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).

from the Stupidest Excuses about the Stupidest Moments in Political Rhetoric, Garbled History Division

Student of American history Sarah Palin has explained (with superb clarity) that her comment last week about Paul Revere ringing bells and warning the British was not a mistake at all.   Silly us.

I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here’s what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that “the British were coming, the British were coming.” And they were going to try to take our arms so got to make sure that, uh, we were protecting ourselves and, uhm, shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take them.

But remember that the British had already been there — many soldiers — for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride… And it wasn’t just one ride. He was a courier. He was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, “Hey. You’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not gonna beat our own well-armed, uh, persons, uh, individual private militia that we have. He did warn the British.

And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history.

Hey, we’re convinced!  She sure does!  (And being asked about Paul Revere, how much more “gotcha” can a question get, huh?)

Stupidest Moments in Political Rhetoric, Garbled History Division

Listen, my children, and you shall hear Sarah Palin on tour in Massachusetts, home to the earliest patriots, as in, remember him?  Paul Revere:  Apparently Ms. Palin doesn’t . . .

“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.”


Yet Another Stupidest Not-As-Poetic-As-Planned Political Quote

“Nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know.”

And, you know, she might have a point.   (What that point is remains unclear.  But no matter.)  What does matter is that this isn’t poetic as (presumably) planned  (like this last quote)  and also not extremely coherent.  Hey, we’ve got a two-fer here on two levels!  Thank you, Sarah Palin!

The Stupidest Not-As-Poetic-As-Planned Political Quote

For a real rhetorical high, we submit Sarah Palin’s closing remarks from a speech she gave Saturday night (Jan. 29) at the Safari Club International’s convention in Reno:

“Beware of what’s coming. I really do believe that God has shed his grace on thee. We can’t blow it. We can’t allow an atrophy of the foundation that is America, that is so exceptional.”

We have tears in our eyes . . . perhaps not for the reasons Palin intended, but they are tears.

The Stupidest Moments in Not-Very-Great Political Rhetoric (or When Political Speeches Turn Stupid)

It’s the day after the State of the Union address and pundits and plain people alike are rehashing, evaluating, and otherwise analyzing President Obama’s speech.

Here at, we’ve decided to turn our eye to other political speeches, ones we’ve been culling through for our upcoming book, specifically those that wound up . . . well, let’s just say a tad stupid  and definitely not as eloquent as the speechifying pol hoped.  Herewith the stupidest rhetorical clunkers in political speeches:

  • The argument about the Labor destroying any prospects of recovery may be deja vu here … It’s certainly not deja vu in the country.  It’s very much vu.  It’s very much what, er … It’s very much, er …  shows what sort of education I’ve had. —British MP Chris Patten
  • People don’t want hand outs!  People want hand jobs! —Connecticut Governor William O’ Neil at a political rally, followed by riotous applause

The Stupidest Explanation of New Word Manufacturing

On Sunday’s episode of her reality show, we learn that Sarah Palin has a VERY GOOD and PLAUSIBLE excuse for why she typed the word “refudiate” in a tweet —and wound up coning the new word of the year according to Yale.  She just has sloppy fingers!  As she explained, “I pressed an ‘f’ instead of a ‘p’ and people freaked out.”

So now we understand!  Even though, of course, the “f” and the “p” are nowhere near each other. It’s an obvious mistake.   Just like we sometimes misspell “stupid” as “stufid.”

Granted, she didn’t address why she said the word “refudiate” on the Sean Hannity show (see below) before she typed the tweet . . . but we figure there’s a really good reason for that too.  Really.

Or are we just being stufid?


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 Stupidest Korea-Identification-Problem Soundbite of the Day

In other words, North, South, what’s the diff?  Well, it’s a pretty big diff when you’re talking about the Koreas and you’re a political figure and you’re on Glenn Beck’s radio show.  Oh, yeah, and you’re Sarah Palin . . .  Here’s what happened when she was asked how she would handle the developing situation in North Korea:

Sarah Palin:  But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies. We’re bound to by treaty –

Glenn Beck Radio Show co-host: South Korean.

Palin:   Eh, yeah.  And we’re also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes.

(You can listen to the audio here.)

This Korea-identification problem reminds us of an oldie but goodie . . .  When being asked his opinion during congressional hearings on the North Korea-South Korea conflict, U.S. ambassador designate to Singapore Richard Kneip replied: “You mean there are two Koreas?”

So,  Sarah, not to worry.  It could have been worse . . .

think progress

The Stupidest Pithy & Eloquent Analysis of the Bank Bailout from the Next President of the United States, If She Says So Herself

“That’s why I say, I, like every American I’m speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in, where it is the taxpayers looking to bailout. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy—helping the—Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track… And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.”

And, frankly, we couldn’t have put it better.

The Stupidest Brand Spankin’ New Word of the Year, Courtesy Sarah Palin

“Refudiate” — the word inadvertently coined by Sarah Palin — has been named the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2010 Word of the Year.   As they explain:

From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used “refudiate,” we have concluded that neither “refute” nor “repudiate” seems consistently precise, and that “refudiate” more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of “reject.”

They sound very smart, so we, of course, agree with them.  Good lexical interpretation, OAD!  And good lexical invention, Sarah Palin!    (For other new word creations by famous people, see here)  Lest you’ve forgotten how the word emerged, herewith the two (yes, TWO!) times Palin used it:

Time number one:  talking about the NAACP charge of racism in the Tea Party movement when on The Sean Hannity Show, Fox News, July 14, 2010:

“[Barack and Michelle Obama] have power in their words. They could refudiate what it is that this group is saying.”

Time number two (which got the most attention):  in a tweet about plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero, July 18, 2010:

Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.

Back then,  when she was accused of misspeaking, Sarah was busy saying that she DELIBERATELY made the word up, that she was simply being like, oh, Shakespeare et. al. in coining new words.  And everyone laughed.  But now, she’s legit and refudiate has been codified.

Next thing, maybe Rand-McNally will announce that, by golly, you can see Russia from Alaska . . .