EW Staff
November 20, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

If power corrupts, then lots of our readers were corrupted absolutely by our annual Power Issue (#456, Oct. 30), especially judging by some of the letters. ”I cannot believe that you left one of the most powerful men in radio off of the list, Rush Limbaugh,” offers Matt Jordan of East Lansing, Mich. ”While he is among the most hated in entertainment, anyone who can draw at least 15 million listeners a week deserves a place on your list.” On a wetter front, our music section didn’t make any friends with Jim Farber’s review of Phish’s The Story of the Ghost. ”To say that there’s nothing pretty about the music of Phish is wrong,” says Hart Brooks of Calhoun, Ga. ”To say that us Phish fans can count on ‘nerdy wah-wah guitars’ and ‘neo-hippie music’ is just stupid.”

POWER TRIP

I just want to tell you that your Power Issue was amazing. Oprah, the most powerful woman, at No. 1; Steven Spielberg, the greatest director of all time, at No. 2; and George Lucas at No. 4. This was the greatest Power Issue ever.
Roberto C. Fuentes
Igo2movies@aol.com
Nashua, N.H.

Mike Myers on the list! Smashing, baby!
Todd Cohen
trc@eden.rutgers.edu
Clark, N.J.

When you can greenlight and attach A-list talent to any project you choose; when you can drag Warner Bros. executives along by a leash; when you have complete control over the schedules of two powerful showbiz talents; not to mention when you are one of the most influential filmmakers alive, you deserve a ranking a little better than 101. Maybe it’s just me, but don’t you think Stanley Kubrick should be ranked at least, say, No. 1?
Mac Caudill
mcaudill@altavista.net
Los Angeles

I couldn’t help but realize that your Power Issue left out the most powerful quartet of all…the Teletubbies.
Kyle Meikle
Arlington, Va.

How could you have overlooked the King of All Media, Howard Stern?
Jamie Nestler
jnestle1@nycap.rr.com
East Greenbush, N.Y.

…Bruce Willis?
Chad Ottens
ottens@essex1.com
Lyndon, Ill.

…Whoopi Goldberg?
Derric T. Williams
Beaumont, Tex.

…Kevin Smith?
Dave Zatz
Bloomington, Ind.

…Jackie Chan?
Matthew Moeykens
mfmoeykens@hotmail.com
Salt Lake City

…Kate Winslet?
Jason Merrell
caphispbr@aol.com
Las Vegas

In your power issue, under debits for Tom Freston you cite the risk for MTV of a ”decision to go more music-centric in a weak rock marketplace.” In a time when hip-hop, pop, and rap music are driving mainstream pop culture, you echo the familiar lament of the white rock critic, ”Where’s the rock?” Billboard and The New York Times reported recently that CD sales are up. Our own prime-time music strategy is anything but risky; it’s working and has in fact doubled the ratings over last year. It is a cold, hard, undeniable Nielsen fact that more people are watching MTV today than ever before in our 17-year history. I’m disappointed in your take on MTV, because it is very far off the true mark. We experiment, we love music, we respect our viewers. And that’s why our brand continues to grow.
Judith A. McGrath
President, MTV
New York

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