Forbes released their annual list of highest-paid television personalities today, which is topped by Simon Cowell and Howard Stern. There are two problems with it. One, instead of counting only the money a person makes from television, it plays fast and loose with the term “television personality,” basically taking anyone who appears semi-regularly on television and counting their total earnings for the year. That’s how you end up with people like Stern (who earns the vast majority of his income from his Sirius radio contract), Glenn Beck (who makes most of his income from his web venture, The Blaze), and Rush Limbaugh (who, again, makes almost all of his money from radio) topping the list even though television isn’t really what they’re known for.
The second problem is that the list is filled with loud, obnoxious carnival barkers, proving once gain that the path to riches in America is being combative and/or belittling anyone who disagrees with you, or offering snake oil in the form of tough love or “simple” answers to unanswerable problems. Yippee! List below.
1) (tie) Simon Cowell – $95 million
1) (tie) Howard Stern – $95 million
3) Glenn Beck – $90 million
4) Oprah Winfrey – $77 million
5) Dr. Phil – $72 million
6) Rush Limbaugh – $66 million
7) Donald Trump – $63 million
8) Ryan Seacrest – $61 million
9) Ellen DeGeneres – $56 million
10) Judge Judy – $47 million
NOTE: None of the above rant applies to Ellen DeGeneres, who earned every penny she made this year by having Vin Diesel make a surprise appearance on her show during the lead-up to Fast 6, and then racing him on giant tricycles. That’s worth AT LEAST $50 million in my book.