Top 1 of 2009: Karl Rove | Private Eye | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Private Eye

Top 1 of 2009: Karl Rove

Dear Turd Blossom: I can't come up with a Top 10 anything.



At the end of each calendar year, columnists pretend to know what the best new food trend will be in the coming year or the best music trends of the past. Such musings are predictable, staid and as creative as a piece of granite. Top 10 this. Top 10 that. Biggest hits. Biggest sleepers. Biggest surprises. The only difference between the two types of year-end columns—forecast or review—is the number of black spots on that boring piece of granite.

Honest columnists know these articles are bogus. They’re space fillers. They’re time killers. They’re the columnist’s equivalent of serving bad food to latenight diners because we want to close the café and go home. Columnists aren’t grouchy chefs trying to poison anyone with their year-end columns, but they aren’t trying to serve pheasant under glass at this time of year, either. That’s why you get lists like “Top 10 Things Mayor Becker Did in 2009” by one columnist and “Top 10 Things Mayor Becker Should Do in 2010” by another. Or “Hot Food Trends of 2009” and “Bands To Keep an Eye on in 2010.” For some reason, readers don’t seem to mind these dry servings of hotel chicken.

I know I don’t. I read lots of lists this time of year. I just hate writing them, and I know I’m not alone on that score. I’m no wiser than the average reader and my own experiences aren’t more valuable—it just seems that way because I write a column. Personally, I never take my own writings seriously, year-end or otherwise, so it’s no great shakes for me to wake up with a deadline between Christmas and New Year’s Eve only to discover I’m in the shallow end of the pool. I live in shallow waters.

If I thought it mattered, I’d tell you that ESPN The Magazine’s Rick Reilly is the world’s best sports columnist in any year. Or that locally, it’s Brad Rock of the Deseret News. I’ve been living in a bit of a cloud lately, so I don’t know if either stooped to the low level of producing a nauseating year-end something or other. I’ll hope not and leave it at that. But if they have, I’ll find it and read it.

Also, if I thought it meant something, I’d tell you who I think are the crappiest local columnists. But I don’t think my opinion about Gordon Monson or Paul Rolly matters to you. At least, it shouldn’t. Anyway, those two guys aren’t so much crappy as they are miscast. Monson comes across much better on the airwaves than he does in print because he can fill empty edit holes with empty ramblings faster than a dust particle entering a vacuum chamber. Rolly is very good when writing about politics, but the public views him as the malleable town rumor mill who occasionally gets his facts right. I’m miscast, too. I should have been a cobbler.

Someone should write a year-end best local columnist column. I can’t do it because I don’t know what I’m doing, and it wouldn’t be taken seriously. Plus, I’m modest. So, to make it easy on whoever does write such a column, I’ll take myself out of contention for Best Columnist Musings of 2009 by stating the obvious— I’m only the second best columnist in these parts. Everyone else is tied for first. It’s because of that peculiar position—I’m always looking up at the leaders—that I know so well what a crappy column is.

That’s why, right now, I can’t come up with a Top 10 anything. I can think of five new restaurants I tried and three concerts I’m looking forward to. I can think of four words to tell Barack Obama when I meet him—“Get Out of Afghanistan”—and nine for Orrin Hatch—“You creep. Why did you screw up health care?” My top sports highlight of 2009 was the Ute’s Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama, but I don’t have nine more. My Top Three Losers of 2009—Max Hall, Glenn Beck and the guy who answered his Smith & Wesson thinking it was a cell phone and shot himself in the head—are so bad they equal 10 losers. Otherwise, I have no Top 10s.

But I do have this: My Number One list. The top story of 2009, and perhaps in the history of man, is that Karl Rove is getting divorced from his second wife. Think about it: In an era when Tiger Woods is alleged to have bedded scores of women, Karl Rove somehow got two. Tiger is a most handsome man. Rove is as attractive as a pug’s ass. Tiger has millions in the bank and is one of the most recognizable men on the planet. Rove is wealthy but not obscenely so, and outside of persons who attend spider-leg-pulling competitions, his face is not easily recognized. Tiger has his hair. Rove doesn’t. Similarities? No scruples.

In another era, Karl Rove getting to first base with even one woman would have been enough of a miracle to spark a new world religion. But he not only got to first base, he consummated. Twice. That’s big news to me. Alpha male that he is, he must be confident of notching number three (a number Tiger Woods can reach between putts) or else he wouldn’t be getting divorced. If I knew all I had to do to meet the ladies was to lie, cheat, steal, grovel, pander and take on the nickname “turd blossom,” I would have quit sports, quit playing guitar and quit crying during musicals. I would have never become a journalist. Journalists do not make attractive mates, a simple truth that dates back to friar monks translating the Holy Bible.

Nor are we trusty forecasters or list compilers. Happy New Year.