Skip to comments.50 MOST LOATHSOME NEW YORKERS (These goons hate everybody!)
Posted on 04/01/2004 7:30:47 AM PST by mhking
50 MOST LOATHSOME NEW YORKERS
"How come you guys are such haters?" someone asked us recently. Shocked and insulted, we shook our heads. Our biggest issue thus farlast September's Best of Manhattan issuewas a compendium of positivity. On any given week we're founts of compassion: lovers, not haters; uniters, not dividers. Our Chelsea offices burst with fresh lilacs. We adopt kittens and support the arts. We volunteer in our communities.
Haters? You must have us confused with those monsters at New York Family.
When asked to elaborate, our detractor referred to last year's inaugural "50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers" issue. Almost a year after its publication, her impression of New York Press was still stamped by this feature. So a quick word about 2004's Top 50.
This list is not about hate. More like highly enriched concern. In defining the word "loathsome," we cast a wide net and caught all manner of frauds, blowhards and bloodsuckers. Sometimes the people displaying this behavior are representative of unseen forces and larger groups; other times they're self-contained symbols, their loathsomeness obvious.
By nailing these 50 men and women to the cross, aren't we making New York an even darker, nastier place?
Nope. Like the matter of the universe, loathsomeness can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only be more justly reshuffled. If you can't beat all the loathsomeness in the world, we figure, you might as well catalogue it.
AN ART BIMBO whose daddy happens to be movie royalty rides in on the tired back of Bill Murray and is proclaimed a new film genius. The genius' film, Lost in Translation, is the most pretentious, overrated movie of last year, about an alienated Yale brat who feels so lonely in her five-star hotel that she strips down to her panties and curls up on the windowsill every half-hour (accompanied by My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain, just in case you didn't get how much pain she's experiencing). Even Translation's pretty palette and indie minimalism couldn't hide the empty dual core of Coppola and her Tokyo alter ego. L.A. can have her in 2005; this year the bicoastal princess of pout kicks things off at #50.
YEAH, IT WOULD be nice to have a pro team back in Brooklyn. It would also be nice if wings sprouted from our shoulders and we could fly like pixies. Wannabe Batman villain Bruce Ratner pays no heed to the heinous traffic mess a new arena would create for Flatbush and Atlantic Aves. He speaks nothing of the people forced out of their homes, nor of the enormous amount of public dough needed to fund his private enterprise, nor of the dozens of buildings being condemned at ludicrously undervalued priceseven as his nearby, failed Atlantic Center Mall depends on City Hall back-scratches to pay rent. A true visionary, Ratner can only see his multi-billion-dollar dream extending heavenward. The people of Brooklyn are just diorama props for investor display, pouring soda and serving hot dogs at minimum wage.
WHAT UP, GANGSTA? Look at you, up from the underground with mix tapes and DVDs in hand, riding the coattails of Jam Master Jay's murder into the TRL ether. We probably could have handled the Teen People cover, but the Teen People centerfold was off the cliff: You posed in a bulletproof vest for a glossy magazine aimed at 12-year-old girls. Did you know that the press release for your Grammy performance had you next to Celine Dion and Richard Marx? Time to go get fitted for a pair of MC Hammer pants and bring your act to Foxwoods.
Drew Barrymore & Fabrizio Moretti
CUPID SHOULD BE flambéed for piercing this female-condom poster ho and her pubic-haired li'l drummer boy. This is the kind of celebrity couple one dreams of razoring into bite-sized nibbles and feeding to baby pigs. If they're not strolling through Soho, stopping every 10 feet to tongue wrassle, they're sticking their hands in one another's ass pockets, making Fab's 15 minutes extra super special. We acted like this, tooin junior high.
Captain of Staten Island Ferry
PERHAPS HE REALLY was inspecting the lifeboats, as some claim. Or maybe he was pounding his pud or taking a nap, as many suspect and reports indicate. Whatever he was doing, he wasn't anywhere near the helm when the Staten Island Ferry plowed into the pier, which is where the captain of any ship should be when the vessel sets sail or makes land. His behavior after the accident was even worse: laying low and hiding behind his legal counsel. Michael, don't even think of taking the MTA's conductor test this spring.
"THERE IS NOTHING we have found that is at a significant level," said Bonnie Bellow of the EPA in October 2001, "that would say you should not come here to live or work." The lawsuit filed in March against the EPA claims the agency showed "a shockingly deliberate indifference to human health" and will no doubt highlight this and numerous other statements made by Bellow and her boss, Jane M. Kenny, who has called the lawsuit "preposterous." Last fall, Bellow again assured wary residentsthis time of 114 Liberty St.that their building was safe, in a statement sounding a lot like those she dutifully issued in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Back then Bellow's EPA colluded with a company called the Ambient Group and local realtors to fake test results of "visible dust" inspectionsall to keep real estate prices up. You got a bridge to sell us, too, Bonnie? We'll buy if you jump.
