Barbara Walters is presenting her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 on the TV tonight.
If anybody knows fascinating, it’s Baba WaWa.
But what of those 10 least fascinating people of 2009? Those who tried their very worst to become celebrities; to be fas-cin-atin’? Why don’t they ever get any ink? Well that’s all about to change.
Presenting the 10 winners of this dubious distinction —- in descending order of their effectiveness to be ineffective:
10. Rod Blagojevich: He started in December of last year but held on for the first few months of 2009 as the Gov. of Illinois who tried to sell President Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. He was eventually kicked out of office (a badge of honor in Chicago politics.) But through all that shady political business, Blago, or “Bad Hair” as some in the media referred to him, tried to parlay that into celebrity. He even tried to get on a reality TV show —- the ultimate qualification to make the list of faux celebrity. But it was his wife who got the reality TV gig —- which didn’t do much for her attempt at being fascinating either. Blago’s lame attempt at keeping the media interested (the public really never was) came to a screeching halt when Blago appeared on David Letterman’s show and said “I have wanted to get on your show in the worst way for a long time.” To which Letterman quickly replied: “Well, you’re on in the worst way, believe me.” Ouch.
9. The White House State Dinner Party Crashers: The Virginia couple’s last name is Salahi, but the media hardly ever uses it —- they’re just called the Party Crashers. If anything, they proved what lengths people will go to try to get their own reality TV show. The Party Crashers are not fascinating, just fascinated with celebrity and becoming celebrities. They also showed how dangerously close anyone could get to the President of the United States. Not that the Party Crashers would dare threaten the safety of the president —- they want to be Jon and Kate, not Lee Harvey Oswald. Both the White House and the Secret Service were issued a wake-up call on this one. The Party Crashers will be remembered not for getting a reality TV show but rather on a special report on TV about how vulnerable national security is becoming. Too bad for the Party Crashers, they got into the White House, but as far as getting their own reality TV show, they’re all dressed up with nowhere to go.
8. The family of the kid they said was in the hot air ballon: Another case of everyday people obsessed with doing anything to get attention which they believe would land them a reality TV show. The media dubbed this Balloon Boy, even though the fact of the whole fake ordeal was that the boy was never in the ballon. The TV news media was caught with its collective guard down on this one, creating a sense of impending doom as the hot air balloon glided through the Colorado sky. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was already trying to assess blame before the damn ballon landed. The parents, especially “Balloon Dad,” always knew what was going on, and although no one was in the balloon, the media sure was taken for a ride.
7. Carrie Prejean: Miss California of the “opposite marriage” remark and the autoerotic sex tape. At first blush, Prejean showed some moxy by giving a, uh, straight-forward remark opposing gay marriage during the question and answer phase of the Miss USA Pageant. However, she went on to, uh, blow it when she became the right wing’s Joan of Arc and a conservative sounding board against the same-sex marriage threat to our Christian nation’s way of life. She did succeed at one thing: Prejean was more of a right wing-nut diva than her idol, Sarah Palin. Prejean eventually became irrelevant once she started to be a parrot for Fox Noose talking points. There’s no faster way to be anything but fascinating.
6. Kate Hudson: The perky actress who is the daughter of veteran perky actress Goldie Hawn tried her best to keep her celebrity going by becoming the main squeeze of Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. Kate’s last few movies were duds (is anyone going to admit they paid to see “Fool’s Gold” or “Bride Wars”? Those movies are running on HBO now and I still won’t watch them.) So when an actress has to keep trying to be fascinating they start dating athletes or become cougars. Or both. But you have to be in Madonna’s league to, uh, pull that off. At least Kate appeared to be a good luck charm for the Yankees, because they won the World Series. The ongoing joke after the Series was that the Yankees should re-sign Kate. Word is the perennial losing Chicago Cubs want to sign her up. Hey, if she isn’t a good luck charm for one of the players, maybe she could pitch.
5. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson: The Tool on the Hill (Capitol Hill) yelled at President Obama when the prez was giving a speech to both Houses of Congress. No doubt that the outburst was pre-meditated and that Wilson either drew the short straw or was proud enough to lead the Republican Party into looking like a bunch of knuckleheads, as it turned out. The GOP tried to make him a hero, a celebrity worth being one of their most fascinating people of the year. Instead he became a punchline and will only be remembered for his childish “You lie!” outburst for as long as he serves in public office. A sure-fire nominee for Lump of the Year.
4. Michael Steele: The head of the Republican National Committee most certainly kept trying to make himself one helluva celebrity in his position, where he rose to his level of incompetence. At first blush, Steele seemed to be picked to be the GOP’s answer to “Hey, we have a black guy in a position of authority.” Steele tried in vain to make the GOP hip and hoped independents and young people would hop on over. He even tried to get stuff shirts like John “Bad Tan” Boehner to speak in urbanese. Steele’s Web site was originally called something like “Wha’ Up?” He changed it. Probably got pressure from Jabba the Butt Limbaugh, whom Steele had to apologize to on occasion. Steele had to tone it down, just in case of a snowball’s chance in hell that he’d ever be close to being as fascinating as The Butt.
3. Mark Sanford: The Republican Love Gov of South Carolina, who told his underlings and his wife and kids that he was hiking the Old Appalacian Trail over Father’s Day weekend when he was really in Argentina shaking up with his mistress. To Sanford’s credit, he didn’t appear like he wanted to be fascinating or a celebrity —- at first. But then there were more press conferences and more details —- and the whole thing just made for more late night talk show jokes and charges that, like other politicians who get caught with their hand in the, uh, cookie jar while professing to be good husbands and fathers with impeccible family values, are exposed to what they really are: hypocrites.
2. Tiger Woods’ mistresses: Still developing and will likely carry on into the new year. Count on the fact that we ain’t heard nothin’ yet and the women will show up on Larry King’s show with attorney to the seldom-fascinating and celebrity-deprived Gloria All-dred, a perennial contender in this category, who has easier access to the star-dudded than their cocaine connections.
1. Levi Johnston: This cougar boy-toy is a prime example of how America is obsessed with creating a celebrity who is void of personality, charisma, talent , savvy and smarts and whose only attribute is that he’s of the moment. His claim to fame is that he could’ve been Sarah Palin’s son-in-law because he’s the daddy of the baby born out of wedlock to her daughter, Bristol. Levi is being, uh, handled by reptiles who think they can make a lot of fast money out of a lot of nothing. Their first advice on a carrer move for the 19-year-old: pose naked in a magazine that disguises itself for women but has a, uh, large gay following. What’s next, a cruise? Levi represents how obsession with instant celebrity can easily be obtained. He could’ve easily been at home party crashing at the White House with the Salahis, or leading the media on a wild goose chase believing he was in that hot air balloon. If he doesn’t watch out, the geniuses making his decisions for him may suggest he become the next Kate Hudson.