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"All the Best, All the Worst 2011"

Aired December 31, 2011 - 19:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Isha Sesay. The AC360 Special, ALL THE BEST AND ALL THE WORST OF 2011starts in just a couple of minutes.

But first I want to show you what's happening right here in New York's Times Square, where thousands of people are gathering ahead of midnight. We've got about four hours to go, but already it is filling up. The weather is mild; it's just about 45 degrees, which kind of explains why there are so many people packed into New York's Times Square tonight. Security is tight, but people are still having a really great time. They're in great spirits, they've got their balloons, they've got their hats, they're in good voice and they're just generally soaking up the unique atmosphere here in New York's Time Square.

I'm going to be back at 8:30 with another update and I'm going to be doing s live show at 10:00 pm. It's a webcast, it's on I'm going to take you behind the scenes and really show you what it takes to pull off CNN's massive operation, to show you how the celebration's done here in New York's Times Square and also, of course, show you what it takes to get that massive show with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin off the ground. So you're going to have to tune in for that - 10:00 pm Eastern, it's on, it's a live webcast.

Then at 11:00 pm, tune into NEW YEARS EVE LIVE with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. They're going to show you the celebrations from here in New York's Times Square and right around the world. They're going to show you just how festive it is and just how unique it is right here in New York City.

But for now, let's go back to you, let's tune in and watch ALL THE BEST ALL THE WORST - it's an AC360 special from the year 2011. We'll see you soon.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): They say there is no time like the present, and that's both good and bad. This year, like most, triumphs and troubles are plenty -- unemployment, tornadoes, high- profile trials and low-class behavior. Time abroad brought earthquakes, riots and wars.

And yet, there were good times, too -- a fairy tale wedding, some story book endings and even a few seconds of pure bliss.

And we have it all right here in Times Square as we count down to the year with our panel. Reality TV star Carson Kressley, actress Cloris Leachman, columnist LZ Granderson, talk radio's Dana Loesch, the ace of cakes, Duff Goldman, our own Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett. And a special guest appearance by Turtleman.

It's time for A.C. 360's "All the Best, All the Worst 2011."

(on camera): Welcome. I'm Tom Foreman.

Each year has its hallmark, personalities, event, moments that define our times, things that we will remember for years after all the other details have fallen away. This year was packed full of such milestones, and perhaps more than ever before, many had global implications.

Over the next hour, we will sort through, remember and reconsider this year of very big news.


LZ GRANDERSON, CNN.COM CONTRIBUTOR: The word crazy keeps coming to mind -- a crazy year.

CARSON KRESSLEY, REALITY STAR: I think it was one of those rollercoaster years.

ERIN BURNETT, HOST, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": Talk about unexpected, right?

DANA LOESCH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This year's been all over the place.

FOREMAN: The final liftoff of Atlantis.

DUFF GOLDMAN, CHEF & OWNER, CHARM CITY CAKES: This year was weird, wasn't it?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's been a tough year for the country.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Iraq war is coming to an end.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Let's start with the biggest best story of 2011: The wholesale return of American troops from Iraq after more than eight years of combat, more than 4,000 lives lost, tens of thousands wounded, whether you supported the war or not, this end was a long time coming. And even with Afghanistan still in play, it was welcome relief for many military families.

But some of the happy reunions may have been stifled by the biggest, baddest story confronting everyone once again.

LOESCH: What was the number one concern that everybody had? It's jobs. Everybody knew someone who lost their job. GRANDERSON: We've been hovering between 9.2 and 9.1, you know, for the past couple of years. You know, that has made -- that has defined 2011.

FOREMAN: A late-year dip into the 8 percent range helped a bit. But despite a lot of ambitious talk from politicians about plans for recovering the millions of jobs lost in the recession, unemployment lines remained long and frustration levels high.

KRESSLEY: The retail slump continued.

LEACHMAN: It's horrible not to be able to pay for yourself, to have a job, to work at what you're good at.

COOPER: It feels like a lot of people that the game is rigged or they just can't get ahead. And there are some very, you know, very severe imbalances in this country.

FOREMAN: At least there is this, if misery loves company, more Americans seem to be warming to the notion that the whole world is in this economic mess together.

LEACHMAN: We need each other. We need each other to buy each other's products and make it all work.

FOREMAN: Biggest blowup goes to the Middle East where the Arab Spring movement ignited passions across the region.

GRANDERSON: I don't think the Middle East went crazy. We're just starting to pay attention.

