Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time wimps out! Buchanan gets it!

Remember that I suggested that Time Magazine name Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il as co-Persons of the Year? Time went completely limp and named, well, everybody -- "You" -- as Person of the Year. They even got cute and put a mirror on the cover of the magazine! Say! Who is that good-lookin' Person of the Year, eh?

Well, Pat Buchanan must have seen my column in the Post-Crescent 'cause he thinks that Ahmadinejad is the man:
Time's Man of the Year, now Person of the Year, is the figure who, for good or evil, dominates the news. Yet this year Time could not bring itself to name the obvious choice. Instead, it chose you and me, all of us citizens of the digital democracy who create on the Worldwide Web. Why the copout?

Perhaps it was Ahmadinejad's hosting of a conference of Holocaust skeptics, including David Duke, that caused Time to recoil. Perhaps it was fear that the face of the Iranian president on the cover of Time would repel the American people and be death for sales.

Surely that was the reasoning behind Time's refusal to name Osama bin Laden in 2001, choosing Rudy Giuliani instead, though history is unlikely to conclude that Rudy, his crowded hour notwithstanding, was the central figure of that annus horribilis.

Richard Stengel, editor of Time, as much as concedes he could not bring himself to choose by the traditional standard, if that meant choosing Ahmadinejad: "It just felt to me a little off selecting him."

Understandably. But the refusal to select Ahmadinejad reveals an unwillingness to confront hard truths. For putting his face on Time's cover would have done a useful service, jolting America to a painful realization.

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