Last night at dinner, after my wife and I had discussed all the serious discussion there were to be discussed, we turned to lighter topics, namely Lady Gaga. Over the last few bites of lasagna my wife turned to me and said, "Did you hear? Lady Gaga is more powerful than Oprah now." My first reaction was "that's ridiculous."
Turns out my first reaction was correct.
Of course, it wasn't reality that declared Lady Gaga the most powerful celebrity alive, it was Forbes Magazine, who ranked celebrities across the globe in six categories to determine their relative power: Pay, Money Rank, TV/Radio Rank, Web Rank and Social Rank.
I won't waste your time detailing the myriad ways Forbes' "objective" formula is completely subjective. There's no need. It simply doesn't pass the common sense test. What pushed Forbes to name Lady Gaga as the most famous monster alive is apparently her staggering social media numbers. Gaga is able to count 32 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter followers among her own.
Which is great, except is doesn't really matter all that much.
Power is the ability for an individual to enact widespread change on the larger population, and by that definition Oprah makes Gaga look about as powerful as a a balding Samson. Gaga may be able to get her 32 million fans to wear really big shoes, or download her new single on iTunes, but Oprah who's not exactly shabby in the Facebook/Twitter department herself. Plus she has one fan that trumps them all -- Barack Obama.
Gaga influences fashion, Oprah influences elections. Thousands of people depend on Lady Gaga to keep them entertained, thousands of people depend on Oprah for their monthly paychecks. Frankly it's not even close, and we can only guess that either the editors of Forbes are crazy, or crazy like a fox; after all, a headline that "Lady Gaga More Powerful Than Oprah" gets people to read your magazine. "Oprah Still Obviously More Powerful That Lady Gaga"?
Not so much.
Tell you what Forbes. When Oprah goes on Lady Gaga's show for an interview, then we can talk. But until that day........
To view the complete 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list, click here.