Mark Zuckerberg and Julian Assange have two things in common. They both have a certain contempt for privacy, whether it is the individual’s privacy on Facebook or the government’s privacy on Wikileaks. And they are also in the running for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2010. A readers’ poll put Assange in the number one spot, while Zuck was relegated to number 10.
But that’s not the only slap in the face for Zuck. He was also beaten out by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, whose release of the iPad and new iPhone this year clinched the number seven spot for him. This year, two Silicon Valley stalwarts have made it into the top ten contenders. The question is whether the magazine’s editorial board will pick them against the other top contenders.
Beating Assange could be difficult, but chances are that they will be the number 2 placeholder, Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan. Let’s face it—who really cares about Turkey? Then there is the number three contender, Lady Gaga. Facebook versus a homage on Glee? Facebook wins hands down. The iPad versus an award appearance dressed in raw meat? That’s a no-brainer, unless you’re a Rottweiler. Note, however, that Lady Gaga did beat Assange on a Facebook poll. That may work to Zuckerberg’s detriment, if not Jobs’s.
The fourth and fifth spaces are filled by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (4) and Glenn Beck (5). Yes, they are all comedians, and as was once pointed out, ““The most protean aspect of comedy is its potentiality for transcending itself, for responding to the conditions of tragedy by laughing in the darkness.” The thing is that Beck cries more than he laughs, while Stewart and Colbert may be deserving, but did they really set the tone for the year, or did they simply comment on that tone?
Barack Obama is number 6, but his ratings are down again. That’s good news for Zuck and Jobs. The Chilean Miners are at number 8, which means that they are already beaten by Jobs. Then at number 9 is the unemployed American. If Congress is a reflection of the American people, then nobody really cares about them either.
And so, the winner, to be announced tomorrow, will either be Jobs or Assange. If, however, Time decides to double up, and put Jobs and Zuck together (just like they did with Stewart and Colbert), they may have a chance.
Read More at Time.