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February 16, 2013 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Now even later than ever: The Buffalo Beast's 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2012

Previously, on Metafilter
2011 #1: Koch Brothers, #50: Ian Murphy, the author. You did great in 2011 and did not make the list!
2009 #1: Glenn Beck, #50: Tiger Woods. #26: You were more loathsome than #32 Geese
2008 #1: Sarah Palin, but noteworthy for Obama's debut at #50. #43: You were more loathsome than #47 Michelle Bachmann
2007 #1: George W. Bush, #50 is something called a "Nicole Richie". #9: You were more loathsome than #30: Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman
2006 #1: John McCain, #50 Ryan Seacrest - this is clearly before he took over NYE, I'd expect him to place much higher. #16: You were more loathsome than #29: Jesus Christ
2005 #1: Pat Robinson, #50: Geraldo Rivera. I had forgotten how he reported on Katrina. #5:You were more loathsome than #8: Judith Miller
2004 #1: Kenneth Blackwell, the plucky Ohioan scoring an amazing upset over #50: Ann Coulter. #3: You were more loathsome than #23: Jerry Bruckheimer - and this is the year National Treasure came out, mind you
2002 #1: Ann Coulter, #50: Bob Woodward. #3: You were more loathsome than #46: Trey Anastasio
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh (79 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Charges: Jamming gaydar everywhere with a love of pastels and a lispy slobber-mouth that looks to crave more than toes.

Uhh yeah...this is brilliant stuff.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:13 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well I like the list in general.
posted by JHarris at 10:15 PM on February 16, 2013


It's missing Lawrence Kasanoff, producer and director of Foodfight, the worst film in the history of the universe.
posted by hellojed at 10:21 PM on February 16, 2013


o⌢O
posted by you at 10:22 PM on February 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


I was enjoying it until they referred to Kristen Stewart as a slut. I know they called her boyfriend one too, as a joke but come on.
posted by discopolo at 10:23 PM on February 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


So, Chris Brown is slightly less loathsome for attacking everyone including Rhianna than Rhianna is for... getting back together with him? Victim blaming much?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:24 PM on February 16, 2013 [28 favorites]


It's missing Lawrence Kasanoff

Oh, not everything has to be about Foodfight you know. (Puts on Dex Dogtective jammies, gets out stuffed Cheasel.)
posted by JHarris at 10:25 PM on February 16, 2013


Got to agree, joakim. Ian Murphy clearly has major issues with women.
posted by discopolo at 10:28 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


A devout Randroid and Glenn Beck fan, he’s to the rationalist movement what John Wayne Gacy was to clowns.

Not the best instalment and there are some needless cheap shots - many of them, as noted, tinged with misogyny - but worth the read for this line on Penn Jillette alone. What a bilious sack of unearned, smarmy self-regard that guy is.
posted by gompa at 10:38 PM on February 16, 2013 [24 favorites]


I actually said out loud to myself, "Don't click it. Don't reward people like this," but it was like I couldn't control my hand. At least they didn't make it 50 separate pages. And the Obama one is pretty dead-on.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:42 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


gompa: "A devout Randroid and Glenn Beck fan, he’s to the rationalist movement what John Wayne Gacy was to clowns.

Not the best instalment and there are some needless cheap shots - many of them, as noted, tinged with misogyny - but worth the read for this line on Penn Jillette alone. What a bilious sack of unearned, smarmy self-regard that guy is
"

Thing is, he's right about the vast majority, but he's revealing so many of his own loathsome prejudices in his takedowns that he makes it impossible to agree with him or enjoy the list.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:47 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


And yeah, Penn Jilette represents basically everything that's horrible about the "skeptic" movement.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:49 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


"fake-psychic John Edwards"

s/b John Edward-without-an-S. 90% more copy-editors with zero knowledge of famous asshats or an attempt at ironic meta-humor that was used to death a decade ago?

