Copyrighted material


by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

2007 was another windfall year in the mistakes, failure, and "do what I say, not as I do" market. The broadcasting Lords of Loud put in another banner year of hammering the airwaves with massive distortion and divisive blather, And while every corner of society participated in the wonderful world of embarrassing, and sometimes deadly, foul-ups, celebrities ran away with the bloopers, blunders and bungles title.

Certainly, the Spears family alone supplied enough peccadilloes that People Magazine and cable TV never had to break a sweat to make deadline.

Thankfully, the complete buffoonery burden wasn't placed on the shoulders of Britney, Jamie Lynn and mama. After all, isn't that what City Councils are for?

But while it would seem that falling down only gets you a face full of dirt, the good news is that the foibles of the (in)famous can be used for the greater good for all of us. But failure doesn't magically turn into good. First you have to take an action. Of course, you, the discerning reader, rarely takes a misstep, so, you might want to seize on the wise words of Elizabeth Roosevelt: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Here's your guide for using the past year's liabilities to your 2008 advantage:

2007 Adversity: Democratic Congress

What they could have learned: That the reason they were elected was because the American people wanted a bunch of changes

Did they learn? Shortest book of 2007: List of Democratic Accomplishments

How we can benefit in 2008: Changing something doesn't mean to take something working miserably and changing it into something that doesn't work at all.

2007 Adversity: Philadelphia TV news anchor Alycia Lane sent a series of private e-mails and bikini-clad photos of herself to a married network sports anchor, which were intercepted by his wife.

What she could she have learned: That when you're a babe-a-licious celebrity in a supposedly serious, high-profile job, it might pay to keep the wacko side of your profile low.

Did she learn? F***in' no! "I'm a f***in' TV reporter, you f***in' dyke!" She screamed at a female police officer before allegedly punching the cop during a late night traffic confrontation in New York City (quote from actual police report).

How we can benefit in 2008: Rewrite New York's respected Shield Law to permit police officers to use actual shields during any traffic stops involving the volatile Ms. Lane. And make the same self-defense precautions available to her co-anchors and their wives.

2007 Adversity: Bush White House

What they could have learned: That the Presidency is supposed to represent and protect ALL American.

Did they learn? 26 percent approval rating, Dick Cheney. Alberto Gonzalez, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, SCHIP vetoed, New Orleans still Katrina aftermathing, Blackwater, immigration, Osama Still A-live-a, budget deficit, torture-tapes destroyed, Iran WWIII oops, lots of etc.

How we can benefit in 2008: Make sure that Congress doesn't pass a law allowing for a third presidential term.

2007 Adversity: Anna Nicole Smith gave birth to a baby girl while her teen son died from an overdose of drugs while visiting her in the hospital.

What she could have learned: To stay away from the people like scum lawyer Howard Stern and the exploitation of E! Entertainment, that on a weekly basis showcased the 100 car pileup known as The Anna Nicole Show.

Did she learn? Died from an overdose on drugs

How we can benefit in 2008: If your gorgeous daughter, who seems to have an IQ number close to her age has a bunch of parasites attempting to suck her dry, get her some semblance of an education, severe therapy and keep the media at least ten miles from your doorstep.

2007 Adversity: Idaho Senator, Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, has been dogged by his state's largest newspaper over rumors that this conservative, anti-gay marriage legislator, had engaged in a series of gay affairs.

What could he have learned: Never give your political foes any more ammunition than you absolutely have to.

Did he learn? Despite there being more legal, more romantic settings for a U.S. Congressman to have sex than in a public bathroom stall, Craig was caught in a Minneapolis airport bathroom soliciting a male undercover police officer.

How we can benefit in 2008: If you're a closeted conservative politician and you want to meet someone, try the Log Cabin Republicans. Mary, their bathrooms are to die for!

2007 Adversity: Housing market.

What could we have learned?: If you're going to buy a house, don't buy one beyond your means and whatever you do, don't get trapped in one of those "too good to be true" mortgage loans.

Did we learn? The housing market bottom dropped out and foreclosures on homes with subprime loans hit record breaking levels.

How can we benefit in 2008? If you're going to buy a house, don't buy one beyond your means and whatever you do, don't get trapped in one of those "too good to be true."..ah, never mind.

