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Our Columnist Ponders the Person of the Year with the Great and Good

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Time held a luncheon last week at New York City's Four Seasons billed as a "debate about candidates for 2002 Person of the Year."

"This is the first time we've ever discussed the Person of the Year issue in public," said Eileen Naughton, Time president. In attendance: Brian Williams, the MSNBC anchor, Ted Turner, Tina Brown, Paula Zahn of CNN, Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC, John Miller, co-anchor of ABC's 20/20, and Eliot Spitzer, New York attorney general. Jim Kelly, Time managing editor, moderated a discussion on the choices. The panel of Time editors did not decide on the Dec. 23 cover person, but they did narrow the field to "terrorists" (in general), Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush. Time's Managing Editor at Large Michael Elliot came up with a brilliant alternative. "Donald Rumsfeld and Eminem," he said, suggesting they share the cover. "This will give us a chance to see Rumsfeld's tattoos."

Insane art: They're coming to take him away, ha-ha!

Grahame Weinbren cuts commercials for a living at Post-Typhoon Sky in New York. But outside the office, Grahame is a noted pioneer in interactive art, a Whitney Biennial artist and sometime Harvard University teacher. His latest show just opened at New York's The Kitchen. It's a collection of photos of female insane asylum inmates from the 1850s, next to images of contemporary women and men who morph into loonies as you get close to them. It's an interactive concept that attempts to demonstrate how seemingly normal people can be transformed into nut jobs. "These photographs from 150 years ago looked out at me and I felt this sort of link with these characters," Grahame tells Adages. "That is what inspired me. How can I speak back to these women who are speaking to me over 150 years through these images?" Welcome to the funny farm, Grahame.

Never say never

The name is Deutsch. Donny Deutsch. He is not a fan of Bond. James Bond. In 1998, on CNBC's "Power Lunch," the CEO of Deutsch criticized the commercialism of MGM's "Tomorrow Never Dies," where a host of tie-in partners from BMW Motors to Visa USA to Heineken signed on. "They have crossed the line here," he said. "You get to the point the consumer just smells too much already. You get to the point of six products-it's kind of ridiculous." He then added: "If they came to any of my clients-other than as an exclusivity-I don't think we would do it." Well, they came to one of his clients. The new Bond movie, "Die Another Day" features Revlon as a tie-in partner. The flick also costars Revlon spokeswoman Halle Berry. Revlon, of course, is a Deutsch client.

The right `Stuff'

Janet Jackson, baby sister of baby dangler Wacko Jacko, will grace the cover of an upcoming issue of Stuff, a Dennis Publishing insider tells Adages. She was scheduled for an L.A. cover shoot this past weekend. Does this mean Stuff is going mainstream? Not if Editor Greg Gutfeld can prevent it. At a 40th birthday party for Dennis prez Stephen Colvin, Gutfeld delivered a corrosive Lenny Bruce-like toast. Juggling a burning ciggie and a shoddy mike in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other, Gutfeld alleged that he first met Colvin in Bryant Park. "We talked about the Greek islands. A place to go. Just the two of us." Gutfeld then shuddered: "Oh, the heroin's kicking in!"

Who is Napoleon XIV? Email rlinnett@crain.com

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