Now, do I dare read #43?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:49 PM on February 16, 2013


Speaking as someone who only loosely follows politics it was actually a fairly useful list. The only time I'll hear of most of those people again is when someone is making fun of them for something that was mentioned there.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:57 PM on February 16, 2013


Good: used word-i've-never-seen-before "Pundinista"

Bad: used it to refer to self-important pundits and NOT really important punsters like myself.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:58 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


His vitriol has a certain internal logic that made this very enjoyable.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:59 PM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I WONDER WHO IS #1
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 10:59 PM on February 16, 2013


omg, did he repeat the John Edward(s) typo? of course he did.

and then gives us the "D'Souzaphone", a bad pun that was done to death thirty minutes into Dinesh D'Souza's first book tour.

now I don't want to be part of the "Pundinidta".
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:06 PM on February 16, 2013


This list is #32 on my list of least important lists.
posted by Repack Rider at 11:09 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just saw Penn & Teller's show in Vegas earlier in the year. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Now I have to retroactively unenjoy it. *sigh* Why can't people just stick to what they are good at instead of overreaching?
posted by quadog at 11:09 PM on February 16, 2013


Okay, "an intolerably smug know-it-all who actually knows very little" is the best description of Penn Jillette ever.
posted by mightygodking at 11:11 PM on February 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


As rendered on my Chrome browser, the Comments (if that's what they are) are a multiply-overlapping block of unreadable non-sequitur language. So appropriate.

And just above that, "Posted in LOATHSOME, MURPHY"
Perfect.
Sadly, he didn't include himself on this year's list, probably because his paragraph of crimes and misdemeanors would've have been longer than #10-through-#1 combined. And he's already serving his 'Sentence: Writing for The Beast forever.'
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:21 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sadly, he didn't include himself on this year's list...

He's #31.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:26 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I don't necessarily disagree with him on some points, reading this list makes me feel like I'm at a party trapped in a corner by someone who has just done an epic amount of blow and he's shouting it in my face.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:28 PM on February 16, 2013 [18 favorites]


I loved the first part, like when he called Lance Armstrong a "[s]ociopathic, ten-speed Escobar", but the insult jazz banged on so long that I almost found myself wishing it was a slow-loading, 50 slide show just to give me a bit of a break between each person.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:48 PM on February 16, 2013


He'd only be "blaming the victim" by putting Rihanna on the list if he is blaming her for being beaten up, which he isn't.

She's on the list for returning to Brown, which is an unquestionably loathsome thing for a person with her money, power, and resources to do.

I agree with his ordering of them on the list but #46.5 should be anyone who buys either of these idiots' music.
posted by dobbs at 11:49 PM on February 16, 2013


Some of these, as always, are great, and need to be said. Some, as always, are weak, and a few are problematic or disgusting.

My favorites: 44 (Dr. Mehmet Oz, although with caveats), 41 (Katherine Bigelow), 38 (Mike Daisey), 35 (Marco Rubio), 32 (You), 31 ("Me," that is, Ian Murphy, although they've used that joke in previous lists), 25 (George Zimmerman), 24 (Penn Jillette -- he's a Glenn Beck fan?!), 22 (Ghost of Breitbart), 19 (Dan Cathy), 15 (Sean Hannity, called "something of a Piltdown newsman"), 13 (Karl Rove, the smoking gun on this one is damning), 9 (Barack Obama), 2 (Wayne LaPierre)

Shameful: Makes a Family Guy reference in 19. Spells "sight" as "site" in 8. Says "mainsplainer" in 7.

[...]but the insult jazz banged on so long that I almost found myself wishing it was a slow-loading, 50 slide show just to give me a bit of a break between each person.

Yeah, that's the list every year. I like it, but then, I watch bad movies for fun. Once a year is just about often enough for this.
posted by JHarris at 11:55 PM on February 16, 2013


JHarris, Penn Jillette has been guest on Beck's show. I saw a few minutes of it: it was as disgusting as you can imagine.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:07 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are any women anything but sluts and/or whores to this guy?
posted by Brocktoon at 12:21 AM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


[Comment deleted; the tone of the featured piece doesn't help, but we need to be able to discuss the link without attacking each other and making it personal.]
posted by taz at 12:37 AM on February 17, 2013


Sentence: Self-awareness, suicide.

