"What Were They Thinking?" Awards: March 5 Edition
This week's contenders are from three very different venues: the Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots GOP primary battle; the culmination of Hollywood-loves-itself fetes, the Oscars; and the war of words that is beginning as baseball spring training is winding down.
The “Pushing the Envelope Too Far” Award
This award goes to trailing Republican candidate, Senator Rick Santorum for saying the late President Kennedy's speech to Baptist ministers about the importance of the separation of church and state made him "want to throw up." In a Chicago Tribune column, Bill Press said, "If that's not the dumbest move made by any presidential candidate ever, I don't know what is."
"Smearing Kennedy was bad enough. Despite his flaws, he's still one of our most revered presidents. In the latest CNN poll (January 2011), 85 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the presidency -- making him the most admired former president of the last half-century. Bill Clinton's in second place. Ronald Reagan ranks third.
But bad-mouthing Kennedy's historic speech was especially bone-headed. Remember the context. For the first time, a prominent, practicing Catholic had a serious shot at the White House. Legitimate questions were raised about his loyalty to church and country. What would happen if the pope said one thing, but American law or the Constitution said another?"
If he was trying to get attention by attacking the popular former president, who was a fellow Catholic, he succeeded. But if he was trying to broaden his base, particularly among women, not so much. Super Tuesday should tell the tale on this one.
The "Oh Grow Up!" Award
This award goes to "The Descendants" screenwriter Jim Rash (well named) who accepted the best adapted screenplay Oscar from actress Angelina Jolie and proceeded to mock her vampy stance before approaching the microphone to thank the western world. Yes, Angelina Jolie overdid the exaggerated stance that showed off the extreme slit in her black velvet gown. It was a bit weird. But, get over it, Rash. She was in the front row, buddy, and you weren't. My favorite comment to the Us Weekly post on Rash's diss said it all:
"He was totally immature, seriously it was like a flashback to high school when people thought that making fun of others like that was funny… grow up!"
The "Managers Should be Seen and Not Heard" Award
Last but not least, this award goes to Bobby Valentine, the Red Sox new manager. Although I appreciate his take-no-prisoners approach to a rigorous spring training and banning beer in the clubhouse, I am already worried about his tendency to break a lot of glass with loose comments. Witness his response to former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who suggested the no-beer policy was a PR ploy:
"Remember, you're getting paid over there [at ESPN] for saying stuff,'' Valentine said.”You're getting paid over here for doing stuff.''
Remember, Bobby, Francona won two World Series, beer and chicken notwithstanding. I'd say that was "doing stuff."
At the very least, though, the barbs flying in the political, artistic and sports arenas will make for plenty of "What Were They Thinking?" Awards, so keep them coming, folks! Did I miss any that struck you in recent weeks?