Person of the Year?

Past Person of the Year covers (clockwise from upper-left): Charles Lindbergh, 1927; The American Fighting-Man, 1950; Ayatollah Khomeini, 1979; The Computer, 1982; Rudy Giuliani, 2001. Image credit: Wikipedia


Next week, TIME plans to assemble a panel of celebrities, newsmakers, and news reporters, who’ll help select the magazine’s 2006 “Person of the Year.” TIME Editor Rick Stengel, Brian Williams, Emilio Estevez, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Arianna Huffington, and Tom DeLay will make the decision. After surveying the list of panelists, I’m not sure how they were chosen, but I do think the project sounds like fun. 

According to TIME, the Person of the Year is one who “most affected the news and our lives this year, for good or for ill.” The recipient list leans toward individuals, but in the past, the title has also gone to groups of people and, in two unusual cases, an invention and Planet Earth. 

The award isn’t necessarily an accolade; indeed, controversial figures such as the Ayatollah Khomeini and Adolph Hitler found their way onto the cover of this special magazine issue. And the “honor” doesn’t always go to politicians and policy wonks: scientists, philanthropists, authors, and other cultural icons have found themselves among its ranks. Very few women have been awarded this title, however, so maybe there’s an issue with gender bias that bears exploring. And even though panelists most frequently choose Americans, there’s much to say for expanding the list to reflect an inclusive, global perspective. 

For starters, consider this guy, whose box-office earnings are entering the stratosphere, and who’s now entertaining multi-million-dollar offers for a book. Or how about this woman, whose power suits and power ploys are hot topics in D.C.? Maybe the timing’s right to bear witness to an inconvenient truth, or if you prefer,  we could crown the king of truthiness. Undoubtedly, Miss Snark would swoon over this guy, but these men would make a more serious statement. So tell me, whom or what would you nominate for TIME Magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year? 


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11 Comments

  1. A very tough question. Person of the year….. let me think……Not the 1st suggestion, 2nd selection doesn’t do anything for me…..After last nights Dancing with the Stars, I know my wife would say Emmitt Smith as dancer of the year. There are so many jerks out there. How about the turkey with the hair do problem from North Korea? Or maybe the idiot in Iran? Madonna has stunk up the news recently but nawwwwwww, not her. I know Docstymie would say Bob Knight but I would veto that one, after all I am his Dad. Doc Stymies that is. Maybe the Crock Hunter. He did teach a lot of people about the outdoors and wild life. Tom DeLay made headlines along with that Democratic Rep that keeps $93,000 in his feezer. They could be co person of the year.
    You know the newport2newport blogger got a bill passed in California. I would nominate her over any of the people listed above. Hummmmmmmmmmmmm….. more thoughts………
    I have given it a lot of thought and I would support your last suggestion.

    • Pshaw! I made a contribution on a MUCH smaller scale than anyone worth nominating. Barak? He’s an unknown to me. Still untested and not always forthcoming. He’s one to watch, I agree, but not note-worthy enough for my tastes — yet. 🙂

    • Pshaw! I made a contribution on a MUCH smaller scale than anyone worth nominating. Barak? He’s an unknown to me. Still untested and not always forthcoming. He’s one to watch, I agree, but not note-worthy enough for my tastes — yet. 🙂

  2. Emilio Estevez is helping to choose the person of the year? That’s just weird.

    TIME does tend to surprise us…they could put someone controversial on the cover, like Rumsfeld, because of the mess he’s gotten us into. Or go the opposite direction, and put the US map on the cover, for voting out the Republican majority.

    Then again, they may choose Britney. After all, she made the best decision of her life, ending speculation that has plagued us all for YEARS.

    • Maybe that’s because he has that Bobby Kennedy movie coming out?

      You’re right: it’s often a surprise. I do like the idea of the US map. What a nice visual metaphor.

      I laughed aloud at your Britney suggestion, btw. /snark/

    • Maybe that’s because he has that Bobby Kennedy movie coming out?

      You’re right: it’s often a surprise. I do like the idea of the US map. What a nice visual metaphor.

      I laughed aloud at your Britney suggestion, btw. /snark/

  3. LOL – who would elect Britany?
    Barak Obama would be an interesting person of the year – but if we’re electing stars this year, my vote goes to Sean Penn, who consistantly puts his money where his mouth is, and acts on his convictions. We haven’t heard much about him lately, but he’s always pertinant and never been afraid to speak out against the system.

    • Oooh, Sean Penn. Interesting choice. I like that idea!

      Barak, as I mentioned above, hasn’t quite earned his place in the spotlight. He’s got star power, all right, but I’m not sure if he’ll burn bright enough — or, indeed, if he’ll flame out. In my opinion, it’s still too early to tell.

    • Oooh, Sean Penn. Interesting choice. I like that idea!

      Barak, as I mentioned above, hasn’t quite earned his place in the spotlight. He’s got star power, all right, but I’m not sure if he’ll burn bright enough — or, indeed, if he’ll flame out. In my opinion, it’s still too early to tell.

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