Worst Friend and Relative
Lori Stilley, who faked cancer to get sympathy, favors, parties and money from those who cared about her.
Most Unethical Advice
Emily Yoffe, Slate’s “Dear Prudence,” wins for a year of bad advice in kinky situations, the bottom of the barrel being when she advised a daughter who observed her mother illegally filling out her invalid grandparents’ 2012 absentee ballots to reflect the mother’s electoral preferences to do nothing about this combination of elder abuse and voter fraud.
Shameless Bad Character Division
Biggest Jerk (defined as an individual who habitually places his personal benefit and ego gratification above the welfare of everyone and everything else): Donald Trump, for doing the same stuff he does every year. His low point in 2012 was offering to give $5 million to charity if President Obama would produce his birth and college records. Or maybe it was when he called for a revolution after Obama won. Or perhaps…well, it doesn’t matter. He’s not just a bog jerk, but a professional jerk, and he’s likely to wrap up this prize for years to come.
Asshole (defined as an individual who intentionally and maliciously causes pain and harm to others because he can) : Ryan Thompson. I couldn’t find anyone who fit the bill this year better than the guy who thought it would be clever and hilarious to make his girlfriend think the plane he was piloting with her as a passenger was about to crash, so he could trick the terrified woman to read from what she thought was the emergency manual only to discover she was reading his proposal of marriage. He also videotaped the whole thing, and put it on YouTube. (She accepted. She likes assholes.)
Fick (defined as an individual who blatantly violates societal ethical norms conduct without appropriate shame or contrition, and continues to engage in it after it has been discovered and condemned): Amanda Clayton. Similar to the original Fick, Leroy, she is exploiting a Michigan loop-hole that allows her to collect food stamps despite having two homes and a million dollar lottery prize that will leave her with $500,000 in the bank.
Celebrity Fick Family: The Lohans
Unethical Non Profit
The Boy Scouts of America. What a year. Given a chance to enter the 21st Century and to welcome gays into Scouting, the BSA dug in their heels and insisted that only heterosexuals need apply, thus guaranteeing the continuing marginalization of what once was a respected and classic American institution. Then documents were made public that revealed a long-term, Catholic Church-like failure on the part of the organization to monitor and remove suspected child predators among its scoutmasters, with some moving from troop to troop without appropriate controls being applied for the protection of the children.
Hypocrites of the Year
Hollywood, naturally, which piously jumped on the bandwagon for ending gun violence while profiting from promoting gun violence as fun, entertaining, and the solution to problems.
Liar of the Year
Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) In a banner year for lies and liars, Senate Leader Harry Reid’s public insinuation, based on no evidence whatsoever, that Mitt Romney had not paid his taxes for ten years was an epic low, even for politicians, even for Reid. When Romney released his tax records, showing that he had, in fact, paid more than he was required to for the years covered, Reid didn’t even have the decency to issue an apology.
Unethical Apology of the Year
First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss. First the Church refused to host the marriage of two of devoted members because the idea of a mixed race union made its congregation and leadership uncomfortable. Then, after being roundly condemned for its bigotry across the country, the church posted a supposedly sincere apology—without apologizing to the couple it had humiliated and insulted.
Most Unethical Profession
Journalism. Even while politicians were disgracing themselves in an election year, journalism hit new lows—in the incompetent coverage of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman train wreck, with its biased and trivia-obsessed presidential campaign coverage, and with its tardy, gullible and passive reporting on Fast and Furious and the Benghazi murders.
Unethical Talk Show Host of the Year
Mark Levine. Levine, a smart and educated man who is capable of better, nightly stoked the flames of hate and paranoia like a latter day Father Coughlin, painting a fevered picture of a government of sinister socialists plotting to take away American liberties.
Unethical Cable TV Channel
TLC. What was once, laughably, launched as “The Learning Channel” TLC now benefits from soft child abuse and borderline kiddie porn with its toddler pageant reality shows, and urges its viewers to “learn” about “real life” psychics.
Unethical Column or Blog Post
“Don’t be nosy about Fast and Furious,” a jaw-dropping column on the CNN website by L.C. Granderson, actually argued that the public and the media shouldn’t “open Pandora’s box” about the corrupt, illegal or incompetent things our government does, because we really don’t want to know.
The Pazuzu Award
(Named for the demon that possessed Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” and made her say the nastiest things, the Pazuzu Award is bestowed on the prominent individual who denies responsibility for his or her actual words, claiming that they did not express what he or she really believes )
Eva Longoria. The Obama campaign’s triple pandering threat (Hispanic, woman, Hollywood cheesecake) “co-chair” tweeted rather unequivocally that she had “no idea why any woman/minority can vote for Romney. You have to be stupid to vote for such a racist/misogynistic twat.” Since this was rather impolitic for a campaign official, she then issued an apology explaining that this was neither “her words nor her personal view.”
Most Outrageously Unethical Behavior By Someone Not Fitting A Clear Category
Angela Buchanan, who faked cancer, a cancer operation, and posed as her own physician on-line to trick a trusting and celibate friend to agree to a lesbian sexual relationship with her, and ultimately to marry her, because her doctor (really Angela) told the friend that such a relationship would cause the release of hormones that would save Angela’s life. (I know, I know.)
Unethical Trend of the Year
Shameless incivility and vulgarity
(Cheer up! The Best in Ethics 2012 is on its way!)