Convention --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wow!

MR. BLANKLEY: -- tying Hollywood's corrupt ideas to the Democratic Party. (Soft laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

The Best Photo Op?

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, Pat is right, and I would add to it the endless photo ops of the parade of gay brides and grooms going up and down the steps of San Francisco's City Hall, which did not do much --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean Rosie?

MR. O'DONNELL: -- didn't help the Democrats much this year. (Soft laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rosie?

MR. O'DONNELL: Rosie O'Donnell was one of them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Best Photo Op: Fidel Castro, his center-stage tripping and falling, all the more memorable because Fidel stood up immediately -- no girly man he.

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. The Enough Already Award, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: A woman who goes by the name of Paris Hilton, John.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: I give it to Michael Powell at the FCC, with his crusade to sanitize the airwaves. Give --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, which one of those words do you think we should be able to use on the air?

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want to write that to me in a note and pass it to me?

MS. CLIFT: (Laughing.) Right. I don't use those words.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's Enough Already? Quickly!

MR. BLANKLEY: Enough Already: the red/blue state discussion and the use of red/blue. There's so much more complexity to American politics than that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, stop it. It's a great simplification -- (laughter) -- in that it has to be taken for what it is. Have you read the literature behind it?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, I've -- of course.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you sure?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll send you my two-inch-thick tome. (Soft laughter.)

Enough Already?

MR. O'DONNELL: The hopeless and repeated candidacies of Al Sharpton, for whatever office comes along. When the Democrats take seriously a proven liar, a tax criminal, and regard him as an actual presidential
candidate, they lock themselves into an unwinnable situation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there are those who believe that Al has been "domesticated," quote, unquote. The former mayor of New York -- who am I thinking of? The old-time mayor.

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, Ed Koch?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ed Koch.

Enough Already: The number of combat deaths in Iraq is over 1,300 and climbing. The Enough Already Award goes to U.S. casualties in Iraq. Our hearts go out this holiday season to the families of the men and women in military service who have lost their lives and to those who have been wounded and disabled in the conflict. Enough already.

Worst Lie.

MR. BUCHANAN: "The Da Vinci Code." A number of people believe that, you know, Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and that they had children. And it probably damaged the faith of an awful lot of people. And I think it's by and large a big fraud, but it's a gigantic best-seller.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three words each. Worst Lie.

MS. CLIFT: It was a novel, Pat!

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Three words!

MS. CLIFT: That we're safer today because Bush invaded Iraq. Big lie.

MR. BLANKLEY: "Fahrenheit 9/11."

MR. O'DONNELL: John O'Neill's best-selling lies about John Kerry, trying to suggest he was not a real war hero.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor's right. Worst Lie: The war in Iraq has made Americans safer. Worst Lie!

We'll be right back.

(Announcements.)

(Music: "Entry of the Gladiators.")

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, here it is: Person of the Year.

Patrick?

MR. BUCHANAN: Time magazine finally got it right, John. It is George W. Bush. For good or ill, he's the most influential man on Earth. He divides the allies.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: He is responsible for the red/blue division. He is the biggest winner of the year, frankly. And whether you like Iraq or not, it is Bush's war.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here we go.

Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Specialist Thomas Wilson, the soldier who asked Secretary Rumsfeld why the troops were not getting the armor they need. And I would give it a shared award to the reporter from the Chattanooga newspaper who put him up to asking the question -- a question that needed to be asked.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: It's unavoidable; it's George Bush. He has defined the year. He's dominated the news. He's won the election. And it's all been for the good, mostly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Viktor Yushchenko, who stands tall for democracy in the Ukraine and the world. Despite having been poisoned, he's hanging in there like something we've never seen.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Person of the Year is Margaret Hassan, the British aid worker murdered in Iraq. Margaret worked selflessly during the eight years of the Iraq-Iran War and the decade of sanctions on Iraq that followed. She relieved the sufferings of Iraqi people, especially the children. Late this year she was murdered by kidnappers. She gave her life for others.

Next week: the McLaughlin Group 2004 Awards, part two. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and bye-bye!

PBS SEGMENT

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Capitalist of the Year, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Michael Moore, the best hustle since Sammy Glick.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Billy Tauzin, former member of Congress, going off to head the big pharmaceutical industry trade association --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: PhRMA. Called PhRMA.

MS. CLIFT: -- PhRMA, and he's trading in on the negotiations that he did on their behalf, really, for a drug prescription program that is windfall for the drug companies.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MS. CLIFT: It's like kissing the hand that feeds you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The former ambassador over there now -- what's he going to get as a salary?

MS. CLIFT: It's way --

MR. BUCHANAN: It's seven --

MS. CLIFT: How much?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's over seven, I'm sure. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you sure?

MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Amazing.

MS. CLIFT: And that's not -- yeah, that's in the millions.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: The Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, for maintaining 8 percent growth year after year in China. Amazing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google, who successfully and brilliantly took the company public this year.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Chinese may not be our biggest rival in the years to come. It could be the EU. You know, the euro is $1.37.

MR. BLANKLEY: Temporary --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It used to be on this program not too long ago 82 cents.

Capitalists of the Year: Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Brin?

MR. O'DONNELL: (Correcting pronunciation.) Brin.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Correcting pronunciation.) Brin. The world's most popular search engine, now digitalizing libraries, Pat -- they may be over to see you in your faux mansion -- (laughter) -- and the biggest
tech IPO since the '90s. True?

MR. O'DONNELL: Amazing. Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Honorable Mention, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Honorable Mention for Person of the Year goes to Mel Gibson, for "The Passion of the Christ" -- a very courageous individual. Nobody would help him out, and he defied Hollywood, and he turned in the greatest movie triumph in a decade.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You saw the motion picture?

MR. BUCHANAN: I saw the motion picture. I certainly did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it's based on the Gospels?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's based on the Gospels and Catherine --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who -- and who?

MR. BUCHANAN: -- and Blessed Catherine Emmerich's writings on the scourging.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: More Emmerich than the Gospels.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, more Gospel than the Emmerich.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't know about that. (Laughter.)

Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: "The Passion of the Christ" was the biggest conflation of religion and violence in modern movie-making.

My choice would be FDA whistle-blower Frank Graham, who exposed the shortcomings in the approval process. We've had several withdrawals of drugs, and we now understand the cozy relationship between the drug industry and the agency that's supposed to regulate it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ten seconds, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: My nominee wins it unintentionally: Kofi Annan, for so disgracing the United Nations, it'll either be reformed or lost.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: Johnny Damon, who personifies what baseball should be: fun and the only game in which it is never too late to come from behind and win.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Honorable Mention, of course, goes to Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Sensenbrenner stood his ground against the White House, his fellow Republicans, the media, Democrats, the sainted 9/11 commission, and
Buchanan right here on this show.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) -- with him -- with him all the way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Chairman Sensenbrenner correctly believed that the legislation that created the intelligence czar and its infrastructure should include the serious problem of 12 million illegal aliens in America today. Hundreds of thousands of that population, by the way, possess drivers' licenses, the equivalent of a national identity card -- a license for terror.

MS. CLIFT: Oh! Please.

MR. BUCHANAN: You stumbled into the truth, John.

MR. O'DONNELL: (Chuckles.)

MS. CLIFT: A license to clean your house and pick your fruit is what they're doing. (Chuckles.)

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