Person of the Year: No Real Honor

Since 1927 Time magazine has been “honoring” a “Person of the Year”, originally called the “Man of the Year” until 1988. During the last 82 years the “honorees” have ranged from Gandhi to Hitler and Charles Lindberg to the abstract “you”. Time claims that the selection goes to “that person or that thing that has influenced the news the most in the past year. For good or for ill.” and adds, “It’s not an honor, its not an award; it goes to the mover and shaker of the news.”
“The person…that has influenced the news…the mover and shaker of the news.” That is an ambiguous criteria, as Time magazine helps determine who gets publicity, which influences the “news” covered by the “mainstream media.” Using Time’s criteria, the CEO of Time could potentially be “Person of the Year. How about the Bilderberg Group, CFR, Trilateral Commission or any number of secretive societies of powerful elite?
Is it any coincidence that with three exceptions; Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Gerald Ford; every sitting President of the United States has been a Person of the Year at least once with FDR being selected 3 times (1932, 1934 and 1941)? Some of the more infamous honorees include Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), and the Ayatollah Khomeini (1979). It is no wonder that Time says “Person of the Year” isn’t an “honor”, yet every year they continue to give someone the designation.
The distinction in 2009 went to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. I’ve been familiar with Ben Bernanke for so long I honestly do not know if he’s a “household name”, but I doubt the average person is aware of Mr. Bernanke. Time magazine was at least honest enough to call him “the overlord of the economy” in a video published on their site announcing his selection. Time’s story does tell the truth on a few details, “those green bills featuring dead Presidents are labeled “Federal Reserve Note” for a reason: the Fed controls the money supply. It is an independent government agency that conducts monetary policy, which means it sets short-term interest rates — which means it has immense influence over inflation, unemployment, the strength of the dollar and the strength of your wallet.” Time claims the Federal Reserve was passive in the 1930’s, CAUSING the Great Depression and “Bernanke…was determined not to be the Fed chairman who presided over Depression 2.0. So when turbulence in U.S. housing markets metastasized into the worst global financial crisis in more than 75 years, he conjured up trillions of new dollars and blasted them into the economy; engineered massive public rescues of failing private companies; ratcheted down interest rates to zero; lent to mutual funds, hedge funds, foreign banks, investment banks, manufacturers, insurers and other borrowers who had never dreamed of receiving Fed cash; jump-started stalled credit markets in everything from car loans to corporate paper; revolutionized housing finance with a breathtaking shopping spree for mortgage bonds; blew up the Fed’s balance sheet to three times its previous size; and generally transformed the staid arena of central banking into a stage for desperate improvisation.”

Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” is indeed no “honor” and in my most humble opinion should be discontinued.