It's an annual event, just like January white sales!
January 23, 2006 10:55 AM   Subscribe

The Beast - 50 most loathsome Americans, 2005 edition Also, see discussion from last year, and 2002. So Buffalo has given us wings, and this list, thanks upper NY! Deride it as petty vindictive shooting fish in a barrel if you must, but any publication that claims Terry Schivo feels the same way about her case today as she did a year ago is okay in my estimation.
posted by Keith Talent (76 comments total)
The 2005 timeline is pretty good, too.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2006

Only in America could a plutocrat convicted of insider trading find sympathy among her social inferiors—people she would have either sterilized or mustard gassed, if the law permitted her.

posted by delmoi at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2006

Terri Shiavo?...really?
posted by Pacheco at 11:17 AM on January 23, 2006

Not as good as last year's list, IMO, but mostly because he unloaded his best material in that one.

Still the best list of them all, though.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:17 AM on January 23, 2006

Some humerous stuff there. The Tom Cruise one was great, and I got a good chuckle at Paris Hilton's:

"A head so empty, the rails of coke that sustain her must dissipate in clouds around her ears; this residual high the only explanation anyone would come within five feet of her."


As far as real satire goes though, the Terry Schiavo one was umm, dead on.
posted by elendil71 at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2006

[this is good]
posted by S.C. at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2006

Put it in the Frown Upon column.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:22 AM on January 23, 2006

12. Barbara Bush

Sentence: Hysterectomy on principle. Bound and thrown into Lake Pontchartrain. If she floats, burned at the stake. If she drowns, even better.

Cracked me up.
posted by Relay at 11:22 AM on January 23, 2006

The Beast won't be the same without Taibbi. I'm just sayin.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:23 AM on January 23, 2006

# 41: It needs to be said: George Lucas is an awful writer and a shitty, shitty director. His second Star Wars trilogy absolutely sucked from beginning to end, and was in fact the least brave creative endeavor he could possibly have chosen, a guaranteed grand slam. Lucas has grown so accustomed to massive commercial success that he has no idea he’s putting out the worst work of his career, and no one dares to tell him. . . But everything that was great about the first trilogy—reasonably decent acting, an engaging storyline and cool model-based special effects—is gone, replaced by detestably unsympathetic characters reciting torturously bad dialogue in a manner so wooden that coaching from Keanu Reeves would have helped, and CGI effects that, while painstakingly crafted down to the nanopixel, somehow looked less real than plastic spaceships and Muppets.

Spot on.
posted by anastasiav at 11:27 AM on January 23, 2006

The best entry:

4. You

Charges: Silently enabling and contributing to the irreversible destruction of your planet. Absolving yourself of your responsibility to do anything about it that your immediate neighbors don’t. Assuming that it’s normal behavior to spend several hours each day totally inert and staring into a cathode ray tube. Substituting antidepressants for physical motion. Caring more about the personal relationships of people you will never meet than your own. Shrugging your shoulders at the knowledge that your government is populated by criminal liars intent on fooling you into impoverished, helpless submission. Cheering this process on.

Exhibit A: You don’t even know who your congressman is.

Sentence: Deathbed realization that your entire life was an unending series of stupid mistakes and wasted opportunities, a priceless gift of potential extravagantly squandered, for which you deserve nothing but scorn or, at best, indifference, and a cold, meaningless demise.

posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on January 23, 2006

I confused this at first with the annual, insufferable Most Loathsome New Yorkers list. In case anyone is making the same mistake, take note, this one is actually funny.
posted by Simon! at 11:34 AM on January 23, 2006

That Oprah one was perfect.
posted by sciurus at 11:36 AM on January 23, 2006

Michael Brown - Sentence: What else? Dehydrated, starved, and slowly baked to death on a Ninth Ward rooftop while repeatedly buzzed by news helicopters. Body secretly recovered and incinerated by Blackwater operatives as part of a Cheney-initiated campaign to keep casualty figures artificially low.

i think we should start a petition.
posted by nola at 11:38 AM on January 23, 2006

Exhibit A: You don’t even know who your congressman is.

