The Winners of 2006
Ok, in no particular order
You Tube Not only did they sell out to Google before the lawsuits, it became a clever subversive tool to send video around the world. You could track campaigns because they could upload their ads.
Sasha Baron Cohen-Borat was probably the slickest auteur act since Kevin Smith made Clerks. Not only is the movie incredibly funny, but he made his movie, his way and made fans along the way. It also is a brutal expose of racism in America without the preaching of American filmmakers.
Morgan Spurlock- 30 Days was in some ways much better than Super Size Me, it proved that he was more than a one trick pony. Seeing people trying to live on minimum wage is compelling TV.
Ned Lamont-No, he didn't win, but he proved you could run and run hard, and people tend to forget thatls possible
Jon Stewart-At some point, maybe when he was interviewing Ted Koppel, the Daily Show crossed the last line between parody and news. Yeah, they still write jokes and we still laugh, but it has, in effect replaced Nightline for informed commentary. Stewart is my kind of guy, a no-bullshit, straight up questioner. He will not be subtle if he dislikes you or think you an idiot. Tucker Carlson and Bob Novak are still shocked that he really holds them in contempt, no bullshit, actual contempt.
Stephen Colbert-When he got on the stage at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, they thought he was going to do one of those house nigger comedy routines comics like to do for the famous. Instead, he came out like a ninja, subtle, deadly and by the time he was finished, it was the verbal equivilent of the end of Kill Bill pt 1, blood and bodies everywhere. And at the end, Colbert walked off as if he had gone for a drink.
The two men are a very effective team. Stewart comes out swinging, when he finishes, you know you've had your ass kicked. With Colbert, he's standing on you before you realize what happened. But the result is the same. You got beat
Keith Olbermann-He was famous before Stewart had a regular job. Aaron Sorkin had based a character on him on his show Sportsnite. He was renowned for being a pain in the ass around the industry. Most of his employers were glad to see the back of him at some point.
But his real problem is that he's smart, maybe too smart. He can smell the bullshit and then calls it. And that does not make you a hero with bosses. His last boss, Rick Kaplan, freaked when he went on his anti-smoking jihad after the death of Peter Jennings. If he could have, he would have consigned him to ESPN radio with Dan Patrick, his long time partner in crime. Replacing him with Dan Abrams gave Olbermann needed support while consigning Rita Crosby into the outer pits of hell.
But, you can say two things about him, he is loyal to his crew, and he has balls. Maybe when he realized he wasn't going to be a network anchor, or maybe when he got the freedom to do what he wanted, something in him clicked. He stopped playing the game and invented his own.
Which mean he had the freedom to go after that pompous asshole Bill O'Reilly. At every turn, he fucks with him and does it for real. And unlike Terry Gross, he can't be bullied. At well over 6 feet, if O'Reilly had the balls to step to him, he would get his ass kicked. Instead, he runs like the bitch he is.
It wasn't that he did commentaries, but that he was informed. He mixed anger and information with outrage. There's always a risk of staging them, doing them for effect, feeling forced, but the one he did on 9/11 meant the most to me, because it was something only a New Yorker could say and could understand. Those buildings and the people in them were real, as real as grass and rain. Not too many people got that. He did.
Kirsten Gillibrand- Few candidates deserved to win more than she did. John Sweeney was an arrogant clown who thought he could bully newspapers. Instead, a candidate who might actually work for her district and not drink with frat boys will now serve them
Joe Sestak- Well, he was the candidate who deserved to win even more. Curt Weldon was scum and may well be a crook. He attacked Sestak's sick five year old daughter. He deserved to lose. Badly. And he did.
Bob Menendez- They called him a crook when he wasn't. Even some inside the Democratic party wanted the seat held by someone different (white). But he ran hard and ran that prick Kean down like the dog he was.
Matt Stoller-Most of you don't know Matt, or have heard of him obliquely or through the mail list which does not exist, but let me tell you something, while the media calls Atrios and Kos, it's Matt Stoller doing the day in, day out work which makes a lot of what happens online possible. Matt's blog, MyDD, is the center of a lot of what happens online without people noticing it.
Juan Melli and CT Blogger-They do the dirty work of local and state poliitcs, which will never lead to glory or riches, but is needed because if you think federal government has problems.....these guys are heroes to me
Amanda Marcotte-There are a lot of female bloggers, there are a lot of good writers, but Amanda doesn't get credit for walking into Pandagon when Jesse Taylor went off to work for Ted Strickland. It's hard to take over someone else's idea and make it your own. She's got that forthright, honest, funny voice which needs to be heard more often and given more credit.
Mike Stark-I know his antics embarassed some of you. Y'all need a cup of shut the fuck up. Because he did what needed to be done, and what the Webb campaign hadn't the balls to do. He exposed a sitting US senator as a loon and put everything he had in it. And will get no reward, little praise. But he's the kind of citizen we need when facing someone as nuts as George Allen. He's a hero to me, because he decided to challenge a US senator with questions and words.
And that takes balls.
Howard Dean-Karl Rove would still be bossing around Denny Hastert if it wasn't for Dean. He went to 50 states and got people elected.
What was his reward? Jim Carville's insane rant calling for his firing. Something no one else thought made sense, but he spewed it out.
Howard Dean is bringing back the Democratic party to the people who elected it. And some people in Washington don't like that.
For helping return both Houses of Congress to the Democratic Party,
You sir, are the winner of the year.
posted by Steve @ 3:05:00 AM