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Saskatchewan July 24, 2004 - 12:31 pm  
 
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U.S. President George W. Bush a big winner at World Stupidity Awards
NELSON WYATT
Updated at 21:53 on July 23, 2004, EST.


MONTREAL (CP) - The November elections may still be ahead of him but U.S. President George W. Bush came out a big winner Friday - at the World Stupidity Awards.

Bush was a dominating presence at the second edition of the awards presented at the Just for Laughs comedy festival. An advance list of the winners was obtained by The Canadian Press. Bush took the Stupidest Man of the Year Award and for the second time in the history of the two-year-old awards won the Stupidity Award for Reckless Endangerment of the Planet.

Bush didn't take the category alone, however, and tied with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The controversial Texan president shared in two other awards as the United States was noted for having the Stupidest Government of the Year.

"What was interesting about that is that the decision was made overwhelmingly by Americans who voted," said Albert Nerenberg, of the Main Organization Revealing Obvious Numbskulls which organizes the awards.

Nominations and voting took place at the organization's online site, except for the lifetime achievement award which is settled by the judges.

The nominations were judged by experts in their fields - "a bunch of idiots" and overseen by the Academy for Recognizing Stupidity Everywhere.

Stupidest Statement of the Year was Bush's pronouncement that "combat operations have ended in Iraq," where fighting still rages more than a year after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Though he is facing war crimes charges in his home country after being captured by U.S. forces, Saddam can take solace in the Lifetime Achievement Award for Stupidity, which was bestowed on him Friday.

He was not present to receive the award.

Iraq and the conservative right in the United States figured heavily in the awards, which declared Fox's The O'Reilly Factor the Stupidest TV Show and gave Fox News the nod for Media Outlet Which Has Made the Greatest Contribution to Furthering Ignorance Worldwide.

Also, Stupidest Woman of the Year was U.S. soldier Pte. Lyndie England, who became notorious after pictures were published of her allegedly abusing Arab prisoners in a Baghdad military prison. She is facing charges.

Cast members from Survivor: All Stars - runner-up Boston Rob Cesternino, Kathy O'Brien and Shii Ann Huang - gave the award for stupidest trend, which was trucker hats.

Stupidest Act of the Year went to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, who cradled his baby while feeding a crocodile, an act which sparked a storm of protest.

Gigli, considered one of the worst movies of the year and an albatross for stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, tied with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ as Stupidest Movie. The tie was to be broken by audience members at the Friday night event.

Although Canada was shut out, Nerenberg said it was a banner year for stupidity.

"It was a stupendous year for stupidity," he said.





© Canadian Press 2004
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