I live in DC. I don't get a congressman. You all suck for not giving me one, so Eleanor Holmes Norton can stop being picked on by all the real Congressmen :)
posted by unreason at 11:39 AM on January 23, 2006

I'm glad to see that I've dropped to #4 this time out--I was #3 on last year's list.
posted by Prospero at 11:40 AM on January 23, 2006

I've never understood criticism of Pat Roberson (SPOILER - he's #1). As a pentecostalist, he believes in biblical inerrancy and that god works directly in the lives of individuals. Therefore, he believes that if you violate one of God's tenets as proscribed in the bible, you will be punished by him.

Can he be racist, homophobic, and insensitive? Sure, but the bible is racist, homophobic, and insensitive, and his religion dictates that the bible is fundamentally true. Hell, most religions are. Religious tolerance for me in large measure means putting up with intolerance in others. This is because just about every religion I've ever encountered is fundamentally based on intolerance: we are the special, chosen, correct, good people and they are not. People are allowed to believe and say some pretty outrageos stuff - provided they are wrapped in a vestment of some kind - in the name of religion. That's true whether they are pentecostals talking about homosexuals or muslims talking about americans or catholics talking about protestants or whatever.

All that being said, while Pat Robertson is entirely full of shit, I really feel like he just isn't that relevant any more. He is so outrageous and so nuts that most people by this time just laugh it off when he comes out with his next whopper. Even most christian groups and right-wing politicians are trying to distance themselves from him, just because at this point he has become so insane as to be more of an embarassment than an asset. If you are going to pick on an (tele-)evangilist as your #1, I'd pick someone like Rick Warren, who was WAY more influential than Robertson in 2005 and didn't even make the list.
posted by ChasFile at 11:43 AM on January 23, 2006

Wow, I edged out Tom Delay, and we both creamed the BTK killer. I'd cheer this process on, but I think something good is coming on TV now.
posted by boo_radley at 11:43 AM on January 23, 2006

On the nosey, caddis - but we should have been #1.
posted by davelog at 11:47 AM on January 23, 2006

And they said satire died with 9/11.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2006

Man, that was sick and wrong.

I loved it.
posted by 40 Watt at 11:52 AM on January 23, 2006

39. Dr. David Hager

Charges: A Bush appointee to the FDA who was the key figure in its rejection of emergency oral contraceptive Plan B as an over the counter drug, which Hager bragged was the second time in fifty years the FDA has ruled against the overwhelming approval of its own advisory committee. The author of books like Stress and the Woman’s Body and As Jesus Cared for Women, Hager repeatedly sodomized his ex-wife for years against her will, alternately apologizing for or denying it when confronted by her, offering excuses like “You asked me to do that” and “Oh, I didn’t mean to have anal sex with you; I can’t feel the difference,” she told The Nation. Seems a bit fishy, a supposed authority on women’s health who can’t detect such a significant distinction with his most sensitive instrument.

Truly loathsome.
posted by jcruelty at 11:53 AM on January 23, 2006

What crap. Best of the Web, bah
posted by mojohand at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2006

Great, great list -- all except that "You" business, which struck me as high-handed, party-line Democrat bullshit masquerading as "liberal indignation." Boo that.

But the image of Pat Robertson being struck by lightning on loop? Priceless.
posted by ford and the prefects at 12:05 PM on January 23, 2006

Agree with nearly everything. My favorite:

12. Barbara Bush

Charges: Her polluted womb nurtured the seed of American decadence. The root of America’s decay; the poison tree from whence the fruit loop George W. Bush sprang. This unfeeling, unthinking patrician hag spawned America’s most notorious welfare child, whose every glaring deficiency has been excused or underwritten by undeserved wealth.