Damn.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:05 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Clearly it's Teller's turn to talk.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:11 AM on February 17, 2013


I made it as far as the Katy Perry one, at which point I needed a shower. Not having this thing posted next year would be a site enhancement.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:22 AM on February 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yikes, Doleful Creature thanks for the info. There's a local Burger King that has "The Blaze" on one of the three TVs in its dining area. This is Brunswick, GA where most restaurants play Fox News anyway, which is not exactly distinguished company, but this is the only one with Glenn Beck's channel. Ugh.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 AM on February 17, 2013


Hell, Dick Cheney is always #1 to me.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:21 AM on February 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that guy's pretty gross in most respects, but damn, does he (justifiably!) nail Obama to the wall. Worth reading just for that, despite the misogyny.
posted by Malor at 2:33 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was just discussing Penn last night, being uncomfortable with him being on that Trump show.
This gives me much needed ammo.
posted by Mezentian at 2:54 AM on February 17, 2013


Just wanted to share this for everybody who didn't read the article:

Marco Rubio: Every time I see him I hear Phil Collins singing in my head, “Ru-Ru-Ru-Rubio! Whoa-o!” And now you will, too.
posted by Pendragon at 3:39 AM on February 17, 2013


Clearly it's Teller's turn to talk.

Judging by the RationalWiki page on the two, Teller's not much different, he's just less vocal about it.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 AM on February 17, 2013


The Atlantic Wire (warning: is The Atlantic) has a short page that quotes Jillette's opinion of Glenn Beck:

He's a nut. I mean, he's a deep, deep nut. On a one-on-one level I like him. My tolerance for crazy people is I think high a tolerance as you're ever going to find. [...] I have... it's not patience, it's love for people who are... live outside the law. And Glenn Beck is that.

Also:

I agree with Glenn Beck on a few things, those aren't the things I talked about when I went on the show. I went on in order to argue. ... I know he's a good guy and even when Glenn Beck says stuff that's reprehensible I say, "I sat in a room with Glenn. He's not trying to kill people. He's not hurting children. He's just thinking and sometimes he's thinking half-assed."

I think where many of us would part ways with Penn Jillette is the combination of "he's a good guy" while admitting he says "reprehensible" things. Ultimately I don't think you can separate those things.
posted by JHarris at 4:33 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Matt Yglesias? Loathsome? I can understand disliking him, but...what?!?
posted by Guy Smiley at 4:53 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


That Fred Phelps isn't on the list tells you how seriously to take it.
posted by dry white toast at 4:53 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes people become writers just to hear themselves talk. (or something like that).
posted by HuronBob at 5:18 AM on February 17, 2013


Sentence: Imprisoned in a tent city, made to wear pink panties, stuffed with candy, disguised as a pig piñata, and beaten mercilessly by Edward James Olmos dressed as Captain Adama.

If I can eat the candy stuffed in my panties in this scenario, it sounds pretty wonderful
posted by angrycat at 5:28 AM on February 17, 2013


"[Penn Jillette is] Featured on a not-so-secret list of sexist creepers within the skeptic/atheist community."

Anybody got a link to this not-so-secret list?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:28 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The angry white man is really angry now, oh my.
posted by waving at 5:31 AM on February 17, 2013


It's too bad they had to finalize the article before actually seeing Marco Rubio's speech. I bet he would have made the single digits.
posted by localroger at 5:52 AM on February 17, 2013


Worst of the web.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:20 AM on February 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I love that Aaron Sorkin is the first person on the list. That makes me gleeful.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:21 AM on February 17, 2013


Okay, finished the list. Lots of sexism and fat jokes and other crude nonsense. Blergh.

I'm still glad they named Aaron Sorkin, though.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:30 AM on February 17, 2013


It's good froth, with a decent vocabulary, but it lacks flow; he doesn't sing, you know? All the best rants have a meter and cadence like the beating of a hammer on skulls.

