And the Winner Is... You? Me? Us? Oy!

We kinda count on Time magazine’s person of the year. We don’t always agree with the choice, but they consistently choose someone cool and interesting. Someone we can look back on in a decade a say, “Oh, yeah. Right. That’s what that year looked like.”

So I was little disappointed when I saw that 2006’s Time person of the year was me. And you. Here’s what Bloomberg had to say:

Time Warner Inc.'s Time magazine named Internet users behind the self-made content on sites such as YouTube Inc. and as its “Person of the Year,” reflecting the Web’s “digital democracy.”

“For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time's Person of the Year for 2006 is you,” staff writer Lev Grossman wrote in the cover story.

It seems like a slightly lame and deliberately controversial pick. And it’s not like they didn’t have a pretty good field from which to choose. From the same piece:

Time's selection of “you,” published in the magazine’s Dec. 25 issue, was made from a list of nominees including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China's President Hu Jintao, former Secretary of State James Baker and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

And, from that field, the winner is digital democracy? In 2006? A decade ago, that might have been exciting stuff. But these days? Despite the magazine’s reasoning, none of what they’re talking about is exactly cutting edge.
Time’s cover for the issue puts the cap on the idiocy: the spot of honor usually reserved for the carefully composed mug of some smiling luminary is this year plastered with a cunningly created mirror. Back to Bloomberg:

The issue will be on newsstands Dec. 18 and features a reflective mylar cover that allows readers to see themselves mirrored in a computer screen above the word “you.”

Sorry (not really) but that sound you hear? That’s me retching. When did hard news get so very, very soft?


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