The 2012 Stupidest Things Ever Said (and Written) Awards

It’s time for the annual Stupidest Things Ever Said (and Written) Awards for 2012 — celebrating the stupidest, most ridiculous, most asinine and most idiotic things said or written during the course of the year.  And now, without further ado, the 2012 winners.

The “Good God, Just Shove a Sock in His/Her Mouth” Award
for Stupidly Outrageous and Ridiculously Offensive Punditry  
… goes to columnist Megan McArdle, for her comments following the tragedy in Newtown


“I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.”

 The Astronomically Asinine Headline, Planet Division Award
… goes to CBC News

garbage truck

The “I’m No Abraham Lincoln Award”
for Stupid Attempts at Political Rhetoric
… goes to Mitt Romney


“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”


The Honorary Joe Biden Award
… goes to Joe Biden


“Folks, I can tell you I’ve known eight presidents, three of them intimately.”


The How Reading is Cnoindenting Award
goes to… the Kindle edition of  Blood Relatives by Ed McBain



The Celebrity “Oh, Just Shut Up” Award
goes to … Madonna


“It’s about finding a man you can look up to, and comparing them to archetypes that I obviously adore—John Travolta in ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ Bruce Lee, Abraham Lincoln.”


The Unfortunate Newspaper Juxtaposition
… goes to the Daily Telegraph



The Inappropriate Animal Imagery Award for Rather Stupid Sex Writing
… goes to Tom Wolfe and his Back to Blood


“Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle’s own lips and maw — all this without a word.”


The Devil is in the Details Award
… goes to WHSmith

20 percent off scotsman


The Definitive Commentary on Hurricane Sandy Award
…goes to Lindsay Lohan



The Vital Magazine Correction of the Year Award
… goes to Vogue

vogue corrections


The Lingerie Model Big Brain Award
… goes to Abbey Clancy


“They [models] have to have brains because they’re paid a lot of money … Elle Macpherson has got her own underwear out … You have to have brains for that.”


The Most Intriguing Headline of the Year Award
… goes to the Daily Mercury


The Stupidest Alien Conspiracy Theory Concerning Reptiles, Kris Kristofferson, Queen Elizabeth and Others

These have not been stellar times for the world.  Economic troubles, hurricanes and other natural disasters . . .   Did you ever wonder WHY things aren’t going as well as we’d like?

It’s actually very simple:  We on Earth are all  being controlled by alien reptilian humanoids – reptiles like George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.

Want proof? According to distinguished author David Vaughan Icke and his books, including the seminal early classic The Biggest Secret (1999), all you have to do is take a look around and see reptilian motifs everywhere –like on the Rockefeller Center statutes and ancient Egyptian pyramids. 

His book has been called the conspiracy theorist’s Rosetta Stone and it’s very convincing.  It all goes back to ancient Egyptian times and we’re terrified.  Take a look at all those controller reptilians!

In Icke’s own words:  “Crazy?   There are many who will dub me a ‘nut’ for what I have written in this book.  My reply is this:  Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

And, you know, we couldn’t have put it better.

Which brings us to yet another “the reptiles are here” theorist:  one Colleen Thomas.  A former home health administrator, she is now a physicist who apparently still does home health work.  But no matter.  Most importantly, she is the matriarch of the good aliens who are here to help humans against the reptilians.  (Phew.  We’re not alone!)

In her zeal to help us, she has her own YouTube channel, where you can view many helpful videos.  Many.  All helpful.

Take THAT, Kris Kristofferson, Queen Elizabeth, former President Bush and Boxcar Willie!

The Stupidest “North, South, What’s the Diff” Moment from Our Own Calendar

So.  We blew it.  Note the insanely ridiculous error we didn’t catch in the 2012 Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar.  Egg on our face.  The shame, the shame.  The horror, the horror.  And all that.  (On the plus side:  now you can see why we have chosen stupidity as the main focal point of our careers … !)

Thanks to all of those eagle-eyed readers who caught this, informed us and (in some cases!) didn’t rub it in too much!

The Stupidest Things Ever Said Awards for 2011

And the 2011 winners of the Stupidest Things Ever Said Awards are . . .

