Niall O'Dowd: Susan Boyle has been named 'Woman of the year' by NBC Today show host Matt Lauer in a wonderful tribute to her extraordinary story.

In a week where the savage tabloid press once again outdid itself in manufacturing yet another Susan Boyle breakdown story, Matt Lauer's choice of Susan Boyle stands out as an act of decency and real journalism.

Lauer also picked airline pilot hero Chesley Sullenberger as his Man of the Year and the two have much in common. Both Susan and Sully are low-key people who were catapulted from anonymity to great fame overnight.

Both possessed extraordinary gifts that surfaced the moment they became public figures. Sully was cool, calm and collected under the greatest possible pressure,

Susan Boyle was magnificent, thrilling and inspirational in her moment under the lights.

Both posses a quiet dignity and class that has eluded all those tabloid hounds who would love nothing more than to drag them down. Susan appeared on U.S. TV's Today Show, where host Matt Lauer dubbed her "Woman of the Year."

Lauer told Susan: "You’re one of the most talked-about, one of the most Googled, one of the most Internet-viewed women on the planet." She said: "That's awesome – thank you. It feels surreal, as if it isn't happening."

Susan admitted that fame has helped her mature but it has been tough at times. "From no pressure to having all this pressure, I found it a bit suffocating. It was such a short space of time, it felt like a demolition ball really. It really came at me like a demolition ball."

That demolition ball crew was out again this week trying to destroy Susan. The fact that they have failed again shows her character and true grit.