Tis the season for lists and, just as GLAAD announced its nominees for positive portrayals of LGBT individuals in the media, Forbes announced its choices for the 25 most influential liberals in the media. The “media” in this case is of the journalistic type, news and opinion makers that America pays attention to. Well, sort of — I’m not sure Oprah is a journalist, but I’ll get to that.
If we are to draw any preliminary conclusions for a first glance at the list, they would be either a) very few liberal women work in the media or b) few people pay attention to liberal women in the media. Out of the 25, four are women. FOUR.
At least, the lowest ranking female wasn’t at the bottom. Maureen Dowd is listed at No. 15.
Personally, I have been way over Dowd for a while. I think she had some kind of reality break during the presidential nominations/election. But influential she definitely is.
At No. 7 is the
most adorable sexy studly highly intelligent and insightful, out lesbian Rachel Maddow.
Maddow’s star is rising like a missile, straight past Keith O, who, oddly, didn’t even make the list, and Chris Matthews and even the omnipresent Fareed Zakaria. Maddow never shies from an opinion and has the rare talent (shared by fellow list member Jon Stewart) of making difficult concepts so funny that you don’t realize how much you’re learning. By next year, I expect her to be closing in on No. 1. Stand back, straight people — a dyke is on the move.
No. 6 is one of the list’s missteps, IMO.
Oprah Winfrey certainly flexed political muscle this year when she endorsed President Obama. Does that earn her a place on this list? I don’t see it. An icon, yes. A cultural influence, yes. A member of the news media? Not really.
No arguments with No. 2, Arianna Huffington.
The founder of The Huffington Post has created a one-stop-shop for liberal thinkers. Not that all she posts are liberal bloggers. Since Huffington herself has migrated from the right, she never automatically accepts the party line. That, of course, makes her all the more credible. And often infuriating.
The rest of the list is mostly straight and white. The lone gay male (that we know of) is, in fact, Andrew Sullivan whose opinions seem to float right as often as they do left. But given some of the people included, especially in the second half of the list, I’m at a loss as to why other women aren’t there? Tina Brown, for example, whose Daily Beast has become a must-read, certainly is more worthy of the list than Christopher Hitchens, who actually defends the war in Iraq.
You can read the rest of the list here. Who do you think is the most influential media liberal in America? Who should be the highest-ranking female? What women are missing from this list?