Assholes (and Anti-Asshole) of the Week

*Anybody who text messages while driving, unless the message being texted is, “Hey, what’s happening? I’m in my car now, just about to crash. Please say goodbye to my family. And if I cause someone’s death beside my own, would you sincerely apologize for me….”

*ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, for introducing a propaganda piece–“A bit of a surprise today. Two long and persistent critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war today wrote a column in the New York Times saying that after a recent eight-day visit to Iraq they find significant changes taking place”–when in reality Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollock originally supported the war even before it began (Pollack’s 2002 book was titled “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq”). The next day, Dick Cheney perpetuated that party lie on Larry King Taped without being challenged. Cheney also insisted that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were secretly married in Massachusetts, then adopted a Chinese baby.

*The Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family, for writing this joint letter to the American Psychological Association for considering a public denunciation of any attempt by therapists to change sexual orientation: “We believe that psychologists should assist clients to develop lives that they value, even if that means they decline to identify as homosexual.” They were also concerned that such an APA policy could lead to so-called heterosexuals undergoing conversion therapy in order to return to their gay roots.

*The Israeli government, for offering an increase of a mere $20 increase in its monthly $487 stipend for Holocaust survivors to compensate for years of neglecting its 240,000 citizens who suffered through the Nazi concentration camps. Ironically, survivor groups charge that they are now treated better in Germany than in Israel.

*Retired Lt. General Philip Kensinger, for lying about when he became aware that former football star Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan was actually caused by friendly fire, a cover-up allowing the U.S. to portray him as a hero. Kensinger confessed that he had been brainwashed as an adolescent when he saw the Paddy Chayefsky movie, “The Americanization of Emily.”

*Pepsico, for selling its Aquafina bottled water with a drawing of mountains over the nameplate to imply that the source of the water was mountain springs, although it is actually tap water. Henceforth their bottles will be labeled P.W.S. for “public water source” or, if you prefer, “piss without sodium.”

*Capitalism, for causing profits to trump compassion–Johnson & Johnson cuts 4,800 jobs and shares rise; Unilever cuts 20,000 jobs and shares rise–while addicts to the system continue to snort the bottom line.

*Rupert Murdoch, for demonstrating so blatantly how money buys power. Be on the lookout for the new Wall Street Enquirer, featuring a cover story on the economic repercussions of Hillary Clinton’s cleavage accompanied by a life-sized photo.

*Republican Senator James Inhofe, for calling global warming a hoax.

*Anti-asshole of the week: Jeff Berkin, deputy director of the FBI’s Security Division, for replacing its hypocritical 13-year drug policy disqualifying applicants from becoming agents if they had used marijuana more than 15 times. He explained that it created problems for those who, when asked in polygraph exams, couldn’t remember how many times they had smoked pot.

PAUL KRASSNER is the author of “One Hand Jerking: Reports From an Investigative Satirist,” and publisher of the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster, both available at


Paul Krassner is the editor of The Realist