Chutzpah. It's audacity to the nth power, according to most definitions. It's audacity so shameless, so brazen and so outrageous that the classic example is supposed to be the guy who murdered both his parents and then, in court, pleaded with the judge to have mercy on him because he was an orphan. Every year brings to the limelight different people who took chutzpah to such levels that they deserve an award. So, without further ado, here are the winners of my 2010 Annual Chutzpah Awards.
10th place: Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who tried to cast himself as the victim after that incident when Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, co-hosts of "The View," stormed off the air to protest what they perceived to be O'Reilly's "bigoted" comments about Muslims.
Note to O'Reilly: You would never think of saying "Jews killed American sailors" when describing the attack by Israeli jets on the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 Six-Day War. Cut Muslims the same break, will ya?
Ninth place: Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, for walking off
their own show. For all of the "bigotry" they accused O'Reilly of having, I'd bet neither Goldberg nor Behar could pass what I call the "click test." Basically, it's when a person is in his or her car and is stopped at a red light. Said person notices a black man or men standing at a bus stop. He or she also notices the car door is unlocked. Then said person reaches over and "Click!" -- locks the door.
Hey, it's happened to me a dozen times if it's happened once.
Eighth place: Lady Gaga, for first butting her nose into the state of Arizona's business by protesting SB 1070 based on an unconfirmed, apocryphal tale of some illegal immigrant deported for having a traffic violation. Then Gaga implied that so-called homophobic military personnel be given dishonorable discharges.
I'd urge her to stick to singing, if I actually liked her music.
Seventh place: All those who called SB 1070 racist, because they couldn't pass the "click test" either.
Sixth place: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for whipping out the racist card on the Tea Party movement while uttering not one syllable about the brown-versus-black conflict between Latinos and blacks in Los Angeles.
Fifth place: The Sheriff's Office of Orange County, Fla., for those warrantless searches of black and Latino barbershops in Orlando and then trying to justify them.
Fourth place: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, for having the gall to refer to illegal immigrants as "new Americans."
Third place: Maryland voters, who re-elected O'Malley in a landslide
after he made such a knuckleheaded statement. Second place: Attorney General Eric Holder, who busted the state of Arizona's hump about SB 1070 -- which is in complete accord with the federal Real I.D. Act -- and letting Maryland pass with its law that is in complete VIOLATION of the Real I.D. Act. Holder also whined about SB 1070 possibly being used against members of a certain ethnic or racial group.
I've got news for you, Holder: ALL laws have that potential. Using your logic, we shouldn't have
any laws. AND THE WINNER: President Obama, who appointed Holder, who may be the most clueless attorney general we've ever had, at least when it comes to law enforcement.
Obama agrees with Holder about how SB 1070 could be used selectively based on race. So could the war on drugs. In fact, critics charge that the war on drugs has been conducted in
exactly that way. Any chance of your ending the war on drugs, Mr. President?
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.