Time picks ‘The Protester’ as 2011 Person of the Year

Dylan Stableford
The Cutline

Time magazine has selected "The Protester" as its 2011 "Person of the Year."

In a year when protesters fueled the Arab Spring, riots in London and the Occupy Wall Street movement, Time managing editor Rick Stengel said the choice was virtually unanimous among the magazine's editors, and an obvious one.

"A year after a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself ablaze, dissent has spread across the Middle East, to Europe and the U.S., reshaping global politics and redefining people power," Stengel wrote in the introduction; Kurt Andersen wrote in the accompanying cover story.

Stengel unveiled the 85th annual selection on NBC's "Today" show.

Runners-up were Kate Middleton, Rep. Gabby Giffords, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Admiral William McRaven, who led the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. In 201o, Time selected Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Last month at a luncheon to discuss contenders for the person of the year, Stengel said bin Laden himself, along with Steve Jobs, would be considered.

"We've never actually chosen a dead person," Stengel said. "We'll discuss it."

But Seth Meyers, head writer at "Saturday Night Live," predicted Time would ultimately choose the revolutionary as its POY.

"I think angry people are the person of the year," Meyers said.

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