Time 2014 Person of the Year
December 10, 2014 4:56 AM   Subscribe

"They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved." The Ebola Fighters are TIME Magazine's 2014 Person of the Year.

More detail on TIME's decision here, from the editors.

While a larger "shortlist" was published earlier in the week with the usual publicity-grabby named of unlikely celebities and personality figures, the official "runners-up" included Alibaba founder Jack Ma ("The Capitalist"), Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani ("The Opportunist"), Russian President Vladimir Putin ("The Imperialist"), and The Ferguson Protestors ("The Activists").
posted by XQUZYPHYR (65 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hard to argue with (and that's the problem).
posted by fairmettle at 5:00 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like it. I probably would have picked the Ferguson protestors, but people who do good on a worldwide scale are always a good choice.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:02 AM on December 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Man, I thought I was going to win again this year.
posted by bent back tulips at 5:10 AM on December 10, 2014 [20 favorites]


I stand and applaud. (And by the way, editors of Time, the plural of person is people.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:11 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Clocked time of joke in 2007: 2:00
Clocked time of joke in 2008: 9:00
Clocked time of joke in 2009: 13:00
Clocked time of joke in 2010: 3:00
Clocked time of joke in 2011: 1:00:00
Clocked time of joke in 2012: 4:00
Clocked time of joke in 2013: 13:00
Clocked time of joke in 2014: 14:00
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:12 AM on December 10, 2014 [107 favorites]


When nurse Kaci Hickox, returning from a stint with MSF in Sierra Leone with no symptoms and a negative blood test, was quarantined in a tent in Newark, N.J., by a combustible governor, it forced a reckoning.
"Not to name any names or anything. Could be any combustible governor who can quarantine people in Newark, y'know?"
posted by Etrigan at 5:14 AM on December 10, 2014 [27 favorites]


Golf clap for choosing the least offensive, feel-good choice.

Putin hosted an Olympics, stifled dissent and invaded the Ukraine with no real repercussions in 2014. Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?
posted by Renoroc at 5:22 AM on December 10, 2014 [19 favorites]


I look forward to the annual teeth-gnashing over an editorial decision designed primarily to sell issues of a magazine that hasn't been relevant since the Ford administration.
posted by echocollate at 5:29 AM on December 10, 2014 [16 favorites]


I personally think the Ebola Fighters pretty much peaked with "The Colour and the Shape" and that everything since then has been more or less derivative, but that's just me.
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:42 AM on December 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


Golf clap for choosing the least offensive, feel-good choice.

Next year, they're going to choose Puppies and Kitties.

(should have been Putin)
posted by briank at 5:47 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know who else was TIME Magazine's person of the year?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:48 AM on December 10, 2014 [15 favorites]


a magazine that hasn't been relevant since the Ford administration.

I'm on board with the snark, but Time and the other news magazines like Newsweek were relevant and important at least into the Clinton administration -- their decline into absurdity and irrelevance was surprisingly recent.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:48 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


The fact there is a clockwork joke to the effect of "Drat I was hoping to win again" every year just illustrates that the time person of the year has been a joke for a long, long time.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:50 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The fact there is a clockwork joke to the effect of "Drat I was hoping to win again" every year just illustrates that the time person of the year has been a joke for a long, long time.

Well, why should they be satisfied with just one win?
posted by srboisvert at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I mean, keeping a horrifying disease limited to 5 or 6 countries is pretty impressive. I'd rather give some vaguely meaningless title to the people who kept me and billions of other people from dying horribly of a hemorrhagic fever than to a guy who held the Olympics and repressed gay people and his political opponents.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:03 AM on December 10, 2014 [12 favorites]


Clocked time of joke in 2007: 2:00
Clocked time of joke in 2008: 9:00...


I think next year we'll start clocking the time of that joke.
posted by bondcliff at 6:04 AM on December 10, 2014 [15 favorites]


Well deserved. Truly the bravest among us.
posted by spitbull at 6:05 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd rather give some vaguely meaningless title to the people who kept me and billions of other people from dying horribly of a hemorrhagic fever than to a guy who held the Olympics and repressed gay people and his political opponents.

I had to think for a minute whether you're referring to Hitler or to Putin.
posted by sour cream at 6:08 AM on December 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


Well, America has treated Ebola Fighters who returned to the States rather badly... not as badly as Ferguson Protesters, but I suspect we have reached the point that being treated badly by America is an important qualification for such an honor. If they had started the voting today, I would've voted for our torture victims; but then again, what has Putin done that was really worse than Cheney?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:13 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Have you forgotten Conchita Wurst so soon, you blasted Europhobes?
posted by Segundus at 6:16 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just south of Dublin. 10th December 2014.

Alone in his tax-exempt castle , the faded 80s rock star sits, pondering, unhappy, confused, bemused. "They didn't pick me again?! I gave the world free music this year. No Time award. Not even a Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing since 2005. Unappreciated. Always unappreciated." He removes his shades, wiping the lenses slowly, sadly, on the discarded beanie embossed with "Dave".

