Perhaps giving Hillary Clinton another bone to pick with RT, the channel’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, has for the first time been included on the prestigious Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women, a dozen spots higher than the US politician.
The 2017 edition of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women according to Forbes, released on Wednesday, features two Russians: the head of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, and Margarita Simonyan. But while for Nabiullina it will be the fourth consecutive year in a row she graces the list, for Simonyan, who landed 52nd spot, she is one of the 23 newcomers.
Clinton suffered a remarkable fall from grace in comparison to her last year’s strong performance, tumbling down 63 spots after her stunning defeat in the US presidential elections. The former Democratic presidential candidate, whose victory had been touted by the US mainstream media as almost certain in the run-up to the November vote, repeatedly accused Russia of robbing her of the win and swinging the vote in Donald Trump’s favor.
With Clinton’s penchant for accusing Russia as being responsible for her failures, Forbes may now have given her another point for the blame game. At the same time, it is Clinton’s and her allies’ focus on making a scapegoat of Russia that has given a boost to RT’s editor-in-chief, Forbes observes.
“A year ago, most people had no idea who Margarita Simonyan was. Now, she’s being discussed in tech, media and political circles as the outsized influence of her Russian TV network, RT, comes into focus,” Forbes wrote.
The publication noted that Simonyan has succeeded in raising the network’s profile by turning RT into “an important media voice” while “verging between straight news and conspiracy theories.”
Commenting on Forbes’ decision, Simonyan jokingly said that she would have preferred to appear in another Forbes rating, hinting probably at the world’s richest people listing.
When drawing up the powerful women list, Forbes considered four criteria: money controlled, media presence, spheres of influence and impact. The contestants’ respective influence was analyzed within the realm where each is active.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again topped the list, followed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda Gates. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who the publication calls“the de facto First Lady,” claimed 19th spot, while the actual First Lady Melania Trump is omitted from the list altogether.