Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Denzel Washington are the three most trusted Americans, according to a Reader's Digest survey.
Seven of the top 10 individuals are Hollywood personalities. Six of them are actors and one is a movie director.
The Christian Post reported, "Despite the television and movie personalities that dominate the list, the survey found that Americans tend to trust more than anyone else their doctors (77 percent), spiritual advisers (71 percent) and their children's teacher (66 percent)."
Why do so many Americans trust Hollywood celebrities? I used to think that political endorsements by celebrities was crazy but now I'm starting to realize just how badly Americans have turned celebrities into modern "gods" of the entertainment age.
Adam Sandler is 64th on the Reader's Digest list of most trusted Americans. Is this based on the movies he has made? Sandler's films often feature juvenile humour.
Sandler does have some admirable qualities: He contributes to charity and has been married to his wife for almost ten years. But still the question remains: What has Sandler done to build such trust?
Andrew Stein writes, " ... to sustain trust, it must be constantly earned, or else it has tendency to erode."
I doubt these actors have necessarily earned our trust. Instead I am reminded of a news story from several years ago which revealed that lonely people bond with their favorite TV characters.
My headline calls this time the Entertainment Age. Sociologist Nick Stevenson at the University of Nottingham instead describes our time as the Age of Celebrity.
Perhaps America needs to find meaning outside of the world of entertainment.
- Billy Graham, Tim Tebow Among 'The 100 Most Trusted People in America'
- Reader’s Digest Trust Poll: The 100 Most Trusted People in America
- Trust To Be Trusted, Trust Is Earned, Given, Sustained Or Eroded
- Sociology in the Age of Celebrity