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OPRAH VERSUS ARIANNA: Business magazine rivals Fortune and Forbes go head-to-head on the newsstand this week, with both titles publishing “powerful women” lists. Fortune, which has Oprah Winfrey on its cover, scores the advantage with its exclusive interview and photo session with the queen of daytime TV. Winfrey spoke to editor at large Patricia Sellers about her new cable network, OWN. Meanwhile, Forbes has Arianna Huffington on the cover of its “100 most powerful women” issue.
The competing lists are duplicative in some instances except at the top, where Forbes lists First Lady Michelle Obama as number one while Fortune has no mention of the First Lady (Fortune only ranks business women while Forbes’ list is more wide ranging, with people such as Lady Gaga — presumably because it helps those Web page views).
Forbes also is a bit more breathless about the women on its list, proclaiming of Obama in a style right out of a prizefight announcer, “A fashion icon and an athletic mother of two, she’s Jacqueline Kennedy with a law degree from Harvard and street sense from Chicago’s South Side.”
But while the magazine might be smitten, its readers seem to be less so (shouldn’t its editors have remembered the founding family’s Republican leanings?). The most recent post on its Web site reads: “I can not believe that I am reading this article from Forbes. Mrs. Obama is by far not the most powerful woman. Oprah is the most powerful woman of the world. Being married to the President of the United States does not make you the most powerful woman in the world.” Guess the person who posted that will be reading Fortune. — Amy Wicks