Now that's vitriol.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:07 PM on January 23, 2006

Great, great list -- all except that "You" business, which struck me as high-handed, party-line Democrat bullshit masquerading as "liberal indignation." Boo that.
What was left for you, then, once you got past the high-handed, party-line Democrat bullshit?
posted by boo_radley at 12:09 PM on January 23, 2006

No Donald Trump
No Larry King
No Dr. Phil
No Howard Dean
No Maureen Dowd
No Jerry Falwell
No Ray Nagin
No Michael Moore
No Sean Hannity
No Paul Teutul, Sr.
No Robert Kennedy, Jr.

I'm disappointed.
posted by flatlander at 12:10 PM on January 23, 2006

flatlander: Anyone who finds howard dean "lothesome" is either a right-winger or retarded.


Scooter Libby
Sentance: Raped by a bear.

posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2006

Only 50?

still, this is great.
posted by destro at 12:15 PM on January 23, 2006

Me likey list. Make me laugh...
posted by malaprohibita at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2006

Oh, this is wonderful. And Space Coyote says there was an even better one???
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 12:21 PM on January 23, 2006

I wish they didn't feel the need to comment on the physical appearance of almost every female on the list. Those women are repulsive enough on their own merit. Resorting to calling them "mantis faced" or "a camel in drag" just seems petty and sexist (though admittedly also apt and amusing).
posted by jrossi4r at 12:21 PM on January 23, 2006

Yeah, jross. I was annoyed that they criticized Blackwell for criticizing people for their appearance.. while freely criticizing others for their appearance.
posted by orange swan at 12:26 PM on January 23, 2006

At least I have moved down the list from last year (from 3 to 4)... YOU refers to me, by the way, not you. So don't worry.
posted by adamms222 at 12:28 PM on January 23, 2006

I can't believe Scott McClellan isn't on the list.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:29 PM on January 23, 2006

Man, I hate this shit.
posted by dobie at 12:34 PM on January 23, 2006

I'm glad to see that somebody feels the same way as me about Rita Cosby. Fun stuff. Thanks for the link.
posted by brundlefly at 12:34 PM on January 23, 2006

I guess I'm just a square, but I'm not down with the inclusion of Terri Schiavo. I mean, yeah, the "supporters" who co-opted her life and circumstance as a rallying point for their own ends were ridiculous and thus deserving of ridicule, but it just seems just as icky to make the woman an object of derision as it is to make her object of political-cum-religious righteousness.
posted by tentacle at 12:36 PM on January 23, 2006

The 2005 timeline is pretty good, too.

Is it? I'll never know. If the type was any smaller it'd be microfilm.
posted by kjh at 12:42 PM on January 23, 2006

Tentacle, that's why it's satire: their write-up pretended to condemn Schiavo for "bringing on" the treatment she got in 2005, but their sentence ended up being precisely what happened to her- her life and personal problems made into a media circus, her family dragged into the mud, and her powerless to do anything about it.

brundlefly: well, you aren't alone. The Daily Show has ripped on Cosby's "City of Industry" voice and looks more than once. She has a face for radio and a voice for print, and is a shit 'journalist' like so many others.
posted by hincandenza at 12:45 PM on January 23, 2006

brundlefly: well, you aren't alone. The Daily Show has ripped on Cosby's "City of Industry" voice and looks more than once. She has a face for radio and a voice for print, and is a shit 'journalist' like so many others.

What's wrong with her face? She may be a tool, but I like her voice, fwiwwam.
posted by delmoi at 12:54 PM on January 23, 2006

The publisher of The Beast, Paul Fallon, supposedly showed up at a press conference held to announce his candidacy for Congress, completely naked.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:00 PM on January 23, 2006

Teh George Lucas bit was mostly spot-on, with one exception IMHO: I think the vast majority of teh sexless thirty- (or [ahem!] forty-) something dweebs did realize that the whole shooting match was a load of crap, and just didn't want to admit they'd spent money on it....
posted by lodurr at 1:03 PM on January 23, 2006

She may be a tool, but I like her voice

You do? My first impression when I heard her voice was that she had been on the other side of the building and was forced to run to get in front of the camera before the little red light turned on. My second impression was that she was a post-op trannie.

