MOST TRUSTED POLITICAL FIGURE
Sure, there was that bad start to the year. The Motown mother of snowstorms put the ice grip on the city and shocked Manoogian Mansion into a strange denial. Suddenly, there was Mayor Dennis Archer, not forging the news but being hammered by events, not spinning the coverage but being spun.
Snow in the streets? Blame city policies set in place in the wake of the Great Fire of 1805. Not that one necessarily wanted Archer to take the blame; he wasn’t responsible for the weather. But the moment when he should have been rallying with a cry of "We’re all in this together," the gist of his response was: "I’m doing my job. Can you all shovel a little faster?"
But, Mr. Archer, take heart. Despite the bad start to the year, you’re the most trusted politician in the MT readers poll.
Significantly, MT readers also chose the former legal gun as the politician most trusted by corporate citizens.
Thus the political and the business machines entwine, politics as business as usual. This wasn’t what Karl Marx had in mind during the last century when he predicted the withering of the state, but it’s what we get at the end of this century. — W. Kim Heron
MOST TRUSTED CORPORATE CITIZEN
POLITICIAN MOST TRUSTED BY CORPORATE CITIZENS
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ... ?
After making a rousing Lazarus-style return at Channel 7’s backslapping 50th anniversary shindig last October, this former über-anchor was given a 60-second spleen-venting forum which, surprisingly enough, is still plodding along.
A throwback to the golden days of pre-cable local TV, Bonds would pontificate from his bully pulpit.
Live feed reporters could often be seen visibly quaking in anticipation of the inevitable straight-from-left field follow-up questions that Bonds would rifle at them from his anchor desk.
Where else but in a Bonds-scripted dialogue can you find referrals to Barbara Walters as "Babs," and shoot-from-the-hip polemics peppered with phrases like "boffo" and "way out."
Although at times verging on self-parody, no one can deny Bonds dominated the local airwaves for almost 30 years, save for perhaps a few brief unfortunate sabbaticals on both the East and West coasts.
Be that as it may, his sojourn in L.A. did yield a timeless cameo appearance in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, reporting on those wayward simian refugees Dr. Zira and Cornelius. (Let’s see Guy Gordon do that!)
While his trip to Hollywood may not have yielded the desired plum role, one can only hope that, as the end of the millennium approacheth, our local broadcast outlets will give him the forum for which this veteran newsman was truly created — maybe a Network-style, modern-day news prophet, à la Howard Beale: "I’m Maaaad As Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore!!!"
If not, let’s just have Bonds and Geoffrey Fieger host a local "Crossfire" program. — Casey Coston
BEST SOLUTION FOR DETROIT’S SNOW-REMOVAL WOES
More snow plows
BEST LOCAL BUSINESS FOR THE NEXT TAKEOVER BY A GERMAN COMPANY
BEST CITY DEPARTMENT TO PRIVATIZE
Department of Public Works
BEST NEW CEO FOR DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Attention all citizen-patriots, heed the call, now is the time you’ve been waiting for. Last November, Geoffrey "The Mouth" Fieger and his merry band of supporters were ready to gather up their pitchforks and head to Lansing for a good ol’ grassroots populist-style barn dance.
Unfortunately, however, something called an election landslide put a bit of a damper on those plans.
But fear not, folks, as the Michigan Democratic Party’s enfant terrible is gearing up for bigger and better things.
That’s right, it’s Fieger Time!
Metro Detroit’s reigning and raging ego king managed to rake in a slew of weighty awards in this year’s "Best Of" poll: Best new CEO for Detroit Schools, best person to add to the MT staff, most spankable public personality, and, of course, best candidate for bozo of the year.
Add all of those ingredients together and what do you have? But of course! A shaggy-coiffed radio talk show babble-host.
According to MT readers, the gap-toothed gubernatorial also-ran would be just the right tonic for what ails Detroit schools (city residency complications notwithstanding).
The only risk of anointing him as Detroit’s Education Czar, however, might be a premature departure by the all-powerful one to make a Senate run.
While having Fieger run against Spence Abraham might be fun, if only to see whether the moribund Abraham has an actual pulse (wasn’t that an animatronic robot walking around Belle Isle in those Proposal C ads last November?), the possibility of two major election defeats in such a short period of time is probably too daunting for even this particular megalomaniac.
