Monday, January 01, 2018

Clown of the Year 2017 - Total Jackassery Category

Now for the Clown of the Year 2017 - Total Jackassery Category.

And not surprisingly, we had a good number of jackasses from which to choose. For example, we had Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who in describing Tweetie-pie's trip to Saudi Arabia in June, positively gushed over the fact that "there was not a single hint of a protestor anywhere there during the whole time we were there, not one guy with a bad placard."

The host interrupted to suggest that maybe that was true because Saudi Arabia is, y'know, a dictatorship, but that didn't stop Ross, who enthused as how "there was certainly no sign of [protest], there was not a single effort at any incursion. There wasn't anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood."

Then there was old Clown pro Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who took his best shot at the award.

Daesh - that is, ISIS - took credit for a suicide bomber attack and siege at Iran's parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 7. At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing the next day, Rohrabacher said the attack could be a "good thing" and actually proposed that the US government support ISIS in attacking rival groups and even suggested the attack was part of some secret foreign policy of TheRump.

He later issued a statement "clarifying" his position, which, until it was corrected - a clarification of the clarification - assumed Khomeini is still alive. He died in 1989.

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was a serious contender and has to be considered first runner-up.
On September 28, when asked by a high school student whether he considered health care a right or a privilege, Johnson not only went with privilege, he also said that food and shelter and clothing should also be considered "privileges," reserved to those who can afford them.

"What we have as rights," he said, "are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things."

So in other words, there's only so much health care - or food or clothing or shelter - to go around, so it's up to you to be able to pay whatever the market demands and if you can't, well, you just didn't "use your opportunities." Johnson did not explain how you can have a "right to life" if you don't have food, shelter, clothing, or health care.

What - in a great old phrase I like - capped the climax was that not only did Johnson, in addressing "rights," refer to the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, but the actual quote is "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Which means the very source he cited says those are not the only rights. [Emphasis of course added.]

Our final nominee before announcing the winner was a sort of a crossover in that he could just as easily been in the Basic Stupid group.

His name is Mike Shoesmith, and he is the self-styled executive editor of something called PNN News and Ministry Network although I couldn't for the life of me find out what the PNN is supposed to (or ever did) stand for.

Anyway, writing on his "news and ministry network" which is actually a blog on October 19, he argued - and I do mean he argued, he went on at some length, this was no tweet, it was a column - he argued that "when a man sees a naked or partially dressed woman a chemical reaction happens in his brain ... giving him an involuntary surge of pleasure," which he apparently regards as a bad thing. But this means that, he turns to the criminal code now, "without his consent" she has "applied or attempted to apply" a force against him.

Which means that, he rambled, that if a woman wears "suggestive clothing" around a man she is committing criminal sexual assault against him. Seriously.

So what could top all of that? Because yes, something could and did.

So the winner of the Really Big Red Nose for Clown of the Year, Total Jackassery Category, is, how could it be otherwise:

"Time" Magazine.

Amal Clooney is an accomplished, international human rights lawyer who made a powerful speech to the UN General Assembly on March 10 calling on the world body to investigate human rights crimes by ISIS in Iraq, especially against the Yazidis, a religious minority who ISIS regards as devil worshippers to be wiped out. She specifically called on Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send a letter to the Security Council so it can vote to begin investigating those crimes.

And how did Time decide to tweet about this story? With an image of her dancing with George and a headline about showing her "baby bump" at the UN.

And if that isn't award-winning jackassery, I can't imagine what would be.

They weren't the only ones, but while we might - emphasize might - expect it from outfits like "Entertainment Tonight" or "E! News" or tabloids like The Mirror in the UK, to see it from as establishment and mainstream a publication as Time just serves to emphasize how deep-rooted and pervasive sexism in our media really is.

"Time" magazine: Clown of the Year 2017, Total Jackassery Category.

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