Sheila Liaugminas: Time honors protesters

This used to be a bigger issue.

And it used to be called the Time Man of the Year.

Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

But look at its beginnings…

The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927 with Time editors contemplating newsworthy stories possible during a slow news week. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year of not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.

So keep things in perspective. In fact…

Since then, individual people, classes of people, the computer, and Planet Earth have all been selected for the special year-end issue.

And people have become more selective in accessing credible and relevant news sources. Time has suffered readership and relevance in that process.

That seems to be reflected in reaction to this year’s annual special year end edition, honoring The Protester. And the editors’ list of ‘runner ups.’

And the ‘People Who Mattered’ list.

By what sliding scale do they measure people who matter?

And it strikes me as more than a little negligent that the magazine would devote such a lengthy and seemingly sensitive social commentary on the democracyof social activism and not recognize the spark or impetus generated by the Tea Party.

I encountered this story twice on radio Thursday, once as guest and once as host. When I was the guest, the host said he was just about ready to move on past this story because it wasn’t generating any listener interest. And when I was host the guest said she thought the whole issue was politically and ideologically driven and narrowly-focused, but then she added ‘Oh well, whatever…’ and changed the subject.

I have a proposal. Since this is such a big issue, let it be remembered that the citizens who wanted change and took the opportunity to mobilize for it were so honored. And next year, let’s see Time honor ‘The Voter.’

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