For good or ill

November 18th, 2010

Thank God Al Gore invented the Internet.

It is a nice tool that I’ve been using for literally as long as I can remember. Last night, a fellow editor used it to pull up the list of candidates for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and I was a little surprised by some of the people being considered.

Some of this year’s finalists include: President Barack Obama (the 2008 winner), Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Glenn Beck, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the trapped Chilean miners.

Unfortunately Gore never made the cut for Person of the Year. It could be because he also didn’t really invent the Internet. 

Regardless, in 2006 the Internet was the main factor in determining the acclaimed “Person of The Year.” That was the year “You” received the title. “You” were starting to delve into the World Wide Web and used it to make connections and help change the world with everything from MySpace to YouTube. 

This year “You” won’t be the recipient again, and chances are “You” (in the sense of Clevelanders) might be a little upset with the decision.

That is because one of the other finalists this year is our very own, I mean formerly our very own, LeBron James.

Time Magazine editors are responsible for selecting the Person of the Year. It goes to the “person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.”

You can’t argue that LeBron affected the news and our lives or that it was for good or ill. But did he embody what was important about the year?

In an article with The Associated Press, James said, “I am who I am and I think I’m in a position of my life where I’m going to get better every day. But it’s [nomination for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is] too much.”

That is very humble of you, but here is the problem LeBron, if you win it shouldn’t be because you’re getting better everyday. It should be because you impacted the news in a large way. You turned a choice, that I’m pretty certain you had determined weeks prior, into “The Decision.” That coupled with being a talented athlete is why you made the cut. 

Let’s be honest, I don’t really care about sports and I’m not heart-broken that LeBron left the city. I just think he did it in an unprofessional manner. 

I also have a certain appreciation for controversy, so I wouldn’t mind if someone won because they negatively contributed to our society, but is LeBron that man? No, let’s not give him more credit than he deserves.