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ISSUE #134
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Features

ArrowA NEW YEAR'S GREETING from Mohammed Ajmal Kasab Iman
The last Mumbai terrorist says hi!

ArrowTHE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008
Get ready to write an angry e-mail

ArrowSTUPID, or HOW TO LOSE MONEY RUNNING A SPEED LAB
Part III:
John Dolan

ArrowCHANGE YOU CAN SMOKE?
Is Obama smart enough to end the drug war?
Alexander Zaitchik

ArrowINVASION OF THE OUTSIDERS
A people's plague
Anchor Downs

ArrowHOW TO RUN AN ELECTION
Minnesota gets it right
Brad Friedman

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Race-baiting Hysteric

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

ArrowBEAST-O-SCOPES!
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Your letters

 

THE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008

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40. Free Credit Report.com guy

Charges: OK, he’s actually French-Canadian, but he invades America’s headspace every day. It’s bad enough that we have to see this albino smurf lip-sync some ad man’s grating jingles of financial woe fifty times a day. It’s bad enough that these ditties, as calculatedly infectious as bio-weapons, bounce around our skulls like a .22 caliber bullet. But the kicker is that this culture parasite and his “band” are hawking a scam. That’s right; freecreditreport.com isn’t free—in fact, it’s 15 bucks a month after the week-long “trial period.”

Exhibit A: There is a website where you can get a free credit report: It’s called annualcreditreport.com, and it was created in compliance with an act of Congress by the three big credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Then Experian set up freecreditreport.com, and their suicide-encouraging commercials, to cultivate and benefit from public confusion.

Sentence: Powering Ween’s tour bus with a stationary bicycle.

39. Caroline Kennedy

Charges: A limp, lifeless, murmuring slouch whose dearth of vivacity makes John Kerry look like Richard Simmons, Kennedy has the apparent focus and charm of a shock therapy victim on Haldol. If the Kennedy name (and fundraising pull) can carry this passive princess into the Senate, it could get a bottle of fish sauce elected. At least fish sauce doesn’t say “y’know” every three seconds.

Exhibit A: “I’ve spent a lifetime growing up around public policy issues.” Her dad died when she was 5.

Sentence: Badly injured in a car crash, Kennedy is rushed to the hospital, where she is attended to by a guy whose dad was an excellent doctor.

38. John Updike

Charges: Being foolishly wrong about absolutely everything for about a thousand years and counting. Getting rich applying faux gilt, and guilt, to the dull, pointless, overstuffed lives of New Yorker readers. Systematically tackles the big issues, and is subsequently dragged by them right into the end zone like Bo Jackson dragged Brian Bosworth. Latest attempt to capture the zeitgeist, The Terrorist, resulted in unintentionally comic transposition of Congregationalist soap opera to the Semtex demographic. Won’t learn, won’t quit. Like the Energizer bunny, only dumber.

Exhibit A: Apparently immortal, always a mark of evil.

Sentence: Eternity working for minimum wage in a university photocopy shop.

37. Keith Olbermann

Charges: The crazy man’s Howard Beale, Olbermann is an infuriating conundrum—a person who adopts mostly correct positions for mostly erroneous reasons. Olbermann has an uncanny ability to find the obtusest angle on any issue, delivering glancing blows to wide open targets. Perhaps this is why Olbermann only argues with various cameras, reserving interviews for Newsweek sycophants whose main role on “Countdown” is to listen to a series of uncomfortably leading yes or no questions and reply to each, “that’s right, Keith.” He’s been wearing out the impact of his “special comments” like a cheap sex doll for the ratings, rapidly diminishing their credibility by applying the same outraged, spluttering, accusatory tone to his uniquely unbearable all-caps missives, whether directed at White House war criminals or Clinton campaign PR hacks. Largely false accusations of anti-Hillary bias in the media found their mark with Keith, who wildly overreacted to relatively minor Clinton slights, while engaging in freakish logical contortions to justify Obama’s apparent deficiencies, despite sad pretenses to objectivity.  Somehow, manages to seem dykier than Rachael Maddow.

Exhibit A: “I don’t vote…it's the only thing I can do that suggests even that I don't have a horse in the race."

Sentence: Obama loses in 2012 by one vote.

36. Ron Fournier

Charges: Since taking the reigns as AP Washington bureau chief in 2006, Fournier's steered the notorious just-the-facts wire service toward an opinionated brand of  reporting he's dubbed “accountability journalism.” It sounds good, but when the country's most widely syndicated news outlet pawns its right-leaning opinions off as hard news, everybody gets a little more stupider. Fournier's “Obama walks arrogance line” article from March was the genesis of one such dumbed-down national conversation.

Exhibit A: Told Karl Rove to “Keep up the fight" in a recently revealed e-mail.

Sentence: Falling out with Rove, “accidental” plane crash.

