Ten Stories That Weren't News to Us

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Because we simply don't have enough recaps and "best of" lists to consider, here are the Top 10 stories of 2006 that weren't really news at all, from celebrities breeding to Snakes on a Plane.


Now that Christmas is over, brace yourself for those year-end lists -remembrances, you know, those 2006 was the year of, fill in the blank. Humorist Brian Unger has his own compendium, a list of the biggest non-stories that, according to Brian, clogged our airwaves and were unfit to print.

BRIAN UNGER: Number one. What is a memoir? Hopefully true. It was author James Frey's barn-burner of a non-story of 2006. Call it a million little non-stories, wrapped in an Oprah, inside a Larry King. One man, one book, one big hangover for America.

Number two. For whom does the Taco Bell toll? People who ate at Taco Bell but didn't escape bad onions, or tainted spinach, or was it bird flu? The real news is we're still alive.

The number three non-news story of 2006 - T.O., not again. The nauseating, overblown, never-ending non-story that ruined sports talk radio for an entire year - all things, anything Terrell Eldorado Owens. Who is the real T.O? Tell us later, we're watching the game.

Number four on the non-news countdown of 2006, Suri, Shiloh, Moses. Your births constituted real news only to your famous parents. But the media wanted us to know celebrities can breed, and when they can't, they adopt. Heartwarming. Inspiring.

Uh-oh, quick, hide the children, it's John Mark Karr - the fifth non-news story of the year. The man who said he did it, but didn't actually do it, was followed by the man who said if I did it, I still didn't do it - O.J. Simpson, the sixth non-news story of the year.

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UNGER: This just in, snakes have hijacked the news media. The seventh non-news story of the year, “Snakes on a Plane,” a film as complex as its title, drove the media batty with wild amusement. Quick - to the junket.

But when it comes to putting on a show, no one deserves less credit than the eighth biggest non-story of the year, which is several non-stories in one. Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and a late entrant - Ms. USA Tara Conner. You all showed us that the stuff you're truly made of is vodka.

Whether liquor was a factor or not, the ninth biggest non-story of the year taught us this: within Mel Gibson and Michael Richards, lies something called a reservoir of rage. Now, it's not one reservoir, but two individually owned reservoirs. In them is rage, which the water department stopped testing for years ago. Do not accept a drop of rage from these men. They're bad news.

But a woman was the 10th biggest non-story of 2006, Katie Couric. Every time the former morning-show anchor appeared on the evening news, America became confused about what time it was, and a confused America is not news. That is today's Unger report. I'm looking forward to next year. Aren't you? I'm Brian Unger.

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