2007’s Biggest Losers
Some tasks are really tough. With so many idiots in politics, sports, entertainment, and the news, it’s not easy to decide who should make Freindly Fire’s coveted Loser List. But here goes:
Gerry and Kate McCann: These esteemed British parents (and I use that term very loosely), while on vacation in Portugal, decided to go out on the town with friends. Which would be fine if they didn’t have children. But they did. So rather than pay a babysitter (the McCanns are both doctors, so life is tough), they made the decision numerous times that week to leave their three children, with a combined age of seven, alone, in their unlocked resort room. Their three year old daughter, Madeleine, disappeared, and still hasn’t been found. Was she kidnapped? That’s the McCann’s story, although evidence to that is lacking. Was there foul play, or was it possibly an “accident”? Maybe, since blood was found and police dogs detected the scent of death in the room.
Bottom line: the McCanns are either directly responsible for Maddy’s death (accident or otherwise), as Portuguese authorities believe, or they are complicit in her disappearance by their irresponsibility in leaving her and her siblings alone. The world has finally caught on, which is why they only have about four supporters left. Newsflash—Madeleine isn’t one of them.
Michael Vick: This talented NFL quarterback apparently grew tired of making millions and being a celebrity. So he opened up a dog-fighting ring, and personally saw to it that losing dogs were shot, electrocuted or drowned. While dogfighting isn’t funny, some of the reactions to Vick’s actions are. The head of the Atlanta NAACP couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, since he compared dogfighting to hunting deer, which is perfectly acceptable. But best of all was Vick’s former teammate who appeared at a recent game wearing a “Free Michael Vick” shirt. Help me out on this one. He pleaded “guilty”, and, contrary to the sentiment of some in the NAACP, this has nothing to do with race. Vick got sacked big-time, and he may never make it back to the huddle.
Michael Nifong: This District Attorney prosecuted the white Duke University lacrosse players for rape crimes he knew they didn’t commit. Why? To pander to the black community for votes in the next election. This is the worst one of all. When any law enforcement official willfully breaks the law to imprison innocent people for political gain, we become a third-world nation. Nifong’s punishment? He was disbarred and made to serve one day in jail. Somehow, that just doesn’t cut it. It wasn’t nearly enough time for him to become a prison wife.
Runner-up in this category is Dick Brodhead, Duke University President. He threw the Constitution out the window when the rape story was first reported, and joined the lynch mob ready to burn the three players at the stake. His actions berated and humiliated the students, and amounted to a downright conviction of a crime—before the facts were in. And then he had the gall to act like he was in their corner all along—but only after Nifong’s actions came to light. Note to Duke: Fire Brodhead, restore your reputation.
Bud Selig: Major League Baseball’s cowardly Commissioner takes the cake for hypocrisy. He rode on the backs of players, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, making billions for baseball, with full knowledge that steroid use was rampant in the game. Then he commissioned the Mitchell Report, a damning indictment of steroid use, although one with scant evidence. Selig postures himself as a decisive leader, speaking of “punishments” for steroid transgressions. One small problem: steroid use wasn’t against baseball’s rules until 2004. He won’t dole out sanctions because he can’t.
Selig loved baseball’s records, including attendance, being shattered, ignoring the fact that steroids made this possible. But when the world started paying attention, he played both sides, and didn’t even have the class to dignify Bonds’ home run record. His new-found piety is a joke, and everybody knows it. Unfortunately for Bud, this issue, and his hypocrisy, isn’t going to fade away. Is Clemens’ lawsuit an idle threat? Let’s hope not. Selig needs to be benched. Permanently.
Jim Matthews: This Montgomery County Commissioner was elected last month as a Republican, along with top vote-getter Bruce Castor, then stabbed Castor in the back by announcing his alliance with, and allegiance to, Democrat Joe Hoeffel. This isn’t about partisan politics, and it’s not even about issues. It’s about loyalty and honor, and voters abandon people who lack these qualities. Matthews is finished, and Castor will rise again. I threw out an open-ended question last week: Who would want to share a fox-hole with Matthews? Interestingly, no one responded. People who have character and loyalty know better—and ironically, so do fellow traitors. Matthews has pleased none and alienated all. Can’t wait for his next trick.
Alycia Lane: The Philadelphia anchorwoman has undoubtedly broadcasted her way out of a job. She allegedly punched a New York police officer, then announced for all to hear that she was an “(expletive) reporter”. After being arrested, she proclaimed her innocence. Fine. I have always defended those prematurely convicted in the Court of Public Opinion, from Paris Hilton to Don Imus to Barry Bonds. But then she made a personal call to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. That’s not just incredibly dumb, it’s also taboo in journalism. While this is the final strike for Alycia, she could always become a bikini model, based on the skimpy pictures of herself she had previously sent to married sports anchor Rich Eisen (and unintentionally, to his wife).
Honorable Mention: Presidential candidates opposed to water-boarding, Brian Westbrook for failing to return an Eagles’ overpayment—for almost two years, Don Imus for becoming politically correct, and Congressman Allyson Schwartz, who voted for a resolution recognizing Ramadan and the Muslim religion, but not for a resolution recognizing Christmas and Christianity. Can you say Grinch?
Happy New Year!
Chris Freind can be reached at CF@TheBulletin.us