News & Politics

30 of the Most Loathsome People in America

From the right-wing Koch brothers to Mel Gibson to Michele Bachmann, here are the Americans we should be least proud of.

The following is a selection from the Buffalo Beast's50 Most Loathsome People of the Year:

--David & Charles Koch
Charges:
In a land filthy with noxious liars, these two are the filthiest. Their dad founded the ridiculous John Birch Society which claimed fluoridated tap water was a Communist mind-control plot—while his company built oil refineries for Stalin. And they’ve not fallen far from the despicable hypocrite tree. Koch Industries, the second biggest privately-held company in the country, generates its annual $98 billion in profits from coal mining, stealing oil from Indian reservations, refining and piping Canadian tar sands oil, and every other clear-cut, mountaintop-removing environmental abomination under the sun. How they make money is dirty; how they spend it is dirtier. From free-market-humping think tanks CATO and Heartland to Tea Party-backing Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, they invest vulgar amounts of money in misappropriating populist rage and misinforming the ignorant masses on climate change, tax reform, environmental policy, health care, and any other issue that could cut into their fat bottom line.
Aggravating factor: In a philanthropy-meets-disinformation masterstroke, the Smithsonian’s new $15 million David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins is a climate change whitewash, which teaches that destroying our environment is no big deal because we can just adapt and evolve.
 

--Justices Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas
Charges:
Their majority opinion inCitizens United v. FEC was the worst decision since Scalia instituted SCOTUS Hot Pants Fridays. In lifting a century-long restriction on corporate campaign spending, the Justices flouted a firmly-ingrained precedent and finally provided examples of the nefarious and mythical “Activist Judge.” The original case dealt with the very narrow issue of whether Citizen’s hit-piece/documentary Hillary: The Movie was “electioneering communication” under McCain-Feingold. A district court panel ruled that it was and, hence, could be regulated. Citizens appealed, and the Roberts court took it upon itself to hear the case and inexplicably broaden its scope into a corporate free-speech issue. This is the very definition of “legislating from the bench” and ensures our elections will be dominated by well-funded Swift Boating for the foreseeable future. If democracy was an experiment, this case blew up the lab.
Aggravating factor: “I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” -Chief Justice Roberts

--Jan Brewer
Charges:
Gila Monster eugenics gone horrible awry. Killed two people, and another ninety-six languish, unable to afford the life-saving transplants for which she slashed state funding. Cut health care for kids too. Hates health care. Horny for the NRA; signed law nixing concealed carry permits, which had no ill effects in 2010. None. Don’t worry about it. Not a problem. Seriously. It’s totally cool. Attempted to justify the draconian racial profiling law SB 1070 by repeatedly citing fictional desert decapitations. Lambasted as the Himmler of the Southwest, she protested, saying her father died fighting the Nazis. He was never in the military. He died in ‘51. From lung cancer.
Aggravating factor: “God has placed me in this powerful position as Arizona’s governor.”

-- John McCain
Charges:
If you were in a coma during the ‘o8 election or too young to remember McCain’s role in the Keating Five/Savings and Loan scandal, his stance against MLK Day or his betrayal of the dinosaurs, you may have been under the false impression that he was one of the few Republicans to not be a pandering piece of shit. 2010 fully erased that unfounded myth, as he flip-flopped like beached salmon on immigration reform, the border fence, climate change and the repeal of DADT in a race to the bottom against his Tea Party opponent J.D. Hayworth. Ultimately responsible for raising Sarah Palin to national consciousness.
Aggravating factor: “Today [the day DADT was repealed] is a very sad day.”
Sentence: McCainLemonParty.gov. (I am so sorry for putting that image in your head.)

-- James O’Keefe III
Charges:
Like Sacha Baron Cohen mixed with G. Gordon Liddy’s fetid stool. Embodies every sniveling, Docker-clad College Republican to ever overlook the 9th fairway and obtusely bemoan lower class entitlements. A Breitbart disciple, he sparked the ruin of ACORN, an honorable advocacy group for the poor, by dressing like a pimp and editing like Leni Riefenstahl. In college, he decried learning about foreign cultures because he considered it an affront to American values. Those same values went unperturbed by the white supremacist meetings he’s attended. This year, he got busted trying to mess with Senator Landrieu’s office phones and attempting to “seduce” CNN’s Abbie Boudreau on a boat with fuzzy handcuffs and porn. Lately he’s been stalking a New Jersey special ed provider in order eliminate any remaining doubt about what an asshole he is.
Aggravating factor: “It is time, as Hannah said as we walked out of the ACORN facility, for conservative activists to ‘create chaos for glory.’”
Sentence: Sold into Bacha Bazi.

