Lists are the coin of the magazine realm.
So seeing GQ magazine’s just released “Least Influential” list is hardly a shock. What caught people by surprise was seeing both President Barack Obama and Miley Cyrus make the cut.
The men’s magazine leans left, much like virtually every non-political publication you’ll find on newsstands. GQ and its ilk routinely burnish liberal stars while poking at right-leaning personalities and causes. Even Men’s Health magazine got into the Age of Obama push back in 2008 by putting the Senator on its front cover mere weeks before the election.
So seeing Obama on the GQ list means something from a cultural perspective. It’s not 2008 any more, and while the list may target the president for “not getting things done,” simply including him on a negative tally sheet says hope and change has given way to a stone cold reality.
Cyrus’ appearance on the list is even more curious. The magazine tries to attack those who reject the singer’s in-your-face antics, a parade of faux sexual poses that are neither arousing or interesting.
Cyrus, who garnered attention at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards for her provocative performance with a foam finger, won the No. 6 position for “basically trying every inane strategy she could think of to rile up America’s few remaining pearl clutchers.” The magazine noted “what’s sad is that it totally worked.
Yet the magazine still isn’t sold on Cyrus even though its collective instinct is to smite those very pearl clutchers as if they were wrong to want Cyrus to keep her foam finger back stage. It’s far too soon for the standard pop star backlash, the kind that follows a singer after years in the spotlight. Cyrus may have gotten oodles of free publicity via her stunts, but in the same short order she earned the enmity of a major publication which might normally fight on her behalf.