  • The Stupidest and Extraordinarily Insightful Art Commentary of 2011
    “I liked the statue of David.  He was hot, and his wiener’s out, and he has a nice butt.”
    Jersey Shore star Snooki talking about Michelangelo’s David (video)

  • The Stupidest Headline of 2011, Possibly Inadvertent Sexual Imagery Division
    Girls’ school still offering “something special” — head
    —headline, Gloucestershire Echo

  • The Stupidest National Anthem Rendering of 2011
    “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming…”
     singer Christina Aguilera at the Super Bowl (the right words were: “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.”) (video)

  • The Stupidest Example of a Politician Showing off her Historical Knowledge in 2011
    “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
    Sarah Palin, on Paul Revere’s midnight ride (video)

  • The Stupidest Anti-Gay Marriage Metaphor of 2011
    “It’s like in golf.  A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
    businessman Donald Trump explaining why he was against gay marriage

  • The Stupidest Least Literary Line of 2011 (or “Why We Stopped Reading The End of Sparta  Pretty Quickly”)
    “Odd that the Theban knew of Neto and his son’s wife Damo, and of Chion and apparently Sturax and Porpax too, but at least not Gorgos as well.”
     from the novel The End of Sparta, by Victor Davis Hanson

  • The Stupidest Overstretching the Point Moment  in 2011
    “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet.”
     Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in a speech for World Water Day (video)

  • The Stupidest Excuse for Having an Extra-Marital Affair of 2011
    “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate . . .”
    presidential candidate Newt Gingrich explaining how his patriotism led him to have an affair (video)

  • The Stupidest Live On-Air Moment of Rhetorical Brilliance of 2011
    “Tonight is the measure of whether the country begins in the state of Wisconsin a national drive to push back or whether we have more to go to build a movement of resistance.  But resist we much.   We must and we will much . . .”
     MSNBC host Al Sharpton on the Wisconsin recall elections (video)

  • The Stupidest Live Debate Moment of Rhetorical Brilliance of 2011
    “The third agency of government I would do away with – education, uh the, commerce, and let’s see, I can’t. The third one I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
     presidential candidate Rick Perry (video)

  • The Stupidest Fascinating New Use of a Verb of 2011, Sports Division
    “We don’t dwindle on the past.”
     Cardinals QB John Skelton



The Stupidest Things Ever Said awards are selected each yearby verbal gaffe experts Ross and Kathryn Petras, the compilers of the best-selling annual Page-A-Day calendar The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said (now in its 18th year with 4.3 million copies sold).


It’s just out— the fabulously stupid collection we put together due to popular demand:  The Stupidest Things Ever Said Book of All-Time Stupidest Top 10 Lists.  A stupid title for a very stupid book!

It’s the best of the Stupidest —which makes it the stupidest of the stupidest, actually — culled from 17 years of the 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar (and some extra brand-new stupids as well), with everything from the Top 10 Stupidest and Most Incredibly Annoying Things Said by Rich People to the Top 10 Stupidest Things to Say to a (Film) Space Alien to the Top 10 Stupidest Sportscaster On Air Moments.

Buy it on Amazon . . .  Barnes & Noble . . . Books-a-Million . . . or wherever stupid books are sold!

The Stupidest Diplomatic Definition from Donald (Trump)

During a CNBC interview, Donald Trump helpfully defined what a diplomat is.  Then, just in case there was any doubt about it, he explained it.  Helpfully.

You know what a diplomat is? That’s a person that studies to be nice. In other words, they study to be nice.

Thanks for the clarification, Donnie.

The Stupidest Amazingly Confusing Advice for Parents, Courtesy the Police

The police chief of Mahwah, New Jersey, James Batelli, thinks parents should be aware of Internet safety and use keystroke-logging software to protect their children.  As he put it:

“When it comes down to safety and welfare of your child, I don’t think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children.”

We’re sure this is very true . . . if we could figure it out.

language log

The Stupidest “Scientific” Explanation for Bird Deaths

You know all those birds and fish and such that were suddenly dying.  Why, you may have wondered, is this happening?  Who, you may have wondered, may I ask about this?   Wonder no more!  One Cindy Jacobs from Generals International has the answer:  It’s the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, duh!  (You really should have figured this out on your own, you know . . . )

The Stupidest New Miss America Commentary on Wikileaks

The new Miss America,  Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, was crowned Saturday.  Before she won, she was asked about Wikileaks,  and, as Fishbowl LA puts it: “specifically how to balance people’s right to know with the need for government security.”

(Before we show you her answer, let us inform you that Ms. Scanlan hopes to be a politician.   Given this, you will expect her answer to be particularly insightful and thoughtful, right?  Ha ha!  We knew you are too intelligent to be fooled!)   Her answer:

“You know, when it came to that situation, it was actually based on espionage, and that when it comes to the security of our nation we have to focus on security first, and then people’s right to know. Because it’s so important that everybody in our borders is safe, and so we can’t let things like that happen, and they must be handled properly, and I think that was the case.”

