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.”
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
Mike Myers on the list! Smashing, baby!
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?
I couldn’t help but realize that your Power Issue left out the most powerful quartet of all…the Teletubbies.
How could you have overlooked the King of All Media, Howard Stern?
East Greenbush, N.Y.
Derric T. Williams
Salt Lake City
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