Every year at this time, Time magazine starts teasing their “Person Of The Year” issue by releasing the “short list” of finalists. They allow readers to vote on their website for who they think should win, but much like President Obama’s reaction to the midterm shellacking he just took, the votes don’t matter – the editors decide. So who gets nominated doesn’t matter, who readers pick doesn’t matter, and ultimately who wins doesn’t matter because who cares what the editors of Time think outside of the New York/Washington, DC bubble? No one.
But who makes the short list is interesting in that it provides a peek inside the minds of the wealthy, progressive media elite. It’s not quite like being a fly on the wall of a dinner at Sally Quinn’s house or getting an invite to Tammy Haddad’s White House Correspondents Dinner brunch, but it’s as close as most real Americans will get.
If those names mean nothing to you, congratulations, you’re a normal person. You’re also not of interest to the editors of Time.
Their list of nominees for Person Of The Year does contain a few Republicans – Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell – but those are just winks and nods to the concept of “balance” and nothing more. The Koch brothers are on there because “their network of political groups spends millions of dollars backing Republican candidates, an effort that paid off in the 2014 midterm elections.” But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who helmed the Republican Governor’s Association to record and shocking victories in the midterms while spending most of the year being beaten by the media over the bogus “BridgeGate” story didn’t make the list.
Think of him what you will, but Chris Christie was consequential in 2014. Just not with the Central Park Set in New York.
So who did make the list?
There are the obvious options –Obama, Putin, the Pope, Netanyahu, Assad – the world leaders who make the list because they exist. And there are the ones they have to put on the list – Malala Yousafzai, Elon Musk, Janet Yellen. Then there are the rest, the ones who really matter to no one outside of morning editorial meetings at east coast newsrooms. Who are they?
Thomas Piketty: Time says “the French economist’s century-spanning study of wealth distribution tapped into a wellspring of unease about rising inequality.” What they didn’t say was his book only mattered to left-wing college professors and progressive journalists, and was widely discredited by countless economists from the day it was published. Not on MSNBC and their ilk, which is all that matters to Time, but everywhere else.
Tim Cook: Apple’s CEO hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with innovation since assuming the helm of one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, but he is gay. That announcement, which set the media of fire and was greeted by the rest of the world with a yawn, was enough to get him on the list. Time says he “emerged from Steve Jobs’ shadow,” but his only innovation was making a phone bigger years after every other manufacturer made their phones bigger. To the media, someone being gay is news. To the rest of the world, they just want their tech to work.
Laverne Cox: If I didn’t type anything after that name would know who it is? No, you wouldn’t. Why wouldn’t you? Because, as Time puts it, Cox is “the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy.” There it is, that’s what gets Cox on the list. Since we’ve been told for generations that people are “born this way,” Cox being nominated for that is akin to someone winning an Oscar for getting out of bed in the morning. The “Orange Is The New Black” star may be a great actor, but person of the year? You shouldn’t need a paragraph to explain who the person of the year is before getting to what they did. While thinking differently than expected is worthy of scorn (ask Dr. Ben Carson), existing in certain ways is worthy of celebration to media elites.
Ferguson Protestors: Throw a national hissy fit, riot and loot, and you too can be up for Person Of The Year. That’s right, the unwashed mutants who demanded the head of a police officer before knowing any of the facts of the case and called it “justice” are worthy of note because the fit the media narrative. Jonathan Gruber, who worked with Democrats to pull off the greatest scam in American history and gave the government control over one-sixth of the US economy doesn’t rate, but loot a beauty supply store multiple times and you’d better dust off the tux.
Hillary Clinton: There are many years Hillary deserved to be on the list, but 2014 ain’t one of them. What did she do? She published a book she was paid millions for the barely sold and became a grandmother. The main reason she was in the news at all in 2014 is because the media covered her book like people wanted to read it and because she kept making verbal gaffes while promoting it. Her and Bill were “broke”? No, the media is broken.
John Oliver: He’s had a TV show for about 20 minutes, it’s on HBO on Sundays and gets “4.1 million weekly viewers across TV airings and DVR, on-demand and HBO Go plays.” Live it gets less than a million, but HBO runs it to death all week, so… Were it on broadcast TV it would’ve been cancelled after the first week, but he’s a media darling – his monologs make all the progressive websites because he complains about some “evil” industry for 15 minutes each week. But relevant? Again, to newsrooms, which is all that matters…to newsrooms.
There are others, you can see the list here.
Add in the moronic celebrities – Kanye, Kim Kardasian, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift – but they’re there as clickbait.
Who would I pick? Barack Obama. Aside from his magic pen that allows him to rewrite laws a will, he’s singlehandedly overseen the destruction of a major American political party. He’s been feckless on the national stage, tone-deaf domestically, and handed the House, Senate, Governor’s mansions, and state legislatures to Republicans at a record pace. He’s been an unequivocal failure, but he’s been incredibly consequential. That, after all, is what the Person Of The Year is supposed to measure. If he wins it will be because of his “courage” on amnesty, or some other progressive pap, but the American people will know the truth. President Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party, which may end up being the best thing to happen to the nation.