Friday, May 10, 2013

The Most Trusted in America?

Who is the most trusted person in America?

Hint: it's not Walter Cronkite.

A Reader's Digest (yes, it's apparently still around) poll found Tom Hanks to be the most trusted person.  Below, a brief Top Ten List.
  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Sandra Bullock
  3. Denzel Washington
  4. Meryl Streep
  5. Maya Angelou
  6. Steven Spielberg
  7. Bill Gates
  8. Alex Trebek
  9. Melinda Gates
  10. Julia Roberts
Okay, let's stop and catch our breath.  Notice how evil Hollywood seems to dominate?  Notice how the Gates couple are frighteningly high?  Notice how I should be writing this blog in the form of a question to make Trebek happy?

Notice how no journalists make the list?  Not until #12, Robin Roberts of Good Morning America.

Other interesting folks include a chemists at #11 and #14 (weird), an economist at #15 (weirder, but then again they all have won Nobels), Dr. Oz at #16 (kill me now), Michelle Obama at #19 (first real politico to make it, if you count the First Lady as a politico), and Noam Chomsky at #20 (no doubt voted on by people who haven't read his stuff).  There are a few TV talking head types, journalist-like folks, sprinkled throughout the list, as are more Hollywood types and even Supreme Court justices.  That's heartening.  And let's not forget Judge Judy, somehow getting #28, and Adam Sandler at #64 (what the hell?).

As a side note, two from the NYTimes and one from the WSJournal person each made the top 101. CNN had a few.  Fox had Shep Smith.

So basically this is a popularity contest, or more to the point -- a familiarity contest.  It's hard to say because nowhere on the site can I easily find anything about the poll methodology other than "over 1,000" people were surveyed.  Did they generate names on their own, these respondents?  Were they given a giant list?  

Finally, let us praise the journalism professor who finished at #83 -- Michael Pollan, who is there more for his books and stuff, not for being a professor.

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