The DIDDLY Award

The Tom Cruise Award for most impressive media meltdown. And the nominees are?

Illustrations By: Peter Hoey (trophy) and Tom Bachtell

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Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) had to rebut a Roll Call story alleging that during a Republican delegation trip to Kazakhstan he was drunk the whole time, downing as many as 20 vodka shots before riding a horse, then falling off the horse, then getting his ribs broken after being trampled by another horse, and later making fun of the local attire by prancing about in a Conehead skit making alien beeping noises. Rehberg insisted to Roll Call that he’d had only “three or four” shots.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) showed his anti-sexual-disease slide show and Star Wars parody “Revenge of the STDs.” The audience, young Hill staffers, was warned about vivid close-ups of genital warts and other ravages of the groin. “Stop the STDs, we must,” said Yoda, on promo fliers. “Never underestimate the power of the STDs,” added Darth Vader.

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Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) reacted to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff’s correction regarding Koran abuse at Gitmo by ranting on the House floor: “America’s troops are in enough danger without self-righteous, yellow journalists like Michael Isikoff defaming them for a cheap headline.” Ney neglected to mention that Isikoff was also pursuing a story linking him to Jack Abramoff, whose money allegedly filled Ney’s campaign coffers.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who, after thuggishly threatening the judges in the Terri Schiavo case — “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior” — soon found himself mentioned in an episode of Law & Order. When a judge gets murdered on the show, a police officer says, “Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.”

WINNER! Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who brown-nosed his majority leader, DeLay, by outlining a counterstrategy after the Law & Order episode aired. According to a memo revealed by Roll Call, Kingston advised Republicans to note that it was a liberal plot to associate DeLay with a “racist, anti-Semitic judge-killer.” He added that Republicans should “turn the tables for a minute: You never see TV shows depicting a 15-year-old teenage girl driving across the state border to get an abortion with a Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton T-shirt on.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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