Barack Obama has become the ninth man to be anointed Time's Person of the Year twice, joining such two-timers as George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Joseph Stalin. (Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only thricer.) "We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and . . . the architect," writes Time editor Rick Stengel.
Obama, who first won the Time garland in '08, has had measurable effect on the world, says Time White House reporter Michael Scherer.
"The Obama effect . . . could be measured," he says, "in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured, or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners."
Former ABC News star Sam Donaldson, 78, one of the last self-styled Walter Cronkite-ians on TV news, on Dec. 1 was arrested and charged with DUI in Lewes, Del., 130 miles from the newsman's home in McLean, Va. No comment yet from Donaldson's peeps.
Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Barette Vance Widell takes her final bow Sunday at the Academy of Music, after the performance of The Nutcracker. She's danced with the company for nine years; her final role will be Dew Drop.
Olivia Culpo, 20, from Rhode Island, was crowned Miss Universe on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, defeating 88 other women at the televised pageant at Planet Hollywood. An American had not won the title since Brook Lee in 1997. Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, was second .
Lindsay Lohan reportedly trashed her trailer on the set of Scary Movie 5. She did such damage, it seems, she blocked up every toilet on the lot for two days. Unnamed LiLo Pals tell TMZ the report was leaked by producers who wanted to get back at LiLo for showing up at work a day late, claiming she had walking pneumonia. They say the trailer was nasty before LiLo arrived.
With her bank accounts seized by the IRS, Lindsay Lohan needs all the cash she can get. Even if she doesn't earn it.
The New York Post says LiLo last year agreed to do a two-episode run on Bravo reality show Million Dollar Decorators in exchange for $200,000 in primo house furnishings for her Beverly Hills pad. In the show, designer Kathryn Ireland helps folks redo their fab homes with fabber furnishings. The Post says LiLo shot some shopping scenes - and took her spoils home - but never showed to shoot the big reveal. Bad girl.
President Obama isn't the only person honored by Time's Person of the Year issue. Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban after advocating education for girls, is this year's runner-up. "Since October her message has been heard around the world, from cramped classrooms where girls scratch out lessons in the dirt to the halls of the U.N.," writes Time's Middle East bureau chief, Aryn Baker.
Others include Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi; Bill and Hillary Clinton; Apple CEO Tim Cook; and Fabiola Gianotti of the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Actor, former Jennifer Lopez consort, burgeoning film auteur, and foreign-policy whiz Ben Affleck descended Tuesday on Capitol Hill to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, TMZ reports. The Argo director said the U.S. needs to step in to end the violence by militant rebel groups. Affleck, 40, is founder of the humanitarian dot.org Eastern Congo Initiative.
Tom Cruise, 50, had to scrap a visit to see DJ son Connor at the Darby club in Manhattan Monday night, says the New York Post. Seems Tom's security team determined the site wasn't secure enough for the VIP. . . . Some moviegoers are upset by a scene in Judd Apatow's This Is 40 in which Albert Brooks' character contemplates shooting his kids to lower his family's living costs. It hit a nerve in the wake of the Connecticut shootings. Apatow tells TMZ that he's sorry folks were upset, but that he wrote that scene more than two years ago.
MTV's The Jersey Shore, which brought fame and fortune to bozos Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, and Jennifer "JWoww" Farley and almost ruined the Garden State's rep, will have its final episode - ever! - on Thursday. Snooki, 25, now a Pulitzer-worthy novelist and mother to baby Lorenzo, tells People she doesn't regret her wild, big-haired days on the show. Those days "aren't really a big deal," she says. "Everyone thinks, 'Oh my God, what are you going to tell Lorenzo?' " Why, she'll teach him how to do beer bongs, of course!
Rita Ora's Thursday night show at the Trocadero has been canceled due to illness. Refunds at point of purchase.
Les Misérables and X-Men Origins: Wolverine star Hugh Jackman will headline the Philadelphia Orchestra's 156th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball on Jan. 26, led by new music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.