Snooki: "Most Fascinating What?"


Yes, after all these years, Time Magazine has finally squandered the “Man/Person of the Year” franchise. Barbara Walters has her annual special of “most fascinating” which, I saw in the sneak preview,  features Snooki.  Matt Lauer ‘s list included Lebron James, Kim Kardashian and Sharif el-Gamal,  the developer of the controversial Islamic prayer center near Ground Zero.  And now my old pal Judith Regan has invited a gang of us for her “person of the year” award on her Sirius radio program. Sorry, Time, but we no longer sit around the dinner table and ponder your annual selection.  It’s more fun to come up with lists in our alternate universe.

I have already hand picked my personal candidates. I’m certain next week’s radio think tank will also come up with some buzzier candidates, at least some more inspired than Time, which is now asking people to click on for their pick online (see below).

Time Magazine Candidates

Hey, just put Mark Zuckerberg on the cover.  It’s a valid choice with the bonus of  boosting circulation by about 700 million if he decides to “share” the news on Facebook.  Remember when Time put the Ayatollah on the cover in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis?  A ballsy move even with their stated criteria of “the most influential” person in our lives, which he certainly was at that time.  But what a downer.  It just about killed all hope for mass newsstand impulse sales.

Julian Assange, the wicked witch of wikileaks, is the new Ayatollah.   Even among the most fervent first amendment advocates, he’s not exactly a Daniel Ellsberg.  (The rape charges,  even if they turn out to be  trumped up for political reasons, are really a turn off to women.) So, cross him off as “too skeevy” to be chosen.

Lady Gaga? Hey I’ve been one of her little monsters for a long time, but Person of the Year?  On my list, only her armadillo-skin lobster heels would make the cut.

I must admit, I’d have a new respect for Time  if they chose  J. Craig Venter from their list.  He’s the entrepreneurial scientist who helped cracked the human genome and now, after 15 years and $40 million, has announced he’s created the first synthetic cells.  In other words, he has created artificial life. If that’s not a “holy cow” cover, what is? Then again, he may have some competition from  NASA’s latest announcement of “aliens” among us with their discovery of a the new life form that feeds on arsenic. I’m not certain how new it will turn out to be  as I’m pretty sure  I know a few folks who might fit that description, but until that DNA link is made,  “alien life form” would be a pretty exciting cover, too.

But the rest of Time’s list: Obama, Palin, Beck, the Columbian Miners, Robert Gates, Nancy Pelosi, blah, blah, blah, they’ve been bouncing around in our poor overloaded cranial echo chambers all year long. Give us a rest.

So who will I recommend to Judith?   Unless something incredible happens between now and next week — like Pee Wee Herman leaves Broadway to take over a network news division — here is my recommendation for her person of the year.


It’s Stephen Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who wigged out on some passengers, grabbed   and bolted the airplane — and life as he knew it — through an emergency chute (oh don’t wish we all had one of those.).  All the emerging eye witness accounts, the damning testimony given under oath in court, his own admission of deeper personal problems…. nothing could not rob this working stiff  of  his full entitlement to glorious folk hero status.

Stephen Slater: My "Man of the Year"

Why Everyone Loves Stephen

Stephen Slater embodies the true American who is over-worked and over-tired, frightened and frazzled, unnerved by potential terror attacks, oil spills, wild fires, earthquakes, tsunamis and Eliot Spitzer as the face of CNN.  He is everyman who wonders: “Is today the day I will lose it?” Stephen Slater  had a grand mal “lose it” and the world loves him for it.   And with a final “there but for the grace” nod, he’ll remain my top choice  for “Man/Person of The Year.”