Pessimus Populus: The Worst People of 2009

Ah, January of 2009 . . . those were simpler times. We were so gripped in hope and change and whatnot that the future seemed a bastion of illimitable glowing possibilities illuminated by an infinity of suns. Doing another “Worst People” list seemed antithetical to what we hoped would be a new zeitgeist. That lasted about five metaphorical minutes. So here we go:

10. Joe “You lie!” Wilson

What a dick.

9. Mark Sanford

We don’t really care that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is the kind of dick who cheats on his wife. That’s dickish, sure, but not of heroically-dickish enough proportions to land him on this list. And his priggish refusal to accept federal monies to ensure that SC schools didn’t tank was pretty awful too. We don’t even care that he left his post and went AWOL to hook up with his mistress (lying to his staff, his family, and his constituency in the process). We just hate his hypocrisy. Here’s Sanford in ’98 blasting Clinton. Sanford, a bastion of family values, also was a strong proponent of SC’s hateful anti-gay “Defense of Marriage” Act. What a prick–yet another in a long line of right wing politicians who love to tell others how to live their lives yet fail to live up to their own standards.

8. Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is a fatty-jowled pussy of the worst order, a crying little bitch who offers up conjecture and speculation–and no real information–to a dimwitted audience. His pandering to racist, xenophobic attitudes has made him millions of course. Oh, remember when he called Obama a racist?

7. Orly Taitz and the “Birthers”

Speaking of racist, xenophobic attitudes . . . Watch Orly Taitz. Her lunacy set an example for way too many Americans overeager to reclaim “their” country from a Harvard-educated, arugula-eatin’, biracial liberal (who occasionally smokes). Jeez.

6. Teabaggers, et al.

Have you seen this video?

Kind of sums up the insanity of the summer of ’09 (fueled in part by some of the assholes on this list). It’s marvelous to watch how quickly these people melt under the simplest questions or prompts to respond with specific information. God bless America!

5. Kanye West


4. Pitchfork

We’ve been reading the music review site Pitchfork since the late ’90s, when it was a simple html affair with pretty bad writing. It still had a letters page, and even if the reviews were amateurish, there was also a sense of fun. In the past decade, the site has become bloated and self-serious; it’s also arguable that Pitchfork’s expansion into festival promotion is at ethical odds with its ability to criticize fairly. We’ve quibbled with Pitchfork before, but they were especially egregious in 2009. Like a giddy teenager, Pitchfork shot its load prematurely, running its “Best of the 00s” series of reviews in the summer. They also devoted two entire weeks to revisionist criticism, reviewing Radiohead albums that have been out for years and Beatles albums that have been out for decades. Telling us Abbey Road is a 10.0 is like shooting retarded fish in a barrel. It’s also bad form for a site that pretends to be forward-thinking and trendsetting. Perhaps as a reaction to the hype-backlash cycle that infested indie rock and blogdom in the late ’00s, Pitchfork devoted much of its review space to reissues and greatest hits collections and consistently began lowballing albums by new artists. Oh, and for a site that aspires to professional criticisms, theirs is full of typos and bad writing.

3. Fox News

The worst part about Fox News is that many of their viewers honestly believe that the network is “fair and balanced.” It looks like we’re gonna forget to squeeze Dick “Dick” Cheney into this list, so we’ll do so now, noting that Fox has repeatedly given that grizzled draft-dodger airtime whenever he’s elected to emerge from his cave, wipe the blood from his lips, and try to scare Americans into thinking that they are unsafe and should relinquish more freedoms.

2. Sarah Palin

Sarah!’s book tour showed us that the only major city in “real America” is Dallas, Texas (Texas is, of course, so “real” that they might secede).

1. George Bush

Sure. Bush didn’t do much in 2009, ‘ceptin maybe clearin’ some brush (and lots and lots of biking). So why does he rank #1? Well, maybe it’s just for old time’s sake, or maybe it’s just a way to recognize all the evil he perpetrated in the aughties. Call it a victory lap. Thanks for the giant shit sandwich!

Pessimus Populus: The Worst People of 2006

As the days of 2006 dwindle down, we take a hateful look back.

10. Condoleezza Rice.

Condi Rice has managed to tell more lies in just two years as the Secretary of State than she did in the four years she was the National Security Advisor.

condi rice demonstrates remaining US credibility

Above: Condi demonstrates remaining US credibility

9. Every kid who “starred” on an episode of MTV’s My Super Sweet 16

My Super Sweet 16 illustrates so perfectly, so beautifully, everything that is wrong with a culture of consumerism that promotes selfish materialism. Watch and marvel at spoiled brats crying like babies while their narcissistic whims are indulged.

8. Rachel Ray

Look what happens to the commodified personality–they puncture any credibility they might have had to begin with and they end up overexposed.


For a good laugh check out Rachel’s sexy FHM magazine shoot.

7. Dan Brown

For dumbing down America. For ripping of Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. For being the worst hack-job piece of schlock to ever pass for a worthy book. For fooling people into thinking they were learning something. For Tom Hanks’s creepy haircut in the movie version. For damaging the already-rotten sense of history Americans have with a brutal infusion of misinformation. This is what we’re choosing to read?

6. Ted Haggard

Pastor Haggard was the linchpin figure in the mega-church movement in the US. These churches represent the complete opposite of the teachings of the New Testament, advocating a “me me me” approach to religion: church as networking. In keeping with selfishness, Haggard, as ex-head of The National Association of Evangelicals, was largely responsible for rallying the religious right (as well as more moderate churches) to back Bush. Haggard recently stepped down as head of the NAE due to allegations that he’s been having sex with a male prostitute while high on meth.

(Editorial note: I’ve actually been working on this list for a while now. Haggard was on here before his recent woes. The outing of his hypocrisy is like icing on the cake, but is also part of the reason I decided to go ahead and publish this post with over 50 days remaining in the year–who knows how many more horrible things people will do, causing me to rewrite? I’d rather post what I have now, and amend later).

5. Everyone who used alcoholism or drug use as an excuse for horrible behavior, and then used rehab as an apology for that behavior.

That’s right, sugar tits–whether you’re a crazy, anti-semitic actor, a spoiled walking skeleton, or a two-faced Republican, drinking/drug-use doesn’t excuse you from being one of the year’s Worst People.

4. Ann Coulter


Getting fame by attacking 9/11 widows? Nice one, champ. This skinny bitch grows more evil by the minute. Check out Henry Rollins’s letter to Ann Coulter.

3. Rick Santorum

Santorum belongs on this list for so, so many reasons. But because biblioklept purports to be a literary blog, we’ll attribute his inclusion due to his ridiculous misappropriation of Tolkien in a recent speech:

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

Props to Dan Savage for savaging Santorum’s name.

2. Dick Cheney


Uhmm, where to start, where to start? I guess since this is a look at the Worst People of 2006, we should try our best to look at Cheney from a human perspective–do our best to ignore all the evil Cheney’s political/business enterprises represent, and just look at Cheney the man. So what type of person is Cheney, when he’s on “downtime,” just relaxing with regular folks? Let’s see: in February of 2006, while “hunting” quail, Cheney shot a 78 year old man in the face with a shotgun. The old man had a heart attack. So the Vice President is the type of person who would shoot an old man in the face. Dick Cheney is a bad, bad man. Go here for John Stewart’s coverage of the incident.

1. George W. Bush

Like you didn’t see this coming.


(Sorry, but after six-plus years I can’t keep up my outrage even long enough to write a decent post about this insane bastard. I can’t articulate how angry I am, and there isn’t enough room here to catolog all of Bush’s crimes. I’m tired of this shit.)