Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in custody in London on rape charges, has won an online vote to be Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’, amid continuous leak of thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables by his whistle-blower website.The 39-year-old Australian national secured 382,020 votes.Assange is currently in a London jail awaiting further hearings on his possible extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.While readers voted Assange as their hero, the Time editorial board named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as their ‘Person of the Year’. The magazine listed Assange as one of the runner-ups alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Chilean miners who were rescued from a mine after a 70-day ordeal, and the Tea Party movement.Click on NEXT to read further…
Assange received 148,383 votes more than Recep Tayyip Ergodan, Prime Minister of Turkey, who stood second with a score of 233,638. The former mayor of Istanbul, and head of the Justice and Development Party, Erdogan has risen to power along with Turkey’s growing Muslim middle-class and has challenged the dominance of the country’s secular elite. In the past year, he has broken the supremacy of Turkey’s army, previously the nation’s most powerful institution, and re-oriented the its foreign policy away from its formerly cozy relationship with Israel and moved closer to Iran.
Jon Stewart, a late night news anchor has beaten the likes of United States President Barack Obama to secure a fourth place on the list. A political satirist, Stewart has developed a dedicated following for The Daily Show’s lacerating and deeply researched takedowns of political and media foibles.And he shares the position with Stephen Colbert, the blowhard host of the nightly Colbert Report on Comedy Central. He’s galvanised his Colbert Nation of followers in the world outside TV, most recently sponsoring the US Olympic speedskating team in Vancouver.
Television host Glenn Beck is ranked sixth online poll of Time’s readers ‘Person of the Year’. Beck commands an audience of three million strong for his afternoon political talk show on Fox News, on which he alternates between showing tearful concern for the fate of the country and outrage at what he sees as the threat of socialism and expanding government.
With 27,478 votes US President Barack Obama was in the sixth position. Obama’s first year in the Oval Office was rocky, as he struggled to fight two wars, right a listing economy and enact an ambitious domestic agenda.
The Chilean miners appears eight on the list of Time’s readers ‘Person of the Year.’ In a matter of days, they went from victims of a nightmare scenario to stars of an inspirational real-life drama. Trapped in a collapsed mine a half-mile underground and pushed to the limits of survival for 69 days, 33 Chilean miners showed the true meaning of friendship and bravery.
Ranked ninth after the valiant miners is The Unemployed American. In the current recession, unemployment rose to its highest point in late 2009. But the numbers are not much better today, and there is little sign of job growth in the near future.
As Facebook has become ever more popular and prevalent worldwide, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s image has taken some serious hits. The ubiquitous social network hit a new milestone — its 500 millionth member — but the world’s youngest billionaire, at 26, had to defend himself against both personal and professional slights. Nonetheless he is ranked 10th. Time magazine’s annual online vote asks readers to choose the most influential person, people or things from the previous year. In the online poll, readers voted a total of 1,249,425 times. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was the 2009 Time ‘Person of the Year’.