Time for the third annual award for the person or persons who had the biggest negative impact on the country last year. I’ve been advised to once again stress that this has no relation to Time‘s annual Person of the Year feature — which will be replaced with Ayn Rand slash fiction by the end of 2018.
A self-obsessed troll whose every move – from harassing a transgender student on his “Dangerous Faggot” college tour to proclaiming “Feminism is Cancer” – is equal parts devoid of substance and designed to stoke as much outrage as possible. In other words, Milo is a fitting representative for today’s GOP. From his perch at the ultraconservative Breitbart News, Milo worked behind the scenes to promote the beliefs of people who’d gleefully push him into a gas chamber. Might’ve seen his career rise to awful new heights if not for his apparent defense of pedophilia, which cost him a CPAC gig and (temporarily) spared us his ego-stroking autobiography, Dangerous. Didn’t we fight a war so we wouldn’t have to listen to flamboyant British halfwits?
Jenner’s universally panned Pepsi commercial – which saw her join up with protesters and calm racial tensions by handing a soda to a cop – was the most cynical attempt to commercialize left-wing politics since Apple used MLK to sell computers. Offered a tearful apology on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but had already compounded her PR nightmare by introducing a line of t-shirts hoping to cash in on the memories of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Backed down only after Biggie’s mom Voletta Wallace called it “disrespectful, disgusting and exploitation at its worst.” A tapeworm in America’s pop cultural digestive tract.
Blogger, misanthrope, and hater of all things fash. Helped expose a white nationalist candidate who probably had no chance of winning anyway. Too cheap to hire an editor. Unironic Taylor Swift fan.
In 2005, when he was a writer for the New York Times, Eichenwald took it upon himself to “save” a young child pornographer by posing as a pedo, paying $2,000 to meet with him in person, and turning his experience into a self-aggrandizing article. Sent his mark an additional $1,100 via PayPal, and blamed his inability to remember this gross breach of journalistic ethics on an epileptic seizure. Infamous for his brutal self-owns, Eichenwald accidentally revealed his fondness for hardcore tentacle hentai — which he only reads for the plot. Unites both sides of the political spectrum in mutual disgust.
In a move that in no way foreshadows a 2020 presidential run, the New York governor vowed that his state would “lead the resistance and opposition” against President Trump’s agenda. Offers the sort of bland leadership that’s expected of today’s Democratic Party, speechifying about diversity and social justice while taking actions which directly contradict that message. To cite just a couple of examples, Cuomo vetoed an indigent defense bill and issued an unconstitutional executive order targeting the BDS movement. Seems totally uninterested in fixing New York’s badly broken, outdated, and overcrowded subway system.
One of the surest signs that Fox News is truly incapable of change is that they replaced Megyn Kelly with this douchebag. Carlson’s condescending treatment of Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca was only surprising if you don’t remember his short-lived, humiliating stint as a Crossfire co-host. Or his juvenile boasts of bashing a gay man in a public restroom. Sole purpose of Tucker Carlson Tonight is to paint white people as an oppressed victim class — which explains his popularity among guys who recreationally march with tiki torches. Default response to guests he disagrees with consists of staring incredulously into the camera.
Let’s face it, even if he hadn’t been outed as a child molesting hypocrite who used to troll the Gadsden Mall for dates, Judge Roy Moore was still gonna make this list. He was supported by racists, denounced efforts to remove segregationist language from the Alabama constitution, and once addressed a conference by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. He was removed from the bench twice for disobeying court orders. He thinks 9/11 was divine punishment for “legitimized sodomy,” and that teaching the theory of evolution causes drive-by shootings. Let us thank God Almighty he will never join the Senate. Amen.
Got his start as a reporter for Salon.com, covering the 2000 presidential election and playing Patty Hearst to John McCain’s SLA. In 2017, Tapper’s fondness for neoconservative guests and advocacy for sanctions against Venezuela and North Korea were the most embarrassing displays of jingoism on cable news – well, outside of Brian Williams’ obvious horniness for bombing Syria that is. Invoked the words of Ronald Reagan in defense of human rights.
