The Diddly Awards

The Forked-Tongue award for political doublespeak

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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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.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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