Year-end lists

YEAR-END LISTS…. I know it’s just a gimmick, meant more as conversation pieces than actual reporting, but I have to admit, I’m a sucker for year-end lists. Time recently put together “The Top 10 Everything of 2008,” and I actually went through the whole darn thing.

That said, there are a couple of year-end lists that I found especially interesting. The first comes by way of Media Matters, which lists the “Most Inane Punditry of the 2008 presidential campaign,” and lets readers vote on the worst of the worst. There are some real gems in there, some of which I’d forgotten about. The 10 examples include:

* Barnes: Obama not “strong on national security” because he opposed war “when the entire world believed” Saddam had WMD

* Defending Givhan’s cleavage coverage, Harwood asserted “calculati[ng]” Clinton knew “what she was communicating by her dress”

* Matthews: “Who would win a street fight … Rudy Giuliani or President Ahmadinejad”

* Brooks thinks Obama wouldn’t seem to “fit[] in naturally” at an Applebee’s salad bar — maybe because Applebee’s doesn’t have them

* Cokie Roberts on Obama’s vacation: “I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state,” but it looks “foreign, exotic”

I also enjoyed Foreign Policy’s list of the 10 worst predictions of the year. Some of my favorites included:

* Bill Kristol: “Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.”

* Jim Cramer in March: “Peter writes: ‘Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there?’ No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out…. Bear Stearns is not in trouble. I mean, if anything they’re more likely to be taken over. Don’t move your money from Bear! That’s just being silly! Don’t be silly!”

* Donald Luskin in September, the day before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy: “[A]nyone who says we’re in a recession, or heading into one — especially the worst one since the Great Depression — is making up his own private definition of ‘recession.'”