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Who Do You Trust?

by Melissa Brunner

It wasn't so long ago that CBS newsman Walter Conkrite was considered the most trusted person in America. He told it "the way it is," and our parents and grandparents will tell you they believed him.

Today's media, I'm sad to admit, isn't often held in as high a regard. It makes me sad to say that and perhaps that's why I found Reader's Digest "Most Trusted People in America" poll a little fascinating. The publication had a research firm survey more than 1,000 Americans to come up with the list.

Who do we trust the most? Actor Tom Hanks. Really? I mean, Forest Gump and Castaway were good, but an actor? In fact, five of the top 10 are actors, with a director and game show host in the mix as well. Here you go:

1. Tom Hanks

2. Sandra Bullock

3. Denzel Washington

4. Meryl Streep

5. Maya Angelou

6. Steven Spielberg

7. Bill Gates

8. Alex Trebek

9. Melinda Gates

10. Julia Roberts

You have to get to number 12 on the list before you find the first journalist - and it's Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts. I take some pride in noting the first- and second-most trusted journalists on the list are both women - ABC's Diane Sawyer came in 25th. It also wasn't that long ago when the powers-that-be believed that people would only take male newsman seriously in delivering the day's important stories, while the female newspeople were relegated to the lighter-hearted material. (Barbara Walters is among those who've talked about these early struggles.)

The highest-ranked politically-associated person? First Lady Michelle Obama at 19. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are 22 and 23, followed by former President Jimmy Carter at 24. A slew of TV doctors rank in the upper half as well.

I'm not sure that this all says about us as a nation, but it is food for thought.

You can find the full list here:


And a related article from Readers's Digest noting their interesting points about the poll is here: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/readers-digest-trust-poll-heres-what-shocked-us-the-most/

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