Oh well, at least it's educational.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:39 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's on the list for returning to Brown, which is an unquestionably loathsome thing for a person with her money, power, and resources to do.

It's so great that you have all the answers to what an abused woman should do. You don't know how she grew up or what trauma does to a person.

Money and being surrounded by yes men doesn't help. She got seriously beaten. We don't even know the extent of manipulation she's gone through or the extent of non-physical abuse. Not to mention the people who told her she deserved that, including her own father.

What a horrible thing to think and say.
posted by discopolo at 7:03 AM on February 17, 2013 [15 favorites]


Wow, I hate him as much as the next person, but come on...Mitt Romney beating fucking Wayne LaPierre to number one is pretty scandalous.
posted by young sister beacon at 7:10 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re #1:

Capital. The "Capitol" is in the capital.
posted by xigxag at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is crap. It's crap in many ways. It's crap every year. Every year, I see it on Metafilter, and think, "Is this the crap that is posted to Metafilter every year?" I click. I read. I come to strongly suspect that it is the crap that is posted to Metafilter every year. I click "More Inside" and see a list of links to Metafilter posts of this crap in past years. I sigh.

What is the obsession with this crap, Metafilter? How about we consider stopping the tradition of posting this crap?

Thank you.
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 AM on February 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Flunkie, ever think to maybe not click it this year? Try hard next year.

And Rupert Murdoch didn't make the list?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:27 AM on February 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this is meant primarily as a humor piece. Whether one loathsome American ranked higher or lower than some other loathsome American is pretty much meaningless. The ordering is as much for comic effect as it is for loathsomeness.
posted by rocket88 at 8:40 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Next year, I'd appreciate it if the inevitable FPP for the 2013 list had some sort of warning about how the author victim-blames Rihanna, and hates Katy Perry for her existence giving him blue balls, and generally writes like he's generating ad copy for, I don't know, probably some sort of extreme men's tortilla chip with pheromones, and would probably eat those tortilla chips if they existed.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:02 AM on February 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


"She's on the list for returning to Brown, which is an unquestionably loathsome thing for a person with her money, power, and resources to do. "

Personally I find it a lot more loathsome that after Brown put her in a headlock and repeatedly punched in the face while trapped in a Lamborghini on a busy public street, that everyone treated it like a big joke, and as punishment, Brown got a televised Grammy performance, a hit single, and joins other noted woman beaters like Rick James, Ike Turner, John Lennon, Charlie Sheen, and countless roid-ragin' sports "Heroes" as lovable bad-boy eccentrics or the poor misunderstood victims of their own unchecked boy emotions.

I don't see it as terribly difficult to understand why a 22 year old former teen pop singer (who we all know are just surrounded by people with their best interests at heart) would give this prick another chance. I certainly wouldn't deem it "loathsome" and put her on a list with the likes of Lance Armstrong and Mitt Romney.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:44 AM on February 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


Anyone who thinks it is "loathsome" that an abused woman would return to her abuser doesn't know the first goddamn thing about spousal abuse.
posted by Catchfire at 10:03 AM on February 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


Flunkie, ever think to maybe not click it this year? Try hard next year.
I guess in a general sense I'm sympathetic to that point; I've used it myself on people who complain about political posts. However, I still can't help but see a difference between "Let's avoid talking at all about an extremely broad topic of general importance that a whole lot of people are interested in" and "Let's avoid linking over and over again to this one very specific crappy writer with his crappy piece about how Katy Perry is loathsome because she's sexy".
posted by Flunkie at 10:47 AM on February 17, 2013


It's a popularity contest. Glad Papa John made it. I knew these face-of-the-franchise CEO/owners were going to be a bad thing way back when what's his name said: "I liked it so much, I bought the company."
posted by Trochanter at 10:57 AM on February 17, 2013


> That Fred Phelps isn't on the list tells you how seriously to take it.

