Every year, a few names on TIME's 'Person of the Year' list are bound to raise some eyebrows. The "Today Show" anchors unveiled TIME’s shortlist for 2015 live on Monday morning. Among the list were Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, and Caitlyn Jenner. That last name isn’t the most controversial one of the list, however.
The TIME editors unveiled their nominees in alphabetical order. Here’s their first choice:
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who as leader of ISIS has inspired followers to both fight in his self-declared caliphate of Iraq and Syria, and also stage attacks in countries like Tunisia and France.
Yes, a terror leader responsible for barbaric beheadings and countless murders has the potential to be in the same category as The Ebola Fighters, Pope Francis and The American Soldier.
One of these things is not like the others.
Before going any further, it's worth noting that last year the magazine voted Al-Baghdadi as the world's "most dangerous man."
Also on the shortlist this year is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who TIME describes as a leader “seeking to bring his country out of pariah status and repair its sanction-crippled economy by pursuing a nuclear deal with the West.” I’d add a footnote: He blamed the U.S. and Israel for cultivating “the seeds of extremism and division” at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Despite the disturbing list, the "Today" anchors gleefully encouraged their viewers to vote for their favorite nominee.
Trump got it right when he charged today's media for glamorizing terrorists.
"I think the press is making it -- they're making – they're glamorizing these people," Trump said. "These people are animals.
Two years ago, Rolling Stone magazine featured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on their front cover, giving rock star status to a terrorist responsible for the Boston bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds of others.
At least the jury wasn’t so smitten. They gave him the death penalty – 17 times over.
These people are cold-blooded killers. They don't deserve any other title.