Pink Slip – May ’13

Reese Witherspoon

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Reese Witherspoon (White House photo)
Reese Witherspoon (White House photo)

Reese Witherspoon

Didn’t she learn anything in law school? The “Legally Blonde” star Reese Witherspoon acted out when a state trooper in Atlanta pulled over her husband, Jim Toth, because he saw the car weaving. The 37-year-old actress was riding shotgun and allegedly wouldn’t stay put after the officer told her to wait inside the vehicle while Toth, a Hollywood big-shot agent, took—and failed—a sobriety test, according to police. The actress threw a hissy fit, peppering the trooper with questions like: “Do you know my name?” and “You’re about to find out who I am!” and, last but not least, “You’re about to be on national news!” The officer slapped her with a disorderly conduct charge, and Toth got a DUI. The trooper can be forgiven for not recognizing the lady in pink from the “Legally Blonde” flicks (the sequel, subtitled “Red, White & Blonde,” was arguably a real miss-demeanor), but the Georgia law man apparently had not even seen her Academy Award winning “Walk the Line,” and in some states that could be considered a criminal offense. Without a doubt, Witherspoon, a mother of three (including an infant named Tennessee James), should have known better than to cross any line. Her name should be “Mud,” until we hear otherwise.

Mike Rice & Tim Pernetti

Pity the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University who had to put up with months—if not years—of physical and verbal abuse from their hot-headed basketball coach Mike Rice, who humiliated, belittled and bullied them. Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was shown videotapes of Rice’s bad behavior in November 2012 and did nothing about it until the footage went national in April and the full-court pressure finally proved too much for even this bureaucrat to ignore. The players were brutally mistreated by this sadistic set-up man that apparently was condoned from the top down. So Rice was let go, and Pernetti resigned—and they walked away with more than $2 million in combined compensation—and this from a state school. Both men should hang their heads in shame. Winning is not everything.

Brittany Ozarowski

Long Islanders could be forgiven for thinking that the smiling 21-year-old brunette wearing a blue T-shirt that read “Scrub for a Cure” was sincere about holding a pet-grooming benefit to pay for her cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. But “Suds up for Brittany!” was nothing but a doggone scam, Suffolk prosecutors say, and they charged Medford’s Brittany Ozarowski with 24 counts, including grand larceny and scheme to defraud. “There was no cancer,” said Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota. “The only thing that there was, was heroin and more heroin.” Before she was busted, she’d allegedly convinced her grandmother to sell her Selden House and give her a hundred grand, and persuaded her dad to deplete his retirement account to help her out. If the facts in this case are true, Ozarowski was right that she needed treatment—for her addiction, not her affliction.

George W. Bush

The 43rd president of the United States was an unmitigated disaster for this country but you’d never know it to look at him. His presidential library just opened at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and his popularity has been rising of late. To a reporter from The Dallas Morning News, W says, “I’m comfortable with what I did. I’m comfortable with who I am.” The self-satisfied scion of the 1 percent is comfortably rich—that’s for sure. But he caused a great deal of pain during his eight years in office, and millions of people in America and abroad are still suffering from his misdeeds and misperceptions. First, he ceded too much power to his dark lords, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and mislead us into two mismanaged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rather than read the presidential briefing, “Al-Qaida determined to Strike in U.S.,” he went on vacation to his Texas ranch that August in 2001, and on that fateful morning in September when the terrorists struck, he went on reading “My Pet Goat” to school children at a photo-op. The U.S. economy has never recovered from the near collapse he and his wealthy conservative backers have never had to account for—and that the middle class and the unemployed continue to pay for. In retirement—thank the Lord!—this “Decider” has time to paint watercolors in his bathtub, while his former staffers and supporters white-wash his approval of water-boarding and other forms of torture that have compromised U.S. foreign policy and undermined our Constitution. So the worst president in a century gets a library. He shouldn’t even get a library card. But he should be forced to listen to “My Pet Goat” every day for the rest of his life.