He's ineligible since he made the Hall of Fame and they retired his number.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 10:59 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sentence: Routinely confused with Meatloaf–the food and/or man.

That is the best thing.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:32 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Much of this list is complaints that someone's effectiveness is misdirected. I see the same problem with the list. He doesn't propose any solutions. Maybe he should replace his "sentence" punishment section with "how I would help this person"? That might spark reasonable progress. (If our understanding of the data surrounding the [by normal standards crazy] people listed is not just publicity to stir up press)
posted by niccolo at 11:50 AM on February 17, 2013


This one seemed to lack the punch of previous installments. Maybe there’s just too much everyday primetime loathsome now for a yearly retrospective like this to have the kind of impact that it used to have. They should change it to a monthly feature.

I did enjoy the one on Penn Jillette. For awhile now, he’s struck me as an unsavory character but I didn’t care enough to find out why.
posted by Huplescat at 12:32 PM on February 17, 2013


A handy crib sheet for natural-born followers who want to seem in-the-know, but cannot figure out on their own who is cool to bash...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 2:26 PM on February 17, 2013


Every year I read this when it's posted here and every year I wonder how it passes the goal posts into "I guess we won't delete it."
posted by Caduceus at 2:45 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


John Lennon

Whoa, you're seriously putting him in a list with Rick James and Ike Turner? He hit women, admitted it, said he was a piece of shit for doing it, and spent the rest of his life as a feminist. That doesn't count for anything?
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:16 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The main thing I took away from this, BTW, is it mentions "interdimensional elves" in connection with Alex Jones. Now, the only interdimensional elves I know are the DMT elves, and yes, Alex Jones did actually say that Terence McKenna's interdimensional machine elves secretly run the world. Really, he said that.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:20 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing that gives Alex Jones a foothold is that everything is globally fucked beyond belief to the point that people are grasping at straws. Like the old time con artists who salted phony gold claims with real gold, Jones always provides a few nuggets of truth before he jumps the shark. I take him for an agent provocateur tasked with sidetracking disaffected red neck populists into unproductive dead ends.
posted by Huplescat at 4:36 PM on February 17, 2013


That doesn't count for anything?

Yeah you're right, I guess I could have picked a better example, chalk it up to emotion; I get touchy when people bag on my girl Ri-Ri #RihannaNavy #stansohard
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:25 PM on February 17, 2013


I don't know, I feel like once you kick your pregnant wife you might just be consigned to be always remembered as a shitty abusive person. Life sucks like that, I guess.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:33 PM on February 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't know what the comment delete by taz (I imagine in real life he talks like the Tasmanian Devil) above said, but in the hollow spaces of my mind I imagine it was a catty comment about my liking the list.

Well, I do, I can't apologize for that. You can't help what you like. Now, it is worse this year than past years (indeed, it seems to be a little worse every year, so maybe I'm just a couple of years behind the rest of you guys), and this time it doesn't even have the grotesque drawings of its subjects. Some people above say it's misogynistic; I don't see a *huge* amount of that, but that's probably only because I don't know who Rihanna is, or the "Twilight sluts" he's talking about. I don't defend those entries -- there's usually a few entries on each list I disagree with though. Later on he does accurately pin tails on a whole lot of donkeys.

Beyond those two, which entries in particular do people dislike? Or is it just a general feeling that the snark is misplaced?
posted by JHarris at 7:00 PM on February 17, 2013


(I don't like the Katy Perry one either, and don't know much about Gloria Allred. Hmm.)
posted by JHarris at 7:01 PM on February 17, 2013


Hmm, the link now goes to a hardcore porn site...
posted by Vindaloo at 7:33 AM on February 18, 2013


You call that hardcore? Pfffft.
posted by thelonius at 7:55 AM on February 18, 2013


Did something get redirected? Which link?
posted by JHarris at 12:06 PM on February 18, 2013


Love that Dana Loesch is on the list. A decent mommyblogger turned angry conservative almost overnight.
posted by stltony at 12:23 PM on February 18, 2013


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