Sunday, December 19, 2004

1938 it was Hitler; 1939 it was Stalin; 2004 it is Bush. All Named Time's Person of the Year

1939: Joseph Stalin
Paved the way for Hitler's war by signing secret pact with old enemy

1938: Adolf Hitler
His figure strode over Europe with all the swagger of a conqueror

• President Bush Named Time's Person of 2004

Remember, as Time reminds us "The magazine gives the honor to the person who had the greatest impact, good or bad, over the year".

And yes, I'm aware of "Goodwin's Law" which is a law in the same sense that "Murphy's Law" is a law. "Goodwin's Law" is merely a useful shorthand to describe something he noticed about Usenet discussions.

The same day I hear about Bush as person of the Year I read,
"Najaf, Karbala Car Bombs Kill at Least 62" and the excellent business editor David Lazarus's column on the crippling 412 billion dollar deficitthat this administration has brought us.

Some things will be revealed in the fullness of time. "The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones."

We have short attention spans for some things, but we hold on to misconceptions and grudges long after the reality has proved different. We spend the money NOW. Will we associate the pain of that outrageous spending with these people later? When will we really feel the consequences? When we do who will we blame? Bush or will we look elsewhere for the reason?

Specific immediate analogy to Americans this season:
We buy the gifts NOW. If we overspend beyond our means will we feel the pain of the bill later? We know there will be consequences, but postponing them for 30, 60, or 90 days seems to make it bearable. But what if after we buy all the geegaw we want we say, "Say Son I can't pay all this, I need you to cover the bill." What do you think the Son's response would be? "Okay Dad, I know we really needed those Gold-plated SUVs" or will he say, "If I knew I was going to have to pay for this, I sure as hell wouldn't have authorized gold plating for all those SUV! What gives you the right to spend money and make ME pay!"

Who would we blame for this behavior? Ourselves? Or will we want to look elsewhere for the problem?


ellroon said...

Even though I have vowed to never buy another Time magazine, I take comfort in the Person of the Year rules. Bush truly has made all the world aware of his impotent costumed strutting and incoherent illogical tangles.

9:22 PM  
spocko said...

Hi Ellroon! Just another reason I'm glad you are one of my regular readers! Good taste in reading materials!What were some of your specific problems with Time?

I read a Time at a doctors office a while ago and I was kind of stunned how they went over board to appear like the "un-liberal" media. Of course I notice more stuff than the average bear, but when compared to Newsweek, Time seemed more right wing than middle of the road. Time has also made it a point to give space to some really right wing columnists.

10:11 PM  
ellroon said...

When Dubya's loony face was painted to look heroic or intelligent or manly or something other than the squinting, sentence-mangling, hunched, defensive, cowardly bully that he is is the time that I vow never to buy another copy of the magazine.

I am in despair over this submission of the media, collapsing into the arms of the religious fanatics and neocons like a fat lady in hysterics. Where are our courageous journalists? Where are the truth-seekers and the indignant writers? We have only a few we can rely on in the mainstream media which is why I now get most of my news on the net and in the blogs. I read newspapers to verify news that I have already read and researched.

So I will not buy any newspaper nor magazine that I see spewing the right-wing party line without giving voice or balance to the left. Why should I give them my money?

11:22 PM  
Sarah Grimke said...

Sound familiar?
The Sensational Beginnings of Yellow Journalism

In 1898, newspapers provided the major source of news in America. At this time, it was common practice for newspaper to report the editor's interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism.

If the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers wielded much political power.

In order to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as "yellow journalism."

Though the term was originally coined to describe the journalistic practices of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst proved himself worthy of the title. Today, it is his name that is synonymous with "yellow journalism."

Sadly, I believe it is what we have today as well. When will the majority of mainstream newspapers be held to a higher standard? When the public gets tired of trying to believe the lies, and realizes that the truth, no matter how unpleasant, is a necessity of life. Until then we continue to sound like Chicken Little to our co-workers and friends. Considering what we will be saying "I told you so" about, I'd rather pass, thanks.

9:20 AM  

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