AIRTRAINthe light rail system serving JFK from LIRR's Jamaica Station that replaces the free shuttle bus between the A train's Howard Beach station and airport terminalsrolled in last December, past due (after a death-dealing accident during trial runs) and $400 million over budget. Now commuters riding the subway to JFK have to get aboard this automated rip-off and pay an additional $5 each way, with no discounts for seniors or the disabled. No matter that the 8.1-mile AirTrain tour takes as long or longer than the free shuttle bus ride, or that drop-off points are farther from terminal entrances and expose travelers to the elements. No matter that airport employees say AirTrain service is so erratic they wind up taking cabs between terminals. Who's the title-deserving New Yorker behind this insult to the world? Gov. George Pataki and Port Authority's Charles A. Gargano share the bulk of the blame, but when we called Port Authority to ask who's officially in charge, AirTrain spokesman Pasquale DiFulco couldn't be bothered to do his job and hung up on us. You win, dick.
WHEN THE DEVIL talks, he uses language like this: "Our solutions deliver complete, industry-proven, content extraction and analysis applications enabling research-intensive organizations to create new opportunities, shorten time to market, increase productivity and gain competitive advantage." Don't have the faintest idea what that's all about? That's probably because you don't use technology developed by Pridor's oxymoronic ClearForest company, which enables clients like the FBI, the Dept. of Homeland Security and Dow Chemical to surreptitiously sift through publicly available content to learn More About You. Increasingly, it is pointy-headed, anonymous entrepreneurs like Pridor who are teaching the Man how to tailor his pitch or craft his search warrant to ensnare that meddlesome forest animal irritatingly resistant to the cage: the unwitting, ordinary human being.
THE BLINDING WHITE cords flowing out of my sublimely waxed ears say it all: I'm in no mood for talking, and my income bracket makes cumbersome CDs so unnecessary, so Second Wave. With thousands of songs from my iPod at my polished fingertips, I can now walk through life effortlessly, angelically, shielded by the anodized aluminum of my futuristic listening device. I can strut with confidence and disinterest past those in my chosen path. I'm cut off from your dirty world by my ear buds and their enhanced sound and noise-suppression features. I'm a creature of advertising, a walking cliche with 25-minute skip protection and Volkswagen dreams. Shit, my profile even resembles the faceless, platonic form in the billboard.
THAT THIS RECOVERING alcoholic calls his white-guy blues ensemble J.D. & the Straight Shot is bad enough. That Dolan owes his entire bloated life to his rich daddy and has adopted the music of poor black people as his hobby is worse. Maybe Dolan's love of the blues made him cut 80 MSG workers this past winterdon't all good blues songs start, "Done lost my job
"? Sadly, few classic blues songs start "Standard & Poor's put the company I inherited from my dad on CreditWatch" or have refrains about SEC probes. Or how the hockey team you own sucks. Or how your cable company tied for last place in a 2003 Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Survey. Then, maybe our pudgy billionaire bandleader would have something to sing about. 40
DEUTSCH REPRESENTS THE latest trend in that most loathsome of New York traditions: the selling of adolescent greed, egomania and narcissism as charisma and depth of character. The chief of David Deutsch Associates says he only hires "Jews, chicks and fags," and is known for tearing off his shirt during office hours and sayingwithout ironythings like, "I can kick the ass of any CEO in advertising!" Think Steven Seagal meets Charlotte Beers. The "Elvis of Advertising" has been dabbling with a CNBC talk show and even told New York magazine that he'd consider running for mayor. Qualifications: good at selling shit, does lots of pushups. Look out, Bloomie.
WHAT LIBERAL DICKWAD? Milhouse is all grown up: He has a goatee, a PhD from Stanford and an online diary where he proclaims his love for Jackson Browne. Liberal bloggers are holding it up like the fucking Alamo, but his run-in with Dennis Miller last month left Alterman looking like he was about to get his head dunked in the toiletfor the third time. Even if you agree with him about Ann Coulter and Alexander Cockburn, it's hard not to root against this smirking, center-left prick who likes his dinner dates rich and famous and his fois gras seared. "He constantly wants to remind you that he's Eric Alterman," one of his interns revealed in a rumor-confirming Village Voice hatchet-job, "[and] that he knows a lot of important people, and that you're a lowly intern." Dear future self-respecting Alterman interns: If this creepy Bruce Springsteen groupie ever cops an attitude, just take a breath, start laughing and print out some of his "Alter-Reviews" at random. If you're lucky, you'll hit a Jackson Browne box set. 38
KLOSTERMAN ISN'T A loathsome New Yorker so much as a loathsome creation of New York, a North Dakota circus monkey desperately trying to ape the role of an authentic Midwestern, beer-drinking mullet-head. In his excruciatingly stupid collection of essays, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman declares that Billy Joel is "great," Steely Dan "more lyrically subversive than the Sex Pistols and the Clash combined." The author goes on to compare himself and his yuppie girlfriend to Sid and Nancy because they're both so "self-destructive." Lester Bangs would have vomited down this guy's shirt before shaking his hand.