COOPER: You know, I think what we're seeing happen in the Middle East is extraordinary.

LEACHMAN: It's quite thrilling. And where's it all going to end?

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Judgment Day this Saturday, the end of the world is almost here.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: Come with me if you want to live.

FOREMAN: Well, after the world did not end, this year saw big names one after another either toppled or put under heavy pressure -- Mubarak, Gadhafi, Assad. And in a surprising late development, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died in December.

BURNETT: It's not a good year to be a dictator.

FOREMAN: But in their place arose a lot of uncertainty.

GRANDERSON: It's going to be a long time before we'll be able to really say if this is better or worse.

GOLDMAN: And I am really interested to see three years from now what's it going to look like.


FOREMAN: Best surprise in that volatile part of the world -- the sudden announcement that Osama bin Laden, the long time head of al Qaeda, had been killed in a daring raid by Navy SEALs in Pakistan on orders from President Obama.

LOESCH: I think people were kind of stunned and I give him credit for giving the order.

OBAMA: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

FOREMAN: Bin Laden's body was buried at sea, and though some said he was no longer he had once been --

COOPER: I think there's tremendous value in him as a symbol, that somebody that United States staked its reputation on finding him and bringing him to justice.

GOLDMAN: The biggest reaction I saw was at Wrestlemania.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have caught and compromised to a permanent end, Osama bin Laden.

GOLDMAN: Everyone went nuts.

FOREMAN: Worst surprise anywhere -- the terrible earthquake that pounded Japan and the devastating tsunami that followed.

COOPER: You couldn't even tell where the ground was. Things were just piled up because the water had been carried and everything was bunched up in strange areas.

FOREMAN: And if that were not bad enough, the nuclear plant crisis that emerged in the disaster's wake kept the world holding its breath, fearing a complete meltdown.

GRANDERSON: It was absolutely horrific, you know, what happened to the people of Japan. What was encouraging was seeing how the world responded to it.

GOLDMAN: One of the things that I'm really impressed with is I'm still hearing people talk about the Japanese earthquake, I'm still seeing people doing fund-raisers for the Japanese earthquake.

LOESCH: And it is unbelievably inspiring. I think it's a huge testament to what people can do when they work together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a violent tornado.

FOREMAN: The resilience of people was tested a lot closer to home, too. Worst weather.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man! Look at the trees.

FOREMAN: The huge tornadoes that hit Mississippi and Alabama. BURNETT: Those were monster storms. They were -- it was amazing to see that happen in the United States. But it was also amazing to se how those communities pulled together.

FOREMAN: And speaking of pulling together, time got it right. Worldwide, this was the year of the protester. Whether you like it or not, in the U.S. the movement of the year has to go to the Occupy crowd.


FOREMAN: Sure, the name is not the best and we're still not certain what they want. But give them credit for sticking it out through thick and thin by filling up parks, street corners, you name it.

KRESSLEY: A lot of occupy icky parks you wouldn't normally occupy. I'm like, great use of space, OK? No one was hanging out there and now it's like a party, and I'm thinking this is a great opportunity for businesses to spring up. But that would kind of be very anti- Occupy.

GOLDMAN: I think that it's really important for people to take very extreme measures to get people to wake up.

PROTESTERS: We are the 99 percent!

FOREMAN: It's not everyone's cup of tea.

LOESCH: I think it's a self-indulgent situational hobo train quite frankly.

FOREMAN: But it has proven to have some staying power.

GRANDERSON: I think it's really funny that people are demanding leadership for something that is organic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are all leaders!

PROTESTERS: We are all leaders!

GRANDERSON: You know, it seems to me like the very definition of organic means there is no set plan. It's just kind of just happening.



FOREMAN (on camera): Coming up, we will look at some sensational trials, the sports world's biggest triumphs and tragedies and the wedding of the year.

KRESSLEY: Happy news. I love happy news.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Fasten your seat belts. "All the Best, All the Worst 2011" is just getting started.




FOREMAN: This was undeniably a difficult year for many people. And yet as always, we also found things to celebrate -- some here in our own country and some in galaxies far, far away.


ANNOUNCER: All three engines up and burning. Two, one, zero -- and liftoff! The final liftoff of Atlantis -- on the shoulders of the space shuttle, America will continue the dream.

FOREMAN (voice-over): This sendoff, the long farewell to the space shuttle, 135 missions, 30 years of service, endless inspiration for young Americans.

