Juan Williams defended the selection of journalism "guardians" and "the war on truth" saying that there is "so much assault on simple facts".
"And that's why it's so important that time magazine use its status of the person of the year award to highlight this grave threat to democracy".
It said they have taken "great risks in pursuit of greater truths".
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Responding to Wednesday's vote, May once again fell back on trusted phrases, saying she was determined to "get on with the job". Prime Minister Theresa May won a confidence vote with 200 out of 317 Tory MPs supporting her to stay on as leader.
Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who have been jailed in Myanmar for almost a year.
In an essay about the choice, the magazine's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote that all of the journalists included in the selection had "paid a awful price to seize the challenge of this moment".
Khashoggi, who lived in the USA and had a long career as a journalist, was a frequent critic of the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia.
The magazine dubbed its choice as "The Guardians and the War on Truth" - and the Person of the Year issue features four covers depicting Khashoggi, Philippines-based editor Maria Ressa, jailed Burmese Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their wives, and the staff of Maryland's Capital Gazette. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, that coverage earned the site a "campaign of legal harassment" from Duterte's Department of Justice.
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The 36-year-old was seen as Mr Trump's main choice to replace Gen John Kelly , who will depart by the year's end. But tension between the two men and between Kelly and other top officials had grown in recent months.
The TIME "Person Of The Year" title has always been a controversial, iconic and misunderstood.
And the fourth cover shows Maria Ressa, chief executive of the Philippine news website Rappler. Khashoggi's death has made headlines for over two months, as governments debate how to respond to a killing likely orchestrated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Trump won in 2016, with the magazine calling him the "president of the divided states of America". Capital Gazette journalists John McNamera, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, and sales associate Rebecca Smith, who were killed in July, were on the list.
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Trump is "certainly in a tough situation", says Dave Ray, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform . A Honduran migrant is boosted up by his father and a friend as they jump the United States border wall.
The shortlist of candidates for the 2018 award ranged from President Trump to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and from families separated at the U.S. -Mexico border to the March for Our Lives activists against mass shootings. Jarrod Warren Ramos faces first-degree murder charges.