Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Least Influential People of 2010


Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Emir of Dubai
Oh, it's got to hurt to go begging for money from Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi! That's like Trump asking for money from his uncle who put his salary in Vanguard index funds. It's like U.A.E. SmackDown.

Google Buzz
Some kind of thing on your computer
Remember when Gmail invited you — just you! — to join Google Buzz, where you could connect all your social networks with your e-mail? Or maybe it was something totally different. All I know is that I already had more things that did that crap than I wanted.

Leonid Tyagachev
Ex-head of the Russian Olympic Committee
Eleventh in gold medals and none in hockey — despite having Alexander Ovechkin on your team? In the past, someone who performed like this would be banished to Siberia. But they have a pretty good hockey team there right now. So I don't know where they send you now that you quit.

Tom Tom
Car GPS device
Six years ago, these were from the future. Now they come with your phone. I think they sell them in the discount bins they used to use for Yngwie Malmsteen cassettes.

Space Shuttle
Formerly cool vehicle
You know how all these other countries built space shuttles after we did? Well, that's because they didn't. Everyone stuck with rocket ships because rocket ships are cool. Space shuttles are airplanes that don't even go to other countries. Have you ever seen a comic book or a sci-fi movie where the hero goes up in something that looks like a space shuttle? Finally, we're going back to rocket ships.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Ex-President of Kyrgyzstan
Bakiyev was barely influential when he was President of Kyrgyzstan, because it's Kyrgyzstan. But when massive corruption got him tossed out, he couldn't even get his brother and son out of the country. He gave both the U.S. and Russia bases in his country, and even they didn't have his back.

Mamadou Tandja
Ex-President of Niger
Even Bakiyev was able to get out of his country when he got coup d'étated. But Tandja was stuck and arrested in Niger. The best way of telling that you have no influence: you can't even get someone to post a better photo on your Wikipedia page. Not flattering.

Rue McClanahan
Betty White has usurped all the power from the remaining Golden Girls.

Lorelle Young
President of the U.S. Metric Association
She's about 99 kilometers from being influential. Or 99 metrometers. I have no idea how that works.

Manuel Zelaya
Ex-President of Honduras
Another guy who got coup d'étated. He wound up in the Dominican Republic. And, as every baseball fan knows, you don't walk off the Dominican Republic.

Palm Inc.
Maker of the Pre phone
Remember when it was cool to have a Treo? And then Palm came out with this well-reviewed, awesome new smart phone? Thing is, that was a few years after the iPhone came out.

Gourmet magazine
The country is obsessed with food, and Gourmet folds after 68 years. Condé Nast would rather keep Bon Appétit, which is a magazine called Bon Appétit.

Professional Wrestling Referees
Dream job for weird kids
So few rules to enforce, and yet they always fail.

Ueli Maurer
Head of the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport, Switzerland
Those are all things Switzerland sucks at.

People in Windows 7 Ads
Windows 7 was not your idea at all.

Giorgio Napolitano
President of Italy
He makes decisions, and Silvio Berlusconi ignores them. It's pretty funny.

Dmitri Medvedev
President of Russia
Yeah, sure he is.

Former Kentucky Derby front runner
I know it's hard for horses to keep their calendars up to date, but when you're the front runner of the Kentucky Derby, you might not want to do whatever it was you were doing to hurt your leg right before the race. Lame.

Bertha Lewis
President of ACORN
I didn't follow this controversy at all, but I know ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

Michael Steele
RNC chairman
After his lavish spending and criticizing of Rush Limbaugh — Rush Limbaugh! — many in the party are trying to get rid of him. Even though that would mean losing his blog on, which, though now untitled, used to be called What Up?

Mark Rosenthal
CEO of Current TV
If someone from MSNBC's The Ed Show caused an international incident in which two reporters were captured by North Korea and had to be freed by a trip by Bill Clinton, at least a few of us would tune in to an episode of The Ed Schultz Show. But still no one has seen that blur of short YouTube-looking segments that calls itself Current TV. Al Gore is even worse at starting networks than he is at running for President.

Gil Kerlikowske
Drug czar
That whole drug-czar thing hasn't really worked out.

"We Are the World 25 for Haiti"
Fundraising song
Wow, that sucked.

Billy Tauzin
CEO of PhRMA, a pharmaceutical-company lobby group
After losing on the health care bill, he's being forced out of his job in June.