Adding Fieger to the MT lineup is an interesting prospect, but, unfortunately, Isadora Alman isn’t going anywhere.
As for most spankable public personality, just imagine Fieger at the next Noir Leather fetish party. — Casey Coston
BEST NICKNAME FOR DENNIS ARCHER
Frosty the Snowman
BEST NICKNAME FOR L. BROOKS PATTERSON
Having over the years traded posturing for power wielding, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson seems a shadow of his old, ranting self. How else to explain the paucity of invention among MT readers in suggesting a new nickname for Patterson?
"Mad Dog" and "Asshole" were the mundane, generic front-runners. What comedowns from "Detroit’s White Knight of the Right," as Patterson was dubbed two decades ago during his days as a Detroit-baiting prosecutor and tireless proponent of capital punishment for Michigan.
There was a glimmer of Patterson’s old "don’t give a damn about Detroit" animosity in his comments following the death of Coleman Young, a flashback to a Motown he could really demonize.
But with Oakland County surfing the wave of the still-strong national economy, there seems to be more political payoff in governing than in scapegoating. An unexpected benefit of the business boom. — W. Kim Heron
BEST NICKNAME FOR JOHN ENGLER
Many of the nicknames readers chose for Gov. John Engler suggest that he might better serve the people of Michigan by rounding out a greasy breakfast.
Hand-picked aliases for the governor include Tubby Bubby, Chubby, Fatty, Fatso, Fatboy, El Blimpo, Porky, Butterball, Pillsbury Doughboy, Pop-n-Fresh, Paczki, Humpty Dumpty, Jabba, Big Papa, Fat Blowhard, Boss Hog and Waste of Space.
According to author Al Franken, it was this kind of cruel name-calling that spurred Rush Limbaugh’s recent dieting coup. Not to judge a commentator by his blubber, but in the past, it appeared that Rush’s conservatism extended to everything but food. Franken says his book Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations caused Limbaugh to drop 80 pounds. (Does that make Limbaugh a thin idiot?)
Although we didn’t ask readers to elaborate on why they chose such nicknames for Engler, Metro Times has reported extensively on the governor’s record.
Visit www.johnengler.com for stories on Engler’s radically conservative agenda, including his record for environmental deregulation and welfare reform — just two of the clues as to how Engler might have earned labels including Satan, The Führer, Heartless, Asshole, Recall-John, and Public Education Antichrist.
And then there’s John "Don’t Eat the Rich. Feed the Rich" Engler, suggesting annoyance with a governor who scales back programs for the poor while he himself places a disproportionate drain on the world’s food supply.
A handful of those surveyed gave Engler complimentary names including Savior, Mr. Effective and Best Governor Ever. One imaginative reader calls the governor Dick Dingler, presumably a reference to the 1970s male porn star character in the film "Boogie Nights."
But when it comes to Engler-bashing, it’s hard to top his former gubernatorial opponent, Geoffrey Fieger, who was widely quoted saying Engler "is the result of miscegenation between human beings and barnyard animals."
Perhaps we should say something in defense of barnyard animals, particularly pigs. According to author John Robbins, pigs are sensitive and intelligent, and if left alone in nature do not become the filthy, overfed commodities modern agribusiness makes of them.
With that in mind, why not elect a real pig next time? — Jennifer Bagwell
BEST REASON TO RECALL DENNIS ARCHER
Ah, the fluffy white powder of winter, ringing in the new year like a silky silent assassin on the unsuspecting metropolis.
While the city of Detroit woke up with egg-white snow on its face, residents engaged in a credible imitation of the city of Phoenix in a freak blizzard. (Snow??? ... in Michigan??!! ... in January!?!?!)
Did every resident just move here from the South, or have our collective short-term memories been erased by some insidious alien mind-ray, thereby rendering us a populace of skidding, slipping, whining and, let’s face it, lazy individuals who forgot what it’s like to pick up a shovel and spend seven hours outdoors digging out your car, driveway and street.
Whatever happened to good ol’ Midwestern blue-collar fortitude?
As the citizenry looked to City Hall for leadership, Mayor Archer was too busy working on his book, entitled How Not To Handle a Snowstorm in a Major Snowbelt City, unfurling his tone-deaf political antennae only after the international news media gave Detroit a resounding thumbs-up as a Third World-class city.