-- Haley Barbour
Charges:
Looks like William Shatner if William Shatner ate a racist butter sculpture of William Shatner. As the oil and death washed ashore in the Gulf, the Mississippi Gov wooed tourists to “[c]ome on down” and “enjoy the beach.” The man was a tobacco lobbyist. He thinks the White Citizens Council is an upstanding organization. He doesn’t give a shit about you or anyone you know.
Aggravating factor: “I just don’t remember [overt racism] as being that bad.”
Sentence: Denied service at his favorite restaurant, blasted with fire hose, attacked by police dogs.

-- Andrew Breitbart
Charges:
Partly responsible for the abysmal online apothecary known as The Huffington Post and the career of James O’Keefe, whom he taught everything he doesn’t know. His Drudge-inspired bullshit finally hit the fan in July when he posted an out of context video excerpt of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod that implied she was a racist. But like the implication of Brietbart’s hetero marriage, the truth of the matter was the exact opposite.
Aggravating factor: “You [Max Blumenthal] destroy people. Because you try to destroy people’s lives through innuendo. Innuendo!”
Sentence: Outed by Matt Drudge.


--Tucker Carlson
Charges:
A consummate dildo, liar and CATO Institute lackey who has the annoying habit of telling real reporters, “I will destroy you!” Canned by every cable news channel, he slithered over to his own internet crap-fest the Daily Caller, where he had the sour grapes to smear Ezra Klein’s innocuous Journolist as a liberal media conspiracy—after he’d been rejected from joining the listserve himself. Sued for the rights for TuckerCarlson.com, then registered KeithOlbermann.com and used it to send fraudulent emails to a reporter in Philly, using Olbermann’s voice to snipe at his old MSNBC boss Phil Griffin. He’s the kind of guy who ties sweaters around his shoulders and snorts when he laughs. And he’s definitely not gay!
Aggravating factor:
Dan ABRAMS: Tucker, what did you do, by the way? What did you do when [some guy propositioned him in a public bathroom]? We got to know.
CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the—you know, and grabbed him, and—and—
ABRAMS: And did what?
CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually!

--Mitch McConnell
Charges:
Yet another example of the direct proportionality of evil to jowl size. In pronouncing that his most important job as Senate Minority Leader is to limit Obama to one term, McConnell accentuated the craven political discourse in which we now wallow. With two wars going and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the opposition leader might thinkthat, but he’s not supposed to say it. But the gaffe of the Senate’s most pandering shill barely registered in the era of “Don’t retreat! Reload!”
Aggravating factor: “I mean, let’s be honest. Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!”

--David Brooks
Charges:
The Bernie Madoff of American letters, every tortured construct and inaccurate assumption ever set to print by this annoyingly self-described “Bourgeoisie Bohemian” is a fraudulent attempt to justify why his house is more expensive than yours. Brooks couldn’t even wait for the bodies to cool after the Haiti earthquake before writing about how useless it is to send money because those voodoo-lovin’ savages simply can’t be helped.
Aggravating factor: “It’s time to find self-confident local leaders who will create No Excuses countercultures in places like Haiti, surrounding people—maybe just in a neighborhood or a school—with middle-class assumptions, an achievement ethos and tough, measurable demands.”

--Sharron Angle
Charges:
Imagine the most viscerally repugnant, deeply moronic and pathologically regressive position one could hold on any given issue. Good. Now imagine Sharron Angle cackling maniacally at whatever comparatively feeble hippie shit you came up with. This hyper-religious thing once crusaded against a high school football jersey because she thinks black is a wicked color. Whatever the issue—gay rights, women’s rights, human rights, Social Security, Scientology, science, Latino v. Asian, etc. ad infinitum—Sharron Angle’s backward position would embarrass most medieval peasants.
Aggravating factor: “Well it’s to defend ourselves. And you know, I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.”

--Mark Zuckerberg
Charges:
In the backhanded tradition of tech dickery, Zuckerburg brazenly pilfered the idea which allows you to neurotically tend that asshole from high school’s virtual farm while not getting any work done. The Facebook founder’s fortune comes in part from selling your information to third parties via default privacy settings. After vowing to donate half of his some $7 billion to charity, as transparent PR in the wake of The Social Network, he got into bed with the execrable Goldman Sachs and a Russian investment firm run by a convicted extortionist to recoup the loss. Invented “poking.” And he’s actually trying to trademark the word “face.”
Aggravating factor (from his business card): “i’m CEO … bitch.”

