The Most Excellent Hot Messes of 2013

A very distinguished list.

  • We sexted, we filibustered, we shot selfies at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. We made bad websites. We were led astray by cronuts and tempted by imaginary girlfriends, and we shamed our dogs on Facebook. Let he among us who has not twerked pop the first hip bump! We hurled epithets at photographers, stunk up the basketball court and humiliated our spouses. Atonement in January’s harsh glare is nigh, but first, a salute to some of the year’s more colorful newsmakers.

     

     

     

  • Vanity, thy name is Steamroller. Five years after ending his undistinguished 14 months in Albany, the prostitute-loving former governor apparently grew bored of doing nothing in particular. He waltzed into the comptroller’s race, in an attempt to defeat head-down, machine-made Scott Stringer, a solid if not stirring candidate. Despite Mr. Spitzer’s intellectual firepower and the kind of innate elitism many Manhattanites feel at home with, not enough people bought it to send him into an office several stations below his previous one. Though he did rebound at the end of the year by romancing Lis Smith, a de Blasio spokeswoman who wears power dresses to family Christmas celebrations. (Photo: Getty Images)

  • Was this a good year or a bad year for LiLo? It matters not— Ms. Bynes offers this year’s standard-issue celebrity meltdown. We won’t go into every sordid detail of her fairly typical unraveling, but it started when Ms. Bynes allegedly lit a joint in the lobby of the Biltmore, the West 47th Street building where she was living, then threw a bong out the 36th floor window. From there, it descended into a blur of cheek piercings, wigs, alleged drug den pictures and the inevitable rehab. Last we heard she was enjoying a trip to Disneyland with her mother and trying not to snort Snow White. (Photo: Getty Images)

  • Praise is due to Mr. Weiner for raising the mayor’s race to historical absurdity highs. Following his surprise entry in May, he enjoyed a brief surge of public forgiveness that pretty much evaporated two months later, when he admitted to sexting with some lady Internet friends even after quitting Congress in June 2011. Carlos Danger refused to withdraw from the mayor’s race, despite calls from all corners, and appeared increasingly manic, unhinged and Charlie Sheen-like as the slog dragged on, landing with less than 5 percent of the vote. Whither the remains of this once-promising pol? We hear there’s a late-night slot on MSNBC. Honorable mention: his spokesperson, Barbara Morgan, for referring to a former intern as a “slutbag” to a reporter.(Photo: Getty Images)

  • She came into 2013 like a wrecking ball, twerking in a video and wearing the last baggy clothing anyone has ever seen her in. Nobody saw her at all at the Jingle Ball, where she was a no-show. We’ll let the Mileyologists parse whether the Brooklyn VMAs scene-stealer’s a tart, train wreck, fashion genius or the next Madonna. We just want to know: What’s that white shmear on her tongue? Could a scraper help? (Photo: WireImage)

  • It’s impossible to pick just one player from New York’s senior squad to bestow the hot mess title to. Fresh off a second-round play-off exit (which sadly is a success in modern Knicks’ history), instead of retooling wisely, the Knicks spent their summer doing things like trading future draft picks for a marginal, baby-soft, 7-foot power forward and alienating their second-best play-off performer (Iman Shumpert) with needless trade rumors. In a woeful Atlantic Division, where being even one game under .500 would put the Knicks in first, they can’t even do that. That they’ll end up another high payroll dysfunction of the Dolan Era seems obvious now. The question is just how high they’ll rank on the list. (Photo: Getty Images)

  • Allegations of sexual harassment and just plain creepiness aren’t new for the square-spectacled photographer who's launched a thousand Williamsburg imitators. But this year, an 18-year-old Brit with no actual connection to Mr. Richardson or the fashion industry launched a campaign to get big brands to “stop using alleged sex offender and pornographic Terry Richardson.” The Post ran with a lengthy retrospect of all the allegations. As of year’s end, the Change.org petition had almost 20,000 signatures. But the Richardson train chugs along: He directed one of Beyoncés new vids and just wrapped a shoot with Lady Gaga. Thumbs up, Terry!(Photo: McMullan)

  • This wasn’t “beauty editor” Cat Marnell’s messiest year on record, but she is the poster girl for hot messes so get used to her. Customarily clad in white jeans and tank top that look like they’ve been out a few nights running, the petite platinum blonde with the smudged lipstick inked a book deal for a cool half-million in April. The skilled oversharer is the hot mess that all hot messes should aspire to. (Photo: McMullan)

  • Mr. Baldwin’s MSNBC show Up Late had barely achieved lift-off when it was canceled, following the revelation that he hurled an anti-gay epithet at a paparazzo who was snapping shots of the actor’s family outside his apartment. It wasn’t the first time he lashed out at a photog or dragged the gays into an angry outburst (though Mr. Baldwin has typically preferred “queen” to “c-cksucking f-g,” our friends at nymag.com point out). Despite issuing an apology, Mr. Baldwin was roundly scolded by GLAAD, everyone on Twitter and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who stopped short of banning his celebrity supporter from the inauguration festivities. No word on whether Mr. Baldwin will show, but photograph him at your own risk. (Photo: Lisa Medchill.)

  • The founder of the Bleacher Report was the most hated guy on the Internet for a day after he decided that women were an unserved demographic and launched a site called Bustle to correct that. Unfortunately, he mansplained his new site in a tone-deaf press release on PandoDaily: “Yes, we believe that a partner-track attorney can be passionate about world affairs and celebrity gossip. On the same day. During the same coffee break. And there is nothing wrong with that. Welcome to the year 2013,” he wrote. Further stoking the ire of the Internet, he was photographed for a September profile in The New Yorker surrounded by young women, one of whose legs handily served as Mr. Goldberg’s desk.

  • There’s no shame in picking a losing horse (this paper also endorsed Bill Thompson in the mayoral primary), but it’s a rare talent to do so with as much bluster as the teacher’s union boss, who claimed that his blessing could swing the election. “We’re not about picking a mayor,” Mr. Mulgrew told The Observer’s Jill Colvin in June. “We’re about making a mayor, making the winner. And that’s what we’re gonna do.” Despite the millions he injected into the effort, things didn’t exactly go that way, but political wags weren’t altogether surprised: The union has lost so many elections its endorsement could be seen by some as a curse. (Photo: WireImage)

  • Hailed among the Twitterati for his reporting speed and rich storytelling, Reuters’ distinguished former social media editor was indicted for allegedly helping Anonymous hackers gain access to the Los Angeles Times site. He was suspended by Reuters following the indictment, then fired for tweeting Boston bombing inaccuracies on his personal Twitter account. He pleaded not guilty in April. Though the Internet rallied around him at first, paid employment eluded him. Now the bowl-cutted bomb-thrower, who humbly calls himself “the Internet’s journalist,” is doing his journalism thing on a one-man site called The Desk. "...maybe after the crazy has died down I’ll decide journalism isn’t for me," he told CJR. "If that’s the case, there’s a small island, inhabited in the South Pacific, that I will try to swim to." (Photo: Getty Images)

  • —Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, David Colon and Faye Penn

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