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Saturday, December 16, 2006


TIME "Person of the Year" Update

Feh. Even if they did name me as "Person of the Year." I'm sorry, I did not have more impact on the course of the world this year than Hugo Chavez did. Or a lot of other people.

They did manage to squeeze in a fairly interesting interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even if they do manage to smear him (before the interview; curiously the interview itself doesn't even ask the confirming questions) with "pursuit of a nuclear bomb" and "threatening to destroy Israel." As for Hugo Chavez, TIME clearly doesn't understand his historical significance. We'll see how a retrospective look back ten years from now treats their analysis.

Update: How badly does TIME not get it? This bad:

[Richard Stengel, Time's managing editor] said if the magazine had decided to go with an individual, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the likely choice. "It just felt to me a little off selecting him," Stengel said.
As I explained (in, I believe, a comment to an earlier post), this betrays an incredible lack of understanding of the world. Everything that Iran is doing in the world which has placed them in the sights of U.S. imperialism - developing nuclear power, supporting various groups in Lebanon and Iraq, etc. - are policies of the Iranian state. They were all in place long before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with him. Chavez, by contrast, has had a personal affect on history. The course of not just Venezuelan history, but the history of Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, and more, have all been effected by Hugo Chavez. If Richard Stengel had any consciousness of world events, rather than the typical U.S.-centric view of the world, he might understand these things.

Update: Thinking about it some more, I realize that the TIME editors don't even respect their own choice. When they put up their online poll, I made note of the obvious (and perfectly acceptable) fact that it wasn't a binding poll. But, considering that their choice of Person of the Year was us - bloggers, YouTubers, Wikipediasts, and the like, all of whom are the kind of people who were voting in their poll, and considering that they use the phrase "digital democracy" in their lead article, you would think they would at least mention the results of their online poll in their Person of the Year issue. You'd be wrong.

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