COOPER: I think there was this real sense of a lot of people wanted to be there for that final launch to witness this part of history.

LOESCH: I have a lot of faith that the private sector is going to somehow make up the loss that we have.

FOREMAN: Best reason to think he might be right. That Swiss guy called jet man.

Best party back here on earth -- give it to the Brits and the royal wedding. Prince William and Kate Middleton provided a welcome distraction from the planet's turmoil. He was dashing. She was radiant. Westminster Abbey was splendid.

LEACHMAN: It was lovely, wonderful, darling.

FOREMAN: Best and worst maid of honor -- Kate's sister Pippa, for stealing the bride's big scene.

KRESSLEY: Who walks downtown aisle first, Pippa Middletown, and they had that shot of her from behind -- and you're like oh, my God, look that the wagon she's dragging. Look at that caboose on the gal.


BURNETT: She got a lot of attention in that dress and rightfully so.

GOLDMAN: And now, there's all these people are getting butt implants to look like -- not Kate but somebody else.

FOREMAN (on camera): The queen?

GOLDMAN: No. Maybe, if you're into that kind of thing. I don't know.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Worst head wear that looked more like a science project. Princess Beatrice's chapeau. LOESCH: That was crazy. What?

LEACHMAN: I think they have a sense of humor about that.

GRANDERSON: I couldn't care less about who's getting married unless it's me.

COOPER: I think people in the end really wanted to tune in and watch it because there is something from another time about it. You can't help but put a smile on your face.

FOREMAN: Back in the States, smiles were in short supply as several high-profile trials dominated the news. Dr. Conrad Murray was attending to Michael Jackson when he died. That case activated viewers for weeks. Now, however, the doctor is locked up, found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above-entitled action find the defendant Conrad Robert Murray guilty.

FOREMAN: And sentenced to 48 months in the (INAUDIBLE).

Best American student free from an Italian prison after being jailed for four years -- Amanda Knox.

BURNETT: People cared about what happened to Amanda Knox. There aren't that many stories where you see people from all over the world so curious.

FOREMAN: Still the trial of the year goes to Casey Anthony.

LOESCH: That woman made me angry. Whole case made me angry.

FOREMAN: After endless testimony about the disappearance of her little girl Caylee and a string of soap opera-like witness testimony, the verdict was clearly not what many expected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. Verdict as to count two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. Verdict as to count three, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

GOLDMAN: I think that everybody knows she's guilty. I think be everybody thinks they know she's guilty but to the letter of the law, was there a shadow of a doubt? Yes.

COOPER: So many people wanted justice for that little girl. Obviously, a lot of people were surprised by the result.

KRESSLEY: But I did learn to say new words like tot mom from Nancy Grace. Do not pee on my leg and tell me it is raining.

FOREMAN: More action came bubbling up in the world of sports this year, too, and what some are calling the worst sports scandal ever -- the Penn State debacle. Former assistants coach Jerry Sandusky came out fast denying accusations that he is sexual predator who targeted young boys. But the affair ended the career of legendary coach Joe Paterno spurred students to riot.

And soon, similar accusations against a different coach at Syracuse, which that coach also denied. No wonder some folks can't stomach sports news at all.

LEACHMAN: I always throw the sports section away when I open the paper.

FOREMAN: Still, despite labor disputes that threaten both the football and basketball seasons, others found plenty to love.

GOLDMAN: I love sports.

BURNETT: I love sports.

KRESSLEY: I love sports.

Rhythmic gymnastics where they have that stick with the string and they jump around to beautiful music.


FOREMAN: The best of the best in categories other than rhythmic gymnastics, the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship. The Boston Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup.

GOLDMAN: Well, seeing as how I grew up on Cape Cod and I'm a giant Bruins fan, I was very happy with the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. Now, I can die happy.

FOREMAN: The St. Louis Cardinals waged an epic battle to win the World Series.

GRANDERSON: The playoffs were just amazing.

LOESCH: The sixth game of the World Series was the best baseball game I've ever seen, albeit it took five years off my life. It was an amazing game.

FOREMAN: The Green Bay Packers grabbed the trophy in the NFL to the delight of the whole cheese head nation.

KRESSLEY: Well, do I look like a Packers fan? I think so.

FOREMAN: And we'll give the best of the best in big league sports to the Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has looked largely untouchable ever since taking the title.

