Time is gearing up to name it's annual Person of the Year in December and based on the discussion at the annual celebrity nomination debate luncheon it's probably going to be another non-person winning this year.
Capital New York's Joe Pompeo was at Time's Person of the Year debate luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. The first recorded instance of Time copping out and choosing an idea of a person instead of a real, live singular human being was in 1950 when the magazine chose "the American fighting-man." Time used the gimmick more often in the 2000s, choosing whistleblowers, the American soldier, good samaritans and you. Last year they brought back the abstract route with the protester. This year it could be be anything.
Matt Lauer, one of their celebrity panelists, argued for climate change because of Hurricane Sandy or "the unemployed American worker." Newt Gingrich, himself a former Person of the Year which makes him enough of an expert that he was also invited to be a celebrity panelist, wants "the American voter." Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter advocated for American women because they've had such a bad year with the war on them and what not. A win for Americans without a Y-chromosome would make them a two-time winner. "American women" won in 1975.
If Abstract Description of the Year is getting old, Time could always go with an inanimate object: iPhone 5, which is just like when "the computer" won in 1982. We all get to find out who Time editor Rick Stengel goes with on the Today show on Dec. 19. If you want to watch today's discussion, Time has the whole thing posted here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.