The Vanity Fair 100: Some Rise, Some Fall, We Scratch Our Heads

Vanity Fair has come out with its list of 100 most powerful influentials, most of which—since they’ve already been covered by various lists in Time (the Time 100), Forbes (celebs and richest Americans) and elsewhere—come as no surprise.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and Google boys Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt are all in the top 10, followed closely behind by David Geffen, Bill Clinton and billionaire Ronald Perelman.

But there do appear to be some changes from last year’s list. Some powerful names have sunk or even disappeared to make room for names in fashion and entertainment. And did we mention that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is at number 1? Our breakdown of this data follows.

New Arrivals:

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: The celebrity mega-spawners are listed in the top 10, beating out Michael Bloomberg and Steven Spielberg

Damien Hirst: The artist is mysteriously placed at 31. (Sumner Redstone is below him.) 

Anna Wintour: The woman who can’t keep her wardrobe straight has arrived at 64.

The Climbers:

Roman Abramovich: The Russian oligarch who flew in Amy Winehouse to Moscow for his girlfriend’s gallery opening and paid a record $86.3 million for Francis Bacon’s Triptych has risen from 20 to 8. 

Al Gore: The Nobel Peace Prize winner and global warming fighter has climbed to 10 from 19, now placed right between Bill Clinton and Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt.

Sumner Redstone: Making his way to 32 (one spot above Arnold Schwarzenegger) from an insulting 70, the Viacom chair is credited with picking flights with everyone from Davin Geffen and Steven Spielberg to his only daughter, Shari. 

The Sinkers:

Leslie Moonves:  The CBS CEO has been demoted to 54 from 25, perhaps a punishment for the disaster that is Katie Couric. According to the list, Karl Lagerfeld and Bono are more powerful. 

Steven Cohen: The Manhattan hedge fund manager stock has dropped from 45 to 99. 

Harvey and Bob Weinstein: The indie cinema brothers, who have been denying that reports of their company’s financial struggles are anywhere near accurate, have gone from being 41 to 87, below Ethan and Joel Coen

The Oddity:

Vladimir Putin: Despite reports that Mr. Putin is still very much in control Russia, even though the country has elected a new president, Mr. Putin still seems like a pretty unusual choice for the number one spot. He was already named Person of the Year by Time in 2007, and given how much attention and criticism was thrown towards the magazine, we see this as a pure attention-getter.


The Vanity Fair 100: Some Rise, Some Fall, We Scratch Our Heads