The team of accountants, sitting opposite, nod in synchronized sympathy. One clears his throat. "Maybe next year, Paul. But for now, perhaps it's time to open a few bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and do a little asset shuffling..."
posted by Wordshore at 6:18 AM on December 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think next year we'll start clocking the time of that joke.

Why wait till then?

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2009: 42:00

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2010: 7:00

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2011: bye year

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2012: 14:00

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2013: 15:00

Clocked time of clocked time of joke joke 2014: 16:00
posted by TedW at 6:25 AM on December 10, 2014 [24 favorites]


At least it wasn't Taylor Swift.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:29 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?

Well, Stalin was an ally in 1939 and 1942. And Hitler got it in 1938, before the war proper started.
posted by smackfu at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think next year we'll start clocking the time of that joke.

I mean I think in general you can assume it'll be the time of the joke, plus two or three minutes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Time had a reader poll before this for the "actual" award, and the clear winner was Narendra Modi. How is it he wasn't even a finalist for this thing? Not that I actually care what Time has to say, but c'mon.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:50 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Hitler got it in 1938, before the war proper started.

And if Time has always announced POTY in December, that means they gave it to him just in time to commemorate Kristallnacht, which happened in early November! Whee!
posted by Spatch at 6:52 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


it's their award and they can give it to whomever they want, but it annoys me when it is given to a class of people.

am I dreaming this or did they once award it to "You"?
posted by jayder at 7:03 AM on December 10, 2014


I'd rather give some vaguely meaningless title to the people who kept me and billions of other people from dying horribly of a hemorrhagic fever than to a guy who held the Olympics and repressed gay people and his political opponents.

It's not an award. It's not about honoring someone's accomplishments so much as measuring them. At least, that's what it used to be.
posted by cotterpin at 7:03 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, but who is the Feminist of the Year?
posted by MOWOG at 7:07 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait... it's the same guy who keeps making that joke?

XQUZYPHYR... rule of threes, dude. Rule of threes.
posted by bondcliff at 7:18 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, but who is the Feminist of the Year?

Anita Sarkeesian
posted by Sophie1 at 7:24 AM on December 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Do you really think that, had Ebola spread outside of the hospital in Lagos (for example), that would not have had a larger impact on the general functioning of the world than Putin? The Ebola healthcare workers have kept a potentially devastating pandemic pretty impressively contained. Putin has failed (so far) to drag the world into a continuation of the Cold War.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:30 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?

Oh, I don't know. They are now busy running pseudo-Business Insider story-oids like "This Is Why Google Is the Best Place to Work in America" and an op-ed from John Yoo titled "The Feinstein Report Cannot Deny a Clear Record of Success," so .....
posted by blucevalo at 7:35 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]




If there was a woman, it would probably be Taylor Swift.
posted by smackfu at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Putin hosted an Olympics, stifled dissent and invaded the Ukraine with no real repercussions in 2014. Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?

They chose Putin in 2002.
posted by maryr at 7:51 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


At least it wasn't Taylor Swift.

Can't you let the young lady not win an award without being dissed?
posted by srboisvert at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, but who is the Feminist of the Year?

Anita Sarkeesian


Actually, let me retract that. I think Anita Sarkeesian is awesome, but really it has to go to:

Laverne Cox
posted by Sophie1 at 8:09 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nina Pham is a remarkable young woman. She is everything that is great about our healthcare industry and hopefully our future. Courage, duty, composure, compassion, grateful, humble: she gives me hope and pride. Congrats to her, and the others.
posted by dios at 8:09 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Katie Meyler on Instagram. If she's not a saint on Earth, I don't know who is. The headlines came and went, but she is still on the ground, tirelessly doing her part to help Ebola victims and spread awareness around the world via social media.
posted by theraflu at 8:21 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's not about honoring someone's accomplishments so much as measuring them.

I don't think it has to do with accomplishments at all, but with impact.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:22 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


If there was a woman, it would probably be Taylor Swift.

I would have named the women behind #blacklivesmatter and the other female Ferguson activists. They haven't been in the forefront of the media coverage, but female activists like Johnetta Elzie have done extraordinary work in the protests (especially through social media) despite the coverage being focused a lot on the men in the movement.

(Not to discount the Ebola workers' or male Ferguson activists' monumentally important work, just a thought.)
posted by sallybrown at 8:34 AM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Always reminds me of Regina Spektor's Human of the Year, which is about as lovely as Times' ridiculous publicity stunt isn't.
posted by forgetful snow at 8:38 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


They really should just combine all these PR things into one: "RollingTimePeopleNewsStoneWeeks's Top 50 Sexiest Alive Person Albums of 2014" or some such.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:57 AM on December 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think it's a terrific choice. People who volunteer to fight a very deadly, very contagious disease in horrible conditions are heroes. Kaci Hickox is a hero. Every single asshole who dissed her is an asshole. Sorry, that's redundant, but you get the idea. It's not a very controversial choice, and there are many other fine choices, but I was really happy when I read this news.
posted by theora55 at 9:07 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


>Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?

