Years ago, Matt Taibbi put together a bracketed, March Madness-style competition that pitted the various hacks in the world of journalism against each other in an effort to see who would emerge as the single worst offender. It was actually called "Wimblehack," though for the life of me I can't remember who ended up being the Last Hack Standing at the time, at least as Taibbi saw it.
Well, in the spirit of that, Salon's Alex Pareene is apparently making it a December tradition to count down the year's most impressive practitioners in the ever-broadening journalistic sub-genre of absolute hackdom. Do yourself a favor and keep up with his picks over the next couple of days or so. These are my favorite moments so far:
#17 John Stossel
"Stossel’s a ridiculous local-news 'consumer watchdog' reporter who discovered Milton Friedman. He’s the worst of simple-minded sensationalist television news masquerading as a maverick because he’s 'politically incorrect' (a term that when self-applied invariably means 'an asshole')."
#16 Andrea Peyser
"Peyser is the New York Post’s resident joyless puritanical scold with a particularly Murdochian obsession with sex. Week in and week out, her column — which has expanded to become an entire page in the physical paper — details precisely which women are hookers, sluts, gold diggers and tramps (hint: most women, besides some wronged wives) and which men are whore-mongers and perverts (every Democratic politician alive)."
#14 Joe Scarborough
"Nothing sums up everything hatable about cable news and politics and possibly America itself better than 'Morning Joe,' MSNBC’s daily extended advertisement for Starbucks products and Joe Scarborough’s odd belief that he is funny and charming... Every morning he and Mika Brzezinski -- who either pretends to be a weak-willed flighty moron because she thinks it’s necessary for her continued professional success as Joe’s oft-belittled second banana/screwball love interest or who is actually tragically stupid -- perform the world’s most self-satisfied kaffeeklatsch (along with Willie Geist, the former Tucker Carlson sidekick and a man born to play the guy who dies first in a war movie)."
#13 Megyn Kelly
"I imagine that perma-sneer, that disgusted look of disbelieving contempt that remains plastered on Kelly’s face during the entirety of 'America Live,' disappears the minute the red light on top of the camera goes off, because Megyn Kelly doesn’t actually give a shit about the National Day of Prayer or seriously believe the New Black Panther Party represents a threat to democracy. She’s just happy to have a job doing something she loves: being a reliable bile-delivery system for a massive political messaging organization."