Admiral Luis Aranda
Chief Naval Officer of Bolivia
As the website said, "Runs Naval Forces of a land-locked country that can't afford a navy. Enough said." I hope the website is right.


Heidi Montag
Star of MTV's The Hills
You used to be famous for being famous. Then you were famous for getting lots of plastic surgery and selling only 658 copies of your album in its first week. Now you're not famous. That was fast.

Spencer Pratt
Boyfriend of star of MTV's The Hills
Montag fired him as her manager. It's like we need a whole other list of the uninfluential to the uninfluential.

Paula Abdul
Ex–American Idol judge
Now you have only yourself to judge. That can't be fun.

Toll Brothers
That was a lot of McMansions you built. You'll totally get a segment on I Love the 2000s.

James Arthur Ray
Self-help guru
Even if he hadn't kept people in a sweat lodge so long that they died, the sauna is a poor place to motivate people. It's more of a chill-out area.

Desirée Rogers
Former White House social secretary
If you had purposely invited one of the Real Housewives of D.C., that would have been influential.

Floyd Landis
Every other cyclist in the past 20 years has gotten away with doping except you.

Mayumi Heene
Balloon Boy's mom
Any wife who can't talk her husband out of that plan really has no influence.

Roland Burris
Still a Senator!

Conrad Murray
Michael Jackson's doctor
Not a lot of people in Murray's waiting room right now.

Brian Dunkleman
Former Co-host of American Idol
After quitting Idol after the first season, Dunkleman is now doing voice work playing Ruiga in Naruto.

Julius Malema
President of South Africa's African National Congress Youth League
Malema is just like Joe Biden — if instead of innocuous, silly slipups, Biden delivered violent, racist, misogynist rants. It got so bad, he's been censured by his party and convicted of hate speech. So he just said violent things about the party.

Joaquin Phoenix
That weird Andy Kaufman–esque thing where you filmed yourself pretending to rap badly? Even if you made a great documentary about it, I'm not seeing it. In fact, deep down, I'm pretty sure you were really just trying to rap.

Lyndon LaRouche
Political extremist
After eight tries, it's time to give up the running-for-President thing. You're starting to seem like Ralph Nader.

Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court Justice
Still hasn't talked from the bench. Not sure he's even paying attention.

Matthew Balan
Contributor, NewsBusters
Rick Sanchez told me to put him on because they got in a fight about whether Sanchez was serious or kidding about being surprised that volcanoes exist in cold places like Iceland. I forgot to ask Rick what category he thinks Balan should go in, but I was short on morons, so I put him here.

Ex–lead technician at the clinic in Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1
When you're fired for getting in a fight with Kari Ann Peniche (the woman who was naked in that video with Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart and who was herself thrown out of both VH1's Sober House and VH1's Sex Rehab), you are not highly valued.

Carrie Prejean
Former Miss California
Two things you can't do: 1) Make a sex tape after talking about how immoral gay people are, 2) Make a sex tape without any sex in it.

Nadya Suleman
No one really cares anymore.

Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam
Ex–rebel leader
After 33 years of trying to separate from Sri Lanka, your Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated. Then you got arrested. Now I'll go visit Sri Lanka.

Tom Leykis
Radio host
The misogynist shock jock lost his radio show when his L.A. station changed from all talk to all Lady Gaga. Now, once a week, he has a show in which he talks about wine, where his chance of becoming Robert Parker is about the same as his chance of getting sommeliers to show him their boobs.

Apple Employee Who Left the New iPhone Prototype at a Bar
Heavy drinker
He's not being given a lot of responsibility at work right now.

David Shuster
Ex–MSNBC reporter
Shooting a pilot for a rival network (CNN) without asking your bosses is a pretty easy way to get suspended. Also, you should have shot a better pilot.

David Paterson
New York governor
A year after Eliot Spitzer got caught with a hooker, and everyone likes Spitzer better. The President flew to meet you just to tell you to give up the governor's race. And you said no. Now you literally have less power in the party than Spitzer.

Mike Ovitz
Founder of Creative Artists Agency
This guy has lost so much power in Hollywood that despite my fledgling sitcom-writing career, I'm not afraid to put him on the list.


