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I've never paid much attention to who(m) TIME names as their 'Person Of The Year', although their choice of 'You' last year was quite interesting and telling about America.  Truth-be-told, does it even really matter?

Depending on whom you ask that question to, you'll get a variety of answers.

Yesterday, Fox'news' was aflame with this question : Why not David Patraeus?

----> more below the fold

The idea behind TIME magazine’s Person of The Year isn’t to pick a person that has done something ‘positive’ for America – whether The Right is willing to acknowledge that or not.  Nor is it used to pick a person that conforms to one particular cultural stereotype.  As much as people on the Right would like to claim that TIME magazine is somehow showcasing a ‘hatred’ of America, their choice this year does nothing of the sort.

Would I have picked Putin?  Not at all.  Would I have picked Al Gore?  He wouldn’t even be my third choice.  

Some will claim that Fox’s shriek of ‘why’ – as seen prominently in their prime-time line-up last night – is a clear indicator of their Conservative / Republican bias.  This, however, is not true.  It is illustrative of is one thing, their predictability.

Fox’News’ is no longer a news organization that people look at and question it’s motives.  You are either of the group that accepts them as the Conservative / Republican channel that thy are, or you aren’t.  But, this is not new news to anyone.

During last night’s ‘Talking Points Memo’, Bill O’Reilly professed that his – The Factor’s – pick for Person Of The Year would be David Petraeus.  O’Reilly didn’t so much announce his personal choice as he simply added to what was already being said by Fox’News’.   Whether or not he was following orders from management remains to be seen.  None-the-less, he did what we all expected him to do.  

After The Factor, Hannity and Colmes had on a very animated Bill Cunningham to discuss the same award in a more demeaning way.  He seemed much more concerned with blaming ‘liberals’ for anything and everything that he could conjure up within the allotted time.  The ‘balance’ brought to the program was Roy Sekoff of the Huffington Post.  He was, from my perspective, less than impressive.  The segment was, like O’Reilly’s segment, predictable.

The talk was still going strong this morning on Fox and Friends.  I only mention them simply because this show represents the lowest form of intelligent discourse on television.  But, they too were more than eager to jump right in with asking, "why?!"


What does it take to become ‘Person of the Year’?  Well, considering that I’m not an editor at Time, nor would I be someone considered unbiased enough to choose someone for the ubiquitous ‘honor’, I can't say exactly what it takes.  But, to me at least, it seems that you can do one thing that is defining of your time and place in the world.  The runners-up seemed to have qualifications above and beyond Putin, even David Petraeus.  

So, since the good people at Fox have asked the question, I’ll do my best to answer it.

The reason that Petraeus was not the #1 choice by Time magazine is because he hasn’t delivered on his stated military goal within the time-frame that was set.  The reason that he was not named #1 was that, at the congressional hearing held in September, he told us the same thing that he and others had been telling us since the surge began.  The reason that he was not named #1 may reflect a desire of Americans – not the evil, liberal, anti-American media – to bring an end to the occupation of a country that has swallowed whole billions upon billions of dollars that have purchased us nothing.  

In my view, the only reason that he was even given 5th ranking was that he was the man that standing center-stage during a political circus that captured the attention of many people across the US.  It has nothing to do with political ideology and all with brief, cultural moments in time.  

The only difficult thing to do here is, taking into account my explanation of why he wasn’t #1, is to try and explain why Putin is.

That, I cannot do easily, but I’ll try.

To explain this, in any type of fashion that just might be convincing to people with that lovely Right-Wing mentality, you have to take a look at Putin in the context of the Bush presidency.  First, Putin seems to be trying to stay in power – in one form or another – after his term limits have expired.  Secondly, he has provided enriched uranium to Iran.  Alone, these two aspects of Putin could  potentially make him a figure that Fox’News’ would love to talk about, no matter what program.

Perhaps that’s what the people at TIME were thinking.  Maybe not.

At any rate, is this award indicative of anything that we – as the U.S. – have to honor each year?

What I mean is, this award isn’t anything like a lifetime achievement award given to scientists, or doctors, or writers, or even – God forgive me – politicians.  This award isn’t presented in order to show that the person who is receiving it now demands our respect, or to a lesser degree, our admiration.  It’s purely posturing.  That is all.

As you’ll recall, Bono was co-recipient of the award just a few years ago.


But, let’s get back to the predictability factor, as it relates to Fox’News’, and also the neo-conservative movement.

What would have happened if TIME gave the award to Petraeus?  

As assumptions go, and considering the ‘news’ organization we are talking about, it would be pretty safe to say that Fox would quickly produce an hour-long special depicting the life-and-times of the General.  New graphics would be flashing across the screen, and hosts would beam with delight as ‘their man’ had finally been vindicated and proven right.

Predictable?  Yes, it probably would be.

This, in essence, shows the near hypocritical nature of most Fox employees as well as their audience.  An award, no matter what it is, will be relegated into the ‘anti-American’ category should it be given to anyone who doesn’t conform to their – conservative / republican - ideals at that specific moment.

It would be all too easy for a member of the Fox’News’ crew to claim that this would never happen, that they wouldn’t act this way simply because I – or anyone – claim that they will.  But, just saying that you won’t doesn’t cover up to innumerable times that they have done such a thing.


I almost feel that I’ve given far too much credibility to the issue simply by discussing it here.  Magazines like TIME – to me at least – aren’t that great to begin with.  And, with that in mind, it makes Fox’s tantrum over their ‘buddy’ being reduced to 5th place all the more pathetic, and predictably so.  

Originally posted to aironlater on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:55 PM PST.