National Director of Anti-Defamation League
FOXMAN'S ADL HAS paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and civil suits for various abuses over the yearslike spying on the African National Congressand yet continues to enjoy the endorsement of law enforcement officials and a cowed media. The superhumanly self-righteous gasbag makes $450,000 as Likud's point man at the highest echelons of U.S. thoughtcrime enforcement, where he smears critics of Israel with allegations of anti-Semitism and honors the memory of the Holocaust by allying with oven-chasing lawyers and those who would downplay the Roma genocide to bolster the case for Jewish exceptionalism. Even fellow Sharon-shill Bill Safire wanted him to resign after his role in the Marc Rich pardon. For the book on Foxman, see Norman Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry (Verso), written by the child of two survivors. Foxman helped block the publication of one of Finkelstein's earlier books in 1998. Just another day at the ADL office.
HIS FACIAL EXPRESSIONS evoke William S. Burroughs' "commissioner of sewers" character. And maybe that's just what 69-year-old Allan H. "Bud" Selig is. Major League Baseball's greed machine has shifted into high gear under his reign as he mishandles one crisis after another. For years he's childishly trumpeted increased attendance as an actual barometer of the sport, while relying on MLB's dubious marketing schemes and false-fronted emphasis on "internationalizing" baseball to carry all the public relations weight. Once a below-average auto dealer, he's Wisconsin through and through, but Bud's office is up there on Park Ave. with the rest of the league royalty, probably pissed that he goes unrecognized when eating at nearby Smith & Wollensky.
THE SLOE-EYED CEO of the Bank of New York just revealed that he paid himself more than $10.6 million this yearthat's the compensation that we know aboutproving once again that in the world of finance, it is always possible to keep the scandal out of Washington and go back to your old inflated pay scale as soon as the bad press dies down. Renyi was running BoNY at the time the bank was caught in the biggest money-laundering scheme in the country's history, but managed to survive by cutting his bonus that year to a paltry five mil and letting two subordinateshusband and wife Peter Berlin and Lucy Edwardsassume full responsibility for the billions in dirty Russian money that was somehow (unbeknownst to him) being pumped through his bank. With profits finally up again this year, Renyi and his officers are again respectable citizensand back to being some of the highest-paid bankers in America.
The Senator puts even his peers to shame with his media whoritude. During the Waco hearings, he grandstanded by berating the hapless survivors of that tragedy like an alcoholic school principal. Always trying to protect us from ourselves by pushing for laws to ban anything that seems dangerous in the slightest, but at the same time doing everything he can to help car owners, cellphone users and his friends in the (formerly) Big Five accountancy firms. His weekly Sunday press conferences never amount to anythingexcept in those cases in which he's taking credit for someone else's legislation. Schumer's most recent loathsome act? Oh yeah, calling on the EPA to exempt New York from new cleaner gas laws so gas prices wouldn't go up.
CHUCK SCHUMER'S EVEN lesser half physically may resemble the androgynous "Pat" character from Saturday Night Live, but she has the political instincts of Rudy. In classic Giuliani fashion, the senator's wife tried to install a seven-foot-tall chain-link fence along the Queensboro Bridge without approval from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. She often (incorrectly) says that her job is "to keep the traffic moving," which even includes through city parks: Weinshall opposed making Prospect Park car-free, possibly out of unfounded concern that overflow traffic from the park would be displaced to Prospect Park West, which happens to be where she and Chuck live. In the aftermath of the Staten Island Ferry crash, she screamed for investigations on-camera, but took little action when the microphones disappearedher attention, apparently, turned back to protecting union boss Mickey McFarland, accused almost two years ago of bilking the DOT by falsifying the records of waste-disposal runs.
IT STILL BOGGLES the brain that so many fell for this brawny brat's 2003 rehab memoir, A Million Little Pieces. Clearly there's a huge audience starved for dimestore, parodic Hemingway machismo. And Frey, the self-proclaimed "greatest writer of his generation," is the man to give it to them. He boasts about getting in real old-time fistfights with his fellow junkie patients and about beating a priest almost to death for daring to touch Frey's very masculine thighclassic 1930s retro-prose, homoerotic and homophobic at once. His characters are as anachronistic as his writing; there's a steelworker "as hard as the material he works with" and endless tearful farewell scenes with a fisherman, who actually says, "I ain't much for words, kid." Frey's fellow patients all talk like outtakes from a Spencer Tracy movie, pasted into Frey's poorly written, 400-page ode to his family-funded self.
