Time's Person of the Year is Ben Bernanke: Who cares?

Posted by andreaitis on December 16, 2009

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testi...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

By now we all know Time selected Ben Bernanke as Person of the Year.

Raise your hands for me, please, if you care.

No one?  Shocker.

It’s not about Ben Bernanke, although that certainly warrants a “Really?”.  It’s about Time.  I simply don’t care who Time thinks should be anointed person of the year.   Now more than ever it seems like a cheesy gimmick circa 1992.   I’m not even all that interested in a single person of the year.

I’d rather hear who Matt Taibbi thinks has been influential this year.  Jon Stewart,  Fred Wilson,  Sarah Silverman, Elie Mystal.  These are people whose perspectives are interesting to me.   I may agree with them, or disagree, but they are filters for how I absorb my world.    Their opinions are relevant and thoughtful and at times unexpected.  What’s Time’s perspective these days?  I dunno.  They no longer have a distinct voice, they’re  no longer a relevant filter for me.

So, uh, Time?  Get over yourself.   Your time has passed.


5 Responses to “Time's Person of the Year is Ben Bernanke: Who cares?”

  1. They shoulda given it jointly with Greenspan, whose works are the cause and the partial solution to the current state of the US economy.

    In the spirit of Time’s 1982 pick, “The Computer”, something more timely would have been good, like “Social Media”.

    • jcalton said

      They did this in 2006 when their person of the year was “You” and it was a mirror. That was about the information age and internet.
      It was at least as cheesy as “The Computer” and the American Soldier and Firefighters.

      Time lost all credibility for me this year with their fluff pieces on Sarah Palin (prior to her book) and Glenn Beck. Those stories were completely free of any attempt at reporting.

      At some point, they used to be a legitimate news magazine, but now I won’t even pick up Time if it’s the only thing in a doctor’s office besides Highlights.

  2. andreaitis said

    That’s not what bothers me so much. I mostly feel that Time’s voice means nothing to me. What weight does their opinion carry today, other than the legacy expectation? What Time once was it is no more. Time’s Person of the Year just feels like a forced PR stunt now.

  3. Andrea,
    Twitter was filled with indignation about the selection. Like you, all I could think was:Isn’t it time to retire the Person of the Year concept? It comes from a 0.0 era when readers expected the Grand Editorial Voice to tell us who or what was important in the previous year. We may be headed toward a nanny state, but in terms of the media consumers have firmly rejected nanny journalism. As you say, Time needs to get over it.

  4. Justin Kistner said

    Had you not shared this, I wouldn’t have even known they picked someone.

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