’08-’09 Edgar Awards

Back when J. Edgar Hoover, that infallible defender of our constitutional rights, was playing dictator and spying on Americans as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Daily’s editorial page handed out the Edgar Awards annually to individuals and institutions best embodying his many admirable characteristics. Of necessity, we revived the tradition in recent years.

And so we present the sixth annual Edgar Awards:

– The Joe the Plumber Edgar for shallow, pointless campaign gimmick goes to the reMICHIGAN Campaign for its “we’re not a party, we’re a campaign” moniker in the Michigan Student Assembly presidential election. This reNAME was reDUMB as reHELL.

– The Hash Bash Edgar for hippies who love pot goes to Michigan voters, who legalized medical marijuana with the passage of Proposal 1 in the November election. Go ahead, voters, pretend it’s just for sick people. We know you just wanted to get high.

– The “Rock of Love” with Bret Michaels Edgar for best bleached-blonde hair goes to the West Quad arsonist, whose glow-in-the-dark tresses were forever immortalized in the security camera snapshot of him. Police will be standing by if he shows up to the Daily to accept his award.

– The Detroit Lions Edgar for god-awful, cringe-worthy football season goes to this year’s University of Michigan football team. But on the bright side, now the team is only 35 years away from breaking its previous record for consecutive trips to bowl games.

– The Bush administration Edgar for failing to resolve any crisis in the Middle East goes to the Michigan Student Assembly. Bush’s invasion of Iraq didn’t help, but neither did MSA’s endless discussions of foreign policy. Thanks MSA — showing that movie featuring Palestinians and Israelis getting along made a difference.

– The Bird Flu Edgar for most overhyped epidemic goes to the Ross School of Business’s dreaded norovirus outbreak earlier this semester. Did anyone actually get sick from this?

– The Peanut Butter Edgar for sounding delicious but actually hurting people goes to Mike Milano. Unlike the cookie that shares his name, Milano beats people up.

– The AIG Executives Edgar for receiving modest bonuses goes to University President Mary Sue Coleman for her most recent (and most egregious) salary increase. While most AIG executives promised to give back their bonuses after the country raised its collective pitchforks, Coleman is still hanging on to hers (though she usually gives it back).

– The state of Michigan Edgar for discriminating against gay people goes to California, Arizona and Florida for banning same-sex marriage in the November election. Though recent events may be finally reshaping the legal climate in favor of LGBT rights, it’s worth remembering that just a couple months ago, voters across the country were proving they’re bigots.

– The Sarah Palin Edgar for most clueless candidate for office in a presidential election goes to the MSA presidential candidates from the Defend Affirmative Action Party. Sorry people, it’s over. We’ll start taking you seriously when you come up with a tangible agenda for MSA.

– The FAFSA Edgar for a confusing policy that determines how much tuition a student pays goes to Rackham graduate school for its new continuous enrollment policy. No one understands what this policy does, only that graduate students seem really pissed about it.

– The Recording Industries Association of America Edgar for being lax on piracy goes to the government of Somalia. While the RIAA promised earlier this year to stop filing lawsuits against college students who illegally share files on the Internet, Somalia’s been letting its piracy situation get out of hand for a couple years now. And you thought things involving piracy couldn’t get worse than Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

– The second annual Kwame Kilpatrick Edgar for staying in office after an embarrassing scandal stemming from the use of an electronic device goes to University Associate Prof. Yaron Eliav for keeping his teaching post after soliciting sex from a University law student over the Internet. Last year, when commenting on the award’s recipient, Tony Vuljaj, the Daily’s editors wrote: “Apparently career-ending scandals these days must involve hiring expensive hookers.” This year, we’ve been proven wrong — not even hookers could take down Eliav.

– The Rupert Murdoch Edgar for having a monopoly on journalism goes to… The Michigan Daily! Today the Ann Arbor News, tomorrow the world — or at least the Michigan Review. We hear they don’t even have an office anymore.

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