Top 10 Most Overhyped of 2008

02/07/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Everyone is a sucker for the year-end lists. Beyond re-hashing highlights of hoopla, I propose revisiting the topics herein with hindsight, rather than reflex. It is in the spirit of moving forward in 2009 with wisdom and renewed faith in other Americans that we (impatiently) approach this historic inauguration, and re-examine the issues we previously lost our shit over.

1. Hillary citing RFK's assassination as a reason to stay in the primaries.

I admit it, I flipped out over it, even though I remember her first making the comment months before. It just came at a point when her opportunism and goal-post hedging made the race seem like Obama vs. Omarosa. Now she's, like, Secretary of State to-be, and everyone's happy.

2. Gas Prices

Now that gas has abruptly gone from over $4 a gallon to less than $2 a gallon, can we just call out these oil price regulators for their inflated greed and exploitation? Once the economy deflated like a souffle on a Seventies sitcom, they eased the reins at the pump to keep the beast breathing. Invading Iraq was supposed to stabilize the oil market -- perhaps it has made it all the more controllable?

3. Rev. Jeremiah Wright

If it was in a conservative white church...


That a community organization with a history of helping poor neighborhoods can be so broadly maligned for non-existent voting crimes by a major political party with a proven history of numerous voting crimes is testament to how far the media will carry water for the conservative agenda. Unlucky winner of The Golden Swift Boat for 2008.

5. Anything on "The View"

The very premise that this tabloid tea party speaks for women is patently insulting.

6. Rev. Rick Warren's Invocation at the Inauguration

The outrage over Rick Warren is not really a real fight over anything real. There are lots of bigots, there always will be. Let's fight the institutionalization of intolerance in the courts, at the polls, in the streets, and in the press. I myself will fight Rick Warren in the Thunderdome. (Two men man leaves.)

7. Sarah Palin, the new GOP Spokesmodel

The alarming percentage of people who alienated us by blindly embracing Sarah Palin despite her inability to complete sentences or describe reality are actually the same percentage who still think Bush is doing a good job. She'll give that base hope, because she has not personally fucked up everything yet. But she is so not a real threat, even the conservative pundits who sat nodding through the entire Bush Reign of Error had to do a spit-take at her arrival. (And maybe in 2009 we'll finally see those Palin birth records Andrew Sullivan keeps demanding like he's Nurse Ratchett.)

8. Miley Cyrus Bareback

A non-revealing photo of an over-hyped teen star is not a sobering cultural watermark to examine the objectification of underage girls in modern society. American Apparel ads are.

9. Cable Network News

It might seem that including the corporate media machine that actively over-hypes 24/7 would be redundant in a list of Most Overhyped, but the amount of concern over what these overpaid pinheads say has jumped sharks, whales, and that weird Montauk Monster. It's tabloid TV, turning political faux-pas into a Brangelina catfight, utterly distracting us from real issues.

10. The 2008 Campaign

In our desperation for hope at the end of the tunnel, the media and the public utterly abandoned oversight of our Problem Child-in-Chief. While we worried about American flag pins, American flags were adorning more coffins. While the pundits scoured Hillary's inflated record of sniper fire, inflated prices of homes and Wall Street brokerage houses were about to shoot down our entire economy. In our historic race for the first female or black president, we neglected to check in on our first dyslexic president, except when he made a drunken cameo at the Beijing Olympics worthy of a Cannonball Run outtake.

Let us all make a concerted effort in 2009 to not chase shiny things in the news that distract us from the not-so-easily digested issues that demand attention and action, not outrage.