Who(m) would you have voted as Person Of The Year for 2007

44%22 votes
6%3 votes
8%4 votes
8%4 votes
2%1 votes
4%2 votes
8%4 votes
8%4 votes
12%6 votes

| 50 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar / Flames / Complaints / Banter Here (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks for reading.........

  •  On that criteria my vote would go to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    GWEN IFILL: We're now joined by the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell.
    Welcome, Senator.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader: Glad to be with you, Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: At your end-of-the-session, pre-adjournment news conference today, you said among other things that divided government gives you the opportunity to get some difficult things done. What difficult things did divided government help you get done this year?

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, I had hoped we'd do a lot more. You know, frequently divided government -- that is, one party in the White House and another party in Congress -- has done big, important controversial things.

    I think of Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill on Social Security in the '80s, Bill Clinton and the Republican majority on welfare reform in the '90s. We all know that Social Security needs another adjustment, and I had hoped that we would do something big and important for the country like that.

    Regretfully, we've spent most of the first year having repetitious Iraq votes -- 34, as of last night, in the Senate alone -- and investigations of the administration. It seems like all that happened was the approval rating of Congress kept getting lower and lower, and now it has reached historically low proportions.

    Having said that, I'm optimistic that maybe the new majority has decided to go in a different direction, because we have had bipartisan cooperation here at the end. We've been able to get an energy bill that Republicans felt comfortable supporting and the president signed today.

    We were going to get an alternative minimum tax fix, that is it won't go into effect. And we're going to get it without raising taxes on a whole lot of other Americans.

    And, of course, we passed $70 billion, of which will continue to fund our troops in the global war on terror in both Afghanistan and Iraq, probably carry us over into April, without any strings attached, without the Congress trying to substitute its judgment for General Petraeus' judgment about how to conduct the war.

    And we've managed in an omnibus appropriation bill to trim $22 billion of excess spending that the new majority felt we ought to engage in, which really saves over $200 billion over the next 10 years.

    So I think, once we learned to come together here at the end of the Congress, we got better results. And I'll predict, Gwen, that the approval rating of Congress will begin to inch up a little bit now that our friends in the majority understand that you really have to meet in the middle in order to accomplish things for the American people.

    Like the man is saying, just you don't forget whose still in charge now............

    GWEN IFILL: You mentioned the approval rating a couple times now, but the Republicans and Democrats have suffered a decline in their approval rating. Does that worry you?

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, the rating of Congress is a good 15 points below the president, and we all know the president's not been terribly popular the last year or two. So I think it's a disturbingly low rating for Congress. The majority I know is concerned about it.

    I think that, coupled with the fact that there's demonstrable progress in Iraq over the last six months, it's clear that General Petraeus' strategy is working and making things better.

    I think a combination of concern about the low approval ratings of Congress, and the fact that the war seems to be going much better, and the fact that we're now beginning to bring troops home, which we all hope can occur at the earliest possible time, all of those forces kind of came together, Gwen, I think to improve the chances of getting legislation actually signed here at the end of the first session, 110th Congress.

    GWEN IFILL: You mentioned a moment ago the president's role in all of this. Is the president's greater willingness to use the veto pen on things like health insurance, other issues? Has that strengthened your hand?

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, we haven't had to go that far on most of the things. You know, in the Senate, you need 60 votes in order to do most things. Senate Republicans were able to improve the energy bill, for example, by getting rid of the tax increase and by getting rid of the provision that would have brought about a dramatic rate increase for utility bills all across the Southeast.

    Once it was clear that the majority in the Senate could not get the votes to pass that, those items were stripped out, and we produced a bill that the president signed, had a signing ceremony on today, that Senator Reid attended, which I think is a good sign to see the Democratic majority leader there with the president of the United States celebrating an accomplishment.

    That's the way to do things. You know, the Democrats may have the majority, but they don't have total control. They don't have total control in the Senate, and they don't have the White House. So in order to accomplish things, you need to come together.

    Got that, got whose really still in charge now.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you about that coming together, because it seems the coming together you're talking about are the things that you stopped, through filibusters or through veto threats. Is that what the American public wants or that is that obstruction?

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, they want us to either mold or stop. Let me give you an example of something we stopped and needed to be stopped.

    The Democratic majority wanted to get rid of the secret ballot in the labor union elections, something that 80 percent of union members think is a terrible idea. They don't want management looking over their shoulders when they vote, and they don't want the union organizers looking over their shoulders when they vote. We stopped it cold; we think it was the right thing to stop.

    There were other things that we used the power to block to mold. For example, we got tax relief for small business connected with an increase in the minimum wage. We molded that legislation.

    On the energy legislation I just described, we got rid of a tax increase. We got rid of a rate increase. We molded that legislation. It ultimately went to the president for his signature.

    On the alternate minimum tax, we're insisting that you not raise taxes on one group of Americans in order to provide continued tax relief on another. That's the way it will pass the House today and be signed by the president.

    So shaping legislation is not the same as stopping it. We have stopped some things, in our view, that deserved to be stopped. Other things we've molded and made better. And they're going to become law.

    See shaping not obstructing... shaping.  Like in child psychology........   We let those babies think they're in charge actuall we are..........  shaping things.

  •  Um, speaking of "why?" ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duckhunter, aironlater

    ... did any of these leading lights of journalism explain why they thought David Petraeus SHOULD be Person of the Year? Or did they do what their ilk always do and try to bluster past that little sticking point to put the burden of proof on someone else and get straight to the outrage?

  •  Faux and the wingnuts want Petraeus (0+ / 0-)

    honored, in any way, because that will validate the surge, in their lizard brains, anyway.

    Plus, any story about Petraeus is another opportunity to bring up the truthful, but weirdly discredited, MoveOn ad.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 04:02:48 PM PST

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