GRANDERSON: I think Brett Favre is a very mad man. He's very, very entertaining. He's very, very angry, because his successor right now to me is playing at a level that he never reached at any point of his 20-year career.

Aaron Rodgers right now is defining what it means to be a quarterback in this new century.

FOREMAN: Worst no show, Peyton Manning who following neck surgery was pulled from the Colts lineup even before the season started.

Best cheerleader in any sport despite impressive challengers, oddly enough -- that's Cloris.

LEACHMAN: Roosevelt (INAUDIBLE), if not for you, we're blue to the end, we show you right lots of fight for the blue and the white, Roosevelt, we're for you, Roosevelt, whoo!

FOREMAN: Speaking of the leather helmet league, best proof that Canadians think everybody sports can beat hockey -- the fight that broke out between the two old football players at a Canadian football league luncheon.

Best reason every sport should not be hockey -- the way Canucks fans rioted when their team lost the championship.

Best way to lose if you have to lose -- the American women falling in the World Cup final. Come on, Japan needed the lift.

Worst sucker punch, Floyd Mayweather's titled bout smackdown of Victor Ortiz as they stepped away from a break.

And best counter punch, HBO announcer Larry Merchant's response when Mayweather objected of being questioned about the cheap hit.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER, BOXER: You know nothing about boxing. You ain't (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You've (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

LARRY MERHCANT, HBO ANNOUNCER: I wish I was 50 years younger and I'd kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

FOREMAN: In a moment, we're moving right along to movies, music, the Internet, politics and the best and worst in pop culture.

KRESSLEY: Pop culture, yay!

FOREMAN: It's the rise of the hurri-Kim, the revolting state of reality TV.

LOESCH: I don't even know what's real and what's not real in Hollywood anymore.

FOREMAN: And enough to make a penguin laugh.

"All the Best, All the Worst 2011" continues.





FOREMAN (voice-over): The world of music gave us plenty of hits but no other miss like Rebecca Black. Her teen teeth grinder "Friday" gets best and worst music video of the year, with millions of views online, she -- she's so excited -- all the way to the bank.

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) of the year, Rebecca Black.,


FOREMAN: Worst pain in the neck, Adele. Great new music, great new tour -- until throat problems made her cancel the rest of her concerts for a trip to the hospital.


FOREMAN: Best salute to the owed, Maroon 5's "Moves like Jagger."

KRESSLEY: Maroon 5 changed my life. It was probably one of the highlights in pop culture of 2011 -- the rooster and then the clap and then the crazy pointing. You've seen it.


FOREMAN: Best salute to the new, Beyonce, who capped her performance at the MTV awards by confirming rumors about her next big hit.


FOREMAN: Best and worst laying of an egg in 2011 -- Lady Gaga. She's still selling music, sure, but it's hard to top that meat dress.

GRANDERSON: Gaga just burned through it all and there's nothing left. I mean, what else do you have?

KRESSLEY: I am gay. You probably didn't recognize that.

So Lady Gaga will always be special to me. She'll always be a Cher. She'll always be a Madonna.


FOREMAN: A lot of acts proved they had staying power. Taylor Swift.


FOREMAN: Lil Wayne.


FOREMAN: Katy Perry.

ELLEN DEGENERES: Do you want to meet her?


DEGENERES: Come on out, Nicki!

FOREMAN: Best fan moment, that little girl meeting Nicki Minaj on "Ellen."


FOREMAN: Best return from the dead.


FOREMAN: Britney Spears.

Best video about being dead.


FOREMAN: Dr. Dre with Eminem, "I Need a Doctor."

Best groove, Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks."

LOESCH: I tend to stick like the rock and roll, that whole variety, but I like Foster the People, that was a really good song.

LEACHMAN: I never listen to music. I only play classical piano.

BURNETT: There's a song called "Knee Deep in the Water Somewhere "by the Zach Brown Band.


BURNETT: It's great because it's sort of about going on a permanent vacation and just imagining that the only thing you have to worry about is when the tide is going to hit your chair. So I loved that song.

FOREMAN: Best band you're not listening to. New Orleans's own Mutemath.

GRANDERSON: I think Mutemath is one of those bands if you just paid attention to it, you would see they're doing some really amazing stuff.

FOREMAN (on camera): The movies gave us some amazing moments this year, including quite a few sequels. The pirates were back, the apes were rising once more. But for sheer box office magic, once again, few came close to the boy wizard.


FOREMAN: The final "Harry Potter" film exploded into theaters.

