If you aren't too crazed already by the pre-Christmas partying, shopping, shoveling or last-minute work overload, I want to pre-empt awards season with my own awards representing the good, the bad and the ugly of what occurred this year in the media and in the world of politics and business.
Drum Roll Please......
The Johnson & Murphy "I looked into his eyes and could see his sole" award goes to Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi. I thought the endless replaying of the video and the television newscasts tended to treat it as a harmless prank. More than a touch unprofessional in my view. By the way, the journalist was able to fire off two shoes in 2.5 seconds, before a fellow journalist (?!) [not the Secret Service] hauled him down! Wait for the "second shoe" theory to take hold in the blogosphere.
And the Rod Blagojevich Chutzpah Award Goes to...
Bernard Madoff who mastered the Ponzi scheme to rip-off a who's who of sophisticated investors and savvy people including Stephen Spielberg. The real disgrace is that the SEC were notified specifically of what he was doing, but failed to move in on this fiasco in time to protect investors.
The Sarah Palin "I can see Russia from my backyard" award goes to....
Sarah Palin who followed her disastrous Charlie Gibson interview by giving equal time to ....Katie Couric! This would fall into the official definition of insanity which is a "persistent belief that doing the same thing in the same way will lead to a different result."
The "is it just me or did I miss the point of that?" award goes to...Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe who conducted an elaborate signing ceremony on Parliament Hill to commemorate a TWO PARTY coalition [then spent the next week loudly proclaiming that it was NOT a THREE PARTY coalition - that Duceppe guy and his Bloc Quebecois party weren't really part of it]. That old communications rule that 'visuals cancel out content' could not have been better illustrated. 018639.bin
The "what can I say he's still a KGB thug" award is permanently given to Vladimir Putin. You have no equal sir!
The Marie Antoinette "let them eat cake" award goes to AIG executives who partied on the taxpayers' dime days after their bail-out....the Big Three CEOs who flew to Washington on their private jets with their hands out...brings to mind the old Russian proverb...'the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.'
"The fundamentals of the economy are sound" award goes to John McCain who forgot the golden rule of politics - when the public is worried, you gotta be worried too.
So, it's been quite a year - exciting politically, disturbing economically and sickening internationally. However, hope is in the air. People are inherently optimistic and they want to see politicians work together in a serious way to tackle the serious problems that we all face.
It appears that President-elect Obama gets that. He is reaching across the aisles, and seems determined to truly make a difference. Hopefully, he can rein in people's expectations and govern as well as he campaigned.
I will be going to the Inauguration as it is a truly historic occasion and I'm truly looking forward to it.
See you next year! Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Joyeux Noel, Felice Navidad and....Happy New Year!!!!
All the best