People of the Year — 2. Rosie O’Donnell

No need to roll your eyes. Aside from Britney, Paris, and Lindsay, few tabloid regulars exhausted the public’s patience quite like O’Donnell. From the never-ending feuds—with Trump, Ripa, O’Reilly—to the now-infamous split-screen showdown with View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the South Nyack resident became a better fight-maker than Don King in 2007. Even after she quit the daytime gabfest (three weeks before her contract was up), Rosie continued churning up controversy in her wake, even going so far as to suggest in her new memoir, Celebrity Detox, that Barbara Walters should retire. But putting aside all the bilious rhetoric for a sec, one thing separates the former Queen of Nice from the aforementioned tabloid bimbos: O’Donnell’s public showdowns all stemmed from a passionate defense of her liberal views (on Bush, the Iraq war, gay rights, etc.)—and not from, say, a lack of panties or repeat DUIs. Her tirades might have been over the top, but her political courage does make her a role model of sorts. That said, if she ever takes your parking spot at the Palisades Center, don’t even think of starting a shouting match—she’s way out of your league.

Prediction for 2008: She may have lost The Price is Right hosting gig to Drew Carey, but we predict a return to network TV, as the co-host of the newest British import, Boiling Point.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� Rockland Magazine, December 2007

(Illustration by Ismael Roldon)

Ted Mann

Ted Mann aspires to join Stephen Baldwin’s Breakthrough Ministry, more commonly known as “skateboarding for the savior." Before becoming a Senior Editor at InTown, he worked at The Atlantic Monthly, the Philadelphia City Paper, and the University of Pennsylvania Press. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The New York Press, and The Pennsylvania Gazette.