By Mark Memmott
Time magazine's various lists obviously aim to provoke conversation -- as well as sell magazines. The "2010 TIME 100: The World's Most Influential People," released today, is another that will spark some argument.
One thing I always find fascinating, is who writes the pieces about why each person is being honored. This new list has some interesting pairings, including these:
-- Rocker, hunter and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent on 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin: "Her rugged individualism, self-reliance and a herculean work ethic resonate now more than ever in a country spinning away from these basics that made the U.S.A. the last best place. ... We know that bureaucrats and, even more, Fedzilla, are not the solution; they are the problem. I'd be proud to share a moose-barbecue campfire with the Palin family anytime, so long as I can shoot the moose."
-- Rocker, writer and advocate for Africa Bono on former president Bill Clinton: "There are professors who pretend to be populists and populists who pretend to be professors. But there have never been a head and heart so perfectly matched as the pair within William Jefferson Clinton. It's an impossible equilibrium: wonky intellectual meets 'Oh, hell' card player, oxygen and hydrogen. He defies the laws of physics as his daily exercise, but without him the universe just wouldn't be as friendly to humans."
-- Palin on Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck: "Who'd have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers -- kicking it old school -- instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. ... Even his critics (whom he annihilates in ratings) have to admire his amazing ability to galvanize everyday Americans to better themselves and peacefully engage their government."