New York Times reporter
CONSIDERED A DOUBLE expert in weapons of mass destruction and Islam despite lacking both a science background and Arabic language skills, Judith Miller is more than a veteran lecture-circuit fraud. By relying on Pentagon officials and Ahmed Chalabi for her "scoops," she was instrumental in pumping bogus intelligence into the media echo chamber in 2002 and 2003. Thousands of dead later, she's been outed by nearly every serious watchdog journal in the country but is still defending herself. When the Army unit with which she was imbedded decided to abandon its fruitless search for weapons, she threatened to write an unfavorable story for the Times unless the search was resumedforcing what one officer called a "rogue operation." Considering Miller's sources, it shouldn't shock us that no WMD ever turned up. It should shock us that the bitch still has a job.
CAN WE TALK? Can we shop? Can this whiny yenta with nine lives kindly shut the fuck up? The bleach-blond medusa of Puh-lease stabbed a rental car agent in the eye with a pen in 2002, and over a 30-year career has done more to birth and reinforce negative stereotypes of her kind than a million New Jersey housewives rushing the sale table at Nordstrom on a Sunday afternoon. Her celebrity gossip website is a proud exercise in vertical integration gone wildno product goes unmentioned, no designer goes unblownwhile her QVC line of beauty products"Nobody's perfect but why not come as close as you can?"might have mentioned all the money she's dumped at the plastic surgeon's office to anglicize her nose, raise her breasts, fix her knees and, we can only assume, revitalize her labia. Oh, rightshe does mention that, every week at Fez, during her abominable mother-daughter show. Is there a heart still beating beneath that tight, leathery exterior? Or was it replaced with a bionic annoying bitch machine? Will it ever stop?
SLAVING AT A used bookshop may be a nobler vocation than trading pork bellies, but is it too much to ask that someone make eye contact through his or her Elvis Costello glasses? Is it unreasonable to expect the occasional acknowledgement of a customer's presence? Do new employees take classes to learn how to display utter contempt? Screw the Strand and its narrow aisles and indecipherable shelving practices and overpriced used books and staff of petulant clerks. They can ram all eight miles of books up their mopey asses. Next to them, the people at Barnes & Noble are downright motherly.
ex-CEO of New York Stock Exchange
WHEN FORBES.COM CALLS you "dangerous," you're either Hugo Chavez or a Wall St. monster so grotesque you threaten to bring down the house on the whole party. During the hunt for Grasso's shiny scalp, the SEC subpoenaed 65 former NYSE directors, seeking records relating to Grasso's pay package of $188 million. After finally stepping down as chairman and CEO, Grasso gave $48 million back, but his lawyer Brendan Sullivanpreviously seen defending Oliver North in the Iran-Contra hearingsmade sure there was plenty left over for legal fees. Grasso may be no worse at root than any other Wall St. douchebagcertainly no more than his meatball-stained kingmaker Kenneth G. Langonebut the oily dome and snake-in-the-garden grin put Grasso over the top in 2003.
THIS CANADIAN-BORN tabloid succubus has been getting a hail of belated bad press for mistreating and overworking her underlings. Despite being among the highest-paid editors in publishing, she reportedly still hogs the promo merch like a shifty intern. Her Evil Queen act would be forgivable if her formula weren't, as described by her former employer the Toronto Star, "sex, shopping, clothes, celebrity hairstyles, gossip and more sex." Her big genius move at Us Weekly was to run pictures of sweatpants-clothed celebrities without makeup. She alsocall the Pulitzer committee!ran a slutty picture of Kobe Bryant's accuser on the cover of the Globe. Anyone who's ever wondered in post-9/11 reverie Why They Hate Us need only ponder this woman's career. Better yet, do what one of Fuller's former colleagues allegedly did: Foul her lunch with bodily fluids. 26
The Hilton Sisters
IT IS SAID that in pre-revolution France, aristocrats would dress up as peasants and roam the countryside. A few years later, their heads sat atop spikes. Let this be a little cautionary tale for the Hilton girls. Just because you've gone to Arkansas and fisted a cow doesn't mean you're anything but the same dirty debutantes with bony behinds. If you're smartand based on those empty, coke-burned stares, you're notyou'll just drug yourselves into plush oblivion and leave the world's celebrity porn sites alone, lest the wrong psycho take a fascination to you.
