Event Date(s): 12/16/2005 | Event Location(s): Today New York Studio;New Orleans, Louisiana; | Description: Katie Couric and Matt Lauer are joined by Time Magazine's Jim Kelly in Studio 1A. In interview with Kelly, Couric says, "Jim Kelly is Time's managing editor and he's here to reveal this year's finalists for Person of the Year." MATT LAUER: He got nervous. He thought you were going to say `reveal the actual winner.' Mr. JIM KELLY (Time Magazine): Exactly, right. I thought, `Wait a minute, I didn't sign up for this.' LAUER: Yeah. COURIC: Nice to see you. Mr. KELLY: Good to see you guys. COURIC: Listen, I know you've got six finalists, and they represent sort of a wide variety of potential people. Let's start with the world of politics. You have two, you have President Bush and Valerie Plame. Mr. KELLY: Right. Well pr--President Bush hasn't had a very good year, but this would not be the first time we put the president on in a bad year. Lyndon Johnson was on in'67 with the war in Vietnam and bad opinion polls. Valerie Plame really interests me because without Valerie Plame there's no Patrick Fitzgerald, there's no Carl Rove in trouble. And I met Valerie Plame for the first time a few months ago. She is an absolutely charming, really interesting person, and that would be an interesting way to tell the story of this here. LAUER: But--but wouldn't it be kind of different? I mean, she didn't do anything on purpose to be put in that position. And shouldn't someone have to initiate some kind of behavior or--or some kind of action? Mr. KELLY: Well that's fair enough. You could do Patrick Fitzgerald, I suppose. I was just struck by how unlikely a person like Valerie Plame is to be a part of this whole investigation. COURIC: Because she really opened up the floodgates. Mr. KELLY: Exactly, right. COURIC: And speaking of that: Katrina. Mr. KELLY: Katrina, yes. COURIC: And opening up the floodgates. I mean, I know that obviously was the domestic story of the year, if not the decade... Mr. KELLY: Exactly. LAUER: Yeah. COURIC: ...and--and you have put inanimate objects on the cover before... Mr. KELLY: The computer. COURIC: ...I guess twice, right? The computer. Mr. KELLY: The computer, and then we put the planet Earth once on the cover as the Planet of the Year. LAUER: And when we talk--talk about Katrina we're really talking about Mother Nature. Mr. KELLY: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Well also if you do Mother Nature you also get the tsunami--which was technically late last year, but obviously its effects are still felt--you get the terrible earthquake in Pakistan. And on our online poll, most people have voted for Mother Nature. The problem which we're, you know, have struggled with is how do you illustrate Mother Nature for the cover? COURIC: You do--you also talk about possibly the--the refugees... Mr. KELLY: Yes. COURIC: ...that resulted from--but they--they weren't called refugees except for the... LAUER: The victims. Mr. KELLY: Right. COURIC: ...at the very beginning. But really, I guess, the homeless and displaced individuals... Mr. KELLY: Exactly. COURIC: ...from Katrina. Mr. KELLY: Exactly. And now they're spread still over the country. And there, as you know, there's hundreds of thousands of them, and it's likely they won't return to New Orleans for months or months. LAUER: And yet we like to prog... COURIC: ...(Unintelligible). LAUER: ...prognosticate, Katie, and without Mother Nature you don't have their story. Mr. KELLY: Yes, exactly. LAUER: So, again, I'm--I'm leaning toward Mother Nature. Mr. KELLY: I see where you're going. LAUER: Yeah, right. COURIC: And then--and there are two other personalities. I guess Oprah is a--is a possibility? Mr. KELLY: Well Oprah is a per--possibility. Mostly frankly because of the way she responded to Katrina, which obviously was very effective. And some readers have written in and nominated Bono for his work on-on debt relief. LAUER: Who's it going to be? Mr. KELLY: Uh... COURIC: Matt Lauer. I nominate Matt Lauer. LAUER: Matt Lauer as Mother Nature. Mr. KELLY: Matt Lauer. LAUER: How about that? That's how you can illustrate her on the cover. Mr. KELLY: Well we were going to use Bea Arthur, but you would do if you like. LAUER: Yeah. Hey, Jim... COURIC: Bea Arthur."Maude"? LAUER: It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature. There you go. COURIC: Anyway, thanks, Jim. And we're going to see you on Monday... Mr. KELLY: You bet. COURIC: ...when you actually reveal your person of the year right here on TODAY. LAUER: Be here with Mother Nature. That'll be good. GFX:Animated moving stills of Time magazine Man of the Year covers. 07:50:10 (ej=:10) INT Panning shot of US President George W Bush walks past a crowd of applauding people, shaking hands with some. WS: (No Audio) Bush speaks from a podium in a speech before an audience. 07:50:23 (ej=:16) STILLS: Photos of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame with her husband Joseph Wilson and of Plame seated in a convertible car with Wilson. 07:51:16 (ej=:20) EXT DAY NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA AERIAL: Panning shot of flooded houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Zoom in to flooded homes in hurricane aftermath. WS: Flooded homes in hurricane aftermath. EXT DAY MS: Palm trees lean to one side in heavy wind. WS: Palm trees sway and lean in heavy wind. EXT DAY Rolling shot of a car partial submerged in floodwater. Rolling shot of a car (its emergency light blinking) partial submerged in floodwater. Rolling shot of a mailbox in floodwater. MS: Brief cut of a fence in floodwater. 07:51:42 (ej=:17) EXT DAY NEW ORLEANS (No Audio) Rolling shot of crowds of people waving their fists in the air and shouting. AERIAL: Zoom out from a group of people standing on the balcony of a flooded house in hurricane aftermath. Zoom in to the group of people, one waving a red flag, atop the roof of a flooded building in hurricane aftermath. 07:52:11 (ej=:10) CLIP: Clip of the TV show "The Late Show with David Letterman" featuring host David Letterman and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.