JESSE: Well, first of all, I think it’s a wonderful idea and—obviously—there’s no dispute that Steve Jobs’ impact has been monumental. To me, this year it seemed that the major news stories and the major shifts globally and domestically have been made by individuals that have formed together to kind of resist, reject, and often times even topple leaders and individuals; they’ve been movements of populism. So I thought this year, kind of the notion of ‘the populist’—you know domestically we have the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement and internationally the Arab Spring have been made up of individuals that are part of populist movements. It almost seems like in a year where those movements have caused the greatest world shifts, one individual as the person of the year might undercut the significance of those movements made by populists.
SETH: I think I would join with Jesse and I do think that sort of angry people are…the ‘person of the year,’ because I think they’re right to be angry. I think—the last time I was on this panel was 2008 where almost everyone agreed that Barack Obama was going to be the person of the year; we were in the middle of a financial crisis and we thought, ‘I would hope by 2011 things will be better,’ I don’t think they’re better. Um, I think it would be a mistake to put any politician on the cover for 2011 because I don’t think much has been done.
—TIME Person of the Year 2011 Panel