In the midst of the national debate over whether talk radio has gotten too heated, Forbes magazine is out with its list of the “10 Most Influential Celebrities.” Two conservative talk hosts make the list – Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck – although TV host Oprah Winfrey ranks higher than either.
The surprising top choice is Hollywood director Steven Spielberg. The magazine explains that he “doesn’t shoot books up the bestseller list like second-place Oprah Winfrey does, and he hasn’t helped invigorate a political movement line ninth-ranked Glenn Beck, but he is almost universally liked and respected.”
E-Poll Research ranked thousands of celebrities based on 46 attributes to produce the list for Forbes. The top two tied for influence, but Spielberg edged Winfrey via the tie-breaker on “marketing effectiveness.”
A big change over the years that the rankings have been made is that network TV news anchors no longer rank high. Rather, E-Poll CEO Gerry Philpott notes the rise of “people who are unique in their opinions.” Indeed, the only person who could be labeled a traditional journalist who made the top 10 this year is ABC’s Barbara Walters.
The list: Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Rush Limbaugh, Barbara Walters, Bono, Phil Jackson, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Glenn Beck and Bill Cosby.
RBR-TVBR observation: Quite an eclectic list. The ranking of “influence” isn’t limited to political action, so while you have a couple of well-known liberals, Oprah and Bono, counterbalanced on the right by Limbaugh and Beck, we have no idea where folks like Coach Phil Jackson and Dr. Oz fall on the political spectrum.