Five Favorite Things In 2009



1. Irony
President Barack Obama raced out of the disastrous climate conference in Copenhagen, where it was snowing, to get back home to America where it was going to snow. Immediately following the lame attempt at global eco-agreement, the East Coast got blasted by close to 2 feet of snow. Unsurprisingly, Obama, Al Gore and others didn’t immediately link the storm to a surprise onrush of global cooling. Instead, wacky Joe Romm of Climate Progress blamed the storm on … warming. To wit (or half wit in this case): “this record-breaking snowstorm is pretty much precisely what climate science predicts.” Ordinarily, you see weather events, like Hurricane Katrina, only deployed by liberals when they help make their case. So droughts and floods and hot weather are all linked to global warming. Cold air and snow usually are not. What’s sad is that the major media totally embrace this link.

2. Hypocrisy
My entire life, I’ve heard tales of how Republicans are the party of big business and they sell out to the highest bidder. It turns out, Republicans are rank amateurs when it comes to selling themselves. Democrats with absolute control over the president and both houses of Congress have redefined the term. Obama’s list of business bailouts and adventures of crony capitalism is so long, he might have to outsource it a company owned by a major donor – for a big fee of course. Democratic leaders got the lion’s share of cash from Wall Street and have proceeded to climb into bed with Wall Street, banks, unions, automakers, prescription drug firms anybody else with cash. And they are now looking at bailing out journalism. The Democrats have turned the nation’s capital into a global red light district where recalcitrant party opponents are bought out like hourly workers in some of the city’s seediest drive-by spots.

3. A Good TV Show
Man does not live by politics alone. It helps having something great to watch on TV. Has “Lost” lost you as much as it has me? Not so mad about “Mad Men?” Then try the best show on any network: USA’s “Burn Notice.” Picture an out-of-work spy trying to get back in the good graces of The Powers That Be. He’s trapped in beautiful Miami with family, a deadly/magnificent ex- and a good friend. Its third season and still getting better. Jeffrey Donovan plays Michael Weston and is charming as a spy reluctantly reconnecting with his family. Sometime former gal-friend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) is still stuck on him when she’s not blowing something up. And “Briscoe County Jr.”/”Evil Dead” fans will be thrilled to see Bruce Campbell as the friend who always has Weston’s back (with a beer in his hand). Don’t miss an episode. This is why Netflix was created.

4. A Good Movie
Forget George Clooney’s politics for a bit. He’s very good in “Up in the Air,” a new movie fitting for 10 percent unemployment. It’s about people who fire others for a living. OK, that doesn’t sound like typical Christmas movie fare, but it is. Clooney partners with the very cute Anna Kendrick to travel from depressing location to depressing location as they both try to find their way in life. The movie isn’t clichéd and both stars manage to help one another grow as people while coping with their awful duties. The film is filled with actual unemployed people and their stories and comments resonate, giving “Air” enough believability behind it. Don’t be scared off because the critics like this movie. It’s still good.

5. Football
No, not that pansy game where nobody scores. I love honest-to-goodness, real American, full-contact football. Sure, the refs call some games like they have this week’s check riding on certain outcomes. But nothing beats the excitement and drama of a good football game. Forget baseball, as many in America have already done. Football is now the classic sport for Uncle Sam. It doesn’t matter if you root for the down-in-the-dumps Raiders or the unbeaten Colts, every team can win on any given day – as the Raiders have shown several times this week. How can you beat a sport that combines cheerleaders, violence, stats, athleticism, home field advantage and last-second heroics? Football also has more than a lesson or two to teach other sports about how to keep small market teams competitive. And if you have the Red Zone channel, it’s hard to even leave your couch for snacks or a beer on Sunday.

And One Thing I Hated In 2009...

Call them whatever you want: keyboard commandos, online provocateurs, Internet idiots, or common trolls but Twitter has spawned a new level of ignorance, idiocy and hate. The popular social media forum has been inundated by everyone from loose-cannon lefty columnist David Sirota to a pantheon of foul-mouthed adults acting like 2-year-olds with a copy of Urban Dictionary. Disagree, say anything conservative or just be a normal American and they attack with venomous glee. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Blue Dog Democrats and more are targeted for things most of these fools would be embarrassed to say to a mirror, much less in public. That’s only fair since they don’t have anything important to say (do bullies ever?), but they are out to rule cyberspace for the greater glory of their dark little piece of the Internet or their mom’s basement. The use of Twitter’s re-Tweet function allows such hate to be spread across cyberspace like the swine flu. “Progressives,” in particular, have more than their fair share of such four-acting/foul-smelling worms.

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.

Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.