I wouldn't care about her voice or her looks if she were actually a journalist. Frankly, her career is an utter mystery to me. She doesn't have looks or talent, and you'd need one or both of those things to make it... Wouldn't you?
posted by brundlefly at 1:03 PM on January 23, 2006

This is good, funny and depressing all at the same time.

Though I think Tom DeLay is a fair bit more loathsome than I am but then, I showered today.
posted by fenriq at 1:16 PM on January 23, 2006

Excellent writing, those Beasts. Almost makes me want to move to buffalo. OK, not really, but still.
posted by scratch at 1:19 PM on January 23, 2006

A brilliant list, each subject roasted more thoroughly than the previous. I, too, could nitpick about some in/exclusions, but overall it was fascinating. I'm looking forward to Abramoff's segment next year.
posted by stevis at 1:31 PM on January 23, 2006

Re W:

"Often responds to questions by attempting to define the word he finds the most challenging in them."

This has been driving me crazy for ages but no one ever put it this clearly.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:32 PM on January 23, 2006

I was debating posting this when I saw it on Linkfilter, but my continuing confusion over what I should put in a "via" link (someone needs to set down when exactly things like "via" and "newsfilter" should be used), plus the fact that I don't actually like to make a FPP unless I discovered it myself, stayed my hand.

I agree with everything on this list, every damn thing. Including and especially Hillary Clinton and Joe Leiberman, who in a way are the worst of the bunch because of the real danger the Democrats will post one of them to run in 2008.
posted by JHarris at 1:39 PM on January 23, 2006

Johnny Damon: Exhibit A: Going from the Red Sox to the Yankees is like fucking the guy that murdered your husband.

I laughed out loud at the Rita Cosby thing. Vapidity apparently sells.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:44 PM on January 23, 2006

flatlander, there's only room for 50.

As much as I hate anything to do with her, their sentence for Paris Hilton made me smile:

Sentence: Locked in a room with a high steel ceiling which lowers a centimeter per hour, until she either solves a Rubik’s cube or is crushed; whichever comes first.
posted by NationalKato at 1:44 PM on January 23, 2006

I can't believe Scott McClellan isn't on the list.

He was last year:

48. Scott McClellan

Punishment: Locked in a room for eternity with a camera that sprays spitting cobra venom in his eyes every time he speaks.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 2:13 PM on January 23, 2006

Top notch list.

anyone that would put Robert Kennedy, Jr. on the list is a douche.
posted by stenseng at 2:22 PM on January 23, 2006

Eh, I'd say that the antiscientific vaccine scare-mongering is pretty douchey in and of itself....
posted by mr_roboto at 2:33 PM on January 23, 2006

I don't know what "unscientific vaccine scare-mongering" you're referring to, but if you're talking about concerns over placement of mercury and mercury derivative compounds such as Thimerosal in vaccines, the jury is very much out on that one, and those urging caution have legitimate grounds to do so:

In recent years, it has been suggested that thimerosal in childhood vaccines could contribute to or cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children (most notably autism, but also other disorders on the PDD spectrum, such as ADHD). The basis for this claim is the introduction of an organic mercury compound -- ethylmercury -- straight into the tissue of young children. Some opponents of the use of thimerosal argue that this could have an effect on young children, who may have undeveloped immune and neurological systems that would be affected in some way.

There is concern on both sides of the debate in regards to motivating factors. Those who denounce thimerosal suspect that government agencies and pharmaceutical companies are denying a connection for fear of financial liability and the creation of mistrust in vaccinations. [1][2][3] [4] Those who deny a connection between thimerosal and neurological disorders have charged thimerosal's critics as being medically and scientifically unqualified, [5] [6] emotionally distraught, or interested in pursuing litigation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Modernization Act of 1997 called for a review and risk assessment of all mercury-containing food and drugs. [7] Vaccine manufacturers responded to FDA requests for December 1998 and April 1999 to provide detailed information about the thimerosal content of their preparations. From the early 1970s until present day, the number of vaccines regularly received by children in the US before the age of four has risen from two or three to up to twenty-two.

