Readers Digest, that bastion of investigative journalism, has joined the Big List brigade with its just-released poll of the 100 “Most Trusted People in Australia.” Some of those who appear at the top of the list seem to have been selected by virtue of media prominence alone.

Top 21 Most Trusted Australians:

1. Fiona Wood, burns specialist
2. Olivia Newton-John (who didn’t have lunch with Kylie)
3. Princess Mary of Denmark
4. Dr Harry Cooper, TV vet
5. Ian Kiernan, Clean Up Australia
6. Ernie Dingo, TV host
7. Karl Kruszelnicki, science commentator
8. Dick Smith, entrepreneur
9. John Farnham, singer
10. Peter Cosgrove, defence force chief
11. John Wood, TV actor and logie bridesmaid
12. Ian Thorpe, swimmer
13. Patrick Rafter, tennis star
14. John Williamson, crooner
15. Mel Gibson, actor
16. Peter Doherty, Nobel prize winner
17. Dawn Fraser, swimmer
18. Andrew Gaze, basketballer
19. Andy Thomas, astronaut
20. Scott Cam, TV host
21. Sigrid Thornton, actor

But the really interesting action is at the bottom of the list. The prime minister John Howard can’t be too happy with his 85th place, 11 rankings below his wife Janette. Shane Warne will be regretting his over-use of SMS when he sees that he’s at 92. And Greens Senator Bob Brown will be comparing himself to Dr Seuss’s character, the Lorax, who also “speaks for the trees” but doesn’t win much sympathy.

But take a look at the Bottom 10 – which includes two Packers, two Murdochs, four current federal politicians and one former prime minister:

Bottom 10 Most Trusted Australians:

91. Alexander Downer, foreign minister
92. Shane Warne, spinner
93. Lachlan Murdoch, mini-media-mogul
94. Bob Brown, green
95. James Packer, junior mogul
96. Peter Costello, smirking treasurer
97. Kerry Packer, mogul
98. Paul Keating, former PM
99. Rupert Murdoch, mogul
100. Amanda Vanstone, immigration minister