I've been having fun since Wednesday with a response to Salon's popular "30 Biggest Media Hacks" list, sponsoring a readers' ballot to pick "30 Media Heroes." The response was overwhelming, with over 1,200 votes pouring in via Comments at the end of the original story, via e-mail to me directly and at Twitter (via @GregMitch). Votes obviously came from regular Nation readers, but also from many others, and in any case this is not an official Nation survey.
Now we're ready to announce the winners. But first a "trend" comment: Clearly, print got little respect in this vote, with a vast majority of top spots going to TV hosts, or very popular bloggers (who also appear on the tube a fair amount). Practically all of the MSNBC line-up, except Chris Matthews, made the Top 30 or Very Honorable Mention. Also: Jon Stewart rather comfortably topped stablemate Stephen Colbert.
Now, the drum roll please and.... congrats to Rachel Maddow, who rather easily earned the top spot in this balloting. In a close race, Amy Goodman beat out Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi for the #2 slot. The venerable Bill Moyers finished fifth. Julian Assange made a late move to crack the top 30, although he also drew many critics.
See the full list below. The vote for those past the top 16 was extremely close. What's most heartening: so many truly valuable people did not make the Top 30 or the Honorables list. But again: these are mainly my readers speaking, not the whole Nation nation.
Also, I'd like to thank the fairly large number of people who voted for yours truly, but I decided to take myself out of the running, for obvious reasons. Feel free to erect an statue, if you'd like.
Here we go, the ballots please:
1. Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)
2. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!)
3. Glenn Greenwald (Salon)
4. Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone and more)
5. Bill Moyers (formerly PBS)
6. Jon Stewart (The Daily Show)
7. Keith Olbermann (MSNBC)
8. Jeremy Scahill (The Nation)
9. Paul Krugman (New York Times)
10. Stephen Colbert (Colbert Report)
11. Chris Hayes (The Nation, MSNBC)
12. Seymour Hersh (The New Yorker and more)
13. Chris Hedges (The Nation and more)
14. Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post)
15. Jane Hamsher (FireDogLake)
16. Cenk Uygur (The Young Turks)
17. Naomi Klein (The Nation)
18. Dylan Rattigan (MSNBC)
19. Bill Maher (HBO)
20. Frank Rich (New York Times)
21. David Sirota (syndicated columnist)
22. Thom Hartmann (radio)
23. Julian Assange (WikiLeaks)
24. Digby -- i.e. Heather Parton (blogger)
25. Greg Palast (writer)
26. Ed Schultz (MSNBC)
27. Laura Flanders (GRIT TV and more)
28. Allison Kilkenny-Jamie Kilstein (Citizen Radio team)
29. Sam Seder (Huffington Post and Majority Report)
30. Jim Hightower (The Nation and more)
VERY HONORABLE MENTIONS: Markos Moulistas, Lawrence O'Donnell, Katrina vandenHeuvel, Eric Boehlert, Bob Herbert, Josh Marshall, Marcy Wheeler, Robert Scheer, Helen Thomas, Dean Baker, Yves Smith, Nick Kristof, Ezra Klein, Atrios, Mike Malloy, Max Blumenthal, Joe Conason, Melissa Harris-Perry, David Swanson, Nate Silver, Ali Abunimah, Gail Collins, Dave Weigel, Eugene Robinson, Robert Fisk.