Through its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), the FDA studied the results and found regularly vaccinated young children were injected with up to 187.5 μg of ethylmercury by the time they were six months old. When trying to assess whether this dosage was likely to cause damage, the CBER could not find guidelines for ethylmercury.

The FDA recognized that some children who receive thimerosal-containing vaccines may have, over time, exceeded federal guidelines for bolus (single-dose) mercury exposure, based on methylmercury (but not ethylmercury) studies. The United States Public Health Service (PHS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible because of the potential risk of adverse effects from mercury exposure.[8] Similar conclusions were reached by the European Medicines Agency. [9]

In June of 1999, Dr. Neal A. Halsey, director of the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Vaccine Safety, Former Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a vocal supporter of the vaccination policy, was apprised of the results of the CBER study. [10] Dr. Halsey enlisted Dr. Walter Orenstein, the director of the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) National Immunization Program for advice. Along with leaders of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the group advised a cautious stance by informing physicians about the findings [11]. Negotiations within the AAP resulted in a press release calling for a delay of Hepatitis B vaccines under certain circumstances.[12]

Due to the concerns that were raised, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) asked the National Academy of Science's (NAS) Institute of Medicine (IOM) to establish an independent expert committee to review hypotheses about existing and emerging immunization safety concerns. In 2001 the IOM committee concluded that the hypothesis was biologically plausible; however, the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between thimerosal exposures from childhood vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. [13] [14] [15] [16]

The IOM panel reconvened in 2004 and concluded the evidence that was presented favored a rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism; and that hypotheses generated to date concerning a biological mechanism for such causality are theoretical only. The IOM went on to recommend the termination of additional research into the subject, stating clearly that, "Further research to find the cause of autism should be directed toward other lines of inquiry". The IOM committee chair stated, "Available funding for autism research should be channeled to the most promising areas, of which the link with vaccines does not appear to be one." [17] [18]

Some advocacy groups felt the IOM's 2004 decision was premature. [19] [20]

State of the controversy

Below are some of the arguments raised by critics of thimerosal containing vaccines:

* Appeal for caution: injecting an organic mercury compound into the tissues and bloodstreams of small children has the potential to cause harm. [21] [22].
* In vitro tests to examine the effects of ethylmercury on living cells show abnormal effects on these cells [23], [24], [25], [26], [27].
* In vivo test on lab animals show wide range of adverse effects [28], [29].
* Mass data analysis of actual populations to discern patterns, ideally with a control group. This includes study of the incidence of autism in populations with varying use of thimerosal [30], [31], [32], [33], [34].
* Clinical studies comparing autistic and neurotypical children's reactions to mercury excretion [35], [36], [37],
* Trend analysis following introduction of more vaccines with thimerosal and the gradual abolishment of thimerosal in vaccines, starting a few years ago. [38], [39], [40]
* Cures. Parents and doctors claim that autistic children who are treated for mercury poisoning recover.

Critics point out that thimerosal is unnecessary for the immunological purpose of vaccination. Thimerosal is used in multi-dose vaccine vials in effort to reduce the likelihood of microbial contamination. The need for bacteriostatic agents like thimerosal can be avoided by using a single dose vial. Single-dose vials increases the cost of manufacturing, shipping, storing, and delivering vaccines and is blamed, at least in part, for intermittent shortages of vaccines in recent years. [41]

It has been assumed thimerosal has been removed from vaccines since 1999. However, some pharmaceutical companies did not receive regulatory approval for their thimerosal-free infant vaccines until 2003. Infant vaccines produced before 2003 may contain up to 25μg of thimerosal. These vaccines have not been recalled and it is possible they are still in use. They will not expire until 2006 at the earliest, 2008 at the latest. [42] [43] Currently the adolescent and adult tetanus vaccine and certain influenza vaccines still contain thimerosal.
posted by stenseng at 2:39 PM on January 23, 2006

42. Nancy Grace

Someone pleeeeaaaassseee kill Nancy Grace!

