1. Public Relations: All year it appeared that seemingly smart and savvy public figures might have mistakenly fired their public relations firms to "go rogue," a la Sarah Palin. Problem was, while Palin’s strategy improves her public image, it was clearly an ill-advised disaster for others:
- Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, for one, called a lobbyist a “whore,” gave us dignified responses like “STFU,” and made always-hilarious Holocaust comparisons.
- New Jersey’s former governor Jon Corzine thought it was a good campaign strategy to show voters how fat his opponent was (because nothing quite says "noble public servant" like a 62-year-old bully.)
- In the country’s least presidential moment ever, President Obama said he bowled like he was in the “Special Olympics” on “The Tonight Show.”
- And South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford delivered his own eulogy when he took an hour to describe all the bizarre details of his Argentinean tryst. Some people just need a leash.
2. Caipirinhas, Teeny Bikinis and Bossa Nova: I don’t know if it was the stunning white-sand beaches, all the bronzed and beautiful bodies that populate them, or one too many sips of cachaca at the Samba club, but somehow, against all odds, inexplicably, the International Olympic Committee picked Rio de Janeiro over Chicago – home of the Polish sausage and 5-degree winter – to host the 2016 Summer Games. Nothing against processed meat and meat by-products, but the long-struggling Olympics showed it isn’t ready to sound its own death knell just because the affable president of the United States wants to be able to visit the fam in between track and field events. Well done, near-irrelevant international amateur competition. Way to earn a couple points by making a really easy, obvious decision.
3. Science: In President Obama’s inaugural address, he took a swipe at kooky Christian George W. Bush, promising he would “restore science to its rightful place.” Boy, has that panned out. After some Tolkienian-sounding school in Britain called “East Anglia University” gave us definitive proof that a few scientists have been cooking the books on global warming statistics, Obama, rushed to Copenhagen to implore other countries – even some that can’t afford indoor plumbing, let alone wind turbines – to join the U.S. in fighting a carbon apocalypse and preventing our imminent death. Don’t worry about the funky numbers or lab mischief, because addressing global warming isn’t just about the science. It’s also a “moral imperative.” So if the rest of the world wants to be as responsible (and sanctimonious) as we are, they’ll watch their carbon emissions, or else. China looks real worried.
4. Blame: It was an awesome year for finger-pointing.
Here are my favorite moments:
- Jon & Kate Gosselin naturally blamed each other for their horrendous (and by all accounts mutual) decision to televise their unraveling life together, despite the fact that their eight children have become catnip for paparazzi.
- Psychologists and television “sexperts” like Drew Pinskey blamed sex addiction for Tiger Woods’s serial infidelity.
- Seemingly every doctor on the planet was blamed for the totally unexpected death of Michael Jackson, who was otherwise the picture of health.
- Hillary Clinton blamed us for Mexico’s violent drug war.
- Pelosi blamed racism for the public failure to embrace universal health care.
- And President Obama blamed Fox News’s soaring ratings for his tanking ones.
Mazel Tov, blame. You had the best year ever.
5. Feminism: Nothing can touch last year’s assault on the dignity of women when the militant feminazis attacked Sarah Palin for being “the wrong kind of woman.” But this year gave us a few gems as well, and helped solidify the total irrelevance of feminist identity politics.
- There was Nancy Pelosi, at the beginning of the year, suggesting that contraception made for good stimulus.
- Then there was Senator Barbara Boxer telling a decorated Brigadier General that “ma’am” is now an insult.
- David Letterman, the world’s best boss and husband, joked that Sarah Palin’s daughter got knocked up by Alex Rodriguez. (He didn’t make clear which daughter he was talking about – her underage daughter or her barely legal one.)
- And Secretary of State Clinton snapped at a Congolese university student for daring to ask her what Bill thought of something.
Forty years after women’s lib and the left is still politicizing reproduction, fretting over titles and putting conservative women down. Stay classy, feminism.
S.E. Cupp is a writer, co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right" and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum.