Vanity Fair is out with its latest 100 Most Influential power list, which only serves to remind us how idiotic and pointless such exercises usually are.

When you put Johnny Depp ahead of Brian Roberts — who is poised to be running the combined NBC Universal-Comcast — you have pretty well blown all credibility right there. But placing Oprah Winfrey in the 30s — and CBS CEO Leslie Moonves another 30 spots below that, behind Charlie-friggin’ Rose — really betrays a lack of understanding about what makes the business go and where power resides.

On top of that, because of shared slots there are actually 116 names on the list, which has always struck me as a rather weaselly way of trying to mollify the egos of more moguls by not omitting them. Kudos to Nikke Finke, too, for sticking to her guns and providing the only black-and-white photo — unless, of course, she’s given up on HBO doing “Tilda” and is now auditioning for a role on “True Blood.”

I certainly get why people publish such things: They get people talking. What riles me is the thought that anyone might actually put stock in an effort as dunder-headed as this — or worse, that some poor publicist is getting fired right now by somebody saying “I ranked behind Lady Gaga? Seriously????”

Update: The Los Angeles Times’ Joe Flint asks some of the same questions and reaches some of the same conclusions about the list. Proof again that mediocre minds think alike.