Nolte: Time Magazine Proves Its Irrelevance with Desperate Person of the Year Choice

Collection of Time magazine covers

As media institutions stumble into the tar pit of irrelevancy, they tend to do two things: stage temper tantrums and then lose themselves in the media echo chamber.

CNN is a great example of the former. The left-wing cable channel has not broken a consequential story (that wasn’t later exposed as fake news) all year, its ratings are abysmal, and its reputation throughout the country is, to say the least, in tatters.

To hold on to some kind of audience, CNN is now a 24/7 circus parade of outrage and anger where the self-righteous spew divisive hate and engage in antics designed, not to inform, but to attract attention through provocation — all in the hope this will be confused with relevance.

Driven by a need for revenge against those who made CNN irrelevant — those of us who no longer buy fake news, who dare to refuse to listen (i.e., everyday Americans, President Trump) — CNN’s primal screams are all this obscenity has left.

Time, on the other hand, has turned inward.

This once powerful newsweekly is now a dinosaur, an afterthought, a magazine ten days behind the news cycle, and a website so poorly edited you wonder if the motto over there is “Thou Shalt Not Call Attention to Ourselves.”

And so, all Time has left is its “Person of the Year” brand.

“Person of the Year” began as “Man of the Year” in 1927 and, believe it or not, was once a thoughtful and serious undertaking. Time‘s annual choice was meant to illuminate and educate, to call attention to a no-brainer choice like an Adolf Hitler (1938) or to someone who might not have been a household name — a Mohammed Mossadegh (1951), James F. Byrnes (1946), or Soong Mei-ling (1937) — but who still managed to shake the world when no one was looking.

Every year, Time would connect the dots for the reader, lay out the case for why this person was more consequential than anyone else. But this was when Time acted like actual journalists, like grownups,  and, in turn, treated its readers like adults.

But as the 24-hour news cycle came of age, as newsweeklies began to follow rather than lead, Time was willing to get stupid and worse, trendy, in order to sell its dying product.

Bono and Bill Gates grabbed the title in 2005 for being “Good Samaritans.” In 2006, you and I won for our work on the Internet. There was “The Protester” in 2011 and the #MeToo movement in 2017…

Looking in the rearview lays bare just how dumb those choices were, a self-inflicted credibility wound because Time was no longer a serious publication being serious about who or what was of lasting historical consequence. Instead, Time abused its power to make news by anointing the world’s “Person of the Year.”

The arrogance of this, the hubris that came with Time believing its choice of “Person of the Year” was what made someone consequential, damaged the brand like nothing else. And after so many unserious choices, we all now wait to point and laugh at Time‘s annual choice, whereas we used to wait to be informed and educated.

This year, Time proved it knows it has forever blown apart its influence with the public, which is why it had no choice other than to use 2018’s “Person of the Year” to suck up to its confederates in the elite media.

In a glaring and desperate appeal to get some love from Morning Joe and CNN, and in the cynical hope it could troll  some attention through outrage, Time chose JOURNALISTS as its “Person of the Year” and did so by using what sounds like the title of the worst Marvel movie ever made: The Guardians and the War on Truth.

More specifically, the winners are Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — a bad guy killed by bad people; those staffers at the Capital Gazette murdered by a monster over an issue that had nothing to do with the War on Truth; a website in the Philippines that criticized President Trump, and a group of Reuters journalists, who did some legitimately good work and undoubtedly deserve a Pulitzer, but not Persons of the Year.

There were plenty of people, on the left and the right, right here in America and throughout the world, who were of actual consequence in 2018. But Time could not choose them … because no one cares anymore who Time chooses because Time is irrelevant.

So, instead, what we are witnessing is Time‘s last gasp, because the last gasp of a dying media outlet is always the shameless ass-kiss, the agreeing to be the gimp leading the circle jerk in the MSM echo chamber of self-congratulating narcissism, is admitting that you can no longer attract readers, so all you have left is to try and attract your own through a shameless act of suck-uppery.

This way, and maybe for the last time, Time can pretend to feel relevant again, even if the only way to accomplish this was through a very public act of self-humiliation.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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