Person of the Year

Time‘s person of the year is Vladimir Putin, and good for them. Of course, any choice is good after they chose “you” last year, but I especially respect that they chose someone who most Americans view as a malicious influence on world (and Russian) politics. Time seemed to have forgotten in recent years that notables like Hitler, Stalin (twice), Khrushchev, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Yuri Andropov have previously gotten the honor, and thus that “Person of the Year” is a measure of importance, not benevolence. The most egregious example of this was when they picked Giuliani over bin Laden in 2001, when bin Laden was obviously the year’s most influential person. But Putin’s choice is a reversal of this caution, which is great.
What’s more, the four runners-up are respectable choices as well. Only J.K. Rowling is indfensible; Al Gore, Hu Jintao, and David Petraeus would all be deserving of the title. Nicely done, Time.

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