EGOTIST OF THE YEAR ? 2002….Via Eric Alterman, this bizarre Washington City Paper story about why George Bush was not Time’s Person of the Year in 2002: he didn’t want to share the limelight with Dick Cheney. Time wanted to do a piece about the “partnership of the year” between Bush and Cheney, but “Bush aides reportedly preferred that their boss appear alone on the cover.”

Oddly enough, the White House actually confirmed the story ? sort of ? but provided a different explanation:

White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett confirms that the White House denied access after reviewing Time’s “potential” package. “We decided that the president would not be available for an interview,” says Bartlett. However, Bartlett insists that the administration’s policy of rotating press access?not jitters about the “partnership”?dictated the decision. “We decided it was U.S. News & World Report’s turn to have the president in their year-end interview,” says Bartlett.

Are they serious? I’d heard that they were annoyed that Rudy Giuliani got the nod last year, but this is ridiculous. Can these guys hold a grudge, or what?