Best: Ben Stein riled up the secular elites with his documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," which revealed the dogmatic -- even fanatical -- views of God-spurning scientists who insist that no one who questions Charles Darwin's theories of evolution should be allowed to teach a science class. One professor lamented that the film would "appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists and the ignorant -- which means they're going to draw in about 90 percent of the American market."
Worst: The moral backwardness of the Showtime series "Dexter," whose allegedly heroic title character is a serial killer working as a blood-spatter specialist for the Miami police. (He only kills and slices up bad guys, the producers insist.) The TV writers' strike spurred CBS to put this scummy show on broadcast television, multiplying its disgusting reach by a factor of eight. CBS hoped to make a profit with a show celebrating human butchery with an ironic wink. Thankfully it bombed, and was cancelled.
Worst: Fox's "Family Guy" making fun of Jesus Christ as a slacker who works in a record store to get away from the God the Father, allegedly an almighty pain in the rear as he tries to quit smoking. Jesus appears to the masses, quickly loses his morality as he acquires fame and fortune on TV, and is found dead drunk by the cops. He's so pathetic he needs to be bailed out from jail by the dumbest character in the animated universe. The atheist Seth MacFarlane spurns his critics as the ones who are morally obtuse, saying it's "like getting hate mail from Hitler."
Best: Advertisers who really practice corporate responsibility by placing their commercials on healthier television fare, and seeking to avoid subsidizing the vilest corners of the boob tube. Coca-Cola led the list of the Parents Television Council's 10 best advertisers, which also included big names like Clorox, Hershey, Century 21, Whirlpool, State Farm and Hewlett-Packard. At the top of the Worst Advertisers list was General Motors, which adds to the reasons why a GM bailout would be objectionable.
On to 2009, and as Hollywood's political contributions helped remove any Republican leadership in Washington, the level of raunch, like the economy, may get much worse before it gets better.