WHEN IN PUBLIC, neo-hippie glam rocker Lenny Kravitzaka Moe Ronhas been known to employ a man to follow him around and carry the flowing tail of his royal cardigan sweater. According to Vice magazine's Jesse Pearson, who once witnessed this crime with his own eyes, Kravitz's sweater chauffeur carries the hanging garment at an appropriate distance, "like a bridesmaid." We knew Leonard Albert Kravitz was a lip-glossed prima donna who spent two hours a day touching himself in front of a full-length mirrorbut a bridesmaid for a boutique cardigan? That's 51 percent loathsome, 49 percent humiliatingfor all of us. Don't stop fucking yourself, Lenny.
IN THE ANNALS of New York cartooning, never has there been a more loathsome character than this vile little child-molesting bear. Foul-mouthed and foul-smelling, Mr. Wiggles gives teddy bears come-to-life a bad name. His partner and creator, Neil Swaab, deserves at least half the blame for the crimes of this Frankenstein anti-Pooh. Not only did the sinister Swaab once pee in Tony Millionaire's soda, he still laughs about it.
THE QUEEN OF broadcast journalism infotainment, Diane is ABC News' incessant ingenue that we hope one day interviews a hungry Siberian tiger. As Good Morning America's 50-something going on 30-something blond and blue-eyed eternal debutante, she coyly sucks pudding from Wolfgang Puck's spoon, creams over celebrities and moguls of any stripe, cries like an insipid crocodile for the victims of fêted daily tragedies and bats her eyelashes while touting her Nixon-White-House-past. For her current multi-million-dollar-per-year contract, Diane guarantees an overdose of saccharine sufficiently strong to send viewers into a coma, but not strong enough to flush the fourth-place network's morning ratings out of the toilet.
IN THE SEA of slimy New York fashion publicists, Pierre Rougier is a giant squid: oozy, tentacle-wielding and capable of inflating to a tremendous size. It's a mystery why his designer clients don't bolt from the nose-in-the-air, thumb-up-the-ass Frenchman. With all the tact of Courtney Love and foresight of Martha Stewart, Rougier brown-noses fashion royalty to the point where even they notice, all the while shafting, with barely a shrug, anyone not endowed with a wardrobe allowance. But revenge will be sweet. Gucci execs have been urging Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere to cut the cord, and Anna Wintour, the famously frosty editrix whose repugnance for Rougier is her only shared trait with the rest of humanity, has repeatedly called for his perfumed head.
Cast of Queer Eye
for the Straight Guy
OF THE MANY Sambo queers who have captured the pop-cultural spotlight since Stonewall, none has wreaked as much damage as the minstrel cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Kyan Douglas, Ted Allen, Carson Kressley, Jai Rodriguez and Thom Filicia have taken the self-conscious, hyperstylized stereotypical homo to the next level. Their show's popularity doesn't signify growing acceptanceit just makes it easier for America to see gay men as effeminate fashion snobs. There's no other way to say this: The "fab five" are the most annoying faggots we've ever seen on television.
HE CAME FROM the Washington Post as a sniveling insider notable for daring to report that Tim Robbins threatened him with violence for reporting a simple truth. As gossip columnist for the Daily News, Grove has been flummoxed by the city and is reduced to covering petty internet bickering long after it's old news. Check out his sterling reporting on Martha Stewart, hacking away several days after the verdict to tell us that Hillary Clinton has sympathy for a perjurer. Big scoop, Lloyd. This would usually be incompetent instead of loathsome, but the stakes were raised once you conned the Daily News into paying massive bucks for your groveling.
CALL IT HUMOR for slow hipsters: Cross is condescending, meandering, undisciplined and...not funny. His HBO comedy special opens with him screaming a lot and pretending to speak Italian. If only Andrew Dice Clay could have jumped out of the front row with two sets of brass knuckles. His new DVD, Let America Laugh, follows him cross-country as his smug brand of humor falls on deaf ears and loud mouths. He's literally cursed off the stage in Little Rocka show he likens offstage to "babysitting retarded puppies." Apparently it never occurred to Cross that he got the cane not because they couldn't handle his acidic New York witer, he's from Georgiabut because even hicks have taste. To understand why Cross requires a beatdown, imagine Jeff Foxworthy working his more "down home" jokes at the Apollo.
IT WAS BAD enough when Moby started singing; now he's singing and talking at the same time. When not crooning school-girl poetry (see "We Are All Made of Stars") or desecrating classic punk songs between hissy fits on stage, the techno prophet cum vegan ethicist of the early 90s is schooling credulous fans on a wide range of contemporary issues. Between lessons in Nicaraguan history and tales of Rummy's early-80s holidays in Baghdad, Moby pontificates in prose that would make even DJ Spooky cringe ("We're so inherently locked into our temporal and corporeal selves that we're irrevocably locked into subjectivity") and Michael Stipe wince ("cos at the end of the day peace is better than war, right?"). We're thankful for "Go" and the car commercial songs on Play, but mister, please put your space helmet back on, get in your space ship and don't stop till you hit Pluto.