CROWD: Harry, harry!

FOREMAN: Conjuring up more than $380 million in ticket sales according to box office mojo.

LOESCH: That was kind of sweet. It was a nice movie.

FOREMAN: Putting an exclamation point on one of the most successful literary and cinematic series of all time. COOPER: You know, it's always nice to see a big movie where you want to eat a lot of popcorn and drink soda and just kind of lose yourself in it and that was definitely one of those films.

KRESSLEY: I have no idea what's going on from the beginning to the end. It's Mr. (INAUDIBLE) and Mrs. Grumblehower (ph), and they have their howersen (ph), and they're like riding on their turducken and I need a guide book.

Great movies this year. Trying to think what my choices are.


GOLDMAN: My three favorite movies are going to tell you a lot about me. Number three "Kung-Fu Panda 2." Number two, "Winnie the Pooh." And number one "Puss in Boots."

Worst movie of the year for me, "Hangover 2."

CROWD: Cheers.

GOLDMAN: It was the same movie!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to freak out but it's going to be OK.

GOLDMAN: How do -- OK, how are you going to make the same movie twice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check your pockets. There might be clues.

GOLDMAN: Come on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to freak out, but it's going to be OK.

GOLDMAN: You know, come up with a new plot. It was even still at a wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to interview about what it's like to work as a maid.

FOREMAN: "The Help" turned heads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is some classy ...

FOREMAN: "Bridesmaids" turned stomachs ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As long as we both shall live.

FOREMAN: And a continuing "Twilight" saga turned nasty while also soaring to the top of box office charts.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: I was downsized. I'm here to make sure that never happens again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're ready to go to work? FOREMAN: Worst title for a good movie, "Larry Crown."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes you need to bend the rules a little in order to keep your country safe.

FOREMAN: Best R movie about a G-man.

LEACHMAN: I just saw "J. Edgar," which I just loved. That was a little known man -- we didn't -- we didn't -- I didn't say little old man, it was a little-known man, which is a little different.

FOREMAN: Best movie about the worst subject.

GRANDERSON: I think "50/50" is Oscar worthy honestly in terms of script writing because it dealt with cancer in such a real way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If your boy wins, you get a job in the White House.

FOREMAN: And best movie not enough people saw but could win an Oscar just the same, "The Ides of March."

BURNETT: It was a hard look at our political culture but it was done in a very human way where you could connect with each of the people, so I thought it was really well done.


FOREMAN: Stay right where you are. You don't need to go anywhere because we're coming right back with much more on all the best, all the worst 2011.

As for the reason Kim left her husband after such a short time, we'll be keeping up with the Kardashians.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, it runs all over the place. Whoa, watch out, says that bird.


FOREMAN: Chasing an elusive critter.


GOLDMAN: Oh, honey badger. Have you seen the honey badger?


FOREMAN: Chatting with the kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dah, dah, dah, dah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dah, dah, dah, dah.


FOREMAN: And dancing with Nancy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the European version, that would be perfectly fine.

CARSON KRESSLEY: I have seen the twins and I've seen where they came from.


FOREMAN: When "All the Best, All the Worst 2011" continues.


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Isha Sesay. The AC360 Special, ALL THE BEST ALL THE WORST 2011continues in just a moment. But first, let me show you what's happening here in New York's Times Square. I am where the ultimate street party is happening, and thousands of people are crammed into New York's Times Square to soak in the absolutely unique atmosphere that you get here on a night like this.

They're here because they're going to enjoy the music - there's lots of music being piped in. There are live performances, the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. And basically they're just here to party and make themselves heard. Let's hear some - let's get some noise! Let me hear from you guys!

They are here to party, and there are tens of thousands of people here already. And of course, the main attraction is seeing that crystal ball at midnight to usher in the new year. They're all here to see that.

But join me at 10:00 pm, because I'm going to be hosting a live webcast on I'm going to take you behind the scenes and show you all the preparations for the big show with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, NEW YEARS EVE LIVE with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. That starts at 11:00 pm Eastern. They're going to show you all the celebrations from here in New York's Times Square and right around the world. That's 11:00 pm Eastern with Anderson and Kathy.

Right now, let's go back to the AC360 special, ALL THE BEST ALL THE WORST 2011.


FOREMAN: If you started 2011 thinking that the political climate could simply not be any worse, that Congress could not be more divided, that our opinion of politicians could not sink any lower, you were sadly disappointed.


