Celebrity Gossip

Obama lands on the “25 Least Influential People of 2013” with Snowden and GaGa

By  | 

It's second time in three years Obama made the list for "people who've overstayed their turns in the spotlight and used their fame for not a good goddamn thing," as GQ puts it.

Time once again for the list no one wants to be on: GQ's third annual collection of people who've overstayed their turns in the spotlight and used their fame for not a good goddamn thing. The hardest part for us was keeping it to twenty-five. So this year, a bonus wrinkle: an additional mini-list of sorry souls who have been so un-influential for so long that we're retiring their jerseys forever.

25. Jodi Arias
She murdered her ex-boyfriend and, more important, testified under oath that she didn't think having anal sex before marriage counted as breaking your chastity vow. Who knew Mormons could be so naughty? No wonder Headline News led with the case for 378 straight days. Kudos to you, Jodi, for acting as a convenient all-purpose news mask for cable outlets that don't have the budget to send reporters to war zones.


24. Dr. Cornel West
When I was younger, I went to hear Cornel West speak in person. He was charming and funny and charismatic and brilliant, and he had really cool hair. There was nothing to indicate that by 2013 he would become a complete and utter nut job. He openly derided the White House as "the Barack Obama plantation," bitched that "black folk are…being pushed to the back of the bus" by gay rights, and basically spent the entire year throwing out a laundry list of deliberately outrageous quotes designed to generate a worthless news cycle. All he needs now is a trip to North Korea to bury any last trace of his integrity.


23b. Howard Kurtz
He accused newly out-of-the-closet NBA player Jason Collins of covering up a prior engagement to a woman, even though Collins had clearly noted it in the very same first-person article that announced his homosexuality. Kurtz was subsequently fired by the Daily Beast (is there anyone they didn't fire this year?) for "serial inaccuracy" and then moved over to Fox News, because of course they hired him. Before he'd finished unpacking, Kurtz posted a 500-word ogling of Ben Bradlee's daughter-in-law's Facebook page ("Her new profile picture, in a Swiss-cheese bra that leaves little to the imagination…is so revealing that it drew a torrent of breathless comments"). Keep in mind that Kurtz claims to be a media watchdog. Apparently we now need a watchdog to watch our watchdogs.


23a. John King
He reported that a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing had been arrested (not true!) and that the suspect was "dark-skinned" (not true!) in a classic example of CNN spouting out a thousand different potential news developments and praying that one of them actually sticks (true!).

22. Edward Snowden
I love that Snowden exposed a terrifying dystopian surveillance program—and the only lasting impact of his whistle-blowing was the U.S. government pointing its finger and shouting, "Get 'im!" I actually wanted Snowden—unlike almost everyone else on this list—to be influential, to generate a positive change for civil liberties. Instead, all he did was trigger a Carmen Sandiego-style manhunt so that dumb-shit cable-news anchors would have something to breathlessly follow while completely ignoring his core motivations. Run, Eddie, run!


21. Lennay Kekua (a.k.a. Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend)
I keep waiting for her to sext Anthony Weiner so that everything comes full circle.


20. Zack Snyder

Whenever a studio executive needs a reboot of something and his sole creative direction is "Make it grittier!" Snyder is the dude they call. He'll totally bro up your Superman by sucking all the joy out of every frame and adding muscles. Big, ripply, 300-style muscles. Oh, did you want Superman to be a shining light of morality in a harsh and cruel world? Screw that candy-ass shit. Superbro is gonna crush some buildings and give zero fucks about collateral damage. Grittiness: unlocked.

Zack Snyder's signature recipe: Take one happy-go-lucky superhero, blast him with a fire hose of muck, then order him to brood or he gets the Kryptonite.

19. Mike Jeffries

Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO took heat for not wanting ugly customers inside his store, which is hilarious to me because (a) have you seen the mall rats who rock A&F? And (b) have you met America? We are morbidly obese and have garbled Sanskrit tattoos littering our back fat. Way to shrink your customer base down to six people, Mike. And bonus points for shunning ugly people when you look like Philip Seymour Hoffman after twelve skin-graft surgeries.

18. Ryan Reynolds
They can put him in blockbuster after blockbuster (R.I.P.D. was this year's catastrophe) and I'll still feel as if I'm watching some kind of VOD sequel to Van Wilder. Poor Ryan. It's never going to happen for him, is it? He'll just have to comfort himself with his flawless looks, his millions of dollars, and the supple flesh of Blake Lively.


17. President Obama
He can blame Republicans in Congress all he likes and get away with it because congressional Republicans are the worst. But the fact remains that I have spent the majority of this man's presidency watching bad things happen, then hearing a thoughtful speech about how we gotta make sure the bad things never happen again, and then watching as nothing gets done. Next time there's an election, I want Nate Silver to analyze the data and tell me who to vote for so that I don't end up casting my ballot for a very eloquent hat stand.


16. The Cicadas
Cicadas are big, dumb, smelly, ugly bugs that fly right into trees because they're too stupid to get out of the way. The only things they do well are (a) burrow and (b) screw. And yet every seventeenth year, naturalists all over the country wax poetic over these insect savants emerging from the ground like the undead and clogging the sidewalks with their rotting carcasses. And this time the cicadas couldn't even do that correctly. What was hyped as a full outbreak along the entire East Coast was confined to a few pockets of Northern Virginia and a handful of other regions. What a show of force. I hope they never return.


