Tagged: arbitrary lists

Forbes has another list of the highest-paid people in some field or other

Forbes, a biweekly pamphlet dedicated to ranking people in any given field based on their earnings, is back with another one of their wacky lists. Remember last time, when they told us about the highest-paid DJs in the world, and it was such a massively important list that it sparked a front page New York Times story and there were days of conversations about it on cable news networks and you and your family had a whole sit down discussion about how you felt about The List, and the discussion got so heated and angry that you and your sister haven’t even talked since? It’s like that, only with more Dr. Dre.

The most interesting thing about this new list — aside from how blatant it is in whoring for pageviews (and it is, this list is definitely out on the corner at the intersection of Blatant and Whoring) — is how all of our favorite people are on it. There’s Simon Cowell and Tyler Perry and Glenn Beck and there’s even Dr. Phil, too! It’s just a great list of great people who all deserve their money.

I’m more interested in how they define “celebrity.” (Previous lists have at least been more explicitly about “Top-Earning Male Sitcom Stars” or some nonsense.) The list is specifically about “Highest-Paid Celebrities,” right? So how does one define the word? Is Warren Buffet a celebrity? How about Mitt Romney? These are famous people who have lots of money. The list actually seems to be “The Highest-Paid Celebrities (Measuring Only The Last Year),” which is fine if that’s what it is, but maybe just call it that next time? Because otherwise we might start to suspect that Forbes barely cares about these lists, and that they just slap together slideshows with the flimsiest of premises solely in the hopes of drawing in as many eyeballs as possible.