OBAMA: All right. OK, guys. (END VIDEO LCIP)

FOREMAN: The politics of provocation reigned supreme this year, laying waste to left, right and center while unemployment stayed high, the budget teetered and partisan gridlock roared on.

Worst case of fiddling while Rome burns, the whole DC crowd.

GRANDERSON: The truth is that most of the people in Washington have no idea how to turn this thing around. And that just isn't a really good campaign slogan.

GOLDMAN: I think nobody knows what to believe in right now. I think nobody knows where to look, nobody knows who their leaders are, who they want to believe, who they want to trust.

FOREMAN: President Obama trying to keep his job for another term struggled with awful approval ratings. Not President Carter bad, but much worse than the first President Bush, whom the voters sent packing after just a short recession.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Read my lips.

COOPER: I think it's been a tough year, obviously, for President Obama.

BURNETT: Yeah, his economic ratings are absolutely abysmal.

GRANDERSON: It was a bad year overall. They had some very, very good moments sprinkled throughout. But I think its inability, the White House's inability to control the narrative made it a very bad year for him.

LEACHMAN: When he's turning gray, does that tell you anything?

OBAMA: Members of Congress, distinguished guests ...

FOREMAN: Best strategy in a bad spot, keep hammering on issue number one.

OBAMA: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

FOREMAN: Of course, the Republican contenders were doing the same.


PERRY: Jobs. Jobs.


FOREMAN: And they, too, seemed incapable of getting any traction for their ideas.

HERMAN CAIN: Nine, nine, nine. FOREMAN: And their polls showed a merry-go-round of rising and falling constantly.

GRANDERSON: If I'm a Republican and I'm looking to my party to take leadership and I say this is what you've done in three years? Boy, whoo, would I be a sad, sad -- what is it, an elephant?

LOESCH: Well, I still think that any one of those candidates is better than our current president, but I'm tired of measuring candidates from parties on either side, measuring candidates against what they perceive to be the worst common denominator.

FOREMAN: Worst evidence of political paralysis, the long months of struggling with the deficit, capped off with the collapse of the so- called super-committee.

LEACHMAN: People in those jobs have had to learn how to survive and one of the ways you survive is to, um, the word capitulate came to me. I didn't mean that.

COOPER: But I do think you have this fundamental disagreement over the role of government, over the role of private businesses and about the burden that different segments of the society should shoulder.

FOREMAN: It was enough to keep them from doing even the things they all seem to want.

BURNETT: And there's one thing that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on that's right, and that is we need a dramatically simplified tax code.

FOREMAN: Still, the political crowd was able to make America smile or at least wince a time or two.

Worst pollster.

CAIN: You don't know how Washington works.

FOREMAN: You could give it to Republican contender and pizza baron Herman Cain, who ended up paying a political price for his alleged extra toppings.

But a Democratic challenger takes that title.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, when you say "Congress", the first name that popped into my head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weiner. Anthony Weiner.

BURNETT: Anthony Weiner, lewd actions, lewd television coverage, just lewd overall.

FORMER REP. ANTHONY WEINER: Today, I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.

FOREMAN: The now former New York congressman got grilled for tweeting pictures of himself with extra pepperoni.

WEINER: Last Friday night, I twitted a photograph of myself -- of myself -- of myself ...

LOESCH: There's certain things that you can't unsee. That was one of the things I couldn't unsee.

FOREMAN: In the process, he spawned a whole new word.

KRESSLEY: Weiner-gate. Which I don't even like the sound of Weiner and gate together. It sounds like a terrible accident.

FOREMAN: Best warning for would-be politicos?

KRESSLEY: That ought to be like in the government handbook, OK? Welcome, here's your office, here's your number two pencil, here's your I.D., don't tweet pictures of your penis. Are we good? Thank you. All right. Go get 'em.

FOREMAN: Best political parody -- Jimmy Kimmel's "Peanuts" game debate.


CAIN: Nine, nine, nine.

FOREMAN: Worst memory. Texas Governor Rick Perry.

PERRY: It's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone, Commerce, Education -- and the -- what's the third one there, let's see -- the third agency of government -- I would do away with the Education, the Commerce -- and let's see. And the -- oops.

FOREMAN: And best comeback, no matter which party you like, Arizona Congress member Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head, she survives and so much more.

BURNETT: And I think the great miracle of this year is that by the end of the year, Gabrielle Giffords was able to do a television interview. And what an incredible recovery and comeback that was.