Paolo di Canio

Soccer fans, as we’ve seen countless times in other countries, sometimes lose it in the stands or in the streets outside the stadium. The hooliganism that makes the news is just the bad behavior of a few nut-jobs and it should not be used to besmirch a sport that claims to be the most popular in the world. But it’s another story when the politics of the coach—not his coaching skills—get attention. So the controversy surrounding the recent appointment of Paolo di Canio to run Sunderland United in England’s Premier League ranks with the worst of them. The team is owned by Ellis Short, an American billionaire hedge-fund owner in Dallas, who says his new hire is “passionate, driven, and raring to get started.” He certainly has started something but it’s not what they call football. Sunderland’s vice president, a former British foreign minister, promptly resigned. A local coal miner’s group called the appointment “a disgrace and betrayal of all who fought and died in the fight against fascism.” When di Canio played in Rome for Lazio, he greeted the far-right section of the club’s supporters known as “ultras” with a fascist salute, the New York Times reports, and on his own right arm he has the tattoo, “Dux,” Latin for leader, which was Benito Mussolini’s preferred title for himself. Di Canio makes no bones in his autobiography about his adoration of Mussolini, and he’s said in the past that he’s a “fascist, not a racist.” In his previous coaching job, di Canio kicked a player, abused a referee on TV and called his team “donkeys” and “Chihuahuas” when they performed poorly. It’s time to give di Canio a red card and boot him from the game.

Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Heidi Heitkamp & Mark Pryor

In case anyone’s forgotten, the president of the United States is a Democrat and the majority of U.S. Senators are Democrats. But that doesn’t mean that they could get anything done like pass a modest gun control measure such as background checks at gun show sales, which a majority of the country, some 85 percent according to the Pew Research Center, supports. No, these days because of the Senate’s ridiculous filibuster rule, it takes 60 votes to move forward on anything meaningful. And even though President Obama mustered a 54-46 majority on gun control measures, he fell short. Who’s to blame for this disgrace? How about these four Democratic cowards: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)? This despicable quartet let the president of their own party down, but more importantly, they “caved to the pressure” of an extreme lobbying group that “willfully lied,” as Obama put it, and let the nation down. Shame on them. The victims of the Newtown massacre—and all the innocent victims of gun violence since then—deserve public servants who put the greater good ahead of themselves.

Adam Savader

Maybe his savvy computer skills weren’t being fully challenged with opposition research, and that’s why this 21-year-old former campaign intern for Gov. Mitt Romney had enough time on his hands that he could cruise the internet, allegedly cyber-stalk 15 women and post their nude photos without their permission. Adam Savader, a Great Neck Republican, reportedly had internships with Rep. Paul Ryan and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, so he must have learned something about family values along the way, but could he have chosen the wrong role models? The FBI has busted him, and the Department of Justice wants to charge him with harassing women in Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Long Island. It’s a sad, shameful situation, but it’s also pathetic considering all the porn sites a horny young man could visit day or night for free—and the only harm he’d be doing is to himself.

John Idzik

Long-suffering Jets fans (and isn’t that an oxymoron!) have put up with so much they take it for granted. Like little Woody Johnson, who runs the team into the ground when he isn’t running around spending his inherited wealth on worthy causes like Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. But you know the Gang Green Mediocre Meadowlands Machine has hit a new low when it provokes the “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin to weigh in on his blog: “It is hard to be a fan of the New York Jets. They have hardly done anything right since Joe Willie Namath won Super Bowl III, and every time you think maybe they are finally turning the corner, they find some new way to screw things up. Today the Jets traded Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the NFL and far and away the best player on the team. It is never a good idea to trade the best player on your team.” And he spoke not in jest. The perpetrator of this trade is the new Jets general manager John Idzik. Says Martin: “Fire his ass now.” Revis told the media that Idzik had lied to him. Perhaps it’s fitting to let one of Martin’s fictional creations have the last word in this sordid game, and our top pick would have to be Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, the former Master of Coin (he also ran the houses of ill repute), who told Eddard Stark, after betraying the noble leader, “I did warn you not to trust me.” Also apropos is this gem: “Look around you. We’re all liars here, and every one of us is better than you.” Would that Jon Snow played football…