15. Alex Rodriguez
You know you're lacking influence when you tweet about getting "the green light" to play games again and your general manager openly wishes that you would "shut the fuck up." The Yankees, and all of baseball, can't wait to be rid of Alex Rodriguez, because the more he attempts to con his way back into the public's good graces, the more he comes off as a sociopathic android. "Look, America! I killed this puppy so that you would love me again! Oh, was that brutal and inhumane? My bad."

14. Jann Wenner
When your magazine has a habit of putting dreamy photos of rock stars on its cover and you choose to put a terrorist on your cover using a dreamy photo that makes him look like a rock star, you shouldn't be surprised when people accuse you of trying to make that terrorist look like a rock star.

13. Chris Culliver
Bash the idea of an openly gay pro athlete and then get torched in one of the deciding plays of the 49ers' Super Bowl loss? That'll teach you to mess with the powers that be at BIG GAY. They control so much more than you realize. You think that ACL you tore in training camp was an accident?

12. Tim Tebow
His NFL career blissfully ended this summer when he was cut by the Patriots, presumably because he didn't murder anyone. And yet he remains ESPN's pet rock: a kind of Moral Superboy that the network can deploy whenever it senses your eyeballs wandering away from the screen. He is more valuable to the network as a nonplayer than as the Canadian Football League benchwarmer that he actually is. The less you see him bumble around on the field, the more Skip Bayless can turn his struggle into a kind of National Virtue Index.

11. Lady Gaga
People will only go along with your whole meta-art tampon costume if you've got the songs to go with it.

10. Will Smith and family
After Earth was just like Battlefield Earth except it didn't give us the courtesy of being utterly laughable. This wasn't simply a vanity project—it was a double vanity project, in which Smith made a naked bid to hand over his "King of the Fourth of July" crown to his son and fellow squint-actor, Jaden Smith, who infamously tweeted this year that "If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society." In just a few years, Will Smith has gone from one of America's most beloved stars to one of its most despicable. Oooh, what a twist! Shyamalan-esque!


9. Prosecutor Angela Corey
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we believe that George Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Or manslaughter. Or if you don't want to go that far, how about assault? Jaywalking? If you could simply find him guilty of something so that we don't look like we just let America down, we'd really appreciate it."

8. Prince George
For all the coverage he got, Prince George should have been a special baby. An alien baby. A baby with perpetually bleeding stigmata wounds. But no. After all that breathless anticipation, we were presented with just another stupid newborn who cries and shits and can't even decide on an eye color yet. What a disappointment to the world. Do more cool stuff, baby!

7. Aaron Hernandez
If you're a multimillionaire star athlete with a troubled family background, you're supposed to only pretend that you're an angel-dust-smoking murderer. Being a dipshit gangster wannabe who throws out the FINGA GUNZ after moving the sticks is more than enough to let people know you're hard. You're not supposed to actually follow through on the persona, (allegedly) doing drive-by shootings outside shitty Boston nightclubs and (allegedly) gunning down your friend at an industrial park. Way to ruin my keeper-league team, jerkface.

6. Miley Cyrus
Didn't we already go through this with Madonna, and Janet Jackson, and Britney, and Xtina, and that one video in which Alanis was naked on a subway with her hair in front of her boobs and it was really awkward for everyone? Miley spent the entire year foam-finger-blasting herself, licking sledgehammers, and basically trying every inane strategy she could think of to rile up America's few remaining pearl clutchers. What's sad is that it totally worked.

5. Pope Benedict XVI
The newest pope is sooooooo much better than Benedict, isn't he? Who knew a pope could be, like, nice? Pope Benedict was a raging hardliner, a man who assumed the papacy with the sole mission of stubbornly defending all of its antiquated practices, and he couldn't even cut it in that job. His most notable achievement was wearing red shoes. What a game changer, Joey Ratz. No one misses you.


4. Justin Bieber
When you're a just-legal megastar raising hell and being a brat, people will still give you a chance. They'll blame the money and the fame and probably your parents. But once you lose the baby fat, there are no viable excuses. You are officially just a little shit for pissing in buckets and cursing out Bill Clinton and writing the exact wrong thing in the guest book at the Anne Frank house and spitting on people and having your monkey confiscated. Also, he dresses like a blind magician.


3. Anthony Weiner
He never even got to have sex with his mistress! That's what kills me. When you tweet your dick at people, publicly humiliate your wife, resign from Congress in disgrace, then continue to sext with other women—even as you're trying to resurrect your political career—you should at least get to consummate the deal with the future Vivid Video contract worker on the other end of the line. Anthony Weiner happily risked it all just to ask a total stranger to gag on his cock. He's the saddest lecher in American politics, and that's saying something, because they're all lechers.


2. Paula Deen
I'd like to thank Paula Deen for fulfilling every expectation I had for what Paula Deen is like behind closed doors. Whenever I saw her making waffle-batter pie on the Food Network, I always thought to myself, "I bet that woman says the N-word all the time when the camera's off and tries to hire black tap-dancing manservants for her weddings. Oh, and I bet her brother gets accused of having segregated bathrooms at his restaurant." Nailed it.

1. Dennis Rodman

He was the first prominent American celebrity invited inside the nation-sized prison that is North Korea, and he did literally the least interesting thing possible with it. Sure, Kim Jong-un is a brutal dictator who starves and kills his own people. But he was pretty chill when we hung out! Dennis Rodman is a Q-list celebrity willing to commit borderline treason just to hang out with a dictator who himself aspires to be a Q-list celebrity. It's all hilarious, until you remember there are millions of people who can't leave this Kingdom of the Absurd without taking a bullet to the head.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.