Chris Dodd
Connecticut Senator
When they ran for President in 2008, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden were exactly equal in power: two domestically liberal, foreign-policy-conservative wonks who couldn't get a vote despite being well qualified. Now Biden is Veep, and Dodd will give up his Senate seat before he loses it because of some sweet deals he got from the banks he was overseeing.

Bo Obama
First Dog
No book telling us to exercise or eat leafy greens? No hilarious video of chasing a squirrel to distract us from the fact that our unemployment benefits are almost up? After all that talk about what breed of dog to buy, the family decided to go with Total Loser?

I got a shot for this loser! I made my baby get a shot! This was the biggest loser epidemic since bird flu. Or SARS. I bet H1N1 never even killed a pig. I've eaten about three pigs this week, and I'm not technically a virus.

Fictional creatures from Land of the Lost
You guys bought Escalades with pimped-out rims and Beverly Hills homes, thinking you'd finally made it. Then Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell bombed, and your big-eyed, giant scaly heads realized your one chance was gone.

Patrick Kennedy
I like this guy, but it's all over for him now.

Sarah Larson
George Clooney's ex-girlfriend
While you were dating George Clooney, People named you one of their most beautiful people. Now try getting People to call you back. They're not really your friend, Sarah.

Kindle Owners
Too-early adopters
Do you use them as coasters? Or to bash iPad users over the head in frustration?

Carson Daly
Talk-show host
Really. He is. He has a show on NBC. It comes on right after Jimmy Fallon. He was given the show eight years ago so he could practice in obscurity before he took over for Conan. The show has offices and everything.

The Doors
Classic rock band
We've all decided that they actually sucked and just had a handsome lead singer.

Rick Wagoner
Former head of General Motors
It's one thing to get fired by your board. But you got fired by the federal government; 300 million of us gave you a pink slip.

R.U. Sirius
In the 1990s, everyone wanted to hear from this guy about cyberculture. It was an innocent time, when we knew so little about the Internet, we had to listen to people even if they called themselves R.U. Sirius.

Elmo is taking all your airtime, yo.

Taipei 101
Ex–tallest building in the world
On Jan. 4, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai made the Taipei 101 irrelevant. You think little boys read the Guinness Book of World Records and ask their dads, "One day, do you think I can go to the top of the second tallest building in the world?"

Dan Rather
... on HDNet. I don't know what that is or why it's still so proud of being in HD, but this is not retiring gracefully. This is like if Michael Jordan came back now and played for HDNet.

Katie Couric
Network anchor
She keeps showing up. You have to admire that.

Tom DeLay
Former Congressman
Not sure what kind of career he was trying to jump-start by appearing on Dancing with the Stars, but camp-loving gay men don't like a quitter.

Carrot Top
All that success, and yet he hasn't spawned a generation of prop comedians.

Yves Leterme
Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Yes, I know the Belgians speak three different languages, but really, when the Prime Minister can't keep Belgium together as a nation, he's not all that influential.

Practitioners of magic
Charmed was, like, 10 years ago. It's all vampires, werewolves and zombies now.

Any Mother of Any Eighth-Grade Girl
You'll regain influence in a few years, moms.

General Larry Platt
"Pants on the Ground" has not stopped one kid from wearing his pants on the ground.

Mayor McCheese
"I'm not aware of his stance on a single issue." — Ross Autry, personal adviser to this project on Facebook, where I asked for help from anyone. Hey, 100 is a lot of people.

Outdated technology
This is the sole reason I haven't seen Greenberg yet.

Stedman Graham
Oprah's boyfriend
Everyone else who knows Oprah has his or her own show by now.

Christie Hefner
Former CEO of Playboy
She couldn't get her dad to leave the expensive mansion; he got a hit TV show on E!; she quit. Lesson: Never try to remove your parents from their house.


John Edwards
Former presidential candidate
He already was irrelevant. Then he allowed news of an affair and love child to come out so slowly, we forgot he was already irrelevant.

Eric Massa
It's hard to be influential when you have no clue how the world works. You don't explain how ungay you are by saying you were just having tickle fights with the guys you live with, like you did when you were in the Navy. Liberace was more subtle.

Tom Anderson
Founder of, and everyone's friend on, MySpace
Have you clicked on MySpace lately? It's like you wandered into some section of Las Vegas that's so seedy it should be in Tampa. You can get venereal diseases just from logging on.