4. You

Exhibit A: You don’t even know who your congressman is.

Yes I do. My Congressman is (drum roll....):

19. James Sensenbrenner

posted by MikeMc at 2:58 PM on January 23, 2006

That was retarded.
posted by b_thinky at 3:37 PM on January 23, 2006

i liked it, but Schiavo shouldn't have been there--all the other people on the list (except for us) are actors, not props.
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on January 23, 2006

My screen melted from the heat.
posted by Rothko at 3:48 PM on January 23, 2006

I think Ted Nuge should be in there, just because he always strikes me as one of the finest instances of a certain class of ugly American stereotype.
posted by Decani at 3:57 PM on January 23, 2006

Nuge is just livin' the dream baby.
posted by stenseng at 4:07 PM on January 23, 2006

" As confirmed by a conspicuously underreported autopsy, Schiavo feels the same about her current situation as she did a year ago."
posted by raaka at 4:42 PM on January 23, 2006

As demonstrated above, the Schiavo bit was satire.

This pure, unadulterated vitriol was invigorating. There is nothing better than a decimating attack on a deserving subject.
posted by Falconetti at 4:53 PM on January 23, 2006

Yeah, well, it’s real easy to point the finger at people...
*thinks about that*
Say, it IS pretty easy. So why the hell not?

I’ll give $2 to anyone who can stomach watching Ann Coulter make out with Paris Hilton, while you’re eating an orange.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:55 PM on January 23, 2006

I mean Terri Schiavo.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:57 PM on January 23, 2006

Barbara Bush

Charges: Her polluted womb nurtured the seed of American decadence.

Vitriol, Slarty Bartfast? I'm just impressed that someone actually used the word decadent correctly. I like this Mr. The BEAST guy, if for nothing else.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 5:04 PM on January 23, 2006

You forgot Harriet Meirs!
posted by bardic at 5:39 PM on January 23, 2006

b_thinky- "That was retarded."

oh the irony
posted by poorlydrawnplato at 5:44 PM on January 23, 2006

Smedleyman: I’ll give $2 to anyone who can stomach watching Ann Coulter make out with Paris Hilton, while you’re eating an orange.
I mean Terri Schiavo.

Now, see, that would have been funny, except that an orange is a fruit, whereas Terri Schiavo is a vegetable. Shoulda gone with "I'll give $2 to anyone who can stomach watching Ann Coulter make out with Paris Hilton, while you're eating Tom Cruise."
posted by swell at 7:20 PM on January 23, 2006

If Pat Robertson’s local Starbucks caught fire, he would claim that God was punishing them for giving him a caramel latte when he ordered vanilla.

Made me laugh.
posted by Penks at 9:19 PM on January 23, 2006

Funny stuff, very sharp.
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:53 PM on January 23, 2006

posted by shoos at 12:43 AM on January 24, 2006

Delightfully, wonderfully snide!
posted by phewbertie at 3:24 AM on January 24, 2006

The Donovan McNabb one is bizarre as all get-out:

Played so poorly...

No, he didn' least, not when he was healthy. The Eagles had a lot of issues this year beyond QB.

...that his demoralized and alienated teammates yearned for the return of ego-vampire Terrell Owens.

Huh? I doubt it.

Responded indignantly to loopy criticism from the head of the Philly NAACP, but laughed off Rush Limbaugh’s racist broadsides.

That's grounds for criticism?
posted by alumshubby at 5:28 AM on January 24, 2006

donovan mcnabb is without question the most overrated quarterback in the nfl. I like the callout on his personality too.
posted by phaedon at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2006

"If political discussion were sex, the Limbaugh audience would be a horde of virgins beating off to deranged rape fantasies."

That's the most beautiful thing I've heard all week.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:34 PM on January 24, 2006

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