Petraeus named Most Fascinating person for 2012

Gen. David Petraeus shakes hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of his biography, on July 13, 2011.


By ANN OLDENBURG | USA TODAY | Published: December 13, 2012

On her Wednesday night ABC special, Barbara Walters named Gen. David Petraeus as her Most Fascinating person of 2012.

"We argued for months," over the choice, said Walters.

"David Petraeus was not chosen this year for his war record or his exemplary service to his country," said Walters. "This is about military honor, colliding with sex and lies in the digital age."

The head of the CIA stepped down in November after admitting he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Petraeus, 60, was also given Walter's No. 1 spot in 2010.

Other newsmakers on her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 list:

  • E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey author
  • Actor Ben Affleck
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  • Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • British boy-band One Direction
  • Seth MacFarlane, 2013 Oscars host and creator of TV's Family Guy
  • Prince Harry
  • Honey Boo Boo

When Walters asked Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction if they are now comfortable with their international fame, they all replied a resounding, "No!"

Harry Styles, who has been hanging out with Taylor Swift lately, answered, "You never get used to it. To think that we are some people's favorite band is just amazing."


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