Dean of the Actors Studio
IT'S NOT JUST that his sycophantic interviewing technique has transcended butt-kissing to become all-out analingus, or that he's sullied the stage where Pacino performed Mamet with paeans to Ben Affleck. It's not the fey cadence and maddening British affect. It's that Lipton has become so obsessed with full-penetration starfucking that he's allowed the Actors Studio to deteriorate into a fifth-rate factory whose graduates aren't prepared for a two-liner on Law & Order. In the days of Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg, the Actors Studio was considered more important than the Yale School of Drama; today it competes with continuing education classes at the Learning Annex. Memo to Lipton: Taking it from Jay Leno and Ethan Hawke isn't doing much for your students. And you look ridiculous.
Access Hollywood Reporter
IT'S A NOBLE thing to insult and infuriate celebrities. But the key is to do it out of contempt for them and in a spirit of humor. (Remember the UK's Dennis Pennis?) When you're just another paparazzi who pisses off Tom Cruise by being an even bigger asshole than he is, that's a rare accomplishment in loathsomeness. Normally we'd applaud someone who offended Oprah Winfrey, mortally embarrassed Keisha Castle-Hughes and disgusted Nicole Kidman, but we can't begrudge anything to the Access Hollywood reporter and presidential cousin Billy Bush. Just imagine the man Billy Crystal called "the most annoying man in show business" in a red-carpet screaming match with Brad Pitt's publicist over allotted mic-time. Now say you don't want to see Angelina Jolie smash his nuts into five easy pieces.
WHERE'S AL QAEDA'S crack cyber division when you need it? When edited by Elizabeth Spiers, Gawker was occasionally funnyvapid and cloying, but occasionally funny. When Spiers left the site to slog buckets for New York magazine, she handed the reins to Choire Sichayes, folks, that's pronounced "Cory", and yes, it's a dudewho turned Gawker into an unreadable circle-jerk for the cream of New York City's wannabe media asshole crop. To read Gawker now is no longer an enjoyable five minutes in the morning; it's stumbling into a horrifying online cocktail party hosted by a humorless, obnoxious prick and attended by his even less interesting obnoxious prick friends. Go ahead and gawk, but there's nothing to see here.
David J. Moore
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER of 24/7 Real Media, Moore is the Alex Rodriguez of corporate loathsomenessan annual Triple Crown threat. How many people can claim a biography like this: His company is one of the world's largest purveyors of pop-up internet ads, and it once owned another company, Exactis, which was one of America's most notorious spam-producers. 24/7 also does "e-mail marketing." Moore and Co. later sold Exactis to Experian, one of the world's leading credit-scoring companies. And here's the kicker: As a young executive in the cable industry, he helped found the Cable Health Network, which later became the Taj Majal of Depressingly Transparent Narrow-Demographic Targeting media outlets: The Lifetime Channel. If you want an autograph, he works at 1250 Broadway. Better yet, email him at email@example.com.
Sarah Jessica Parker
WHEN GIRLS THINK another girl is beautiful, but guys know she isn't, call it the Sarah Jessica Parker syndrome. Parker is a dual monument to millennial American female vanity and inanity. Spoiled and groomed to the point of psychosis, Sarah Jessica Parker is the final dead-end in the American feminine odyssey. She dresses like a drag queen, a slave and sometimes a clown. Her hair is bleached and processed literally to the breaking point: A hairdresser revealed that all of Parker's hair once broke off beneath her ears. The actress speaks like an 11-year-old girl and has less to say; lacking utterly in charm, she compensates with screamy clothes and pointy shoes. Now that she is at long last gone, we're hoping new icons will spring up to replace her, and we're hoping they'll be wearing no-name jeans, going light on the eyeliner and reading a newspaper every once in a while.
THE EVANGELICAL EX-SMOKER behind tobacco.org won't stop until everyone knows what he and the Canadian Health Ministry know better: Smoking is really bad for you. Like most single-issue activists, Borio probably has a good heart; it's his nicotine-stained self-righteousness that makes him loathsome. On a web page titled "A few of our losses," there is a list of more than 100 celebrity smokers who've diedfrom Gracie Allen to Krzystof Kieslowski to Warren Zevon. Tucked in there is one man who might have smoked, but whose health problems can't be reduced to the tabac: John Candy. To hijack the heart-attack death of the morbidly obese Candy is disingenuous at best, despicable at worst. Why not John Belushi? Or maybe Kurt Cobain? No doubt they puffed every once in a while. Hey, Gene: Suck our cancer sticks.