Cogently put.


President Barack Obama, Snooki, Sen. Minority Leader John Boehner, BP ceo Tony Hayward, and costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane make the list of the Stupidest Things Ever Said in 2010 winners.

The Stupidest Things Ever Said awards – selected by verbal gaffe experts Ross and Kathryn Petras, the compilers of the best-selling annual Page-A-Day calendar The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said (now in its 17th year) – are given in 11 different categories celebrating the stupidest things said, printed, broadcast or otherwise disseminated in the current calendar year.

And the 2010 winners are . . . Continue reading

The 10 Stupidest Undiplomatic Things Said By A Sort-of Diplomat

The Wikileaks report quotes diplomats saying rather undiplomatic things about world leaders.  Among them:

  • Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev are called (respectively) “Batman and Robin.”
  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is “feckless, vain and ineffective.”
  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy is “an emperor with no clothes.”
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is called “flabby old chap.”

And everyone is agog.  But these people are pikers compared to one man, one giant of a man, if you will,  when it comes to making diplomacy one of the most undiplomatic of ventures.

We speak, of course, of Prince Philip of England.  

Herewith the 10 stupidest things the Prince has said in the course of traveling around the world (on the public’s pound, of course . . . ) spreading goodness and light and generally making everyone so darn proud of the royal family. And, without further ado, the Prince Philip Diplomatic Hall of Fame:

You look like you’re ready for bed!
– to the president of Nigeria, who was dressed in a traditional robe

If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.
– at a World Wildlife Fund meeting

Are you Indian or Pakistani? I can never tell the difference between you chaps.
– at Washington Embassy reception for Commonwealth members

Continue reading

The 10 Stupidest Things That Ostensibly Literate People Ask In or About Libraries

People who have mastered tough things like the alphabet and sounding out words and actually reading and writing are more intelligent than, say, tapeworms.  Or bookworms.   Right?    (We think you know the answer already. . . )

After you read these stupidest things that ostensibly literate people ask in libraries, you can form your own conclusions.

First, our favorite: from this post, where the poster in question can’t quite wrap his mind around the concept of a “library” in the first place:

Of course, once you get these people actually inside a library, the stupid questions come in fast and furiously, as in this random sample of the 9 other stupidest library questions:

  • Do you have any Shakespeare here? In English, not in that language he wrote in.
  • Where are the GOOD books?

The 3 Stupidest Local Democracy in Action Moments

Our American Democracy is based on listening to the views of the people, particularly at the local level, where they get a forum to let their fellow citizens know what they’re thinking.   And that’s a bang-up idea, we say.  Except . . . well, maybe we shouldn’t be listening.  At least not always . . .

Incredibly Stupid Thing We Shouldn’t Be Listening To #1: At a now famous 2008 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, one citizen rose up and treated her fellow citizens a wide range of stupid observations, ideas and quasi ideas.   Some excerpts:

I think that we should make a perfect pesticide for the crops but it’s good for people and healthy and keeps the crops preserved too because we need the food because it’s food and stuff.

AND . . .

We can be rich in cotton and mining metals and silkworms and we can make things, we can make things cars, the machine can make it for us…on the East Coast they have slaves and they believe in slavery and made in China, but on the West Coast, the new West Coast, we don’t believe in that. We believe in the union and that’s what we are.

Hear, hear, sister!

Incredibly Stupid Thing We Shouldn’t Be Listening To #2: On the other hand, local politicians aren’t usually much smarter than the citizens.  Take  the entire town council of Paducah, Kentucky.  According to commission Carol Gault – “We all voted to spend $1.6 million dollars on property we didn’t own. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that that even happened.”  [WPSD TV story here]

Incredibly Stupid Thing We Shouldn’t Be Listening To #3: But our favorite stupid local government moment comes from our own past: 20 years or so ago in Hoboken, NJ. when the then current mayor defended his record by saying (roughly paraphrased) “My opponent says we have the worst school system in the state.  I say no, we absolutely don’t have the worst school system in the state.  We’re better than that.  We have the THIRD worst school system in the state! [wild cheering by his supporters.]

Yay for stupidity.  Let’s keep listening!