Rick Perry

Good ole Gov. Rick Perry. Remember that greatly revealing moment when the mighty Texan was still thumping his chest in the 2012 Republican presidential primary and he promised in a televised debate that if he ever got to live in the White House, “I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone,” but he could only name two? Well, the governor stuck his cowboy boot in his mouth again recently after the tragic explosion of the fertilizer plan in West, Texas, that left 15 people dead and the community devastated. The state agency in charge of overseeing the plant’s safety reportedly hadn’t inspected the facility in seven years, and there were flagrant violations that had drawn only the most minimal of fines. But what short-sighted critics might have seen as a failure was, in the far-sighted eyes of Gov. Perry, a success because, as he told the audience of the Bio International Convention in Chicago, it’s another positive sign that all kinds of companies have a friend in Texas, “where limited government, low taxes and a pro-business environment are creating more jobs than any other state.” Except when they’re blowing those jobs—and their workers—to bits.

Glenn Reynolds

Who is Glenn Reynolds? He’s a law professor at the University of Tennessee who blogs in the wonkosphere as the Instapundit. He’s entitled to his opinions, of course, but this right-winger’s claim that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was engaging in “emotional bullying” when she and the families of the Newtown victims tried in vain to match the firepower of the NRA and its millions in the heated gun control debate on Capitol Hill borders on the bizarre. The Arizona Congresswoman was shot in the head and has survived! If she doesn’t have the right to browbeat politicians in the pockets of the munitions makers, then Prof. Reynolds doesn’t deserve to have a brain.

Col Allen

In a just world, Col Allen would find himself plastered on the front page of the New York Post instead of probably plastered in a bar somewhere with his Aussie pals chortling over the muck they’ve made with someone else’s life without ever having to answer for their tabloid blunders except with a call for another round of drinks—that they can expense. This lascivious leader of the Murdoch Minions in Manhattan is a real pisser. Does he get his come-uppance for identifying two innocent people as “BAG MEN” in the Boston Marathon massacre? Not a chance. But at least his act of defiance has been good for blowback. Take this headline in Gawker: “Is the New York Post Edited by a Bigoted Drunk Who Fucks Pigs?” There was no direct evidence linking the two men in the front-page photo with the Post’s headline (which was not only inaccurate but journalistically irresponsible); nor is there any evidence that the Post’s editor in chief has ever had carnal relations with swine. But he hasn’t denied it, has he?

Amanda Bynes

Fame is a cruel mistress and nobody illustrates that ignominy better than the young woman who was once the truest of talented teenage heartthrobs but is now some celebrity mutant that passes for Amanda Bynes. Whatever happened to Nickelodeon’s former star to make her act this way we wish she would stop smoking it. It’s obviously gone to her head. Recently she shaved half her hair off, got plastic surgery that made her look weirder and pierced her shiny cheeks with pointless diamond studs. Ouch! She’s gotten kicked out of a gym for lighting a joint in the locker room (darling, it was Manhattan, not Denver or Seattle!), and been booted from an adult gymnastics class at Chelsea Piers when she went nuts after she did a cartwheel and “her dark-colored wig fell off.” Last year she was charged with a hit-and-run and a D.U.I. in L.A. Is Amanda Bynes auditioning for The Lindsay Lohan Story? Someone should tell her that LiLo’s bio-pic is a long way from production—the treatment is still in development. As Penelope Taynt, Amanda Bynes’ self-proclaimed “No. 1 fan” (Bynes herself in thick glasses and black hair), used to complain on the kids show: “You’re wasting my life!” Back then it was a skit, but now it’s gone literal.