SHE'S BEEN SHOWING up all over the press in NYC with her questionable organization, New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (NYC CLASH), attacking Bloomberg's smoking ban (which was actually more flexible than Pataki's), but we won't take issue with her one-person activist "group." Instead, we'll attack her for denying what even five-year-olds can figure out: Second-hand smoke is poisonous. We believe that people should be allowed to have bad habitsjust don't try and pretend that smoking isn't toxic or that it doesn't occasionally infringe upon non-smokers.
THE JOHN DENVER of development has been given quite a double gig: advise the U.N. Millennium Project and direct Columbia University's Earth Institute, both mammoth programs whose missions are nothing less than to reduce world poverty, disease and illiteracy. The celebrity professor teaches no classes, grades no papers and, according to a handful of Columbia students, carries himself like the Zeus of Morningside Heights. But Sachswho often starts speeches on sustainable development with openers like, "When I was having dinner with Bono "should have been injected with air bubbles after overseeing Russia's "shock therapy" during the 90s, which decimated the economy and saw the country's assets get gobbled up by Yeltsin's cronies and their advisors at Harvard. Nice contribution to the new millennium, Jeff. With friends like you, Africa doesn't need ebola.
"OHMIGOD. IT'S RIDIC," exclaimed the daughter of an Exxon executive when asked about the backlash against her born-again activism. Less ridic is the ditzy disdain this liberal Dennis Miller with tits has for the rest of humanity. "Evil is in the face of every frat guy that ever raised a beer cup and went whoo-hoo," Garofalo once observed in a tv plug. But that was before her political phase, so maybe Janeane's evil bar has been raised. In a 1996 Playboy interview, Garofalo explained: "I don't want to see Friends anymore, even though I am friends with some of the Friends." She's a name-dropper who claims to hate the names; a counter-culturist who likely reads Adbusters over a Starbucks mocha latte; a muddled activist who protested Bill Clinton's bombing runsat least starting in 1998but still hangs a picture of the man on her wall (she's shaking his hand). "I never imagined that I would never care about dumb things anymore. I never imagined I'd be a person who could transcend that kind of nonsense," she told the Progressive. We never imagined a second-rate comic could so bug the shit out of us.
THE MAN AND his nest of orange hair refuse to die peacefully. Donald J. Trump represents New York to Americans the way George W. Bush represents America to Europeans. The Tower casts a shadow over New Jersey in the morning and Long Island in the evening, while the tax breaks Trump receives for his projects cast a shadow over New York City's budget. Despite his wealth, Trump's resume of significant good works could be spoken without a breath by Brenda Vaccaro doing a Playtex commercial. Even he admits that his pro bono re-engineering of Central Park's troubled Wollman Rink was to give his own kids a place to skate. The Donald's primary public service since 1987 consists of taking out full-page ads in the major New York dailies calling for the death penalty for five defendants in the Central Park jogger casewhose convictions were later overturned. Bill Gates has donated $100 million to fight AIDS in Africa; Donald Trump's contribution to the war on HIV consists of having his supermodel prostitutes tested before going in bareback. He claims to build things people like, but if most Manhattanites had the chance, they'd throw him off the island in a pair of cement Pumas.
WE NEVER CARED for Howard's mooky blatherings, but we support him in his 11th-hour conversion to free-speech champion. Too bad the jackass waited so long to take a standa more chickenshit millionaire you'd be hard-pressed to find. He choked when he ran for governor, helping instead to elect the biggest tax-and-spend Republican in New York history (who gave us two of the biggest subway fare hikes in history). With his money and fan base, Stern could've taken on the criminals at the FCC a long time ago, but as always, the smut jock went ostrich, burying his face in a pair of fake tits while the Constitution got crumpled. Come to think of it, scratch the opening line. We hope Ashcroft locks him away for 10 to 20.
THIS SURLY REDNECK gives the term "clubhouse cancer" a new name. Now the 39-year-old right-hander gets to wear pinstripes, bad back and all. Brown, who'll certainly be on the disabled list by the first day of summer, duped the Dodgers in 1998 into giving him baseball's first $100 million contract. He also had the team pay for 12 private jet trips for his family to fly from his hometown of Macon, GA to select games, plus ground transportation and eight premium season tickets. The Dodgers paid Brown $400,000 in exchange for these demands as part of the deal. Brown says he likes being a Yankee because, like all homesick redneck ballplayers, he feels "closer to home." He also said he hopes to "sneak home" on the occasional off days to see his kids play ball down in Georgia. Well, Kevin, when you come north with the team, tell us how well your rebel flag goes over in the South Bronx.