--Rand Paul
Charges:
Nicknamed and molded after a writer whose sheer intellectual repugnance spawned an entire generation of thinly-veiled Social Darwinists. He tried to equate racial discrimination with “free speech,” saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was tantamount to big government regulation. Cried, “Medicare is socialized medicine!” while hypocritically deriving half of his ophthalmology income from Medicaid and Medicare. Portrayed criticism of BP’s little “accident” as an “un-American” symptom of our “blame-game society.” And then there was that befuddling college prank where he and another secret-frat dildo tied up a girl, blindfolded her, made her do bong hits, dragged her to a creek bed and forced her to swear allegiance to “Aqua Buddha.” Way to go, Kentucky, he’s your Senator. You embarrass us all, you curb-stomping apes, for so many reasons, Ark-related and not.
Aggravating factor: “Well, the thing is, we’re all interconnected. There are no rich. There are no middle class. There are no poor.”

--John Boehner
Charges:
Cries so often he embarrasses Glenn Beck’s family. An incorrigibly lazy corporate puppet who owes his emotional instability to legendary Merlot consumption and his radioactive Naugahyde complexion to innumerable special interest golf junkets. His first notable act in Congress was to hand out tobacco lobby checks on the House floor before a vote on anti-smoking legislation; his PAC received $30K from Abramoff-affiliated tribes; he lived in an apartment owned by lobbyist John Milne; he knew about Mark Foley’s page perversion and sat on it. More recently, he compared the financial crisis to an ant and the weak Dodd-Frank bill to a nuke—while concurrently trying to block unemployment benefits. And the most egregious aspect of his drunken weeping on “60 Minutes,” about kids having the same education opportunities he did, is that he’s scored hundreds of thousands from for-profit schools and the student loan industry—even sponsoring legislation that would slash public loan funding and redirect it to his golf buddy’s company Sallie Mae. He’s the kind of amoral opportunist who would campaign for Nazi reenactor Rich Iott in secret, not because there is any chance in hell of winning, but because Iott’s stinking rich and bound to repay the favor.
Aggravating factor: “The only way we’re going to get our economy going again and solve our budget problems is to get the economy moving.”

--Pamela Geller
Charges:
The Woodward to Orly Taitz’s Bernstein, publisher of the mendacious blog Atlas Shrugs and co-founder of the hate group Stop Islamization of America. She was the bigoted fountainhead of hysteria over the “Ground Zero Mosque,” which is neither a mosque, nor located at Ground Zero, but rather a former, and totally sacred, Burlington Coat Factory. Her pathological falsehoods include, but are not limited to, the claims that the Bosnian Genocide was actually a clever Muslim mass-suicide/sympathy campaign, Obama—the undercover Muslim—is the love child of Malcolm X, his mom was a porno worker, and that Jewish Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is a Nazi. This lunatic makes Ann Coulter seem the very model of civility, reason and grace.
Aggravating factor: “I don’t know where it is in America that you can’t make jokes or make fun.”

-- Mel Gibson
Charges:
Once again, he said something so reprehensible that we were forced to hear about Mel Gibson. Drunk, stupid, dumb, misogynist, racist, drunk, raised-by-a-Nazi, anti-Semitic, drunk, persecution complex, fan of torture, narcissistic, moronic, drunk, Uber-Catholic, stem cell Neo-Luddite, inconsequential, drunk Mel Fucking Gibson. We’re tired of hearing about Mel Gibson.
Aggravating factor (to Baby-momma McFakeboobs): “You look like a fucking bitch in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers it’ll be your fault. All right?”
Sentence: Thunderdome.

-- Eddie Long
Charges:
The Ted Haggard of the Dirty South, he used his position as Baptist mega-preacher to coerce at least four young men into having sex with him, lavishing gifts, money and weird biblical justifications on them for even weirder DL quasi-marriages. Embezzled $3 million from his own charity. Recipient of a Bush-era $1 million faith-based initiative grant for his hypocritical quest to “cure” homosexuality, which is the modern-day equivalent of skin bleaching and marks the ignominious end of the civil rights movement. Looks tight in a spandex onesie.
Aggravating factor: “Men can look attractive when they are dirty. We see sweating, dirty, hardworking men on television all the time and we say to one another, ‘There’s a macho guy.’”
Sentence: Huge lawsuit settlement; sex with wife.

-- Kim Kardashian
Charges:
Not content with tacitly rooking half-bright teens by endorsing any weight-loss scam and junk food joint to cross her path, 2010 marks the year she entered the world of outright usury. Her and her sisters’ short-lived, pre-paid Kardashian Kard—because alliteration is a sound reason to enter the kredit industry—was rife with what the Connecticut Attorney General called “pernicious and predatory fees.” Inexplicably famous; no redeeming skills. Her “reality” show is poorly written.
Aggravating factor: “I know people think we drive around in these nice cars and we do whatever we want and our parents will pay our credit cards, but that’s not the case. Sure, my parents were generous. I got a nice car at 16, but at 18 I was cut off. I’ve worked really hard.”
Sentence: Sex tape with DJ Jazzy Jeff; one year in a coal mine.

