Barbara Walters has a list and so do we: 9 News team picks fascinating newsmakers of 2012

CINCINNATI - Honey Boo Boo may not be your idea of a fascinating person, but the reality TV show star certainly got the attention of Barbara Walters in 2012. In fact, she's on Walters' annual list of most fascinating people. The full list will be revealed in a primetime special Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 9.

At 9 News, we report on the antics and activities of all kinds of people. Here, in alphabetical order, is our list of fascinating local and national news makers of 2012. It's not intended to be exhaustive; just a few opinions.

  • Who fascinated you in 2012? Please tell us why in the comments section below.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. Web reporter and editor Kevin Osborne's pick. "The Australian who founded the notorious website that posts whistleblowers' documents about governments and corporations had another tumultuous year. He's been holed up inside the Ecuador embassy in London since June , in a bizarre standoff with British police."

PFC Bret Bondurant of Aurora. Carol Williams's pick. "He lost two legs in Afghanistan, and was just so optimistic and funny when I talked with him . He was learning to walk on his prosthetic legs. Very inspiring."

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ. Neighborhood News Editor Holly Edgell's pick. "He's America's mayor. He gives new meaning to the term ‘hands on' in big and small ways; for example, by saving someone from a burning house and responding directly to citizens concerns on Twitter. Right now he's on a personal quest to see how far food stamps actually stretch. He seems to leave and breathe his mission."

James Cameron, film director. Steve Raleigh's pick. Cameron reached the Challenger Deep,  the deepest known point on earth , in the Deepsea Challenger submersible. Cameron is the first person to visit the Deep, in the Pacific Mariana Trench, since 1960.

James Craig, Cincinnati Police Chief. Clyde Gray's choice. "I think he's been a highly effective, smart and dedicated leader of change in the department . He has spent his adult life in law enforcement and educated himself for the very job he's doing in this city."

Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. Larry Handley's pick. "Gymnastics is an all-consuming, challenging and expensive sport. She thought about giving up gymnastics because of financial hardships for her family , but she hung in there. Now look at her!"

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback. Larry Smith's pick. "Eighteen months ago, fe w knew who he was . But he stormed to the Heisman Trophy a year ago wearing Superman socks to the ceremony. This year, he's electrified the NFL and his team, while comfortably handling endorsements and fame, displaying a maturity far beyond his years."

E.L. James, author of the bestseller 50 Shades of Grey. Tanya O'Rourke's pick. "Because she got so many people interested in reading again ."

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Sarah Walters' pick. "Not because I think she's fascinating, but rather I'm fascinated that others are fascinated with her . What's the big deal?"

Jose Salazar, Cincinnati chef. Digital Content Manager P.J. O'Keefe's pick. "After running the Palace, the only 5-star restaurant in Cincinnati, Salazar chose to work at Abigail Street in Over-the-Rhine."

Tim Tebow, New York Jets quarterback. Mario Ramirez's pick. "Tim Tebow has caught so much attention with his religious views . With one move he created a pop culture frenzy."

Ryan Widmer, convicted killer. WCPO.com editor Kerry Duke's pick. This is the murder case that just won't go away . After three trials in the 2008 the bathtub drowning of his wife, an appeals court in September 2012 upheld the jury's conviction. Still, could there be more? Stayed tuned."
 

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