It's been a subprime year for everyone, not least the Vanity Fair 100. When last we checked in, Sumner Redstone, 84 years young, was hogging the spotlight like a cranky, Go-Gurt-deprived toddler, jettisoning Tom Cruise from his Paramount playpen and readying his Fisher-Price chopping block for Viacom C.E.O. Tom Freston's head. This year, private-equity titans and hedge-fund wizards got caught in the headlights when it became public that they were paying just 15 percent in federal tax on their gargantuan payouts. The sinking stock market hasn't slowed down Rupert Murdoch, who showed the world some old-media love, picking up The Wall Street Journal. Redstone, meanwhile, carried on with assorted squabbles, settling a lawsuit brought by his son, Brent, and filing suit against Google. As breathlessly awaited as Harry Potter, the deliciously beautiful iPhone dropped calls but still drove up Steve Jobs's net worth by $200 million. Oh, and here's Sumner again, now picking a fight with daughter Shari, modestly reminding her in a public letter that it was he, "with little or no contribution on [his children's] part, who built these great media companies."
And so it goes on the Gilded Stage.