The 10 Stupidest Political Defenses, Excuses, and Otherwise “It’s Not My Fault” Comments when Faced With Charges

So Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-New York) has walked out of his own ethics trial (he‛s facing 13 House counts of financial and fundraising misconduct) saying that 1) he never meant to defraud; he‛s just been a little sloppy and late when it came to filing financial disclosure forms and paying taxes; and 2) he‛s being treated unfairly and needs time to get a lawyer.  (Not that this hasn‛t been going on for a while, but Chuck doesn’t seem to care a whole lot about pesky things like facts . . . )

This got us thinking about other politicians and their defenses and excuses when involved in ethics violations, fraud cases or other allegations of misconduct.

Herewith the cream of the crop, the politicians who truly deserve to win one of the “I Am Not a Crook”  awards for creativity or simply sheer bravado when defending themselves against charges of corruption and the like.

Best Excuse (municipal): New York City mayor David Dinkins . . .
who, when accused of failing to pay income taxes, found it the perfect moment to split hairs, by explaining (none too helpfully):

“I haven’t committed a crime.  What I did was fail to comply with the law.”   He added that paying taxes “was one of the things I was always going to take care of, but sometimes I did not have all the funds available or I did not have all the documents or other materials I needed.”   (He did eventually pay the back taxes, plus penalties and interest.)

Honorable mention goes to Washington DC mayor Marion Barry who, after being found in a so-called “gentlemen‛s club”  (aka strip joint), clarified things by saying,    “First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club.  And, second, what can I say?  I’m a night owl.”

Best Excuse (national): former Secretary of Housing Henry Cisneros . . .
who was caught lying to the FBI about payments he had made to his mistress.  His pithy excuse is a brilliant “lost in the ether” explanation:

“I’ve attributed it to the pressure and confused sort of fog of the moment where I gave an incorrect number.”

Continue reading

The Stupidest Nude-Coke-Fueled-Trashing-of-a-Hotel-Room-While-a-Call-Girl-Cowers-in-a-Bathroom Understatement

Pretend you were arrested while nude and coked up.   In a classy hotel.   Having trashed your room.  Oh, and there’s a panicking escort/porn star who has locked herself in the bathroom to escape your rage.   What would you call this incident?  Well,  if you are Charlie Sheen, you’d just call this “just one bad night. ”

Yes, the Chuckster has come clean in an interview with Extra.

“If a guy has one bad night everybody goes insane and panics… I’m not panicking.”
Umm. . . oookay.  But, Charlie?   “Everybody” didn’t go insane.  “You” went insane.  But maybe we’re just splitting hairs . . .

The 10 Stupidest Election-Related Things Ever Said

On The Bimbo Vote, Why Not To Bother
You know what?  I am actually not that much into voting.  I think it’s kind of crazy that a woman is running, because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff.  Like, I’m so moody all the time.  I know I couldn’t be able to run a country ’cause I’d be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, you know?
– singer Brooke Hogan

On The Actress Vote, Why Not To Bother
I’m not very politically involved. And I don’t like to talk about it. I mean, if you say you’re a Democrat, that’ll turn off Republicans and that’s half your fan base.
– actress Lindsay Lohan

On The Educated Voter
talk show host Steve Allen (doing man on the street interviews): If a person, seriously now, running for the presidency of the United States revealed that he was an admitted heterosexual, in all honesty, could you vote for him or her?
woman on the street: No, no WAY!

On Cities That Take the “Vote Early and Vote Often” Slogan Seriously
City of Appleton expects to hit turnout of 125 percent; voting places close at 8 p.m.
– headline, The (Fox River Valley, Wis.) Post-Crescent

On The Zombie Vote
If anybody shows up that’s on the deceased list we’ll cross them off.  If you’re deceased, you’re not supposed to be voting.
– Bettye Munroe, Mercer County (NJ) Acting Superintendent of Elections

On Getting the Vote Out, New Insights on
A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.
– Vice President Dan Quayle

On Election Winners, Not Quite Getting It
reporter: What were the signs that you would win the race?
Waukesha County Circuit Court judicial winner Paul Reilly: We concentrated heavily on yard signs. And yard signs, particularly, in people’s yards.

On Election Winners, Not Very Eloquent
Anyone can be elected governor.  I’m proof of that.
– Georgia governor Joe Frank Harris (D)

On Being Behind Someone, Percentage Variations
Isanti County Commissioner Tom Pagel has 100-percent support from his family, not 10 percent, as was stated in last week’s article on Pagel’s announcement to seek re-election.
– newspaper correction from the Cambridge (Minnesota) Star

On Super-clever Tips on How to Get Elected
from an article offering 25 ways for a candidate to win, in  Campaigns & Elections: The Magazine for Political Professionals: Tip #2: “Figure out on your own what you stand for.”

