2017 Buffoon of the Year - Presented by Less Government, More Fun

Buffoon of the Year, Behind Enemy Lines Radio

As Bruce Buffer would say, "It's..... TIME!" for the 2017 Buffoon of the Year.
Before we get to the fun and the voting, we are so proud to announce our partnership with Less Government, More Fun who bring us "Buffoon Swag," which will be made available on Teespring all month long! You'll be hearing more about this exciting partnership in the weeks and months to come. 

Also, let's set the field properly. There were so many Buffoons in the news this year we could hardly choose a top 16 without throwing things at each other and breaking furniture. So we need to set expectations. We wanted this year to be competitive so, no, you won't find perennial buffoons like Hillary Clinton, even though she probably would have cleaned up this year. We wouldn't want to make your choice THAT easy! 

Finally, we are instituting a new way of voting, which will appear at the bottom of the article via SurveyHero, but also on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

OK, enough business. Here are your 2017 Buffoon of the Year Nominees!

The Politicians Bracket  

One could - and did - argue that any one of these 4 could be a "1 seed" in this bracket. 
So they all are!

No. 1 Maxine Waters vs. No. 1 Tom Price

Oh, Auntie Maxine. You remind us so much of the grand poo-bah of BOTY, Rev. Al Sharpton. Your life is a master class in hypocrisy, even before this year. Here's a lifetime politician who represents one of the largest minority-majority congressional districts but lives in one of the richest and whitest neighborhoods in her state, which happens to be outside of her congressional district. That would normally be enough to earn you a spot in any other BOTY year, but Waters goes above and beyond with her relentless - and hilarious - criticism of President Trump.

You had one job, Mr. Secretary. One job. Arguably, Tom Price had one of the worst years you can have in politics. As Secretary of Health and Human Services, he bears much of the Trump Administration's failure of replacing and/or repealing of Obamacare. I mean, how many different band-aids were proposed and failed? Who would have thought Obamacare would be left worse off than it was! But, he made matters much worse for the administration when he was forced to resign after a report emerged proving that he violated federal travel regulations  by taking a government-funded private jet for personal use. This included a trip in August to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended.

No. 1 Al Franken vs. No. 1 James Comey

Let's get one thing straight right up front. Al Franken does not make this list for his admitted sexual misconduct on a USO tour (in fact, we'll make that a new rule. The "Franken Rule.") However, his hypocrisy is wide open for consideration, including his past position on sexual misconduct in light of the above. There is so much more to Franken's buffoonery than that. His over-the-top grilling of now-Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared to be more sizzle than steak, and a setup for a possible Presidential bid in 2020 (yeah, good luck with that!) He grilled Education Sec. Betsy deVos on her love of charter schools over public schools while his own children attend tony private schools. Finally, his laughable criticism of President Trump's use of language displays a shocking lack of self-awareness.

Do we really need to go into why former FBI Director James Comey ranks on this list? Do we really need to go over how more than half of the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information? Do we need to go over how he said that his intentional leak of information to trigger what is now the Mueller investigation still has not uncovered definitive proof of Trump-Russia "collusion?" Yeah, we don't think we need to go over how Comey and his ego were the catalyst of so much buffoonery.

The Media Bracket  

2017 was the year of the Media Buffoon

No. 1 Joe Scarborough vs. No. 4 Glenn Thrush

Joe Scarborough, and his lesser half Mika Brzezinski, went off the deep end this year. From on-air drama between the hosts/couple, to Joe's announcement that he was leaving the Republican Party several years after we all knew he left it, Morning Joe became Morning Joke. He not only took on Trump, but also called out two other fellow nominees, as if he knew they'd all be fighting it out! Undoubtedly, Joe worked hard for his spot in buffoon lore, even pre-taping a show where the hosts talk about a Thanksgiving dinner that hadn't happened yet, complete with a “Hoo! I’m stuffed,” from Brzezinski. We are still trying to confirm whether there was a double entendre there. Oh, and his music sucks, too. Yeah, we said it.

As for Glenn Thrush, we're instituting the "Franken Rule" - allegations of sexual misconduct did not enter into the consideration. What is fair game is how he started the year fresh off of looking like a shill for the Clinton machine thanks to a leaked e-mail kowtowing to John Podesta. This flagrant bias landed him a prominent job at the New York Times as a Washington correspondent. Who'da thunk it?  The perception didn't get any better as many, including his opponent here, felt that he enjoyed the limelight too much thanks to the portrayal on SNL as a weak bullied mealy-mouthed reporter. Then there's his curious decision to delete Twitter, which has become the bread-and-butter of journos, because it was a "distraction." Looking back now, he probably wishes that was the distraction.

No. 2 CNN's Jim Acosta vs. No. 3 CNN's Chris Cuomo

Speaking of reporters who make themselves the story, this is CNN.

Jim Acosta loves to make himself the biggest story coming out of the daily White House press conference. It didn't matter if it was Jim vs. Sean Spicer because he couldn't get his daily face time on TV, Jim vs. Stephen Miller over his "shocking" characterizations and "cosmopolitan bias" on immigration that prompted comment from fellow Buffoon nominee Joe Scarborough, or Jim vs. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, where Acosta tried to insinuate that Trump does not value the First Amendment as much as he does the Second Amendment, only to be smacked down yet again, as long as Jim was at the center of the kerfuffle, he is in his glory. Even if he is constantly bitch-slapped for being a buffoon.

