Real Winner of AP's Entertainer of the Year: None of the Above

December 27th, 2013 6:29 AM

According to its Frequently Asked Questions page, the Associated Press "currently (has) around 1,400 U.S. daily newspaper members and thousands of television and radio broadcast members."

The wire service attempted to identify 2013's Entertainer of the Year by sending out an "annual survey of its newspaper and broadcast members and subscribers." Based on the response rate, it should have either called the whole thing off, or named "None of the Above" or "Who Cares?" as the year's hands-down winner. Wait until you see how many responses AP got to its survey, as noted in Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen's report after the jump (bolds are mine):



The battle for AP entertainer of the year came down to the Girl on Fire and the Queen of Twerk.

Jennifer Lawrence edged out Miley Cyrus by one vote in The Associated Press' annual survey of its newspaper and broadcast members and subscribers for Entertainer of the Year.

There were 70 ballots submitted by U.S. editors and news directors. Voters were asked to consider who had the most influence on entertainment and culture in 2013.

Lawrence won 15 votes. Cyrus had 14. Netflix was a close third, earning 13 votes for altering the TV landscape with its on-demand format and hit original series.

But Lawrence - who started the year with an Academy Award for best actress, fueled a box-office franchise as "The Hunger Games" heroine Katniss Everdeen, and wrapped 2013 with a critically acclaimed performance in "American Hustle" that just earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations - charmed fans everywhere with her candid sincerity.

She was also a fashion darling - a muse for Dior - who made headlines with her pixie haircut. ("That was the weirdest thing that ever happened to me," she recently told Jon Stewart.)

Lawrence declined comment for this story.

The 23-year-old actress "is not only talented and beautiful, but comes off as incredibly intelligent, genuine, funny and well-spoken in her public appearances and interviews," writes Kristi Runyan of The Derrick and The News-Herald Newspapers in Oil City, Pa. "It's refreshing to see a young woman not squandering her talent and success by succumbing to the temptations many do in Hollywood and who actively speaks about the ridiculous behavior of some of her peers."

Speaking of ridiculous behavior, Cyrus raised eyebrows throughout 2013 with her embrace of twerking, nudity and public pot smoking. The 21-year-old "Wrecking Ball" singer also made news with her pixie chop, but her breakup with fiance Liam Hemsworth and highly sexualized (and scrutinized) performances made her water-cooler chatter all year.

"She made the biggest splash, without comment on whether I thought it was a good thing," said Jim Turpin of KMPH-TV in Fresno, Calif.

Seriously, the "Essential Global News Network" went ahead with an Entertainer of the Year pick with 70 surveys in hand, representing a response rate which appears to have almost certainly been in the single digits, and its winner got all of 15 votes.

Nothing against Oil City, Pennsylvania, especially given Kristi Runyan's selection, the reasoning behind it, and the fact that her response kept the execrable Ms. Cyrus from being named a co-winner. But given that one of its responses came from there, it's clear that the AP's survey went out to the vast majority of its subscribers.

If I were Ms. Lawrence, I would also have declined comment for the story. I'd have been too busy laughing at a news organization which decided to waste roughly 500 words on a survey of "thousands of members" which was almost completely ignored.

I would think that AP members observing this wasted effort might question whether the wire service's fees to subscribers are still way too high.

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