Epic Media Meltdowns

Plus Phrases That Are So Totally 2007: A Media Guy Final Exam

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LINDSAY LOHAN'S LIFE IN THE LAME LANE
DUI, coke possession, rehab, relapse, rehab, relapse. ... That's been the tabloid-ready career trajectory of many starlets lately, but only Lindsay Lohan's meltdown yielded one of the year's defining paparazzi shots: the once promising actress zonked out cold, post-partying, in the back seat of a friend's car (after she once again claimed that she'd cleaned herself up). Hey, wake us when it's over.
STUDIO EXECS VS. WRITERS
How much do network and studio bigs want to continue to pretend that there's no revenue to be had -- or, uh, at least not enough to share with writers -- in cyberspace? So much that they were willing to torpedo an entire season of TV and a crop of movies by forcing a writers walkout. Fortunately, Carson Daly was on hand to solicit his friends to be scab writers for his strike-defying talk show.
PARIS HILTON'S GET-OUT-OF-JAIL (MOMENTARILY)
It's hard to tell which was the more pathetic meltdown: that of the celeb-worshipping criminal-justice system -- which truncated Paris Hilton's already-minimal DUI jail term -- or the celubutard's teary reality check when she actually had to go to jail. Her stint in the clink has so far failed to yield the anticipated public dividend: the publication of Paris' soul-searching jailhouse diaries.
THE ALBERTO GONZALES SHOW
I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't recall. I quit.
BRITNEY SPEARS' YEAR OF UNMOTHERLY THINKING
Britney Spears' slow-motion crack-up might be kind of amusing for all the wrong reasons but for the fact that there are kids involved. With apparent disregard for the safety and well-being of them, Britney stumbled down Meltdown Lane with such abandon that she inadvertently elevated her ex, Kevin Federline, to parent-of-the-year status by comparison.
LARRY CRAIG GOES BOTH WAYS (GUILTY AND NOT)
After getting quietly busted for soliciting sex in an airport men's room, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig decided to try to un-plead guilty after the arrest hit the news. He announced his attention to resign, of course, but, to the dismay of Republican colleagues, he then un-resigned. Hmmmm. Fella takes a "wide stance," but still he's a flip-flopper. Can anybody steady this man's psyche?
AMY WINEHOUSE'S BIG NO NO (NO)
Unlike Britney and Lindsay, British pop-soul sensation Amy Winehouse is a big girl -- the world didn't know her as an innocent, sweet-faced teen -- so her music-industry-induced druggy meltdown isn't exactly a surprise. But the fact that she rode to fame on a radio hit with an all-too-telling title ("Rehab") and an irresistible refrain ("They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said no, no, no")? Yes!
THE ANNA NICOLE BABY-BATTLE CIRCUS
It's sad and depressing and just too weird, of course, that Anna Nicole Smith and her son died within months of each other. We won't comment on the former Guess model's meltdown, but we will cite the ensuing media circus -- especially the tug-of-war over Anna's infant daughter -- as one of the most disgusting media meltdowns in ages. The freakshow even came with a sniffling, showboating judge.
DOM IMUS' RACIST RANT
Stringy-haired cadaver-face Don Imus' racist dig at a team of female, African-American basketball players sent only a temporary shock through the shock-jock gutter. Hard to believe Imus' fall, exile, redemption and rebirth as a (very slightly humbled) radio titan all happened in the space of one year. Actually, well, not so hard to believe. Sigh.
MISS SOUTH CAROLINA'S MAP QUEST
Always room for one more: Miss South Carolina, Caitlin Upton, whose brain freeze during the Miss USA pageant became one of the great viral-video sensations of the year. Her response to a question about Americans' geographical illiteracy (see Phrases That Were So Totally 2007, right) was the pageant industry's most frightening Chernobyl incident to date.

Phrases That Are So Totally 2007: A Media Guy Final Exam

Amazin' Phrasin':

  1. "IT'S BRITNEY, BITCH."

  2. "I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT U.S. AMERICANS ARE UNABLE TO DO SO BECAUSE, UH, SOME PEOPLE OUT THERE IN OUR NATION DON'T HAVE MAPS AND, UH, I BELIEVE THAT OUR EDUCATION LIKE SUCH AS, UH, SOUTH AFRICA, AND UH, THE IRAQ, EVERYWHERE LIKE SUCH AS, AND I BELIEVE THAT THEY SHOULD -- OUR EDUCATION OVER HERE IN THE U.S. SHOULD HELP THE U.S., OR SHOULD HELP SOUTH AFRICA, IT SHOULD HELP THE IRAQ AND THE ASIAN COUNTRIES SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO BUILD UP OUR FUTURE, FOR US."

  3. "HELLO, DEAR. I'M TALKING -- I'M TALKING TO THE MEMBERS OF THE NRA RIGHT NOW. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY HELLO?"

  4. "THAT IS NOT OUR FINANCIAL MODEL."

  5. "IN IRAN, WE DON'T HAVE HOMOSEXUALS, LIKE IN YOUR COUNTRY."

  6. "I AM NOT GAY AND NEVER HAVE BEEN."

  7. "ARE YOU GOING TO GET IN THE TRUCK?"

  8. "GO CRY TO YOUR BALD MOM, YOU F-----G LOSER."

  9. "DON'T TASE ME, BRO!"

  10. "LEAVE BRITNEY ALOOOOOOONE!"




Whodunit:

1. The opening words of Britney Spears' "comeback" single; 2. Miss South Carolina's answer to a question at the Miss Teen USA pageant about why Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map; 3. Rudy Giuliani pretending to take a call from his wife during a speech to the NRA; 4. Huffington Post's Ken Lerer on why he plans to never pay most of his bloggers; 5. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at Columbia University; 6. Sen. Larry Craig; 7. The New York Knicks' Stephon Marbury's entreaty to a Knicks intern who ended up having sex with him, as revealed in courtroom testimony during a sexual-harassment suit against team management; 8. Charlie Sheen, in an e-mail to ex-wife Denise Richards (whose mother is being treated for breast cancer) 9. Andrew Meyer, University of Florida student who did end up getting tasered by campus cops at a John Kerry speech; 10. YouTube sensation Chris Crocker is a tearful defense of a certain troubled pop star after her disastrous "comeback" performance on MTV.
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