35. Dina Lohan

Charges: Fame isn’t the only thing that screws up child stars; it starts with self-obsessed, psychopathic parents living out their failed ambitions through their hapless offspring (Dina has been telling false stories of her days as a Rockette and Broadway actress for years). Her college-aged daughter may be a rehab veteran and serial drunk driver, but that’s no reason for mom not to televise the warping of daughter number two, a pre-rhinoplasty 14-year-old with no discernible talent or personality who calls the absent Lindsay her “role model,” and an 11-year-old boy whose future mugshot will no doubt become iconic. You may think your parents sucked, but at least they didn’t do it on TV.

Exhibit A: Rarely has a person’s life been so succinctly synopsized by real events as when Lohan’s house caught fire with her minor children alone inside while she was busy accepting—no shit—a “Mother of the Year” award.

Sentence: Age, ugliness, poverty, obscurity.

34. Joe Scarborough

Charges: An incredulous, squinting brat, who's turned "Morning Joe" into the "My Super Sweet Sixteen" of cable news, Scarborough has a decent shot at being named the world's largest toddler by Guinness. He treats his MSNBC coworkers with less professional courtesy than the dead intern found in his congressional office ("Mika, don't make me backhand you").Between tantrums, Scarborough provided a litany of partisan misinformation and deliberate misquotations this year, claiming that Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate and would raise taxes on everyone, that McCain called for Rumsfeld's resignation, never changed his immigration policies and had no association with hatemongers on the religious right. Joe's immaturity is also apparent in his cartoonishly simplistic take on the American electorate, whom he purports to know intimately, ostensibly by way of his own bigotry.

Exhibit A: “I remember during the Valerie Plame episode. Remember, Bob Novak told us from the beginning, "This wasn't an ideologue that gave me the name. This wasn't Karl – this wasn't a Bush operation." And liberals, ‘Oh, he's lying, da da da da da.’ And then remember earlier this year, Bob Novak -- and, of course, Novak was right.”

Sentence: Mandatory stint in Rageaholics Anonymous, nuts shaved live on "Morning Joe" by Pat Buchanan, pubes glued to face with a mixture of pulverized Cheetos and Jamie Foser's stool.

33. Jeremiah Wright

Charges: It’s said that in politics, a gaffe is when someone tells the truth, like connecting 9/11 to blowback from America’s long history of Middle East meddling. But then again, sometimes they just say something incredibly fucking stupid, like that AIDS was created by the U.S. government to kill black people. Seriously, you don’t think the U.S. government could do a better job than AIDS?  AIDS takes years to kill, spreads relatively slowly, and kills white people all the time. A CIA super-virus that can’t beat Magic Johnson? Unlikely. But beyond past statements of viral delusion, Wright’s weird-ass grandstanding at the height of the sound bite frenzy seemed to indicate he really didn’t give a shit whether Obama was elected president, and might even be jealous.

Exhibit A: “And I stand before you… with the hope that this most recent attack on the black church is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church.”

Sentence: Sickle cell anemia.

32. Ben Stein

Charges: Daddy got him a job as a lawyer and speechwriter for Nixon; since then his ethics have slid. Whether misrepresenting Democratic policies on Fox News or dry-humping free market mythology in The American Spectator, Stein's brand of conservatism is as credible as a memoir on Oprah’s reading list. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, his 2008 anti-science propaganda film, would have made Leni Riefenstahl blush. He intentionally misquoted Darwin to link the theory of evolution to the Holocaust, earning the diehard Zionist a firm rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, to which he replied, “It's none of their fucking business.” In his cinematic quest to paint a handful of fact-deficient creationist teachers as the oppressed soldiers of free speech, Stein willfully misrepresented himself to interview subjects, butchered their words with creative editing and infringed on a multitude of copyrights.

Exhibit A: Used portions of John Lennon's “Imagine” in his movie without permission or irony.

Sentence: ClearEyes replaced with a virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant staph.

31. Stephenie Meyer

Charges: She’s the unforgivably perky Mormon mom who wrote the Twilight Series of books, currently draining IQ points from Western Civilization. This silly wank-off vampire fantasy for teenage girls has been embraced by legions of sad, middle-aged women who fight for access to their daughters’ sticky copies of the books. It’s an embarrassing spectacle for all Americans who aren’t actively participating in it. Meyer admits she can't handle the better class of vampires and has never watched a whole vampire movie, even the more anemic kind: “I've seen little pieces of Interview with a Vampire when it was on TV, but I kind of always go YUCK! I don't watch R-rated movies, so that really cuts down on a lot of the horror. And I think I've seen a couple of pieces of The Lost Boys, which my husband liked, and he wanted me to watch it once, but I was like, ‘It's creepy!’”

Exhibit A: The hit movie version of Twilight, featuring Meyer’s dreary characters, a tiresome teenage girl and the pathetic “vegetarian” vampire who loves her, mooning around on first base for two hours and giving vampires everywhere a bad name.

Sentence: Meyer encounters a non-vegetarian vampire, who kills her immediately and gruesomely in front of an appreciative audience of horror film fans.


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Written by Allan Uthman & Ian Murphy
with contributions from John Dolan, Eileen Jones, Alexander Zaitchik, & IOZ.
Illustrations by Ian Murphy.

Check out Loathsome Lists of the past: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002



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