* First, the lowest of the low: prostitutes/whores. In contrast to something like being a cop (however unlikely a cop can do something right once in a while), there can be no such thing as a great prostitute -- they can call themselves "escorts" and claim to have great "PERSONALITY" (which -- if not meaningless -- denotes a kind of fluid that only adulterous women have in their lymphatic systems), but a whore still remains a whore.
* The vast majority of "actresses", actors, journalists, etc., are morally licentious and intellectually bereft (more so than the usual human), and were always seen as such by at least semi-civilized society. Actresses were simply assumed to be whores in past periods, since the sexual element -- physical attractiveness -- is always part of the appeal of an actress. Even if an actress has real ability, most of the audience comes because she's attractive. But there may have been -- once in a while -- an "actress" who wasn't a whore. Maybe. But no such report was ever confirmed.
Journalists are also the lowest of the low. I cannot imagine anything more ignominious than the average journalist. His knowledge is dead wrong at best, misleading at worst, and shallow and faulty in all cases. One way to see this is to compare, say, a journalist with a potter -- the potter would make a tolerable (if not the most eloquent) journalist, while the journalist would have to spend take years of training, and probably fail, to be a potter or decent painter. Laughably and predictably, journalists are arrogant enough to look down at craftsmen and craft-based artists (e.g., painters, wood-cutters, musicians) as "intellectually narrow and primitive" as compared with their own collosal capacity to passively absorb a wide variety of novels, plays, etc., but actually *produce* nothing (not even semi-coherent criticism). Journalists are the most undereducated profession, if by "education" we mean anything that requires more mental effort to absorb than what is done by a dog. In fact, journalists are simply mentally retarded -- they aren't even good at expository "writing" beyond an elementary level. [In the same boat as the journalist are all "historians" who claim to be an "expert" on a subject so unmanageably vast like "Russia" -- e.g., Gaddis or other "experts" on "Russian history".]
* Artisans, painters, technical musicians can claim, unlike most professions, competence in some area that involves, or depends on, "technical ability". One part of that consists firstly in finely discriminating between various possibilities (within some expressive language), and on the other hand in mastering some basic technical apparatus, and in music this would involve some knowledge of composition, and in painting the techniques of mixing colors, among other things. Kindesthetic ability -- the ability to make something smoother or rounder, to play scales faster and more evenly, or to vary the intensity of something more continuously -- is not "technical ability". That being said, the average "artiste" (even a musical composer) is definitely very "narrow" -- he doesn't actively hold stupid opinions like journalists do, but whenever (however rarely) the occasion comes to have such opinions, the stupidity is bound to arise. And it turns out to be the same stupidity as that of the journalist, based on the same kind of shallowness, the same empty verbalism. So he is only competent in his own, very narrowly confined specialization.
* Then there are the art forms that involve no technical ability (in the above sense). The average (or even very above average ) "novelist" of fiction is some kind of circus clown, intellectually undereducated and destitute, and viewed (even by his own readers) with barely-contained derision. Go to the local bookstore under "Paranormal Romance" and other genre fiction, and then remind yourselves that anything in paperback is an example of a relatively successful novelist. The profession of being a "novelist", then, has a ring about it that always indicated child-like, arrested intelligence -- no less, in fact, than being the writer of a comic book, an "actress" or professor of Women's Studies -- but unlike journalists, and other clowns, they (mostly) don't pretend to be intellectual, and so rate slightly higher. (The existence of a Balzac or Flaubert does not at all obviate the fact that being a "romance novelist" is ignominious, and the average such "novelist" can be assumed to have the education and ratiocinative capacity of a dog (although having, at the same time, a "complexXX" personality), armed with only a passable command of basic English and an impulse to furiously masturbate at his own descriptions -- in fact, this perfectly describes D. H. Lawrence.) [Everything here also applies to "poets".]
POSTSCRIPT. The "research scientist" or engineer in something that requires technical knowledge is, seemingly, in the same boat as the artisan above -- but with a minor advantage and very glaring defect. The advantage consists in the fact that the "scientist", although inferior in powers of observation, has to handle a larger technical apparatus. The "defect" is that most "technical" people are essentially autistic, or least socially retarded and dysfunctional. There may be a few of them with wider interests than their PhD thesis, but... they are almost as rare as an "actress" who isn't a lady of pleasure (almost none).
Powerful Male Mohel , Byssus