Kathleen Parker

Gibson, who got pulled over for DUI, expressed dissatisfaction with his circumstances by ranting to the Jewish deputy sheriff that Jews are to blame for all the wars throughout history. The star later admitted to fighting alcoholism, and entered rehab.

Richards, meanwhile, went into a racist rage when hecklers interrupted his comedy skit. He took his apology to David Letterman ``Late Show,'' where he promised to get to the bottom of the rage that caused him to ``talk trash'' and the U.S. to take war to another nation.

Yes, he did.

The germ apparently not only had infected Richards, but the entire U.S. government, including Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned office when his sexually explicit electronic messages to male pages came to light.

Foley apologized, saying he had been abused by a priest when he was a teen and that he is an alcoholic. He also announced that he is gay, which seemed to surprise only Foley.

Finally, in the (BEG ITAL)coup de culpa(END ITAL), O.J. Simpson wrote a book that no one published and no one read, confessing how he (BEG ITAL)might(END ITAL) have killed his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, (BEG ITAL)if(END ITAL) he had done it.

But, of course, he didn't.

Public outrage led to Simpson's book being canceled before its release, and his publisher, Judith Regan of HarperCollins, was fired.

Regan did not apologize for her lousy idea, though she did announce that she was a victim of domestic abuse and that she was moving to Ireland. Simpson, thus far, has offered no apology. For anything. Ever.

And that, as they say, is a wrap on a year that would drive anyone to drink, but not to drink and drive. Be grateful it's over, be careful as you celebrate, and don't forget to wear your underwear. Ever.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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