2010 through the words of those whose voices defined it -- for better or worse.
"This is an abuse of power. It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system and I'm very disappointed in the outcome."
-- Tom DeLay, November 25th
"You're running your mouth just to talk shit... Your such a faggot... Sorry that all you guys are jealous of my families success and you guys aren't goin to go anywhere with your lives."
-- Willow Palin via Facebook, November 17th
"Happy birthday @sn00ki."
-- John McCain via Twitter, November 16th
"You touch my junk, I'll have you arrested."
-- Airline passenger Jon Tyner to a TSA agent, November 13th
"The Carnival Splendor is a lot like America: huge, dysfunctional and going nowhere, but plenty of Pop Tarts."
-- Andy Borowitz, November 12th
"I want to thank the Kennedy Center, or, as it will soon be known, the Tea Party Bowling Alley and Rifle Range."
-- Tina Fey, November 10th
-- George W. Bush on whether he approved the waterboarding of suspected terrorists, November 5th
"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing."
-- Jon Stewart, October 30th
"This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise."
-- John Boehner, October 28th
"I don't think it's that big of a deal. I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you."
-- Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul campaign volunteer who stomped a female protester at a Senate debate in Kentucky, October 27th
"I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
-- Juan Williams, October 21st
"I think it's worth noting that in one of the alleged photos of him, he's pleasuring himself on a bed while wearing Crocs. And if you think about it, is there any better metaphor for the sad state of America today than an over-the-hill white guy lazily masturbating in plastic shoes?"
-- Bill Maher on Brett Favre, October 20th
"I just think my children and your children would be better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family. And I don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option. It isn't."
-- Carl Paladino, October 11th
"I'm not a witch."
-- Christine O'Donnell, October 4th
"I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah."
-- Rick Sanchez, September 30th
"My name is James, I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort… Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath. Please sit back and enjoy the show."
-- James O'Keefe, September 29th
"A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it."
Matt Taibbi, September 28th
“All faggots must die.”
-- Aide to Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss on a gay website, September 22nd
"I'd like to hear Barack Obama come out and renounce Lucifer. I don't recall hearing him do it."
-- "Author" Jerome Corsi, September 21st
"Those who are impotent and limp and gutless and they go on their anonymous, sources that are anonymous, and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references. It just slays me because it's so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that they would take these anonymous sources as fact."
-- Sarah Palin, September 2nd
"The Obama Administration has been a two year long Shark Week for Fox."
-- Cracked.com, August 29th
"The entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain. I can't guarantee that such an entity wouldn't make such a ridiculous remark, but no one recognizable as myself would ever make such a remark."
-- Christopher Hitchens on the possibility of a death-bed conversion to Christ, August 10th
"Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs' objective as 'the right to same-sex marriage' would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy -- namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages."
-- California 9th Circuit Judge Vaughan Walker, overturning Prop 8, August 4th
"Of course I have. I'm an actor for fuck's sake."
-- Inception's Tom Hardy on whether he's ever had gay sex
"The Sherrod story is a reminder — much like the 2004 assault on John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — that the old media are often swayed by controversies pushed by the conservative new media. In many quarters of the old media, there is concern about not appearing liberally biased, so stories emanating from the right are given more weight and less scrutiny. Additionally, the conservative new media, particularly Fox News Channel and talk radio, are commercially successful, so the implicit logic followed by old-media decisionmakers is that if something is gaining currency in those precincts, it is a phenomenon that must be given attention. Most dangerously, conservative new media will often produce content that is so provocative and incendiary that the old media find it irresistible."
-- Mark Halperin of Time magazine, July 27th
"If anybody reads the sainted, martyred Sherrod’s entire speech, this person has not gotten past black vs. white."
-- Andrew Breitbart, July 23rd
"At approximately 11:04 Eastern Standard Time, the American news media finally realized they kind of sucked."
-- Jon Stewart on the Rolling Stone story that led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal, June 24th
""‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
-- Sarah Palin via Twitter, July 19th
"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown -- in this case a $20 billion shakedown... I'm only speaking for myself. I'm not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize."
-- Rep. Joe Barton of Texas on BP, July 17th
"I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people."
-- BP Chairman Carl Henric-Svanberg, June 16th
"Don't tease the panther."
-- Glenn Beck in his novel The Overton Window, June 13th
"There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back."
-- BP CEO Tony Hayward, May 30th
"That woman is an idiot."
-- Keith Olbermann on Sarah Palin, May 14th
"(Calling someone a "tea bagger") is the equivalent of using the 'n' word. It shows contempt for middle America, expressed knowingly, contemptuously, on purpose, and with a smirk. It is indefensible to use this word."
-- Grover Norquist, May 6th
"From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented."
-- Texas Governor Rick Perry on the BP disaster, May 4th
"I now feel quite confident that in fact she is a borderline simpleton, fame-seeking narcissist whose self-interested grab for attention is likely doing further permanent damage to the Edwards family, including her daughter and her siblings. If her appearance on the Oprah show seemed like an unjust setup, then Hunter proved that, every once in a while, someone so amply meets all expectations for awfulness that it's impossible to muster anything other than loathing for them."
