According to a new Reader’s Digest poll conducted in cooperation with The Wagner Group, topping Americans’ list of individuals they “trust” the most is … actor Tom Hanks.
The Oscar-winning star of such films as Larry Crowne (which nobody saw), Angels & Demons (in which he famously donned a wig), The Terminal (in which he wandered around an airport), and The Ladykillers (in which he wore seersucker) leapt to the top of the list thanks to his mainstream image and guy next door aesthetic. That, and screaming at volleyballs for hours on end. And participating in a blackface skit in 2004. And suggesting that World War II veterans who served in the Pacific were racists.
Accompanying Hanks at the top of the list are Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Denzel Washington (Flight), and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady). And that’s before the list gets really weird. Poet and professor Maya Angelou, who famously reads gems like this one and says Republicans are racist, clocks in at number five. Steven “I Visited Cuba” Spielberg, who recently made Lincoln boring and Palestinian murderers sympathetic, was number six. Then the list turned to Bill Gates, Alex Trebek (Jeopardy!), Melinda Gates, and Julia Roberts. For some reason, enough Americans apparently follow the Nobel Prize awards to identify Robert Lefkowitz, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, at number 11, followed by Brian Kobilka, another Nobel Prize-winning chemist, at number 14, and Lloyd Shapley, Nobel Prize-winning economist, at number 15.
Michelle Obama is number 19. Noam Chomsky, fittingly enough, is number 20. Madeleine Albright? Number 23, followed by Jimmy Carter at number 24. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (36) and Stephen Bryer (43) both come in ahead of Chief Justice John Roberts (44) in the Supreme Court sweepstakes. Ben Affleck immediately follows Roberts. The lowest-ranked justice: Clarence Thomas, at 88.
Hillary Clinton ranks 51st. Barack Obama ranks 65th.
The only religious figure on the list is Billy Graham, at 67, and the first Republican politician on the list is Condoleeza Rice, at 68.
The list is replete with liberal members of the media, from Katie Couric at 37 to Whoopi Goldberg at 46 to Matt Lauer at 87 to Maureen Dowd at 98 (sans Michael Douglas, who did not make the list) to Paul Krugman at 99. The only Fox News journalist: liberal Shep Smith, who clocked in at 100.
The poll reportedly sampled 1,000 Americans. Presumably, all of them are over the age of 75, watch nothing but network news, attended Wellesley College, and still think Tom Hanks is that cute boy from Big.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).