Scandal 2009: ABC News To Award "Bernies" To The Worst Behaved

ByABC News
December 13, 2009, 9:08 PM

Dec. 14, 2009 — -- ABC News will present awards to the worst-behaved newsmakers of 2009 in the first annual presentation of the "Bernies," named after convicted conman Bernard Madoff.

The "Bernies" will be presented in four categories -- politicians, money men, the sick and twisted and celebrities and wannabes -- based on an on-line ballot on ABCNews.com that opened for voting this morning.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A LIST OF THE NOMINEES

The awards will be presented during a special year-end broadcast of Nightline on Wednesday, Dec. 30, featuring co-anchor Martin Bashir and ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.

"Barbara Walters has the most fascinating, we have the most scandalous and worst behaved," said Ross.

"We decided to name our awards the "Bernies" because Madoff's world class financial scam and lack of remorse for his victims sets a new standard for scandalous behavior widely recognized by all investigative reporters," added Ross.

The nominations were determined by the ABC News investigative team and Nightline staff.

In the political category, the nominations for worst behaved are disgraced former Senator John Edwards, convicted former Congressman William "Cold Cash" Jefferson, philandering Nevada Senator John Ensign and Argentine Romeo Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

"Our viewers are going to have make some difficult choices given the political scandals of 2009," said Nightline executive producer James Goldston.

In the category of celebrities and those seeking celebrity, the wannabes, the nominations went to extramaritally adventurous golfer Tiger Woods, the Colorado parents of "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene, girlfriend beater Chris Brown, "creepy sex" TV host and alleged extortion victim David Letterman and the White House gate-crashing couple, the Salahis.

"Several very deserving and badly behaved celebrities did not make the final cut, and we offer them our apologies," explained investigative producer Avni Patel. "This is a highly competitive category."

Click Here to Return to 2009: The Year of Behaving Badly.

\"Several very deserving and badly behaved celebrities did not make the final cut, and we offer them our apologies,\" explained investigative producer Avni Patel. \"This is a highly competitive category.\"

Click Here to Return to 2009: The Year of Behaving Badly.

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