Every year contains its fair share of jerkitude, but a few major offenders usually stand out from the pack. Let's take a look at the dudes who gave humanity a bad name in 2011.
Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State rioters
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has now been accused of sexual abuse by ten people. A witness reports seeing him having "some sort of intercourse" with a boy in Penn State's football showers (though his lawyer ridiculously claims he was just teaching the boy "basic hygiene"). And the detective who worked on his case in 1998 says there was enough evidence to charge him back then. Head coach Joe Paterno, who failed to report the allegations against Sandusky to the proper authorities (in the case of the 2002 accusation, he apparently delayed because it was a weekend), has been rightly fired, but Penn State students protested this decision (and in effect stood against Sandusky's alleged victims) by rioting. The rioters (male and female) deserve to be on this list too.
Strauss-Kahn hasn't been convicted of a crime, and some still speculate that Nafissatou Diallo's sexual assault allegation against him was a setup. But as allegations of rape and involvement in a prostitution ring proliferate, even his long-supportive wife has reportedly lost patience with him. And if it's true that his explanation for his encounter with Diallo is that she "look[ed] openly at his genitals," I pity anyone who has to, say, give him medical care.
At the beginning of the year, I expressed hope that 2011 would bring Berlusconi's retirement — and my wish came true. This November, Berlusconi finally resigned after failing to win a majority in a budget vote. He left behind an interesting to-do list, including instructions like "take note," and a legacy of treating female politicians and the principles of good governance with extreme disrespect. He remains on trial in three separate cases, one involving underage prostitution, but he recently claimed he was "still on track" to resume his political career. Stay tuned for more bunga bunga in the future, I guess.
Oh, Herman Cain. It's too bad that America was not ready for your bold ideas. That's no doubt why we kept focusing on the women who accused him of sexual harassment, rather than the many women he did not harass. We should have known that his accusers were not real women, unlike the stock photo ladies the Cain campaign used to illustrate its Women for Cain page, who were real, somewhere. Sadly, Cain's no longer in the running to save us from Arabs and other hazards. However, his future as a Pokemon character remains bright.
Jim Boeheim and Bernie Fine
Former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been accused of molestation by four men, and his wife apparently admitted she knew about some of the abuse back in 2002. Due to credibility issues with his third accuser, Fine's case may not go to trial. But Jim Boeheim, Fine's boss and current head coach at Syracuse, remains in hot water for his response to the allegations. Note to everyone: it is not a good idea to call alleged sexual abuse victims liars and extortionists. If you do, they might sue you.
Back in February, designer John Galliano was accused of unleashing a stream of anti-Semitic insults against a couple in a Paris cafe. Soon after, video footage surfaced in which he said "I love Hitler." Galliano was fired from his post at Dior in March; in September, he was found guilty of hate speech and fined. The fashion world may be poised to forget his rant, but we're not.
Caton is the head of the Florida Family Association, which called for a boycott of the program All-American Muslim because "this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad." The FFA also boycotted Degrassi, saying it "promotes the transgender and homosexual lifestyles and other inappropriate behavior." And Caton himself is a self-described recovering porn addict who now campaigns against porn (which he seems to believe only men look at) — and, incongruously, against light rail.
Just tweeting a picture of your dick would not be enough to get you on this list. But tweeting said dick pic, claiming you were hacked, claiming you "can't say with certitude" whether it's your dick or not, and then finally when you can't hide it anymore, admitting that you had a pattern of sending cock shots and other sexual and/or flirty messages to a variety of women and possibly an underage girl — yeah, that'll do it. Weiner was supposed to be using his social media platform to discuss the issues with his constituents (like his support for Planned Parenthood, which is what apparently led one correspondent to contact him in the first place) — instead, he was apparently using it as a farm system for extramarital shenanigans. Now that he's out of office and his "little Weiner" has been born, we hope he's learned his lesson.