FOREMAN: When we come back, the very best of television, the Internet, goofy gadgets and much more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh-oh, got to go? No worries, Forever Lazy has zippered hatches in front and back for great escape.

FOREMAN: Including the worst way to cuddle up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a bad man, and I have done some bad things.

FOREMAN: The best way to boss folks around, and "Turtleman" comes out of his shell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just like Crocodile Dandy. I have no knowledge of the outside world. I just want you to know that's where I stand at right there, right there.

FOREMAN: It's "All the Best, All the Worst 2011."


FOREMAN: On the Chinese calendar, 2011 was the year of the rabbit, but all over America it seemed more like the year of the Kim -- Kardashian that is.


Best case of celebrity with no discernible talent, the Kimster snagged the spotlight no matter where she went or what she did.

BURNETT: Yes, she was everywhere, on every magazine cover, and certainly this summer and fall you couldn't miss her.

FOREMAN: Case in point, her rapid fire engagement, wedding on E! network and divorce all in a matter of months.

KRESSLEY: You know, I didn't watch the Kim Kardashian wedding because I had an inkling suspicion that perhaps it wasn't legit.

FOREMAN: Rampant speculation that she made a profit selling pictures of TV rights didn't help. Kim denies it, but many are unconvinced.

GOLDMAN: How do you make a profit on a wedding? I'm in the wedding business. I know, you don't make money on your wedding. I make money on your wedding, not you.

FOREMAN: Plenty of other names made good headlines by being at least allegedly bad. Among them, Charlie Sheen, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and the always photogenic Lindsay Lohan.

But Kim still gets the crown.

LOESCH: She's the craftiest capitalist I've ever seen in my life. Whether or not you like it or not, it's -- that's pretty crafty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I, too, thank you very, very much, ladies and gentlemen.

FOREMAN: A lot of pretty crafty new shows hit TV in 2011.


FOREMAN: "Pan Am," "Terra Nova."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry we were unable to find you sooner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate that.

FOREMAN: "Homeland."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not here. FOREMAN: And "New Girl" just to name a few. But an old favorite is our pick for best pure fun, this season's installment of "Dancing With the Stars."

CRESSLEY: It was a huge year. I mean, it's a show that gets about 20 million viewers. You know, when you spend seven weeks with Nancy Grace in a dance studio, you learn a lot. Some things you wish you had never learned, quite honestly. I have seen the twins and I have seen where they came from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: J.R. Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff.

FOREMAN: Best contestant ever, this year's winner, Army veteran J.R. Martinez, wounded in Iraq, he showed everyone what it means to come back and compete like a champion.

LEACHMAN: Well, he just commits. He does it no matter what. He's going to -- he does it.

FOREMAN: Best new show that you're not watching but you ought to. "Boss." If Frazier were Tony Soprano and became mayor of Chicago, it would be something like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't get ahead of yourself. I would strongly advise against it.

FOREMAN: Other favorites?

GRANDERSON: I always make time for "True Blood." "True Blood", "True Blood," "True Blood".

BURNETT: I surf around on Discovery and National Geographic, things like that.

GOLDMAN: You know what I love on TV right now? Rob Dyrdek's "Ridiculousness" on MTV. Pure genius.

FOREMAN: Worst programming decision? NBC's plan to put "Community" on hold spawned a nationwide outcry from its devoted young fans.


FOREMAN: Worst continuing trend. Reality TV.

COOPER: I've sort of taken a reality TV break, you know, for my own mental health. I'm tired of people yelling at each other. And it seems like the same thing over and over again.

FOREMAN: Worst of a bad lot.

KRESSLEY: I'm obsessed with "Toddlers and Tiaras." I mean, I just love large, Southern women bossing their kids around saying "Put on your slipper, smile, Trudy Ann, smile! Smile!" I mean, it's just -- it's great TV.

LOESCH: That's the creepiest thing I have ever seen in my life. FOREMAN: That's it. We still have to pick a best up-and-coming reality star. And it's not Snookie, not a real housewife. It's Ernie Brown Junior, better known as Turtleman.

ERNIE BROWN JR.: I've been bitten 33 times, been snapping turtles for 39 years. And that's an ouch. That is true, that's an ouch.

FOREMAN: He's become an Internet and TV sensation getting turtles in the Kentucky mud.