Asra Q. Nomani
Asra Nomani is one of the few Muslims the right-wing/skeptic communities willingly embrace: a quisling who routinely denigrates other Muslims. A cheerleader for religious profiling and mass surveillance, she wrote that wearing hijabs in solidarity means “stand[ing] on the wrong side of a lethal war of ideas that sexually objectifies women as vessels for honor and temptation.” This self-described feminist struggled in vain to justify her vote for Donald Trump during a February appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, and still had the gall to defend the President’s contemptable Muslim ban. Slightly more embarrassing than Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Eric Garland and Louise Mensch
One’s an annoying manthreader whose fame is more inexplicable than that of “Cash Me Ousside Girl.” The other is a loony British expat. Together, they’re the Alex Jones of the Resistance, placating their gullible fans with fake news of Herr Trumpenführer’s imminent downfall. No, Gizmodo isn’t run by Russian operatives. No, the “Marshal of the Supreme Court” didn’t inform Trump about his impeachment, and Steve Bannon isn’t going to be executed for espionage. And no, for god’s sake, we’re not ready for some “game theory.” These two wankers are a major reason why people are skeptical of the Russia probe.
In 2006, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson was praised for finally acknowledging the reality that burning fossil fuels is a major cause of global warming — something his own company knew and covered up since at least 1977. Continued to profit off the slow destruction of our environment under the guise of alleviating poverty, but now presides over a hollowed-out State Department that proposed cutting aid to developing nations. Promoted the filthy practice of hydrolic fracturing, but sued to prevent the construction of a 160-foot fracking water tower near his Texas home. Sole qualification for becoming Secretary of State was receiving the Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin.
Spicer’s job as Donald Trump’s mouthpiece was somehow less dignified than his brief tenure as White House Easter Bunny. Sure, it’s the objective of every White House Press Secretary to put a spin on the President’s actions, but there’s never been anything quite like this Press Secretary — or this President. From his first press briefing, where he made the baffling, Orwellian claim that Trump had the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period,” Spicer left everyone from TV viewers to journalists wondering the same thing: “What the fuck was that? Did that seriously just happen?” Resigned only to resurface at the Emmy’s where he joked about lying to our faces for months. Hilarious.
From the hoax that a D.C. pizza parlor was a front for a child sex ring, to last year’s bullshit #MacronLeaks, this actual naval intelligence officer and “New Right” ratfucker is the conduit through which conspiracies travel from 4chan to our national consciousness. A James O’Keefe-like figure sans the ethics, Posobiec was reportedly the brains behind planting a “Rape Melania” sign at a Trump Tower protest in 2016. Followed this stunt by crashing a performance of Julius Caesar to scream about
gerbils Goebbels and smearing net neutrality supporters as consumers of “Satanic porn.” Promoted the openly fascist protests in Poland for some reason. A journalist-hating stooge who believes that transparently lying about political opponents qualifies as “news.”
Nominated for the sole purpose of dismantling the Department of Health and Human Services from the inside, Tom Price was the administrative equivalent of Lupus. In one instance, Price spent Obamacare marketing money on a PR campaign attacking it. Hates healthcare and reproductive rights, but is largely indifferent to America’s gun violence epidemic. (As a congressman he voted to shield gun manufacturers from liability lawsuits and backed concealed carry reciprocity.) A jet-setting hypocrite, Price was ultimately brought down by his own shameless corruption.
Former CIO of Goldman Sachs, hedge fund millionaire, and film producer, Mnuchin is the bespectacled vampire squid responsible for such on-screen abominations as Entourage, Suicide Squad, and Collateral Beauty. In 2009, after the subprime mortgage crisis, Mnuchin and other wealthy vultures purchased the California-based IndyMac bank, renamed it OneWest and made Mnuchin CEO. OneWest profited from mass foreclosures and engaged in robo-signing — the mass production of fraudulent affidavits in order to expedite the foreclosure process — which Mnuchin lied about in a written response to the Senate Finance Committee. Married a blonde trophy wife who belittled a peasant on Instagram, and penned a memoir with such nakedly colonialist themes that it should’ve been titled The White Woman’s Burden. Requested a government jet for their honeymoon trip, which would’ve cost an estimated $25,000 an hour. If government and Wall Street are “the swamp,” this guy’s the fucking Creature from the Black Lagoon.
A sociopathic manchild and owner of the mendacious website Danger & Play, Cernovich revealed the awesome power of his “gorilla mindset” by promoting a series of viral hoaxes, including the claim that Hillary Clinton suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and a forged document accusing Chuck Schumer of sexual harassment. Briefly cost Sam Seder his job with MSNBC by using a satirical tweet to falsely paint the Majority Report host as a rape apologist. A convenient smear from a troll who routinely calls his detractors pedophiles, and was himself accused of rape. Bragged about exposing himself to a woman in the back seat of her car. Thinks his semen is magic.
The undisputed Queen of Spin. Conway kept getting booked on outlets like CNN so she could insult our collective intelligence: railing against the “fake news” media, infuriatingly rebranding Sean Spicer’s falsehoods as “alternative facts,” and attacking NFL players for disrespecting the brave troops who lost their lives in the Bowling Green Massacre. Or something. The only thing more depressingly predictable than Conway’s rhetorical arsenal — pivoting to irrelevant topics, whataboutism, playing the victim card — is that she’ll get even more undeserved airtime in 2018.
