Tags: time | magazine | person | year

Time Magazine Readers: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un 'Person of the Year'

Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 10:24 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Kim Jong Un — the controversial supreme leader of North Korea — has won Time magazine’s readers poll for title of Person of the Year.

Kim, who took over from his late father Kim Jong Il in 2011, received 5.6 million votes in the unscientific poll, which precedes the official Person of the Year award.

Next Wednesday, Time will name its Person of the Year as chosen by the top editors of the magazine.

“While we don’t make our selection based on the poll results, it’s always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up,” said Time executive editor Radhika Jones.

The pudgy, baby-faced Kim beat out John Stewart of “The Daily Show,’’ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, and Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein, all who scored in the top ten.

Also high on the list were the nation’s undocumented immigrants.
Time said some of the highest vote tallies got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan who launched a campaign to manipulate the results pushing Kim to the top of the list.

Despite the fact that Morsi made the top ten, he also received the largest number of ”no way” votes.

Kim will unlikely have any comment on the Time honor — he’s reclusive and is rarely seen in public.

Other notable vote-getters included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani schoolgirl wounded by the Taliban, who placed 15th, and Psy, the controversial Korean rapper who scored an international hit with “Gangham Style,’’ and placed 17th.

Past Person of the Year winners as chosen by Time’s editors have included: The Protestor (2011); Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg (2010); Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (2009) and President Barack Obama (2008).

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