Jon Gosselin
Ex–reality dad
We once thought he was the henpecked husband of a crazy chick. Now we love the henpecker. Killing the Ed Hardy trend was the last influence you'll ever have.

Lindsay Lohan
Things are not good when you're suing babies.

Michael Lohan
Lindsay Lohan's dad
He's engaged to Jon Gosselin's ex-girlfriend.

Mark Sanford
Governor of South Carolina
Before he "hiked the Appalachian Trail" with an Argentine journalist, the still sitting governor of South Carolina was a top contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Now he's going to enter the private sector. A sector so private, a man can go on a fake hiking trip alone and no one will care.

Angelina Pivarnick
Reality washout
To get kicked off MTV's Jersey Shore is an accomplishment, but not one that gets you on the next season of Jersey Shore.

Björgólfur Gudmundsson
Former owner and chairman of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki
Iceland's second billionaire ever — the first was his son, Thor Björgólfsson (in Iceland, your last name is just your dad's first name plus either -sson or -dottir) — he went from being worth $1.1 billion to $0. And he's being investigated. And he destroyed his country's economy. And Gordon Brown used antiterrorist laws to freeze Landsbanki's U.K. holdings. And he named his bank Landsbanki. The British hate him more than they hate his country's volcanoes.

Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson
Icelandic businessman
When you're a good-looking dude who sells clothing, you have to really screw up to have people protest in the streets against you. And for your ex-mistress to talk about your sex life during an accounting trial. Anyway, no one is lending him money now. Not even in kronur.

Hreidar Már Sigurdsson
Former head of the failed Icelandic band Kaupthing
I kind of went down a Wikipedia hole with the Icelandic financial crisis.

Bernie Madoff
Wall Street fraudster, prisoner No. 61727-054
Prisoners won't even invest their cigarettes with him.

Levi Johnston
Actor, model, baby-daddy
Who knew American politics needed its own Kato Kaelin?

European country
Hairy-chested, aggressive with women, charmingly backward — you briefly charmed us with that big, fat wedding. Then you spent so much more money than you made, you forced the E.U. to bail you out. It will be a long time before we watch a movie about you again.

Angelo Mozilo
Ex-CEO of Countrywide Financial
He came in second on Portfolio magazine's list of "Worst American CEOs of All Time," right after Dick Fuld. Hard to put on a résumé under "Awards and Obnoxious Magazine Lists." Plus, now he has to list this one.

Portfolio magazine
Former business magazine that never really took off
And now it's a website. Which, really, is sadder than not existing at all.

Joe Cassano
Former AIG exec
Rolling Stone
's Matt Taibbi named him "patient zero" of the global economic meltdown. TIME magazine's Joel Stein called him "a big fat nunny pants." One of those is going to stick.

Jim Gibbons
Governor of Nevada
He had a 10% approval rating. He had too many scandals for Nevada to handle.

John Ensign
Nevada Senator
His sex scandal is so confusing — he gave a job to the husband of the woman he was cheating on his wife with (I think) — that it's taking forever for him to be thrown out of office.

Sheila Dixon
Ex–mayor of Baltimore
You have to be a pretty corrupt politician in Baltimore to impress us after we've watched The Wire. But with just one year to serve as mayor after being appointed when the previous mayor became governor, Dixon was found guilty of misappropriating gift cards meant for the poor. As if gift cards in and of themselves weren't enough of a racket.

Jamie McCourt
Dodgers sort-of, maybe owner
Because of an ugly divorce case (she may have slept with both her chauffeur and, awesomely, the team's director of protocol) the former CEO of the L.A. Dodgers and ex-wife of owner Frank McCourt has been thrown out of the organization. But I'm sure her fantasy-league team is very influential.

Tila Tequila
I have no idea
I could tell you that Tila Nguyen changed her name to Miss Tila, that she released sonogram pictures of her baby to Radar Online or that her new single is called "I F_____ the DJ." All of which you'd never know if I didn't just write it. But the only data point I need, I believe, is this, from Wikipedia: "In December 2009, Nguyen partnered with Joe Francis to launch a dating site called '' "

Jack Abramoff
He is in prison only until December, so it's got to be hard organizing long-term sports gambling there.

Nicollette Sheridan
The other, nonfired Desperate Housewives don't have her back in her lawsuits against the show's creator.

Dick Fuld
The last CEO of Lehman Brothers ever
That has to be hard to explain on a résumé.