Thursday, December 15, 2011

Top 5 Worst Time Magazine Persons of the Year

In 1927, Time Magazine started choosing a "Person of the Year."  Time says it is for the individual (or group) who has had the biggest effect on the year's news, and claims it is not necessarily an honor, pointing to several people on this list as proof.  This year it chose "The Protester."  Totally lame choice when you think of the ineffective "Occupy" movement that is currently pissing off Americans daily.  Entirely appropriate if you consider the protesters that have effected change and caused the overthrow of totalitarian regimes throughout the world.  Maybe they could have found a single person, but whatever, I'm okay with it.  Here, however, are some of Time's worst choices:

5: You (2006) - In 2006, you were Time's Person of the Year.  Where do you keep your plaque?  What a damn cop-out.  A flimsy mirror graced the cover, and "you" were chosen because of your presence on the interwebs.  Despite what you may think, however, you were a terrible choice for Person of the Year.  There were lots of better choices in 2006, including Stephen Colbert.

4: The Endangered Earth (1988) - Seriously?  Shut up, Time; shut up.

3: Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) - And now, a list of bad guys for your reading displeasure.  Khomeini was behind the Iran Hostage Crisis, a kidnapping of 52 American Embassy staff who were held as hostages until 1981.  This had already started when he was chosen to grace the Time cover as Person of the Year.  He also called for Islamic revolutions, striving to create a worldwide Islamic state.  A decade later he issued a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing a book about a theologically embarrassing part of the Koran.  What a dick.

2: Adolf Hitler (1938) - So I went back and read the article, because I couldn't believe that Hitler was chosen (even though it was just before he started WWII).  This makes my list because even though Hitler was newsworthy and met Time's criteria, the article was critical of Hitler, but not critical enough.  If Time picks a newsworthy bad guy, they need to make it clear he's a bad guy.  This presented Hitler as "the world's No. 1 International Revolutionist" which, in context, was lauding the change he brought while criticizing his rants against Communism and "international Jewry."  It also consistently refers to him by his title, the honorific Fuhrer Hitler.  It states, "His was no ordinary dictatorship, but rather one of great energy and magnificent planning."  Yikes.  But I can't put this as #1.  He is the worst person on this list, but when he was chosen, he hadn't yet revealed the level of his insanity.  Plus, I am certainly biased by a lifetime of belief that Hitler was the worst person ever to live (as I've come to acknowledge over the years that it is a debatable point, sadly).

1: Joseph Stalin (1939, 1942) - Stalin was responsible for the death of millions of people.  Millions.  And it was all before Time made him Person of the Year.  It isn't as though nothing else was going on in 1942 that Time couldn't have found someone more worthy, and perhaps less evil.  Oh yeah, this guy got it twice--fucking twice.

So Time's claim that bad guys get the award honor title(?) because they make the most news in the year is a hollow statement considering Osama Bin Ladin didn't get it in 2001.  Seriously, honoring Hitler is terrible, and honoring Stalin twice is disgusting.  And yeah, Time, it's an award--don't try to bullshit us now.


  1. Sometimes even TIME has gone wrong and featured some people who have gone ahead and become the most infamous among all in the human race

  2. shows you do lots of reading and homework! Good one David. :)

  3. In my opinion Hitler was a revolutionist because he developed a country which was nearly destroyed after WWI and make that country which can fight to world ...
    but even though he was cruel which was the reason behind his destruction....

  4. Ryan Gosling should've gotten it for sure. Absolute highway robbery.

    -Jim in LA

  5. True--TIME claims it goes to the most newsworthy person, but everyone views it as an award, so in recent years they've been more sensitive--like after the 9/11 attacks on NY and Washington, they didn't give it to Osama bin Laden, even though he was probably the most newsworthy.

  6. That is a tough stance to take.  Hitler did lead a failing Germany from the brink of absolute ruin after WWI to one of the most powerful and influential nations in the world (and that status has stuck, even if it's faded as more eastern nations are increasing in power).  But Hitler was more than cruel--he was evil.  He killed people--including children--with complete reckless abandon.  So, yes, he was a revolutionist, but when the Time article was written, he had already begun doing some terrible things.  I don't think they were wrong to call him a revolutionist, but they shouldn't have written it in such a way as to praise him for it.