BROWN: No, I've got all my fingers and toes. And of course, I've got lots of scars, but they're my battle scars. And I don't mind showing them off. But there's two or three of them I can't show, because they hit a little bit of -- a little close there, in an area there that I'd like to call little E, so I stay away from that area. That's whoo, whoo! Yeah, yeah, yeah, like, whoa, you all right, little E?

FOREMAN: Now, he says, there's even talk of a Turtleman movie.

BROWN: They wanted to make one about Dundee, like a crocodile Dundee ..

FOREMAN: Stay tuned.

Animals ruled the Internet this year. The diving dog gets an honorable mention, so did any number of cat clips.

GRANDERSON: I didn't see any clips that really kind of blew me away other than the ticklish penguin.

FOREMAN: But the best Internet animal by far, give up some sweet applause for the honey badger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the honey badger. Watch it run in slow motion. It's pretty bad [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. Look, it runs all over the place. Whoa, watch out, says that bird. Ooh, it's got a snake. It's chasing a jackal? Oh my gosh. Oh, the honey badgers are just crazy.

CRESSLEY: Look at the honey badger. He's eating the head of that snake. Ew, gross!

GOLDMAN: I want a shirt that says honey badger don't care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey badger don't care.

FOREMAN: Best clip of the year, you've got to love the world record surfer taking a 90-foot wave off of Portugal, Rita and Frank trying to take a picture with their computer ...



FOREMAN: And Michael Winslow's all-mouth version of a Led Zeppelin hit on a Norwegian talk show was not to be missed. FOREMAN: But our best is a double winner, the babbling twins.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Dal, dah, dah, dah.

COOPER: You know, babies and animals on the Internet, you really can't go wrong.

FOREMAN: Best way to make our own Anderson Cooper laugh, Gerard Depardieu's bad behavior on a flight from Paris to Dublin.


FOREMAN: The actor relieved himself in the airplane aisle after being told that he had to wait to use the facilities until after take-off.

COOPER: Sorry, this has actually never happened to me. You always see this sort of thing on YouTube and you don't think it actually -- all right.

FOREMAN: And worst tweet on take-off, give it to Alec Baldwin who got into a kerfuffel with flight attendants over his cell phone. We're not sure exactly what happened, but somebody's tray table was not in the fully upright and locked position. Best case of making lemons into lemonade, also Alec Baldwin. Actor made a late night appearance on "SNL" to apologize to himself.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: It was very important for me to come here tonight and on behalf of everyone at American Airlines, issue an apology to Mr. Alec Baldwin.

FOREMAN: Best game for a smart phone. Sure it started a couple of years back, but Angry Birds really took flight this year.

LOESCH: Yeah, I do play Angry Birds and I get angry.

FOREMAN: Favorite products? The iPhone saw some improvements. The iPad 2 made its debut.

LEACHMAN: The best product that I have is a hot water bottle.

BURNETT: BlackBerry Torch. It's my beloved. You don't do this? You don't call your smart phone your beloved?

FOREMAN: And worst product ever for a nation struggling for economic hard times, low spirit and frustration, the Forever Lazy.

KRESSLEY: What's wrong with America? Forever Lazy? Maybe that name's a clue.

I think it's the end of the world. Call me Nostradamus.

FOREMAN: I am not Nostradamus, but I can see far enough into the future to know that our time is running out. But sit tight. We have got our wishes for the new year coming right up on "All the best, all the worst 2011."


FOREMAN: Our time is running short, but we still have a few moments to ask our panel what we ask each year at this time. Amid all of our turmoil and triumphs, all of our wins and losses, what do you wish for America in the next 12 months?


KRESSLEY: My wish for America is simple. World peace and the abolishment of pleated khakis.


GRANDERSON: I would like to see the death of reality television.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, actually, you are psycho.

GRANDERSON: I would like to see us stop looking into the train wrecks of other people's lives and get back to being benevolent and helping each other.

BURNETT: I have one wish for America, a serious wish for next year, it would be that Congress takes serious action with America's debt.

LOESCH: For a representative government that followed the Constitution to a T.

COOPER: My wish for America in 2012 is that we just keep moving forward.

GOLDMAN: Let's believe in ourselves, you know what I mean?

LEACHMAN: I wish you could be as happy as I am.


FOREMAN: And that's it. Pop the champagne, wave goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Thanks for watching. I'm Tom Foreman. For all of us at "360," wishing you all the best and none of the worst in 2012.


KRESSLEY: Thank you. Let's get the hell out of here. That was awful! Oh my God, is my mike on? What? Hello.