THERE WILL ALWAYS be famous dictators, notorious anti-Semites and stand-out despots, but great hate movements always need lesser-known worker bees to actually sit down and write that Stalinist constitution, those Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Enter Michael Flocker, the very self-satisfied author of The Metrosexual Guide to Style. Giving in to a "lifelong urge to tell people how to live and behave," Flocker became the first person on Earth to formally codify the disgusting ethos of the self-hating, self-castrating consumerist vanity craze known as metrosexuality, in which men frantically unload their disposable incomes to become high-octane transvestites. Carry a slim money clip or billfold (to avoid unsightly bulges), and make sure your belt and your shoes match when you push this callow, pedicured mannequin-conformist in front of the No. 9 train.
Rupert & Lachlan Murdoch
WHEN BRITISH TELEVISION playwright Dennis Potter learned he had terminal cancer, he named the tumor "Rupert." A bloody, distended hemorrhoid might have been more apt. The Aussie-born antichrist is alive and well, enjoying U.S. citizenship and avoiding his tax obligations, while Fox News continues to offer the world a glimpse of what American fascism would look like. In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, all 175 of Murdoch's papers argued for war and threw editorial acid on those who disagreed. But if you're one of the millions of people who can't think of a single good reason why Rupert Murdoch shouldn't die a slow and painful death next week, here's one: Lachlan, his tattooed, 32-year-old idiot-savant heir currently serving as the publisher of the New York Post. As a newspaper reportedly losing between $15 and $20 million each year, the Post is tied with the pyramids for biggest vanity project in historyall so that Little Lachlan can have a star-spangled tabloid in New York. If there is a chunk of the WTC that hasn't yet fallen to Earth, let it crash onto father and son the next time they're dining at the Carlyle.
YOU PROBABLY SLEPT through the details of the Bloomberg and City Council plan to sweep up and sell NYC's sidewalks to Clear Channel. You were able to sleep because the plan came under soporific euphemisms like the Street Furniture Bill and the Sidewalk Safety and Beautification Act, both supported (the latter co-sponsored) by Eva Moskowitz, the former Vanderbilt history professor representing the 4th district. Moskowitz and her colleagues in Council are working with the mayor to revive Giuliani-era legislation to eliminate vendors and independent newspaper boxeslegislation repeatedly shot down by courts on First Amendment grounds. Self-described as "one of the City Council's most prolific legislators," Moskowitz has also championed laws to address such pressing issues as baby-changing stations, noise control near nursing homes, the problem of bicycles on sidewalksbikes, the city's transport villain!and excessive horn honking. Quality of life is one thing, but screw Moskowitz and her efforts to turn New York into a suburban safe zone for small children, media conglomerates and Madison Ave. business associations.
CMO of NYC
IF LOATHSOMENESS HAS a job title, it's "Chief Marketing Officer, New York City." Give Joe Perello a snow-leopard trench coat and a pink fur bucket hathe's the pimp-daddy, and your neighborhood is the busy, busy bitch. Aren't there laws keeping pimps out of schools? A March audit by the city comptroller showed that Perello's deal to give Snapple exclusive access to all public buildings was crooked, and quoted Perello as saying that no other bid had been seriously considered before he awarded the $166 million contract. What does the former Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother have in store for the "great brand" of New York City? An interview with a marketing trade publication betrayed Perello's enthusiasm for this city as giant media canvas: "[B]us stop shelters, phone booths, ferryboats, and light poles [can capitalize on the] broad appeal of the City of New York as an idea, as a way of thinking, as an attitude [that] can help sell more soda, can help sell more insurance, or cell phones, or whatever you happen to need to sell at the moment." In 10 years, when Blade Runner pops up on tv and you think it's a documentary, this is the man to hunt down and thank.
FOR RUNNING AROUND the streets of Lower Manhattan without visibly crapping himself, Giuliani was elevated from the world's most hypocritical goon to He-Man, Master of the Universe. Forget his violating federal handicap laws, his wars on rent control and community gardens, his refusal to test DNA rape kits until the five-year statute of limitations was up, or his corporate real estate giveawaysRudy is now considered a Great and Heroic American Mayor. After office, Rudy wasted no time cashing in on his immaculately conceived new stature, riding into a post-mayoral sunset of private sector millions, five-figure lectures and flattering rumors about his political future in the GOP. It was toward this last end that Rudy came out in defense of Bush's Ground Zero campaign ads last month. And why not? He's co-chair of the Republican National Convention host committee, and the tragedy saved his sinking ass too.
Congratulations, Rudy. Though we prayed you'd fade away, your insistent grandstanding, lingering influence and threats of future public office leave us no choice. For actions past and present, you are hereby crowned 2004's Most Loathsome New Yorker. If we didn't have a rule against it, you'd probably be here for life.
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The Senator puts even his peers to shame with his media whoritude
The draft version had Hillary in number 1, but the author woke up with a horse's head in his bed and put Rudi in that slot instead.