But Chris Cuomo gives Acosta a run for his money. Cuomo's body of work in 2017 ranges from "oh, bless your heart" to "what the hell is he thinking."  Remember when he chided his audience about illegally downloading Wikileaks emails?  How about his knockdown-drag outs with Sebastian Gorka? And his activism on social media leave some head scratchin'. Even Scarborough (notice a theme here?) called Cuomo "unhinged." for tweets against him earlier this year. I guess when the buffoon-ish"Morning Joe” tops your own show in both the race for total viewers and the key 25–54 demographic that advertisers covet most, you gotta employ the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" theory of media.

The Entertainment Bracket  

Oh, Hollywood... that magical wonderland of buffoonery. And yes, we know not all TV and film happens in Hollywood.  Get off our backs. 

No. 1 Kathy Griffin vs. No. 4 Debra Messing

Kathy Griffin may be the overall number 1 seed, for reasons that may not be so obvious. Yes, that disgusting photo of her with a bloody severed head resembling President Trump would be enough to get a slot in this year's brackets. But it's the aftermath that sets her apart from the field. From the "he broke me" comments immediately after the universal condemnation of the photo, to the victim portrayal of what was clearly a media stunt from an attention-starved media whore, to the recent hateful claims of "blackballing" because she can't get that she is the reason she cannot get anymore work, Griffin may be on her way to the rarefied air on the Sharpton Scale where only Weiners and Sharptons dare.

Maybe Debra Messing can give her a run for her money. People have said "She’s not very well informed" in a "Trumpian" way - and that's from fellow lefty wingnut Susan Sarandon, who took up a Twitter feud with the Will & Grace actress. She takes to the Twitters as much as President Trump apparently, but to often cringe-worthy results. Her latest moment of buffoonery: canceling her New York Times subscription because it featured Ben Shapiro and... gasp! didn't make him seem like a Nazi!  Yes, she used the word "Nazi" in describing a Jewish conservative.

No. 2 Jimmy Kimmel vs. No. 3 Lena Dunham

Late night TV is well-represented in this tournament by Jimmy Kimmel. Many Americans allow Kimmel and his ilk into our homes because they are, at least in the beginning of their careers, entertaining - that is, until they become talking heads for progressive politics. Kimmel's teary-eyed politicking turned up again in his monologue immediately after the Las Vegas shooting where he plopped his soapbox on top of the dead to shame gun owners. It's a shame his sanctimony took days  after news of Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual misconduct. But hey, it's not like he think he's the moral conscience of America, right?

Lena Dunham is an atrocious human being. She started the year criticizing white women who voted for President Trump (so is race "Trumps" gender? We need to update our handbook...) and compared President Trump to mass murderer Dylann Roof on Twitter and deleted it. But Trump Derangement Syndrome is not enough to make this list. In an ultimate showing of hypocrisy she and colleague Jenni Konner defended a writer on “Girls” accused of rape, which would be mundane if not for the context offered in her book where she apparently made up a rape in her own past that cannot be substantiated by facts. Maureen Callahan of the NY Post says it best: Lena Dunham "wants desperately to be liked while claiming she doesn’t care if we like her. She’s a narcissist who possesses no intellectual rigor, no belief system, no relationship with the truth." Boom.

The "Wildcard" Bracket  

Basically, everything else that couldn't fit into a nice, neat category. 

No. 1 The NFL vs. No. 4 Michael Issacson

We've decided to use the NFL as a whole and not call out just the players or just the league or just the owners. By any account, this was not a banner season for the NFL thus far. Ratings are down as much as 25% from last season, players kneeling on the sidelines for the reason-du-jour - even during Veterans Day - has caused fans to leave the stands in droves, and Roger Goddell seems to think he is worth a new fat contract, complete with a private jet, in spite of it all. 

John Jay Professor/self-described Antifa, Michael Issacson, is only known for one thing: he is happy to be teaching "future dead cops"  - that is how he refers to his students on social media. This resulted in a whole lot of attention, including suspension from his job, and being exposed as a naughty, naughty little giraffe-man who despises authority in public, but looooooves it in the bedroom. And we wonder why higher education is failing us.

No. 2 #The Resistance vs. No. 3 Lavar Ball

It's hard to nail down exactly what "The Resistance" is, who is a part of it, and what they are all about. But it is easy to know it when you see it. Like DisruptJ20 plotting alleged criminal activity during the inauguration, Ashley Judd telling us how "nasty" she is at a march of pink-hatted triggered women, or Antifa raging against a controversial speaker on campus by wrecking stuff, "The Resistance" takes many shapes and forms. And all of it is borne from one unassailable fact: Donald Trump is your President.

Lavar Ball is almost a benign buffoon. We can laugh at his braggadocios ways in comparing himself to the GOAT, or his hijinks in promoting his talented basketball playing sons by going on WWE shirtless and what not. Big Ballers gotta big ball, right? But he crossed into BOTY territory when he tweets some shade at President Trump after he rescued his son and two other UCLA players from a Chinese prison term, and then claims to not remember it. Oh, Lavar.

So there it is! Time to vote!

Check back next week to see who moves on and who is moved out of the 2017 Buffoon of the Year!
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About Gene Berardelli, Esq.

To learn more about the author, check out the "About Us" page. Behind Enemy Lines Radio is a national Award-Winning radio show / podcast broadcasting live out of the belly of the Democratic beast - "The People's Republic of" New York City that airs on multiple radio stations as part of the Talk America Radio Network. It is also an "Insider" column on Newsmax featuring show hosts Gene Berardelli and Russell Gallo. The show is also available on multiple networks across the internet, with more being added regularly.


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