Many papers are reporting on the recently released Forbes Celebrity List, which claims to know the relative power of various well-known individuals.
My feeling is that the people responsible for compiling this list (and complicit editors) are fooled by name recognition. Name awareness is not the same as power. It might draw a crowd (fans, paparazzi, hangers-on, etc.), but it doesn't mean that someone can do something meaningful.
Does anyone really believe that Tiger Woods is important (7th most-powerful person in the world!)? The guy can't win a tournament, has fallen out of the top ten players, and repels sponsors like a plague.
And, the folks at Forbes might have confused album sales, Twitter traffic, and number of "friends" in awarding the number one spot to Lady Gaga. Although Oprah has slipped to number two, I bet she can get more truly powerful people on the phone than can the young woman from New York. And, guess who has more money.
Lists can be entertaining, but are usually space-filling fluff or PR efforts by the publications needing to boost sliding circulation. Only those found in the page of National Enquirer should be taken seriously...