Be that as it may, MT readers have offered an ingenuous suggestion to deal with the city’s snow woes: More snow plows.
At what cost those might come, however, is a question not yet answered. Perhaps we’ll hold off on any more hot tub renovations at the Manoogian Mansion. — Casey Coston
BEST NEW HAT FOR KAY EVERETT
Detroit City Council member Kay Everett not only repeatedly called for the destruction of the Heidelberg Project, calling it junk, but volunteered to drive the bulldozer herself.
She voted for casinos on the Riverfront because she was too tired to argue with Archer anymore, even though that is, essentially, her job.
She suggested Detroit residents spend their lottery money to gain entrance to Belle Isle.
"We are not a poor city," she told a local daily newspaper. "We have a lottery machine on every corner and people are playing every day."
When the portions of Heidelberg on city-owned property were finally toppled in February, and artist Tyree Guyton vowed to polka-dot the entire blighted city, she called for an ordinance that would stop him. She was subsequently informed that the city already has a policy for such actions. It’s called a vandalism ordinance.
But none of the dubious decisions made inside Kay Everett’s skull could outshine the garish fashion statements on top of it.
Her hats come in all colors, shapes and sizes, some taking up so much room they might actually justify the separate elevator City Council members once requested.
In the end, it seems, the only hat she still hasn’t tried on is her thinking cap. — Kristin Palm
BEST NEXT JOB FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON
BEST NEW CAREER FOR MONICA LEWINSKY
BEST PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT
FOR LINDA TRIPP
Memorex tape and mini-recorder
BEST PLACE FOR KEN STARR TO INVESTIGATE NEXT
BEST ACTORS TO PLAY CLINTON AND LEWINSKY IN ZIPPERGATE, THE MOVIE
Zippergate: The Movie
Max Studios (size does matter!) — in association with Gossip-Friendly productions — presents: One of the best movies of the year!
Action-packed! Lavish! Scandalous! Romantic! Politically incorrect! Intriguing! Prudishly erotic!
Zippergate: The Movie! (Possibly, a musical)
A Steven Spielhosen film! A Steven Spielhosen release.
Researched, produced, written and directed by Steven Spielhosen.
Executive producer: Steven Spielhosen.
Original score ("It’s a right-wing conspiracy or, Love Dies at Dawn") by Steven Spielhosen.
Ext. Day. The sun rises above the White House. Bird’s-eye-view of the White House. Cut to low-angle shot of the Washington monument (the great white erection).
Dissolve to presidential member ... of the White House staff listening in on a conversation carried, in a whisper, behind the closed doors of the Oval Office.
Interior. Day. Oval Office.
MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF (actually, LINDA TRIPP in disguise, addressing man in black behind her): It’s him. He’s in there with a woman. Roll the tape!
FBI AGENT (disguised as member of the White House Staff, but so damn obvious he couldn’t even fool his grandmother): What’s the woman’s name?
LINDA TRIPP (listening carefully): "Oh, Baby!"
FBI AGENT (writing it down in a little red notebook): Aha! (Extreme close-up on FBI agent’s handwriting: "Oh, babby!" He’s FBI. He doesn’t care about spelling.)
Cut to long shot of Oval Office doors. Eccentric angle: Doors open. With a slick move, TRIPP and FBI AGENT hide skillfully behind the door.
MONICA LEWINSKY storms out of the office, suicidal or satisfied, the expression on her face is hard to read. (Playing the part of MONICA LEWINSKY: Rosie O’Donnell! Ha! Gotcha!) Cut to medium close-up of LEWINSKY.
PRESIDENTIAL VOICE (booming from behind the door): Don’t forget to take the dress to the cleaners! (PRESIDENTIAL HEAD pops out. Close-up on HEAD. Playing the part of the PRESIDENT: John Travolta).
Cut to medium close-up of PRESIDENT inside the office, stuffing his face with doughnuts and singing: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow ..."
Cut to TRIPP and AGENT behind the door trying desperately not to burst into song.
Fade out. — Dayana Stetco
BEST WAY FOR PAULA JONES TO SPEND HER MONEY
BEST UNION LOCAL
UAW Local 600
BEST REASON TO BE OFFENDED AT THE OFFICE
PUBLIC PERSONALITY YOU’D MOST LIKE TO SPANK