The Stupidest Political Hairsplitting

Quick — what’s the opposite of  increase?  Tough question, right?  Well, it was for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi since it involved the Bush tax cuts and is a political hot potato.    So, in a CNBC interview, she went for the time-honored, old-fashioned political doubletalk that pols on both sides of the aisle often excel in — but she couldn’t quite pull it off . . .

Reporter: “But, on the tax issue, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would essentially be a tax increase.”
Pelosi: “It isn’t a tax increase. It is, it is a … a … uh … eliminating a tax decrease that was there.”

Ed Barr on Communication

There have been, of course, other memorable examples of political doublespeak,  hairsplitting, and plain ol’ talking around the issue.  Herewith, some of our favorites:

  • The “It’s All in the Timing” Hairsplit

Rep. Charles Taylor (R-North Carolina) lunched with several lobbyists from Greenberg Traurig (the firm of Abramoff fame).  A few days later, his campaign received eight checks – including one for $2,000 from Jack Abramoff himself, and one for $1,000 from Abramoff’s client, the Saginaw Chippewa tribe of Michigan.   (A little bit later, Taylor “spontaneously” decided to help the Saginaws get a school construction grant from the Department of the Interior, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The AP termed the lunch a fundraiser.
Nuh unh, said Taylor.  Yes, he DID meet with a least six Abramoff-connected lobbyists on that date.  But it sure wasn’t a fundraiser….because, as he said, he “received no checks there.”
He got them later.
(Oh, he also said he doesn’t remember why he met with the lobbyists in the first place, but he is sure it was “not to raise money or discuss the tribe.”  Funny how both of those things happened after the fact!)

The Stupidest Inadvertently Sexy Political Debate Comment of the Month

Another case of political foot-in-mouth disease (or, well, something else in mouth . . . ) strikes!  And unlike the past two (one former French pol talking about fellatio and another talking about genital prints) , this one happened in the good ol’ U.S.

During a New Mexico gubernatorial debate last week, lieutenant governor Diane Denish was deriding her opponent Susana Martinez for the ways she spent public money.  And somehow the word “bonuses” became “boners.”  Not just any boners, but “big, fat” ones.

Tell the voters,  “I used it for fancy resorts for my employees. I used that money for luxury cars. And I took border security funds, border security funds to protect our borders, and gave big, fat boners.

The Stupidest Explanation of Offensive Line Problems

So the Bears are having problems with their offensive line — and one of the reasons is a breakdown in communications.  Seems that no one is sure what’s going on … and they’re not talking to each other enough.

The Bears’ offensive line coach Mike Tice summed it all up in this amazingly clear and easy-to-understand comment:

“On the field they don’t speak because they’re not positive they know what they know what they think they know they know.”

Oh sure.  Now we get it.

(thanks to Tim Risinger for sending this in)

The 7 Stupidest 911 Calls

Today, we learned that a boy in Buffalo Grove, Illinois called 911 for what he considered to be a true emergency:  he didn’t like the meal his father had made him.  (It was edible, he told the dispatcher.  But he didn’t like it.)

But this nameless boy is far from alone.  There are thousands of insanely ridiculous 911 calls made—and, luckily, they’re all recorded.  This is how we can come up with these, the cream of the crop, if you will, of stupid 911 callers,

  • Hypochondriacal Callers!
    Caller:  I need a paramedic.  Can you send one or do I have to call someone else?
    Dispatcher:  I’ll take care of that, sir.  Just calm down.  What’s the problem?
    Caller: I saw a medical special on tv last night about a rare disease, and I think I have all the symptoms.  My neighbor thinks I do too.
  • Callers with a lot of Chutzpah!
    Dispatcher: 911.  What’s your emergency?
    Caller: Can I give you my credit card number over the phone to pay on my warrant?
    Dispatcher: What’s the offense?
    Caller: Credit card fraud.
  • Unconsciously stupid callers!
    Sir, is he conscious?  Can you tell? 
    I asked him if he was conscious, and he said no!
    Continue reading

The Stupidest Attempt This Week By A Political Candidate to Name One Current Democratic Senator

Who: Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell
When: October 20 on a debate hosted by tv station WHYY
What:  Was asked to name which Democrats she’d work with if elected.   After long pause, said Hillary Clinton.  Then realized Clinton no longer Senator.   When accused by opponent of knowing no other Democratic senators, yelled out name of  Joe Lieberman.  (He is an Independent.  WTG, Christine!)

think progress