Became a Supreme Court Justice through a brazen act of congressional theft, and really didn’t seem to mind it. Gorsuch’s disturbing tenure as a Circuit Court judge saw him championing the religious rights of corporations and joining an opinion that called a hideous botched execution a mere “isolated mishap.” His myopic interpretation of federal law would’ve allowed for a trucking company to fire an employee who abandoned the trailer he was hauling, rather than sit in subzero temperatures waiting for roadside assistance. Another reliable vote for capital punishment, legalized discrimination, and union busting. Demonstrably worse than his predecessor.
Should’ve received a failing grade for her performance before the HELP Committee. Didn’t know the difference between educational proficiency and growth. Didn’t know that states can’t selectively enforce federal laws that protect students with disabilities. Didn’t know that the odd grizzly bear trespass doesn’t justify guns in schools. Didn’t know that you can’t plagiarize written responses to Senate committee members. Students, meet your new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, the billionaire heiress who lacks any experience with public schools — outside of her quest to destroy them that is. Thus far she’s rescinded school disability guidelines, refused to investigate civil rights complaints by transgender students, shredded Title IX protections at the behest of men’s rights groups, and screwed over students who were defrauded by for-profit diploma mills because — like her boss — she’s a dolt who lucked her way into this job.
Russia investigation heating up? Get caught on a hot mic saying something racist? Fear not, Mr. President — you always have a safe space on Fox News’ Hannity, where you’re guaranteed a barrage of softball questions from the biggest GOP lickspittle on a network filled with lying, partisan hacks. Though judging from his increasingly erratic behavior last year, it seems as if his devotion to Trump has finally driven him off the deep end. When Alex Jones is praising you for flogging the ludicrous Seth Rich conspiracy, you need to rethink your life choices.
Last year the retired General-turned-DHS Secretary told a congressional committee, “I work for one man. His name is Donald Trump.” Routinely enables the President’s darkest impulses. When asked by Wolf Blitzer about Trump’s paranoid claim of being wiretapped by Obama, Kelly prevaricated, stating, “He must have some convincing evidence that took place. … I don’t pretend to even guess as to what the motivation may have been for the previous administration to do something like that.” After Trump’s disastrous first attempt at a Muslim ban, it was Kelly who shouldered the blame. And after replacing Reince Preibus as Chief of Staff, Kelly lied about Rep. Frederica Wilson — a black congresswoman who criticized the President’s callous treatment of a war widow — and refused to apologize. His subsequent praise of Robert E. Lee would’ve been problematic enough, but came off as especially despicable post-Charlottesville.
Truly a profile in courage, the Arizona senator boldly spoke truth to power when it no longer made a difference. Aside from token acts of defiance, like giving $100 to the Doug Jones campaign, Flake has voted to advance the President’s agenda nearly 90% of the time. Condemned Trump’s Stalinesque rhetoric, but gave him broad surveillance powers and supported his obscene wealthcare bill. Matter of fact, it’s safe to say he’d rather retire than fight.
As the man most responsible for our withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Scott Pruitt is the worst environmental disaster since the invention of DDT. While serving as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA fourteen times. Last year a cache of emails revealed an even more incestuous relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In 2011 Devon Energy objected to a federal rule requiring oil and gas industries to report methane gas leaks, and gave Pruitt a template letter to send the EPA. Pruitt dutifully obeyed, lazily changing around a few words and slapping his letterhead on it. And in 2013, lobbyists for Southern Company sent Pruitt a white paper with “talking points” he could “cut and paste” to fight a rule aimed at reducing air pollution. Remarked during a Heritage Foundation interview, “True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God blessed us with.” We’re doomed.
Jesus Christ, how stupid can one man be? The disgraced ex-National Security Adviser blasted Hillary Clinton at the RNC for using a private email server, and led a chant of “Lock her up!” As a reminder, this was after Flynn was paid $45,000 to give a speech and schmooze with Putin at an RT gala. And before Flynn, through his Flynn Intel Group, was paid $500,000 to advocate on behalf of Turkey. Flynn blocked a military plan against ISIS that the Turkish government opposed, and was allegedly part of a plot to forcibly extradite a Turkish cleric. Time will tell whether Mike Flynn will be reviled as a 21st century Benedict Arnold. For now, we’re all just crossing our fingers and hoping that whatever this idiot told Robert Mueller as part of his plea deal can bring this administration crashing down.
