Here’s the thing about magazine listmakers: They want nothing more than to provoke discussion about their idiosyncratic choices.
It worked. How did Greta Van Susteren sneak onto Forbes’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list, while other female newsies — like her colleague Megyn Kelly or MSNBC competitor Rachel Maddow — missed the cutoff? The magazine attempts an explanation in its “methodology” section, which states that four factors figure into the rankings: money, media presence, spheres of influence and impact. The “media” component appears at least somewhat scientific, as Forbes “calculates global media mentions from publications, including newspapers, specialized periodicals, newswires and broadcast transcripts from all over the world in the past 12 months. We add to that a total of each woman or her company’s social media presence: Facebook fans, Twitter TWTR +10.69% and Weibo followers and YouTube channel subscribers, all as of May 2014.”
It’s no surprise that big-timers such as Angela Merkel, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Janet Yellen, et al would fare well under this formula, or any formula for that matter.
What bugs the Erik Wemple Blog is that the Forbes people don’t reveal a deep understanding of Van Susteren herself. Here’s how they evaluate her powerfulness:
As the longest-running cable news anchor in the U.S., Van Susteren has managed to keep On the Record as the No. 1 show in its time slots for more than a decade. Fox shifted her hourlong prime time show to 7 p.m. last October, and Van Susteren’s audience has grown by 8% already this year. She hosts the only live, prime-time cable news show in Washington D.C., with guests including Hillary Clinton, Howard Schultz and Brett Favre. Last year the lawyer-turned-journalist moderated an installment of Women Rule, a conversation series put on by Google, Politico and the Tory Burch Foundation showcasing the women creating change in politics, business and society.
Hold on — Brett Favre? That would appear to undermine the case for Van Susteren as an American potentate.
In any case, that Forbes write-up skips over the true genius of Van Susteren. And that would be her blog, the inimitable Gretawire. On that very platform, Van Susteren today provided her characteristic commentary on this breaking news: “I am on the train to NYC (flight cancelled last night for weather which beats last week’s red eye from Mexico which got cancelled because of smoke in an engine) and just learned that Forbes has again placed me on the 100 most powerful women list. I just made it! #100!”
She was #97 in 2013.