AskMen readers and staffers ranked a dubious athlete, an egomaniacal hip-hop artist, and 18 other men as more influential than the President of the United States, in its annual 49 Most Influential Men list. Way to go, guys.
Jon Stewart topped the list for rendering his “fake news” program, The Daily Show, into an informative, provocative, swift political tool. In the past year he has pried open the underbellies of movements like The Tea Party, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin. His Rally to Restore Sanity has also garnered over 100,000 members.
Bill Gates landed second, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg came in third.
This year, however, voters seemed to favor men who pushed the envelope. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earned a spot for releasing a monsoon of classified documents from Afghanistan and Iraq. In an interview, Assange said, “If journalism is good, it is controversial by its nature. It is the role of journalism to take on powerful abusers.”
Google vice president Andy Rubin made the 27th spot for emerging as “the man who killed the iPhone,” by making advanced android phones. Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal and morphed popular models like Mercedes and Toyota into electric cars (and is now working on his space tourism company SpaceX), cracked the top ten.
The list included a few men we’ve hailed, including Zach Galifianakis (29th) , Stephen Colbert (11th), and James Franco (7th), who AskMen called “a cultural sponge, eager to learn, absorb, create, and challenge conventions.”
But the list also features some bizarre choices. Lebron James ranks 17th, four above Barack Obama.
In the introduction to the piece, the editors write, “These are the men history will remember as having defined 2010. More importantly, they’re the men who inspire the rest of us to become Better Men.” Does Lebron influence us to better ourselves? Or does he influence arson, and blind egotism?