As CEO of a social network with two billion users, Zuckerberg might be the world’s most influential purveyor of disinformation. With an algorithm seemingly designed to make people as ill-informed as possible, Facebook routinely promotes fake news websites like YourNewsWire and Freedom Daily. And sure, maybe it’s harmless stupidity to believe in hematophagic Hollywood elites, but some stories are downright dangerous. In India they stirred up unfounded fears of a cyclone in Mumbai. And in Myanmar, fake news stories spread on Facebook have exacerbated the nation’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of its minority Rohingya population. To top off this PR disaster, Zuckerberg went on a virtual tour of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. C’mon dude, it’s like you want us to hate you.
A shady real estate developer and former congressman, Mick Mulvaney made a name for himself as part of the Republican Party’s rabidly anti-government “Freedom Caucus.” Three years ago he was willing to shut down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood, explaining, “This is not about women’s health. It’s about trafficking in pieces of dead children.” As Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mulvaney wants to increase our already bloated military budget while gutting social programs. Defended draconian proposals to cut Meals on Wheels and eliminate free legal services for the poor by calling them “compassionate” to taxpayers. Putting Mulvaney in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is like handing matches to a serial arsonist.
Looks and acts like a guy who collects lawn jockeys. In 1986, Sessions was deemed too racist to be a federal judge, owing in part to his ’85 prosecution of three black civil rights workers for voter fraud, repeatedly calling a black assistant U.S. Attorney “boy,” and remarking that he thought the Klan was OK until he learned they smoked weed. But in 2017, he was deemed just racist enough to be Trump’s Attorney General. Unsurprisingly, Sessions used the power of the Justice Department to crack down on immigrants, support voter suppression, expand the failed war on drugs, and ease restrictions on abusive police departments. In one horrifying case, the DOJ tried to reveal an undocumented teenager’s abortion to an uncle who threatened to beat her if she had an abortion. Learned everything he knows about marijuana from Reefer Madness.
The Trump Family
The shadiest bunch of grifters to ever run this country. Trump Sr. — who shares ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier’s love of nepotism, Ian Smith’s racism, and Kim Jong-un’s rotund figure — would be better suited to running a banana republic. Spent the entirety of his first year in office waging war on journalists, judges, immigrants, protesters, Muslims, and Puerto Ricans. Fired FBI director James Comey because he knows his business dealings are dirtier than a piss-stained Russian mattress. Only legislative accomplishment was the greatest transfer of wealth to the ultra rich in modern history. Rewarded his vapid, superficial daughter (the one he likes) and son-in-law with cabinet posts they were woefully unequipped to handle. And the less said about his mutant sons Eric and Don Jr., the better. Lazy, ostentatious, and stupid — they’re a perfect symbol of our moribund empire.
Last year the #MeToo movement shed light on the pervasive nature of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by powerful people — usually men. So many depraved assholes were finally busted — T.J. Miller, Bryan Singer, Mark Halperin, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Danny Masterson, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, James Toback, Roman Polanski, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Clinton, Larry Nassar, Trent Franks, Twiggy Ramirez, R. Kelly — that they all get to share a single, shameful entry. Their bizarre actions were the stuff of nightmares. Louis C.K. engaged in forced exhibitionism while promoting the nauseatingly-titled film I Love You, Daddy. Accused rapist Harvey Weinstein cornered women and jerked off into potted plants. And Matt Lauer even had a button installed so he could lock his office door from his desk. Who would ever need something like that unless they were A) a sexual predator or B) a supervillain? Can we please banish these people from civil society and never look back?
Winner: Steve Bannon
A black-hearted political operative who headed Breitbart News and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with one goal in mind: keeping Western civilization melanin-free. After Trump’s surprise victory, political wonks mistakenly viewed Bannon as some kind of evil mastermind. Sure, this bloodshot, gin-soaked lover of racist literature is definitely evil. But mastermind? Bannon created a monster he couldn’t control by trying to harness the power of the alt-right to crush anti-Trump Republicans, boasting that “Pepe’s gonna stomp their ass.” Those same malevolent forces abandoned him after he failed to deliver in Alabama and cut ties with Paul Ryan’s anti-Semitic challenger. His decision to trash talk his ex-boss in a conversation with Michael Wolff ended with a harsh rebuke from the Toddler-in-Chief and an unceremonious exit from Breitbart. Now unemployed, he plans to resume his favorite hobby: luring small children into sewers.
*Flynn’s caricature, modeled after USSR propaganda posters, is only meant as a tongue-in-cheek reference to his business ties to Russia. I thought it would be ironic in light of the Republican Party’s love of red-baiting, but I’m not in any way claiming Flynn is a Communist. He isn’t. He’s just an asshole.