So as I am sure that everyone out there reads Forbes magazine or Forbes online you are already aware that they have ranked the top ten pundits in America (I found this out watching Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN2, yes they do talk about more than sports occasionally.) I thought I might share this with you and give you my thoughts on their selections. Forbes defines a pundit as "a person who makes comments or judgments, especially in an authoritative manner; critic or commentator."
1. Roger Ebert- I am Ok with this one. Many people do rely on him to help them make movie choices, I may not solely rely on him, but I do check out what he thinks.
2. Bill Maher- He is a comedian and a host of a show on HBO, I am not sure how that makes him a pundit? He makes judgements, but does he really have that much influence? Since his show is on HBO how many people actually get to see him on a weekly basis?
3. Bill O'Reilly- Ok so we all knew he would come up here and I guess he is important to some people. I think he is an idiot, but you can't really deny his influence.
4. Al Franken- Another comedian, this one has written some books. Yes, he is liberal and yes he takes shots at Rethugs, but again as with Bill Maher does that he really make him a pundit?
5. Geraldo Rivera- All I have to say about this is when a former football player, Mike Golic, laughs at this selection, you might want to re-think it.
6. Rosie O'Donnell- She is outspoken and has gotten into fights with Barbara Walters and Donald Trump, but I am not sure that she really has issues that people really listen to her about. It seems to me that when she is talking about her big issue, Gay rights, people do not really listen to her or respect her opinion.
7. Leonard Maltin- Another movie guy and again many people follow his advice on movies so it makes sense for him to be considered a movie pundit.
8. Greta Van Susteren- She does seem to have some clout, so ok maybe.
9. Lou Dobbs- Again he has some clout and people do listen to him. I find him to be annoying and racist, but that is just me.
10. Bill Walton- I guess they were trying to get a sports guy in there. Well, Bill is very outspoken and is interesting to listen to, but he only talks about one sport, pro Basketball. I would say that Chris "Boomer" Berman is a better choice as he talks about many sports and his main sport, football, is more popular nationally than basketball.
It seems I have issues with most of the people they have listed. I also have issues with people they left off, namely Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. I would argue that Jon Stewart is more influential than most of the people on this list, only Bill O'Reilly, Leaonard Maltin and Roger Ebert are more influential, in my opinion. Forbes says that they excluded him along with Howard Stern (um yeah great comparison) because they are entertainers. Well what the hell are Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, Al Franken and Bill Walton, they are all entertainers. They may express strong opinions, but they do not have the influence of Jon Stewart. Forbes notes "the troubling trend of young adults getting their news from The Daily Show not withstanding" as another excuse for Jon Stewart's absence from the this list. I am not sure how they define young adults, but I am pretty sure that Stewart's base of support is very diverse in age and actually covers from kids to grandparents and it is not just "young adults" who get their news from Jon Stewart. Many people include Jon Stewart in addition to other news sources, local news, national nightly broadcasts, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News (ok maybe not Fox News, but still a wide variety of sources) as a way to find out what is happening in the world. Also, shouldn't we note that young people are the ones who are voting and will run this country, they are the future leaders, so shouldn't we pay attention to who they listen to and get their information from. I may be a little biased as I love Jon Stewart and he is my primary source for news, but a big FUCK YOU goes out to the Forbes people. I may hate her with the passion of a thousand red hot suns, but couldn't Ann Coulter be included on this list and make more sense than Geraldo Rivera.