The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Time fumbles another ‘Person of the Year’ by excluding Kavanaugh

Time’s “Person of the Year” was once a respected, fearless award. It’s also an award misunderstood by those outside of the media bubble. 
Here’s the official definition, per Time: “The criterion is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” It’s why Hitler won in 1938, Stalin in ’39 and ’42 and the Ayatollah Khomeini in ’79. This used to not be a popularity contest. 
{mosads}But things changed for good in 2001, when Osama Bin Laden clearly “most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill” as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans and changed the trajectory of the country forever. Time wimped out, however, awarding it to then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Since then, the magazine has chosen groups more often, with “The Whistleblowers” winning in 2002, “The Good Samaritans” winning in ’05, “The Protester” in 2011, “Ebola Fighters” in 2015, and “The Silence Breakers” in 2017 to celebrate the #MeToo movement. 
Time’s final shortlist for 2018 includes President Trump, “Separated Families;” Russian president Vladimir Putin, special counsel Robert Mueller; “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler; murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi; March for Our Lives activists; South Korean President Moon Jae-in; new royal family member Meghan Markle; and Christine Blasey Ford. 
Notice who’s missing on the list? 
If Ford is being considered, why not the person she accused of attempting to sexually assault her 36 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh? Both were needlessly exposed to a media avalanche in what became the most-watched political event, arguably, since the 2016 election, after a letter from Ford addressed to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) leaked to the press. The Senate could have investigated the matter without the media being involved, without a public hearing that turned Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s lives upside down. Derailing Kavanaugh’s nomination was the goal, not getting to the truth.
When looking back on 2018, with most of the year in the rear-view mirror, the Kavanaugh hearings are the second thing that comes to mind from a media perspective after all-things-Trump.
The person at the center of it was Kavanaugh. He undoubtedly is relieved to not be on the list, because winning would mean the whole horrific hearings and the things he was accused of being front and center for another full day — but he still should have been considered. 
You could make an argument Kavanaugh and Ford could both win given how their hearings dominated the country’s attention.
We’ll know Tuesday if Time sticks to its criterion and actually picks the No. 1 global influencer. Time made the right call in 2016 naming then President-elect Trump. Under Time’s criterion, Trump should take home the award every year for as long as he’s in office. There’s simply no person on the planet that blots out the sun the way the president does, for better or worse depending on how you voted.
But since Time wants to generate major interest (because, after all, the business aspect of this plays a big role in the choices), Trump likely will not win because that won’t sell the most copies — due to over-saturated coverage of Trump already. That would most likely ignite boycotts of the publication by protestors who do not understand the aforementioned criterion. 
If Trump —the obvious first choice — is passed over, Kavanaugh and Ford are a strong second. By excluding Kavanaugh (and by likely snubbing Trump), the once-prestigious Time botches another “Person of the Year,” in the name of pushing an agenda.
Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill and host of “What America’s Thinking.”
Tags Brett Kavanaugh Brett Kavanaugh Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination Christine Blasey Ford Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Concha Politics of the United States Robert Mueller Time United States
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video