Though a slim majority of American consider themselves to be Christian and supposedly tout how ethical they are (Can you say, "torture in Abu Ghraib"?), they quickly ascribe the term "Hero" to people -- like Linus, Princess Diana, Mick Jagger, and Magic Johnson -- whose main "achievement" (i.e., accruing money, fame, or beauty) has nothing to do with ethics.
By 'they' you actually mean a couple of editors of TIME magazine. Yes, I'm sure a couple of well-to-do New York snobs represent all our opinions.
What does this have to do with Christianity at all? Just be happy for Linus, who in fact conducts himself with dignity and deserves "pop" recognition for his contributions to computing science and technology.