Michael Jackson ‘Foolish American of 2004’

LOS ANGELES: Beleaguered pop icon Michael Jackson and his little sister Janet have earned the dubious distinction of being named the most foolish Americans of 2004.

It marked the second time in a row that the “King of Pop”, who is currently facing child molestation charges, has snatched the April Fool’s Day dishonour as the “Most Foolish American” in an annual US opinion poll.In the telephone survey of 1,016 Americans carried out by New York-based public relations consultant Jeff Barge, 77 per cent of respondents voted Michael Jackson to the top of the fool’s list, followed by 70 per cent who voted for his sister.Janet Jackson hit notoriety after what she described as a “wardrobe malfunction” exposed her breast to nearly 100 million TV viewers in February.

In third place with 70 per cent votes was US domestic diva Martha Stewart, who was earlier this month convicted of obstructing a federal inquiry into a suspicious stock sale, leaving her facing a possible prison sentence.Britney Spears’ 55-hour Las Vegas marriage in January earned her fourth place with 69 per cent votes. US President George W Bush also made the list, receiving a foolishness rating of 50 per cent, making him the 10th most foolish American of the year. Among others surveyed this year, basketball star Kobe Bryant, accused of rape, scored a 63 per cent foolishness rating, while hotel heiress Paris Hilton scored 56 per cent after a sex video of her appeared on the Internet. — Agence France Presse