Bad guy of 2006: President Bush. Good
guy of 2006: President Bush. When people were asked in an AP-AOL News poll to
name the villains and heroes of the year, Bush topped both lists, in a sign of
these polarized times.
Among entertainment celebrities, Oprah Winfrey edged out Michael J. Fox as
the best celebrity role model while Britney Spears outdistanced Paris Hilton as the worst.
Bush won the villain sweepstakes by a landslide, with one in four respondents
putting him at the top of that bad-guy list. When people were asked to name the
candidate for villain that first came to mind, Bush far outdistanced even Osama
bin Laden, the terrorist leader in hiding; and former Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein, who is scheduled for execution.
The president was picked as hero of the year by a much smaller margin. In the
poll, 13 percent named him as their favorite while 6 percent cited the troops in
On the question of celebrity role models, a pop singer's bad behavior claimed
When asked to choose from a list of names, nearly three in 10 adults, or 29
percent, bestowed the honor of worst celebrity of the year on Spears.
The 25-year-old pop singer and mother of two young sons recently filed for
divorce from Kevin Federline, her husband of two years. She then followed with
highly publicized nights out with party girls Hilton and Lindsay Lohan,
including photographic evidence of Spears wearing no underpants, which raised
questions about her fitness as a parent.
Second-worst celebrity billing went to Hilton, 18 percent. The 25-year-old
celebutante was arrested for drunken
driving in Los Angeles in September while, she has said, she was
on a late-night hamburger run.
Mel Gibson, 50, was third-worst celebrity with 12 percent, surely the result
of his anti-Semitic tirade at police in Malibu, Calif., during his arrest on
suspicion of drunken driving. He later apologized and said he harbored no
animosity toward Jews.
In the best celebrity role model category, 29 percent of adults chose
talk-show host Winfrey.
The philanthropist and entertainment mogul contributed $40 million toward the
establishment of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa,
which is scheduled to open next month.
Jolie and Cruise were the only celebrities to land on both the best and worst
lists. But more people named Jolie best celebrity role model, and more people
named Cruise worst.