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.”

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

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

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

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

Donate