Reporting Jon Keller
BOSTON (CBS) – In a couple of weeks, Time Magazine will pick its person of the year for the 83rd time, and their choices are always good for a robust water-cooler debate.
By their own account, Time’s idea of the person of the year is someone who “for better or for worse has done the most to influence the events of the year.”
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This isn’t the hero of the year award; Time picked Hitler once and Stalin twice, and they picked Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 when much of the world was in an uproar over Iran’s turn toward fanaticism, which is precisely what made the Ayatollah qualified.
Sometimes, they make choices that are both creative and puzzling, like the 2006 selection of “You,” meaning every exhibitionist using the web to broadcast their dubious YouTube videos, a pick that could only have been made by the grown-up narcissists-turned-magazine-editors of the Baby Boom generation, Time’s 1966 choice as people of the year.
Still, the Time award is always a good conversation starter, and this year’s list of nominees is no exception. There’s Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who certainly did make a splash this year and may have just done us a huge favor by exposing how easy it is to tap into our confidential info. The Chilean miners are on the list, and their story certainly was compelling. And there’s Lady Gaga – fill in your own punch line.
But have any of them really had major influence on current events?
How could Time possibly overlook Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leadership of Iran, the rogue nation the Wikileaks documents show half the world is freaking out about?
Where is Senator Scott Brown, whose election foreshadowed this fall’s political upheaval that transformed balance of power in Washington?
Shouldn’t Hillary Clinton at least have gotten a nod, now that the Wikileaks stuff shows she’s been doing some world class wheeling and dealing?
OK, I’ve got you started. Let the debate begin.
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