2007 Adversity: Celebrity Parents

What they could have learned: There are now picture-taking and recording devises that you might want to check for before you go showing off your parenting skills.

Did they learn? Alec Baldwin, Patrick Swayze, Britney Spears.

How we can benefit in 2008: Give your own mom and dad a call to tell them they weren't as bad as you thought they were

2007 Adversity: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

What could he have learned: "Keeping it zipped," isn't only meant for presidents.

Did he learn? Affair with Telemundo reporter, Mirthala Salinas

How we can benefit in 2008: Just because you're the most powerful man in one of the world's most influential cities and a gorgeous, hot anchorwoman with legs that go "up to here" is willing to... nah, forget it. Nothing any guy is going to learn here.

2007 Adversity: The LA Galaxy professional soccer team set aside a quarter of a billion dollars to get British soccer star, David Beckham, to transplant in the City of Angels.

What they could have learned: Before you sign an aging superstar for enough money to feed a mid-sized nation for a decade, give him a good physical.

Did they learn? Beckham's season goal tally for the Galaxy: 1

How can we benefit in 2008?: If you're going to blow a quarter of a billion on an aging star in an attempt to get people to pay attention to a sport franchise, use it to hire Vince Scully to broadcast all its games.

2007 Adversity: Phil Spector

What he could he have learned: At a certain age, staying home with a glass of hot cocoa, beats the hell of embarrassing yourself by trying to pick up on younger women who are laughing at you behind your toupee and -- possibly -- getting in trouble.

Did he learn? He was indicted, tried and will be retried for the murder of actress turned deceased victim, Lana Clarkson.

How we can benefit in 2008: We should understand that genius does not equate to brightness and if a genius, who wears assorted dead animals on his head because he thinks you won't notice that he's bald, isn't exactly what we call, a "looker,"and has a penchant for sticking a gun at his dates' heads to force them to stay the night with him, you might think want to spend the night at home, alone...alive.

2007 Adversity: Celebrity Seeds

What they could have learned: There are less criminal ways to embarrassing your mom and dad and if you happen to have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth there is no need to fill it with cocaine.

Did they learn? Al Gore III busted for driving eco-friendly car 100MPH, David Huckabee hung a dog and was Andy Reid's sons in jail for drugs,Nick Bollea (son of wrestler Hulk Hogan) arrested on charges of reckless driving that left his passenger in critical condition, Keifer Sutherland (Remember Donald?), still in custody,

How we can benefit in 2008: Besides locking up your kids in the house until you've passed away... Hmm. I'm sticking with that one.

2007 Adversity: Sports Personalities

What they could have learned: To remember that they are being paid the big bucks and it wouldn't hurt to be a role model for kids.

Did they learn? Slugger Barry Bonds, Track and Fields's' Marion Jones, Wrestling's Chris Benoit, NFL's Michael Vick, O.J. (Repeat division), Pitcher Roger Clemons, NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

How we can benefit in 2008: If you're looking for some role models, you might want to check out teachers, nurses, soldiers, firefighters, police and parents (especially those who are not celebrities).

2007 Adversity: Celebrities Under 30

What they could have learned: That sometimes, even a little publicity can be too much publicity, though with certain young ladies, there's no such thing as a little publicity...or too much.

Did they learn? Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Amy Winehouse, The entire Spears family, OxyCotin, cocaine, drunken stupors, jail, rehab, unwed pregnancies, shaved heads, out-of-shape MTV comebacks, crotch shots, etc, etc, best regards.

How we can benefit in 2008: Don't go within a ten mile radius of a magazine rack or cable TV.

2007 Adversity: The Broadcast Lords of Loud

What they could have learned: Perpetually dividing the country withis no way of bringing us together.

Did they learn? O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity, Medved, Levin, Ingerham, Prager, Elder, Boortz, Limbaugh, Miller, haven't changed one iota from 2006 to 2007.

How we can benefit in 2008: Maybe, just maybe, radio and cable TV goes the way of the 8 Track tape. .

Named by Leadership Excellence Magazine as one of the top 35 minds in personal development, award-winning TV Writer, Steve Young, is author of "Great Failure of the Extremely Successful...Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Steppingstones To Success" (

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Albion Monitor   December 29, 2007   (

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