--Joe Barton (R-TX)
Charges: A former oil company consultant, “Smokey” Joe is a potent combination of corrupt and cretinous. As former Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he commissioned the widely debunked climate change skeptic Wegman Report, feeding the authors spurious data. He was a driving force in shaping the fossil fuel industry boondoggle known as the ‘05 House Energy Policy Act. He can’t fathom the concept of continental drift. And he thinks wind power will increase global warming because wind is “God’s way of balancing heat.”
Aggravating factor: “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation [BP] can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.”

--Roger Ailes
Charges:
His entire life is an object lesson in pernicious mendacity. Before being named Fox News President/Rupert Murdoch henchman, he was a consultant for Nixon, Reagan, Elder Bush and Rudy Giuliani. Party to News Corp.’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association; ultimately responsible for Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon’s fiendish email, which ordered Fox employees to use the term “government option” in place of “public option,” and more recently, responsible for Sammon’s missive requiring staff to challenge the “veracity of climate change data.” In granting the Tea Party media saturation, and employing demagogues like Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity, Ailes has absolutely destroyed the impartiality of the fourth estate and made a large segment of the population ever more stupider.
Aggravating factor: “They [NPR] are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.”

 

--Glenn Beck
Charges:
Cries so often he’d embarrass himself—if he could feel embarrassed or ashamed about anything. In his early radio career he made an on-air call to mock a man over his wife’s miscarriage. And he’s gotten progressively more vile. This year, he besmirched the antiwar legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with his contemptible military worshiping “Restoring Honor” white power religious rally. But it was OK, he demurred, because he didn’t stand on the same exact step of the Lincoln Memorial. His dyslexic game of “Pin the Paranoid Delusion on the George Soros” directly inspired at least three would-be assassins (in 2010). A Latter Day, Romper Room Father Coughlin who screams “eugenic” as frequently as sane people say “hello.”
Aggravating factor: ”You’re going to have to shoot [democrats] in the head.”

--Sarah Palin
Charges:
An ideologically abhorrent dunce whose answer to everything—caribou, wolves, Julian Assange, feminism, science, decency, accountability, the English language, Democratic incumbents—is to shoot it dead. From conspiring to advance her ham-legged, clopping daughter on “Dancing with the Stars” to successfully endorsing a slew of faux-revolutionary Tea Party imbeciles, she’s a persistent, violent rash on the entire body politic.
Aggravating factor: “But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.”

--Don Blankenship
Charges:
A coal baron of such cartoon villainy, he makes Lex Luthor seem an incompetent hack. As CEO of Massey Energy, it’s Don’s legal obligation to cut every corner and maximize profits—profits he then uses to bankroll his own candidates, slander incumbent judges as pedo-lovers, and throw nightmarish mountaintop removal parties featuring Ted Nugent. The death of 29 at the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in April left Blankenship less remorseful than combative, as Massey actually blamed the Mine Safety & Health Administration’s new ventilation requirements. This is despite the fact that Blankenship once sent out a company memo that read, “If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal (i.e., build overcasts, do construction jobs, or whatever) you need to ignore them and run coal.” But in a way it is the MSHA’s fault; it’s simply cheaper for corporate criminals like Massey to pay the occasional million dollar fine than it is to ensure the safety of its workers. It’s just smart business.
Aggravating factor: “Most people wouldn’t believe that coal is the most important thing to the environment.”


--David J. Lesar – Halliburton CEO
Charges: Although his company’s moved its HQ to Dubai, he’s the kind of capitalist malefactor only America could tolerate. Halliburton charges U.S. taxpayers $45 for a six-pack of Coke in Iraq and $100 for a load of laundry, and its subsidiary KBR’s shoddy shower wiring has electrocuted soldiers to death. Like some crooked home contractor writ enormous, Halliburton knowingly provided cheap, faulty cement for the Deep Water Horizon and just hoped no one would notice. We noticed, asshole.
Aggravating factor: “Will things go wrong? Sure they will; it’s a war zone. But when they do, we’ll fix it. We always have. … We’re serving our troops because of what we know, not who we know.”

--Charlie Sheen
Charges:
This last year Sheen did something so horrendously unfunny as to disturb all decent people. And in addition to taping another season of “Two and a Half Men,” he paid a prostitute to have dinner with him, introduced her to his wife, got double-soused, locked the hooker in a closet and trashed a hotel room.
Aggravating factor: The whole 9/11 Truther thing.
Sentence: Trade places with Emilio Estevez.

Written & Illustrated by Ian Murphy, with contributions from M.D. Caigoy and Paul Fallon. Secular guidance provided by Josh Bunting.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Election 2018
Environment
Food
Media
World