Wednesday, April 10, 2019

American Shonda: The Tournament

March Madness is over, but my thirst for bracketology remains unquenched. So -- after the rousing success of the democratically-elected dictator tournament -- I propose a new tournament: American Shonda. Which American Jewish public figure is the greatest disgrace to the tribe?

The match-ups will be posted as Twitter polls on this thread. Here are the seeds (14 11 to 16 are getting play-in games):

  1. Jared Kushner
  2. Stephen Miller
  3. Sheldon Adelson
  4. Glenn Greenwald
  5. Mort Klein
  6. Roseanne Barr
  7. Rebecca Vilkomerson
  8. Ivanka Trump
  9. Lee Zeldin
  10. Dov Hikind
  11. Ariel Gold/Max Blumenthal
  12. Matt Brooks/Ben Shapiro
  13. Bernie Madoff/Dennis Prager
  14. David Horowitz/Shmuley Boteach
  15. Philip Weiss/Liel Leibovitz
  16. Jill Stein/Adam Milstein
Note that the judging criteria is who brings the greatest shame to the Jewish people as a whole -- not to your particular sub-branch (so tamp down on "as a leftist, I'm more embarrassed by fellow leftists" logic).

The opening round will be posted onto Twitter shortly. In the meantime, let's do a quick rundown of the play-in matches:

14. "Inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out." Few people have ever so fully lived out a life motto as former communist-turned-fascist David Horowitz. He goes up against "America's Roseanne's Rabbi" Shmuley Boteach, who periodically tries to arrest his fade into irrelevancy with full-page New York Times ads demonstrating why nobody cares what he thinks anymore.

15. Philip Weiss is the progenitor of Mondoweiss, an anti-Zionist Jewish website so on the nose it is literally funded by a White supremacist. He faces fellow "writer" Liel Leibovitz, who regularly vomits out gibberish disguised as erudition in a "toxic" contribution to the Jewish press.

16. Why vote for the lesser of two evils when you can vote for the middle of three? That was Jill Stein's 2016 campaign slogan (paraphrased), and it paid off -- for her and her grift, if not the country. Adam Milstein has historically been a much quieter billionaire than 3 seed Sheldon Adelson, but he's been making moves of late by insisting that Ilhan Omar is an actual terrorist. It takes a lot to have to withdraw from AIPAC 2019 for being too embarrassing, but it's enough for this bubble team to squeak his way onto the final bracket slot.

Update: Yes, there are always going to be some bubble teams that don't make the cut. But I've been alerted to some truly inexcusable omissions. We can't have a Shonda bracket where Ben Shapiro isn't in the field. And so I feel like I have no choice but to expand the play-in brackets.

11. When she isn't shilling for Iran, Code Pink big wig Ariel Gold is gleefully photographing Neturei Karta activists in Rashida Tlaib's office. Gold's never met a dictatorship she doesn't like (save Saudi Arabia -- Iranian patronage comes with strings). But Max Blumenthal hasn't met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like. The man you call when James O'Keefe is in prison presents a formidable challenge and a marquee play-in game match-up.

12. Can a spineless weasel be your spirit animal? Matt Brooks and the RJC want to find out! Though I suppose it takes guts, in a sense, to spend an entire conference raking Ilhan Omar over alleged "dual loyalty" insinuations and then shrug and smile when President Trump tells a roomful of American Jews that Netanyahu is "your Prime Minister." He'll face leading, ahem, conservative "intellectual" Ben Shapiro. Shapiro is a very different animal from the alt-right, in that (a) the alt-right hates Shapiro, whereas Shapiro loves himself, and (b) there are no other material differences between Ben Shapiro and the alt-right.

13. Speaking of "intellectuals", Dennis Prager's "PragerU" is where you go if you want such academic gems like "the southern strategy doesn't exist" and "maybe Hitler would've been okay if he'd stayed in Germany." He was almost disqualified because he clearly would rather be Christian. His opponent is Bernie Madoff, who also almost didn't make the cut because arguably a "public figure" can't be in prison. Madoff -- the living embodiment of a deadly antisemitic stereotype -- certainly qualifies as an embarrassment, but has he spent too long out of the public eye to compete?

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