A lot of people remain shocked — shocked! — that a little known organization called the National Father's Day Council has named Bill Clinton its "Father of the Year." Sure, Chelsea was excited, but conservatives like Jonah Goldberg took pause, Politico got all excited, and the Drudge Report ran the story under a photo of Monica Lewinsky, all of which combined to get the story trending on Twitter this morning. Well, here's a question for all those people: Can you name last year's Father of the Year? No Googling allowed, and you can scroll down for the answer, but let's let the Twitterverse and the Father's Day Council try to answer for themselves:
Adulterers everywhere are heartened by Bill Clinton's "Father of the Year" honor.— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 10, 2013
Hearing that he was named "Father of the Year," Bill Clinton fondly recalled all those times he asked: "Who's your daddy?"— Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) January 10, 2013
Bill Clinton named Father of the Year. No doubt Monica Lewinsky's father applaudes the recognition.— Tom Jurman (@tjurman) January 10, 2013
And one more:
In the pop culture fatherhood has been rendered meaningless so why should Bill Clinton not be father of the year?— P Flynn Anderson (@middlemom) January 10, 2013
We totally get it. Fathers of the year shouldn't be messing around with interns. But perhaps, people are taking this a bit too seriously. The erosion of fatherhood? C'mon guys. This is the National Father's Day Council. (Have you named the previous winner yet?) And this is how the group describes itself:
Today, the Council continues to focus on the celebration, observation and preservation of Father's and Mother's Day through public service advertising and public relations events. National philanthropic partnerships with organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the Council continues to work hard to meet our philanthropic objectives.
Creating buzz and hoopla is, apparently, in their mission statement. And this "award" for Clinton seems to be quite the event, right? Here's the Google search trend data for "Father of the Year" over the past year:
The National Father's Day Council sure wouldn't mind that line getting a little closer to the 100 mark, huh? In the chart above, "B" represents when — spoiler alert! — Shaquille O'Neal was named one of last year's Fathers of the Year. But in the past few days the searches have looked like this:
So, yes, picking Clinton yesterday and the controversy today had something to do with that — it's a nice PR move for a small group... and an important holiday. For the record, last year's other "winners" were Oscar Feldenkreis, Reynold Levy, John Thain, Christopher Valerian, and Shaq.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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