The Diddly Awards

THE GEORGE ALLEN (SR.) AWARD FOR THE MIDTERM ELECTION’S MOST DESPERATE HAIL-MARY PASS

Illustration by: Peter Hoey

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NOMINEE 1
Raj Peter Bhakta (gop House candidate-Pa.) won D-list fame as a contestant
on The Apprentice. But even The Donald never showed the chutzpah Bhakta displayed
when, to demonstrate how easy it is for immigrants to cross the border, he attempted
to ride an elephant—followed by two other elephants and a six-piece mariachi
band—across the Rio Grande in Texas. (Bhakta lost.)

NOMINEE 2
Michael Steele (gop Senate candidate-Md.) ran an ad of himself hugging
a Boston terrier and warning that his opponent would claim, “Steele hates puppies—and
worse.” The response ad came quickly: “Michael Steele: He likes puppies, but
he loves George Bush.” Then, on Election Day, gop operatives paid six busloads
of destitute men to stand in front of voting stations in largely black precincts
and hand out flyers falsely claiming Steele was a Democrat. (Steele lost.)

NOMINEE 3
Claire McCaskill (Democratic Senate candidate-Mo.) bought 100 Rams tickets
when she learned that a St. Louis TV station would not broadcast the season
opener unless it sold out. She gave the football tickets to charity, and the
media unleashed story after story proclaiming her good will and brilliant campaign
instincts. (McCaskill won.)

NOMINEE 4
Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) made a last-ditch appeal to those influential
voters, Lord of the Rings nerds. Santorum explained to a local editorial board:
“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere
else. It’s being drawn to Iraq.” We have no idea what it means either, but we
suspect it has something to do with man-on-dog sex. (Farewell Santorum. Diddly
will be lost without you.)

WINNER!
Raj Peter Bhakta
, whose Hannibal stunt failed to make the splash he was
hoping for. “The elephant never made landfall into Mexico,” Bhakta explained.
“He could have made 15 laps back and forth, but no one showed up.” Except for
agents from the USDA, who detained the elephants and sprayed them for ticks.

THE BIG PICTURE

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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