2014’s Big Winners: Putin and ISIS

It tells you something about the increasing irrelevance of news magazines that I entirely missed the fact that Time had designated “Ebola fighters” as their “Person of the Year”. A feel good choice, but not the one I would have made after a year filled with one calamity after another. For my “Man of the Year” (to use the original form invented by Time founder Henry Luce) I would split the honor between two rogues: Vladimir Putin, self-proclaimed president of Russia, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State. Both have had a very good year–which for the rest of us means a very bad year.