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.

Cartoon by Sam Butler

And so we present the seventh annual Edgar Awards:

The University of Michigan Class of 2010 Edgar for getting a little too excited about President Barack Obama goes to the Nobel Peace Prize Commission. When Obama was nominated as the Nobel Peace Prize winner, he’d only been in office for 10 days. Everyone loves Obama, but even he admitted he probably didn’t deserve the award.

The “Two If By Sea” Edgar for hostile invasion goes to the Asian carp for threatening to invade the Great Lakes. These terrifying fish could be the biggest threat the U.S. has seen since The Beatles.

The Michael Steele Edgar for hiring strippers in inappropriate locations goes to the students at Mary Markley Residence Hall. While Markley is known as a party dorm, having strippers in the lounge goes just a little too far.

The Joe “You lie!” Wilson (R–S.C.) Edgar for failing to facilitate any useful discussion goes to Kanye West. Like Wilson’s outburst during the president’s State of the Union address, Kanye’s attack on Taylor Swift just made him even more of a jerk. But don’t worry, Kanye. As you give your acceptance speech for this Edgar, we’re gonna let you finish.

The Edgar for distasteful advertising goes to Topeka, Kansas for changing its name to Google in attempt to lure Google Fiber to the city. Changing the city’s name was about as gimmicky as Topeka could get, and it’s not fooling anyone. Plus, everyone knows that Ann Arbor is just better and that we should get Google Fiber.

The Russell Apparel Edgar for overworking the team goes to Michigan football Coach Rich Roderiguez for allegedly breaking NCAA rules governing practice time. The University recently cut ties with Russell for its unethical sweatshops. But the University seems unlikely to cut ties with Rich Rod …

The Bush administration Edgar for unilateral decision-making goes to the University administration for implementing an all-campus smoking ban. No one else seems to have had any real input in the decision to okay the ban, and campus outcry has been fairly strong, but it’s going to happen anyway. Kind of like Iraq.

The Soviet Edgar for undemocratically (and illegally) choosing representatives goes to the Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee. Of the three constituencies meant to provide representatives — the student body, the faculty body and the University staff — there wasn’t a single one that legally did so. The whole debacle was simply a snafu.

The “ze” Edgar for gender-neutral language goes to the University of Michigan English Department for declaring that “they” could be used in the singular form. That’s great for people trying to avoid the clunky “he/she,” but the Daily isn’t ready to cave on this one … yet.

The third annual Kwame Kilpatrick Edgar for hanging onto political office after an embarrassing scandal stemming from use of an electronic device goes jointly to Michigan Student Assembly President Abhishek Mahanti and Rep. Hamdan Yousuf. Mahanti didn’t resign after he misspent $9,000 of students’ money on fixing a website that still doesn’t work, and Yousuf decided that voting for himself multiple times was completely acceptable behavior. At least, unlike last year’s winner, University Associate Prof. Yaron Eliav, neither of these two hired a hooker.

The Big House Edgar for intense security goes to the Big House. It’s understandable that security at spring Commencement is expected to be so tight that graduates and their families are urged to show up hours in advance and the ceremony has been pushed back. But we still don’t get why it’s necessary to ban purses during the football team’s regular season.

The Santa Claus-Isn’t-Real Edgar for shattering the dreams of young people goes to the Michigan state government for revoking the Michigan Promise Scholarship. Enough said.

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