Winners and Losers: Imus Comes Back Swinging and Letterman’s Creepy Week


david-letterman-032709lIt’s Friday, which means it’s time to separate the chumps from the champs in Mediaite’s new “Winners and Losers” — our scorecard of who rocked and who flopped in the week’s headlines.

This week’s contenders include: Michael Vick, giving reality-redemption a shot, Don Imus, back on TV and already taking cheap shots, and Tom Delay, who samba-ed away his own chances at Dancing With The Stars glory. Here’s the rundown:

The Bronze Loser: Mel Gibson

Remember back in 2006 when Mel Gibson got wasted and went on an anti-semetic tirade? Nope, you sure don’t, because it never happened. At least according to his arrest record, which fancy attorneys had expunged earlier this week. And that means it’s been erased from our brains too, with some sort of Men In Black-esque device? Seriously, we understand wanting a clean slate if you were planning on filling out an application at the FBI or something, but we remember Mel’s mugshot better than most of his movies. So really, what’s the point?

The Bronze Winner: Don Imus

It’s been two years since the old cowboy got himself axed from morning TV, but Imus is back in the saddle this week, proving he’s still got it! And by “it” we mean a knack for obnoxiousness and a loyal fanbase to soak it up. In true pot and kettle fashion, Imus began his comeback calling David Letterman an “angry, mean-spirited jerk” and his former parent network “corrupt.” And the old schtick seems to be working — he’s boosted FBN’s morning ratings by roughly a billion percent.

The Silver Loser: Tom Delay

Dancing with the Stars was working out great for the former House Majority Leader. Yes, his moves were cringeworthy, but trainwreck TV has mass appeal and his cha-cha achieved bipartisan support! A few more rounds of sequins and soft-shoe and we might have forgotten all about those looming corruption charges. But instead, Delay quit early because his little feet hurt. Now he’s still the shady “Hammer” of the House — and he’s also the wussyboy of reality TV.

The Silver Winner: Michael Vick

He’s out of the slammer and back in the NFL, and now the convicted dog killer is getting his own show! God Bless America! And it’s not just a genius PR play. Michael Vick says his BET docu-drama can be a “blueprint” for kids dealing with adversity. We can hear his pitch now: “Sure, kids, dog killing might have worked out awesome for me, but how about you give not killing dogs a try?” A guaranteed tear-jerker.

The Gold Loser: Hollywood

Celebrity support is always nauseating, but industry A-listers outdid themselves when they came together to defend fugitive child-rapist Roman Polanski, not because he’s innocent, but because he’s their friend and he’s a “genius.” Apparently in Hollywood, being popular and brilliant means raping kids and fleeing is a-ok! And now it turns out some Polanski petitioners are also big Obama-backers. And the right-wing rant writes itself.

The Gold Winner: David Letterman

The Late Show host might have humiliated himself last week with admissions of “creepy” sex with staffers, but this week he’s turned things around. Monday’s mea culpa was sincere, as well as hilarious. It was also ratings gold! And so far, the scandal’s sordid details aren’t so sordid. (There was sex. Sex was had. That’s pretty much it.) And compared to Roman Polanski and MacKenzie Phillips‘ father, Letterman still looks pretty darned good!

Honorable Mention: Barack Obama

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