6. Brian Williams Vs. Lana Del Rey
Perhaps the only 2012 beef-subject more ubiquitous than Rihanna was Lana Del Rey, here making her second appearance on this list. (She narrowly missed a hat trick, with Stereogum Commenters Vs. Lana Del Rey falling just short of inclusion on this thing.) Of course, back in mid-January, we had no idea what she'd become; why, Tom didn't even excoriate her debut album, Born To Die, till the 25th of that month. But a rumbling backlash had already begun, and then, on a wintry Saturday night in New York City … it went viral. After an especially lifeless performance on Saturday Night Live, the apoplexy reached a sublime zenith when none other than NBC news anchor/indie rock enthusiast Brian Williams mocked the singer. Williams's feelings came out in an email he sent to Gawker chief Nick Denton, dissatisfied with that site's content (or lack thereof), especially as it pertained to LDR. An excerpt:
… I do wish the main page featured more TV coverage (Brooklyn hippster [sic] Lana Del Rey had one of the worst outings in SNL history last night — booked on the strength of her TWO SONG web EP, the least-experienced musical guest in the show’s history, for starters). In my humble opinion as a loyal customer (you know I love you but the Blog View button will be the eventual cause of my death) and while I know you’re in the midst of an editor change, weekends have been allowed to go awfully fallow — and it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone. I know you’ve been watching NBC Nightly News religiously each evening and I’ll no doubt be getting a withering, detailed critique from you straight away.
Yes, the end had long since begun by that point, but after that, Lana Del Rey became the indie blogosphere's most divisive character; truly, our innocence had been lost. SNL itself got in on the mockery, running a skit featuring Kristen Wiig as the mannequin-like chanteuse. LDR fell irreparably out of favor with the cool kids, a defeat presumably softened when the singer started collecting checks from the likes of H&M and Jaguar. In fact, you could say Lana Del Rey got the last laugh … assuming her programming allowed her to process "laughter."