>Well, Stalin was an ally in 1939 and 1942. And Hitler got it in 1938, before the war proper started.


Time also selected Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:13 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know, honestly it's just kind of a tired joke at this point when they choose a category of people, not an actual person. It's pretty easy to choose large categories of good-doing people, but hard to choose individuals - and that was what made it interesting.
posted by corb at 9:27 AM on December 10, 2014


Speaking of loss of prestige: To vote in TIME's contest, you had to go to your Facebook account. Admission of irrelevancy?
posted by Cranberry at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Putin hosted an Olympics, stifled dissent and invaded the Ukraine with no real repercussions in 2014. Whatever happened to the magazine that had the balls to award Hitler and Stalin?

It happened in 2001 when Time responded to 9/11 by making Rudy Giuliani the Man of the Year instead of awarding it to the man who had the most impact, Osama bin Laden. That racist hypocrite Giuliani would never have been considered as much of a credible presidential candidate if Time hadn't given him that boost.
posted by jonp72 at 10:04 AM on December 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


You get to vote for this? Pretty lame way to ginger interest in the whole thing. But I suppose it all but guarantees that those who vote for the winner buy the magazine. Anything for eyeballs.

Anyway, put me down for bad choice. Ebola was unlikely to be the next Spanish Flu, so no global issue addressed there. You want a health related hero making real change? I may be a trifle early, but try Elizabeth Holmes.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:14 AM on December 10, 2014


Time had a reader poll before this for the "actual" award, and the clear winner was Narendra Modi. How is it he wasn't even a finalist for this thing? Not that I actually care what Time has to say, but c'mon.

Reader polls are basically about who can muster their cheerleaders better. (I mean, John Linnell once made People's most beautiful list and ...I'm a pretty big TMBG fan, but come on.) Modi has all of India to draw voters from and a recent election to prove it, but he hasn't really been at the center of any news stories that would make Time's readership say anything other than "Who?"
posted by psoas at 10:44 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd rather give some vaguely meaningless title to the people who kept me and billions of other people from dying horribly of a hemorrhagic fever than to a guy who held the Olympics and repressed gay people and his political opponents.

Mitt Romney?
posted by threeants at 10:46 AM on December 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I was one of the 1967 winners and all it led to was a severe and maiming beating
on Armitage Avenue and a few free doobies in the early 70's.
posted by Chitownfats at 11:31 AM on December 10, 2014


They'll be by in 21 days to pick up the award.

I was thinking that this must be the first person of the year you wouldn't feel entirely comfortable living next to and then I remembered Hitler. Perhaps they'd be the only person of the year you'd maybe not feel entirely comfortable living next to and feel badly about because, you know, precautions, big hugs.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:33 AM on December 10, 2014


am I dreaming this or did they once award it to "You"?

No, they awarded it to me.

And I'm making this prediction for posterity: the first woman to be named Time's PotY will be Hillary Clinton.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:56 AM on December 10, 2014


There was little chance by this point, but I would have been very happy with it being Malala. There were a ton of very viable choices this year, though, and I'm more than okay with their choice.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:32 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


They should do the mirrored cover again but this time they should label it "EBOLA VICTIMS" and scare the shit out of everybody who reads it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:40 PM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think next year we'll start clocking the time of that joke.

I mean I think in general you can assume it'll be the time of the joke, plus two or three minutes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:34 AM on December 10


Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2009: 29 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2010: 4 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2011: n/a
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2012: 10 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2013: 2 min
Difference in clocked time from joke to clocked time of joke joke in 2014: 2 min

median: 4 min
mean: 9.4 min
standard deviation: 11.4 minutes
posted by Reverend John at 4:29 PM on December 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


For some of the best indepth and ongoing reporting of the Ebola outbreak the BBC takes a lot of beating.
posted by adamvasco at 6:10 AM on December 11, 2014


Also, Halloween Costume of the Year.
posted by y2karl at 7:49 AM on December 11, 2014


In 1999, Time changed the annual year-end honorific, which had almost exclusively been a "Man of the Year" since its inception, to "Person of the Year," but it merely created an illusion of parity. Still no individual women.

There were several individual women in 2002: Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins.
posted by John Cohen at 8:18 AM on December 11, 2014


Remember that time when Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz won it?
posted by Mister_A at 8:53 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


several individual

I think those words do not go together as well as you think they do.
posted by Etrigan at 9:13 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I'm making this prediction for posterity: the first woman to be named Time's PotY will be Hillary Clinton.

Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986) were all "Woman of the Year." "The American Woman" was the recipient in 1975.

Post-changing it to "Person of the Year" in 1999, "The Whistleblowers" in 2002 were all women, and Melinda Gates shared it with Bill Gates and Bono in 2005.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:20 AM on December 19, 2014


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