Let’s be honest: 2015 was a year of terrible news about terrible people doing terrible things. Honestly that’s how most years are, but this year seemed full of nimrods showing up on cable news to shout ridiculousness before disappearing into the moronic ether. Here are ten people that we really, truly, sincerely hope we will never have to see or write about again.
It really seemed like homophobic civil servant Kim Davis had a lock on the Worst Person From Kentucky title this year, but then the state’s populace decided to vote Matt Bevin into office. In less than two months, he’s started the process of reversing minimum wage hikes, eliminating Medicaid for the uninsured, and removing the previous governor’s restoration of voting rights to for non-violent ex-felons. In honor of Davis, he even changed the state’s marriage licenses so that county clerks no longer have to sign them lest their religious values be compromised.
How to choose the year’s worst political candidate? It would be easy to go for the obvious, of course, and put Mr. Trump on the list. On the other hand, there’s also Carly Fiorina, the candidate who has, as business expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld describes, as an “almost psychopathic denial of reality.”
After the August debates she shot from eleventh place in the polls – stuck at “the kids table” for the first debate – all the way up to third place. But once she refused to admit that her Planned Parenthood/baby fetus story was completely fabricated, people started to lose interest and now she’s back down in seventh or eighth place.
For better or for worse, 2015 was the year that straight people started having discussions about transgender issues. Transparent won Emmys, Caitlyn Jenner got her Vanity Fair cover, and feminist relic/Celebrity Big Brother alumna Germaine Greer popped out of the woodwork to express her unasked-for opinions.
On the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show this month, Greer went on at length about Jenner: “I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that doesn’t turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel… Just because you lop off your dick and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a fucking woman.” Oh geez. Using words and walking upright doesn’t make you a human either, does it?
— Legal Hermit (@The_LegalHermit) December 18, 2015
In a year when a lot of cops literally got away with murder, it was bittersweet watching Daniel Holtzclaw’s birthday conviction on 18 counts of rape and sexual battery in early December. The Oklahoma City officer and former college linebacker assaulted thirteen black women, many of whom were sex workers, using his badge as a means to intimidate and rape them. It’d be nice to never see him or his kind ever ever again. EVER.
“I am not a heartless, child-kicking, racist camera operator,” said Petra Laszlo in a newspaper editorial after she was caught on film behaving like a heartless, child-kicking racist camera operator. The woman knocked over Syrian refugees as they crossed the border from Serbia. Laszlo apologized in September, but the next month decided to sue one of the refugees “as a matter of honor.” Ugh. Just… no.
Providence, Rhode Island’s “Dancing Cop” was been entertaining tourists and tormenting locals with his noisy cop whistle for a quarter-century at busy traffic intersections. Officially retired in 1989, Lepore made national headlines this year after staging a protest at a local Dunkin Donuts. (A cop boycotting a donut shop! Imagine!)
One of the store’s employees allegedly wrote the words “#blacklivesmatter” with a Sharpie on some other cop’s coffee cup and Lepore was so incensed that he called for a company-wide boycott of the chain. Then he went on and on and on and on for months, making national headlines by saying things like “No one had ever heard of Providence before I started in 1984.” Now he spends his time running a Facebook group called “Citizens 4 Police” and doing community theater.
Perennially awful adult baby Adam Sandler has a lot to apologize for this year. Pixels was possibly the worst movie of the whole year, but that had nothing on The Ridiculous Six, a wrong-headed western comedy so offensive that a dozen Native American actors (and the film’s hired cultural consultant) all walked off set because they couldn’t handle the liberties taken with Apache culture.
In one scene, a non-Native woman playing an Apache named Sits-On-Face squats and pees while smoking a peace pipe. There was also the matter of a woman named Beaver’s Breath and the movie’s infantile dialogue: “How about we go some place and I put my pee-pee in your teepee,” the 49-year old actor and well-paid writer asks a woman at one point. Bleccch!
Breitbart tech-editor Milo Yiannopolous lies at the heart of GamerGate, the misogynist shit-show which was allegedly about “ethics in video game journalism” but which mostly provided trolls with an opportunity to threaten women. One quick scan of the 155K messages on his Twitter account and you’ll immediately find enough racism, misogyny and internalized homophobia to make you queasy for the rest of the day.
Trayvon Martin’s killer didn’t exactly take things to a new low this year – it’s hard to sink lower than killing an unarmed teenager – but he makes this year’s list anyway with his dip into revenge porn. Early this month he Tweeted a photo of a topless woman alongside her name and phone number because she “cheated on me with a dirty Muslim.” “She’ll sleep with anyone,” he says. You said it yourself, George. His Twitter’s since been deleted.
We know, we know. Zola had the whole internet in stitches back in October when the 20-year old Detroit stripper hopped on Twitter to tell the story about her crazy road trip to Florida, the one that spiraled into a totally unbelievable weekend of murder, attempted suicide and pimping — a whimsical though grim tale.
The internet went nuts, with Zola getting raves from Missy Elliott and Selma director Ava DuVernay. Photos were posted, without consent, of her “friend,” an alleged sex worker named Jessica whose life has since been totally ruined. Zola exaggerated and/or made up key details, she later told Rolling Stone. There was no murder. There was no attempted suicide. If the details of the story seemed too good to be true, that’s because it was the third time Zola had posted it. Jezebel said she deserves a Pulitzer. Actual sex workers got down on her for making them look psychotic.
— Gypsy King (@Tyson_Fury) November 24, 2015
- Bobby Berger, the retired cop who tried staging a blackface minstrel show to support the cops that killed Freddie Gray
- Pastor Kevin Brown, host of A&E’s crappy reality series 8 Minutes, a staged farce in which the preacher tried to lure women away from sex work
- Presidential candidate Ben Carson, for being wrong about everything
- Bill Cosby, because you know why
- Sylvia Driskell, the Nebraska woman who tried (and failed) to sue ALL gays and lesbians
- Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, for burying information about the Laquan McDonal’s shooting until after the election
- Giant British boxer Tyson Fury (above), for comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and for being a loudmouth idiot all around
- Maine Governor Paul LePage, for gutting the state’s colleges and closing a school for handicapped children
- Curt Schilling, for being a racist in addition to being a a slimy businessman
- Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli, for pretty much everything
(featured image: Carly Fiorina via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)