Okay. I don’t question that the rock star and the world’s biggest philanthropists are doing good for the world. (Interesting, isn’t it, that Bill Gates didn’t deserve the honor when he was actually creating something, but only earns Time magazine’s highest praise when he’s giving his money away. And, sorry, but Melinda Gates? She marries the software mogul after he has done his greatest work…and that makes her a co-person of the year?)
But if the magazine really wanted to “make a choice for the history books as well as one which is fresh and interesting, how could they pass over the brave people of Iraq?
Or the brave people of Lebanon?
Or the brave people of Ukraine?
Time is so out of touch that none of these historic revolutionaries–Purple, Cedar, and Orange–were recognized in its “People Who Mattered” section. Instead, the magazine singles out the likes of Cindy Sheehan, Hillary Clinton mimic Geena Davis, lying Joe Wilson and his wife, race-card rapper Kanye West, and teen golfer Michelle Wie–and devotes space to a 9-photo spread of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
Lame. Just lame.
Tell Time’s editors what you think of their choices here.
Reader Stephen R.:
These choices seem more appropriate in People magazine or US Weekly than in a “reputable” news source.
Steven Den Beste e-mails:
I think the unspoken subtext of this is that before he got married, Bill Gates was a carnivorous capitalist. Melinda tamed the beast, and that’s why
Tim Blair quips:
“…these Persons of the Year selections by Time magazine suck like a million Dysons.”
Ha! Be sure to send that to Time, Tim.
Jeff Harrell yawns:
When did Time become Us Weekly? Seriously, has it been that slow a news year? Is this really the best they could do?
Reader Miranda S.:
Why doesn’t Time magazine comemorate Ariel Sharon and the brave people of Israel, both pro-pullout and anti-pullout?
George at EU Rota has some news for Kanye West.
Ukrainians had their Orange Revolution; the Lebanese forced the Syrians to beat a hasty retreat across the Bekaa Valley after 29 years of military occupation following the murder of a pro-freedom statesman; and Iraqis faces bombs and death threats three times to in voting for a democracy and a new constitution to replace a genocidal tyrant in the heart of the Middle East, the first time that has ever occurred in an Arab nation.
Pick any of those examples, or roll them up into one pro-democracy movement that has tyranny on its heels throughout Southwest Asia and North Africa. Those were the real newsmakers this year. Instead, Time decided to go as obscure as it possibly could and picked three fine people whose impact on 2005 will have us all wondering what the hell they did to deserve the cover of Time by 2007.
I was rather disappointed in Time.
I have a feeling, though, that Bono, et. al. were second choices. Recall, if you will, that Sportsbook.com yanked betting on “Person of the Year” after a number of bets came in from what appeared to be people in the know betting the “Person” would have been Mother Nature.
Personally? I’m not a big fan of using “Person of the Year” in to illuminate a person positively. To my mind, “Person of the Year” is better used to capture a trend, or to criticize somebody or shine a spotlight on an issue — part of the reason why I would have gone with Hitler a few years ago when they chose “Person of the Century.” Not to honor him, but to dishonor him and to reflect on how his actions shaped the world that came after him.
For “Person of the Year,” my top nominees would have included Ray Nagin, Kathleen Blanco, Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff (who is more properly a “fulcrum” than a person of the year), Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Reader Mike G.:
For the most part, I agree with your take on Time and their various “people” selections. But I’ll have to give them Michelle Wie. Although the Orange crowd etc. did a much bigger (collective) thing that affected more people, I think the Wie choice mattered more to Americans (or most Americans would say so anyway) because frankly, most Americans aren’t really as tuned into the world events as you (or perhaps myself as well) are. Wie mattered more to the average American girl than any of the political events you mentioned and I can see her being included in that list.
But you are absolutely right (and correct) on the lame choices of POY. I am a bit disappointed in the blogs though for not pointing out the down-stream ramifications of what Bono accomplished. He got creditors who thought they were issuing loans years ago, to walk away from the loans and make them gifts. Good luck getting more loans for those countries down the road when they go to IMF and say “We need a ‘loan’ of $12B. We will gladly pay you tuesday…” No way. Now we know it isn’t a loan, it’s a gift, and that is a huge distinction.
Persons of the Year, ACLU style, from John Stephenson.
Blogger Jeff B e-mails:
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The Time POTY (Potty…. heh.) nominees reminded me of a quote by Cato the Elder in “Plutarch, Lives”:
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