The Diddly Awards

The Forked-Tongue award for political doublespeak

Illustration: Peter Hoey

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), for an email to his Team American PAC in which he insisted that the reason we needed to secure our nation’s border was the “struggle to preserve our national identity.”

Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), for having his spokesman issue an ex-planation for a curiosity on his financial disclosure forms, which showed that the representative had reported a $30,000 debt but then experienced a conspicuous streak of luck during a fleeting visit to a private high-stakes casino. The congressman, according to his flack, placed two bets, the first at $100, and won $34,000 in a three-card “game of chance.”

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), for taking issue with Katrina survivors at a congressional hearing when they compared their temporary housing to concentration camps. “Not a single person was marched into a gas chamber and killed,” Miller explained.

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), for eliminating the $1.3 million funding (and all future funding) for the Fish Passage Center, which carried out a simple count of endangered salmon on the Columbia and Snake rivers, calculating the fish’s decline. Craig—who, during his last campaign, received more money from energy groups than from any other industry and was honored by the National Hydropower Association as “Legislator of the Year”—accused fisheries scientists of “advocacy,” arguing that “false science leads people to false choices.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), for claiming that he’d never met Jack Abramoff when it became public that political fixer Ralph Reed had assured Abramoff in an email, “We have also choreographed Cornyn’s response.”

WINNER! Bob Ney, who allegedly helped Abramoff’s casino clients, has refused to elaborate on his casino visit because of the “national security implications.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.