-- Rebecca Traister of Salon.com on Rielle Hunter, April 30th
"In other words, a year ago, it was all about 'I am John Galt.' This year, it's evolved into, 'I am Victoria Jackson.'"
-- Bob Cesca, April 18th
"The American People are witnessing the greatest lie that is cleverly orchestrated by President Obama and his whole administration. President Obama feeds people poison, giving them the idea that they are entitled to take from the wealthier who have lived and worked in a democracy that understands that capitalism is the only truth that keeps a nation healthy ... (It's) a socialistic, Marxist teaching, and with it, he rapes this nation."
-- Jon Voight, April 14th
"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. That is the problem."
-- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's second-in-command, April 13th
"The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues."
-- President Barack Obama, April 10th
"(Rielle felt that) Oprah was more 'spiritual' and would get her."
-- Spokesperson for Rielle Hunter on why Hunter agreed to grant Oprah a sit-down interview, April 7th
"Sarah Palin screaming about death panels? Listen, Sarah, if we were killing off useless people, you'd be the first to know."
-- Bill Maher, April 2nd
"They were very... touching words for the victims."
-- Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi on Pope Benedict XVI's personal letter responding to the priest sex abuse scandal, April 2nd
"Shut the fuck up."
-- Unidentified player at the NFL Scouting Combine to Tim Tebow, after Tebow requested that everyone in the room bow his head in prayer before taking the Wonderlic exam, March 28th
"Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just wasn't enough."
-- New Hampshire State Rep. Nick Levasseur on Facebook, March 28th
"What we do know is that when leaders on either side of the aisle go with this over-inflated rhetoric and they tell us it's the end of the world, it's Armageddon, the Marxists have taken over Washington, it's the end of the world as we know it, we're moving into socialism -- when they say things like that, that maybe some of them don't believe, and then the fringes believe it, and then they go out and do stupid things, well, I mean, it's all kind of tied together isn't it?"
-- Shepard Smith, March 26th
"This is a big fucking deal."
-- Vice President Joe Biden to President Obama during the signing of the health care reform bill into law, March 23rd
"I’m going to show you a lot more than tickle fights... Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe. I should have never allowed myself to be as familiar with my staff as I was."
-- Former Democratic New York Representative Eric Massa, March 10th
"I don't know. I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica."
-- Rush Limbaugh, March 9th
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something’s a story because Drudge links to it."
-- NBC's Chuck Todd, March 9th
"The multiculturalism movement must be unmasked for the fraud it is. There are superior cultures, and ours is one of them."
-- Mitt Romney, March 4th
"Extending unemployment benefits doesn't create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."
-- Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, March 2nd
"We're slaves to our different audiences, for MTV that's millennials, who are vastly different than Generation X. They're definitely less cynical -- they're more civic minded. Millennials are really about authentic reality and family. (That's why MTV) played up the camaraderie and family elements in Jersey Shore to appeal to them."
-- MTV Networks President Van Toffler, February 24th
"I was a big supporter of waterboarding."
-- Dick Cheney, February 15th
"Sarah Palin is a fucking retard."
-- Stephen Colbert, February 9th
"He chose to use his name, Barack, for a reason. To identify, not with America -- you don't take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Really? Searching for something to give him any kind of meaning, just as he was searching later in life for religion."
-- Glenn Beck, February 5th
"It's kind of funny, you know, celebrities usually go on Oprah with these intense, serious interviews to get support from the public after they had sex with their father or married Bobby Brown or something. Jay Leno went on because they gave him The Tonight Show back. So please, keep him in your prayers."
-- Jimmy Kimmel, January 29th
"Health care is dead!"
-- Fox News's Stuart Varney, January 20th
"Although it is true that Haiti was just, like, five minutes ago a victim of a random earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people, I’m going to skip right past the fake mourning period and point out that Haitians are a bunch of lazy niggers who can’t keep their dongs in their pants and probably wouldn’t be pancaked under fifty tons of rubble if they had spent a little more time over the years listening to the clarion call of white progress, and learning to use a freaking T-square, instead of singing and dancing and dabbling in not-entirely-Christian religions and making babies all the fucking time. I know I’m supposed to respect other cultures and keep my mouth shut about this stuff, but my penis is only four and a third inches long when fully engorged and so I’m kind of at the end of my patience just generally, especially when it comes to 'progress-resistant' cultures."
-- Matt Taibbi "translating" David Brooks's column on the Haitian earthquake aftermath and what it tells us about Haiti, January 18th
"I have a pretty thick skin and I've seen a lot of stuff and I can ignore a lot of stuff but when we were sitting there this morning and just watching that woman wail, there is nobody for her. Her husband is just trying to hold her down on a mattress in a field, just from going insane from her loss. That kind of loss is horrific in any culture, but in a culture where you're utterly... where you're alone, it just makes it all the more difficult."
-- Fox News reporter Steve Harrigan in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 16th
"And I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too."
-- Conan O'Brien, January 14th
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
-- Pat Robertson, January 13th
"I take pride in one thing: I leave NBC prime time the same way I found it -- a complete disaster."
-- Jay Leno, January 12th
"The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, 'Tiger turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'"
-- Brit Hume on Tiger Woods, January 4th
And hands-down the Quote of the Year...
"You should just fucking smile... and BLOW ME!"
-- Mel Gibson, July 13th