2011 TIME Person of the Year Panel mulls Steve Jobs (with video)

TIME’s Person of the Year panel took place today. Brian Williams, Jesse Eisenberg, Mario Batali, Grover Norquist, Anita Hill and Seth Meyers debated who the 2011 Person of the Year should with TIME’s managing editor, Rick Stengel. There was much debate about whether Steve Jobs would be the first person no longer alive to become TIME’s Person of the Year.

Some of the panelists choices for POY:

• Brian Williams: Steve Jobs: “One guy, who changed our world, and I said to Seth Meyers as we walked across 6th Ave, ‘Just look with me on this one block walk at how he changed the world around us. Look at how he changed the world.’ Not only did he change the world, but he gave us that spirit again that something was possible that you could look at a piece of plastic or glass and move your finger – that’s outlandish. You could make things bigger or smaller like that. ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ and oh the way you will change forever the music and television industries. So may he rest in peace, Steve Jobs, and the spirit he represents, are my nominee for Person of the Year.”

• Jesse Eisenberg: The Populists: ““Well first of all, I think it’s a wonderful idea and obviously there’s no dispute that Steve Jobs’ impact has been monumental. It seems to me if it’s this year, with Steve Jobs, he was not my selection because I thought about him and it felt kind of like a lifetime achievement honor.”

• Seth Meyers: Angry People

• Anita Hill: Social Justice Movement, Esraa Abdel Fatah, Elizabeth Warren: “Problem I have with the Steve Jobs is I don’t feel there was a generosity of spirit. It was something he wanted to spread and was really sort of about him and seemed to be what drove him… what I’d like to see more of is a sense of more of a democratic spirit that other people can do same thing that I’m doing and not just doing the things they envision.”

• Grover Norquist: Mohamed Bouazizi

• Mario Batali: Steve Jobs, Michael Pollen or The Bankers: “I like Steve Jobs I think he did a really good job, changing the way people behave.”

Direct link to the video via TIME here.

Related articles:
Mark Zuckerberg deserves to be TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year,’ but Steve Jobs never has? – December 16, 2010
TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year: Mark Zuckerberg – 1, Steve Jobs – 0? – December 16, 2010


    1. Not sure that is worth it. I do not mean Steven, I mean the voting. Times should award this title to Jobs last year, when iPad was released, not Zuckerberg.

      Now they throw in this discussion as overall “life time achievement award” because Jobs has died.

      1. +1
        Steve doesn’t need any approval or thumbs up from any panels of pundits. Isaacson has even yanked on his dignity that he fretted/cried over such banal stuff.

        Steve Jobs, that I understood, mostly concerned for one group of people, as he was ever vigilant to not piss them off (listen to his 1997 keynote address where he talked about Apple’s core): It’s his loyal customers, fellow dreamers.

        More people have voted for Steve Jobs and his vision, taste and products directly with their wallets, than they have subscribed to Time magazine in its entire history.

    1. exactly.

      too many people cannot see that Jobs contribution to humanity was his work. That’s why he never seemed that interested in ‘traditional charity’ (i.e hobnobbing with celebrities in headline grabbing fund raisers) – I suspect he believed his mission on earth was his work and with his limited time due to illness to concentrate on that.

      Jobs accomplishments benefited hundreds of millions and continues to after his passing.

    2. Basically, Anita said he shouldn’t get it because it wouldn’t be fair to all the little people who don’t have Steve Jobs’ ability. In other words, the fact that he had such a huge impact, was her reason he shouldn’t be recognized … for having a huge impact.

      This is typical socialist bullshit. “Democratic” for them is code for “nobody is able to pull themselves out of the gutter” … and why are people in the gutter? because the state makes them poor.

      What a scumbag.

      1. “… the state makes them poor”? While government policies do have a strong influence on socioeconomic conditions, that is only part of the equation. For some people, the choices that they make are a far stronger factor on their wealth, or lack thereof, than any actions by governments – local, state, or federal.

        Some people succeed despite tremendous adversity. Others fail despite every advantage.

  1. I’ve always respected Brian Williams sense of humor and ability to make fun of himself. But his narrative on Steve Jobs elevates him to a higher level of my respect. Well said, Brian.

  2. Time’s magazine’s Person of the Year award is about as meaningful as People’s Magazine’s Sexiest Man on Earth issue (which always seems to translate into yet another cover photo of a smug-looking George Clooney). What irrelevant old-media tripe.

  3. I guess you can’t give it to Obama twice for shooting some of those Middle Eastern whackos, can you?

    Steve Jobs died this year. Does that make him person of the year? Or does his incredible career 50 years prior do it? I’m not sure if, this year, is really all about Steve.

  4. Screw Time Magazine. The rest of the world already knows Steve’s contributions to the planet. Time recognizing them is irrelevant. We don’t need them to tell us anything about Steve.

  5. HA! I just looked up the list of past Person of the Year. And any list that includes Lyndon B. Johnson 2x and Richard Nixon 2x, I’m not sure I even want to see Steve’s name on it at all. And to give it to Zuckerberg before—*please*. Steve doesn’t need this list he put himself on top in our minds and hearts and world accomplishments.

  6. I know it’s a news maker thing and not necessarily good but still. That fact of the criteria has always rung oddly with me. Bad people don’t deserve their photo on a cover.

  7. The “Man of the Year” award is a joke and has been for a long time. When Time started handing it out, it went to the individual who had the greatest effect on the world in the past year, for good or ill. Hitler was a “Man of the Year”. At the time, Nazi Germany was chewing through Europe, so it was an appropriate choice.

    But at some point, the idea behind the award got lost. People started to think that the award was for personal achievement, or just for being the most awesome dude alive that year. So when Time wanted to give it to Osama Bin Laden (an appropriate choice at the time) the idiot reading public freaked. How dare they bestow this terrorist with such an “honor”?! Time backed down, gave the award to “Our Men in Uniform”, and the award’s been worthless ever since.


  8. Thank you everyone for projecting your own bias into the process.

    Time is this and that,
    but it’s never good enough
    until there is no more.

    In the spirit of the award, put Steve’s high school year book picture on the cover, as a celebration/homage to the youth, and the saviors of our future. We need a lot more Steve’s to fix the monumental mess in which we we find ourselves.

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