Tuesday, December 08, 2009

2009 Loon of the Year: December Dementia

What do Keith Olbermann, Nick Coleman, and Chris Matthews all have in common?

A) They're all journalists
B) They're not journalists but they've played one on TV
C) They share the record for worst case of the piles in American medical history
D) They are the former NARN Loons of the Year

Not having a journalism degree myself and thus the power to judge, nor access to their complete medical histories, I can't say whether or not A through C are false. But I do know for a FACT these these individuals comprise the complete flock of Loons of the Year (LOTY) we have crowned since the institution's founding in 2006. Now it is time to add another.

As we come to the end of another calendar, we look back at the year that was in Loons. Or, more helpfully, take a look on the right hand margin of this blog, where Loons for all 52 weeks of the year 35 weeks of the year when we managed to have a live broadcast are listed.

What a year it was! The full spectrum of the liberal political-media-entertainment complex is on display. Not to mention a couple of Republicans thrown in for diversity's sake and our first Loon of the Week speaking Portuguese. Common themes include residual Bush bashing, Palin bashing, tea party protester bashing, gay marriage advocating, and attempts at silencing opposition to stimulus spending/health care reform. They made us laugh. They made us cry. They made us think. They made us drink. (That's right, they MADE us, man! ).

Now it is time to choose the best among them for the honor of Loon of the Year. Despite the fact that many of the weekly Loons are products of our electoral system, we have not lost faith in democracy (yet). Once again, we are turning over the selection of the LOTY to a popular vote. However, for the first time we are using a Sweet 16 tournament format. We have chosen the 16 top weekly loons and seeded them in four regions. From here on out, the Loons will battle each other for the right to move on.

Below are all 8 of the first round matches. To ensure a well informed electorate, each Loon is linked to the audio (which will pop up in a separate window) which earned them the right to compete for LOTY. Please take a walk down memory lane and listen to each selection before voting. Please note you have to hit VOTE for each and every match-up (not just once at the end for all 8 contests). This means you have to bounce back and forth between the Fraters page and vote results for each race. Yes, a hassle. But I think that's a small price to pay for the democratic process, don't you?

You can vote once per day (per computer). And at some point, these races will be added to the side bar. These first round matches will be open for voting through Saturday. Next week (the week of December 14) we'll have the 8 Loons left for the regional finals. The week of the December 21 will be the Final Four and the week of December 28 will be the LOTY Final, all leading up to the Special NARN First Team Loon of the Year broadcast and announcement of the winner on January 2.

Vote early, vote as often as you can, as we'll see you for the next round on December 14.

LOTY: West Region Semifinal 1
(1) Nancy Pelosi
(4) Drew Barrymore
Free polls from Pollhost.com
LOTY: West Region Semifinal 2
(3) DL Hughley
(2) Sean Penn
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: Midwest Region Semifinal 1
(1) Bill Maher
(4) Charles Grassley (on Wall Street executives)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: Midwest Region Semifinal 2
(3) Seymour Hersh
(2) Al Franken
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: East Region Semifinal 1
(1) Al Gore
(4) Nancy Snyderman
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: East Region Semifinal 2
(3) David Letterman
(2) Dan Savage
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: Southeast Region Semifinal 1
(1) Jimmy Carter
(4) Alan Grayson
Free polls from Pollhost.com

LOTY: Southeast Region Semifinal 2
(3) Wanda Sykes
(2) Janeane Garofalo
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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