I don’t know how much stock I take in Vanity Fair‘s lists of the most powerful and influential people. There’s no denying someone like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, or Rupert Murdoch has an enormous ability to influence people. But there’s always people in lists like that who I sense are just getting a blow job from the magazine. Besides, who each of us is influenced by is such a personal thing! I personally find Tina Fey and Ani DiFranco enormously “influential,” but they are never listed on anything. Alas, Vanity Fair‘s 2010 list of the 100 people in “New Establishment” has another reason for you to scoff at its credibility: If my counting skills are to be trusted, of the 114 people on the list, there are only 13 women. That’s nine percent. Nine!Lady Gaga is the first woman ranked on the list and she doesn’t show up until #23, followed by Sue Naegle at HBO at #33. There are zero female politicians on the list. Really, Gaga and someone from HBO are more influential than Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, or Nancy Pelosi? And don’t even get me started on how almost everybody on this list is white. I do not know the ethnicity of everyone on the list, but it appears the first person of color does not appear ranked until #31, a Mexican mogul named Carlos Slim Helu, with Oprah, Tyler Perry, Jay-Z and several Asian investors following in that order. Oprah, surprise surprise, is the only woman of color on the list.
Maybe instead of calling it a list of the “New Establishment,” Vanity Fair should call it “A List Of (Mostly) Rich White Guys.”