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Top villains of 2010

You know them, and you  love to hate them — they’re villains, or at least that’s how they’ve been portrayed in the media over the past year.

You know them, and you love to hate them — they’re villains, or at least that’s how they’ve been portrayed in the media over the past year.

Or maybe you love them, and you hate the way they’ve been torn apart by smug pundits and newsmen.

Either way, the following five entities — be they human or beverage — changed the world in 2010 by inspiring anger, fear and/or simply indigestion. (And in the case of Jay Leno, all three!)

1 In early January, NBC snubbed comedian Conan O’Brien by giving his show back to one-time host Jay Leno. Lines were instantly drawn, with Leno losing out in the sympathy department, and the big-chinned late night star became the punch line we always wished he’d have delivered.

2 Just a couple weeks later, we learned of one-time presidential candidate John Edwards’ infidelity and love child with mistress Rielle Hunter. Edwards took a beating in the media, but none more so than in December, when wife Elizabeth Edwards died of cancer.

3 First we thought he killed Natalee Holloway. Then he confessed to killing some other girl. Either way, Joran van der Sloot spent altogether too much time on our TV screens and in the pages of our newspapers.

4 Florida pastor Terry Jones made a name for himself in the midst of the debate over the so-called Ground Zero mosque when he threatened to burn a Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Well, he didn’t, but we’ll always have that mustache.

5 But perhaps no threat was more demonized than the energy-plus-alcohol drink, Four Loko. Politicians attacked the brew and the vile concoction was promptly banned — but not before selling for huge prices online, despite the awful taste.

 
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