Déjà Vu: Right-wing Media Up In Arms Over Time's Supposed Tea Party Snub


For the second year in a row, right-wing media have complained that Time magazine did not choose the Tea Party as Person of the Year, despite the fact that the Tea Party was chosen as one of four "Runners-Up."

Conservative Pundits Attack Time For Not Choosing Tea Party As Person Of The Year

BigJournalism: "Of Course" Time "Couldn't Bring Themselves To Give The Award To The Tea Party." In a December 15 BigJournalism post, editor-in-chief Dana Loesch wondered if Time's Person of the Year pick, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, was a "nice, safe, inconsequential choice." She suggested that "the guys who founded Twitter should have received this over Zuckerberg" because "their service worked in conjunction with the tea party movement." From the post:

TIME couldn't bring themselves to award information distributor, worshipper of hubris, self-styled rockstar Julian Assange the nod, though he dominated Internet voting. Of course, they couldn't bring themselves to give the award to the tea party even though the tea party changed the course and discourse of a nation in a single year.

I'd say that the guys who founded Twitter should have received this over Zuckerberg as their service worked in conjunction with the tea party movement (from the early days of #dontgo , the hashtag phenomen that preceded the tea party, the #tcot movement which is sandwiched in between, all helping give rise to the modern-day tea party). Twitter was instrumental in the Iranian revolutions and the story of Neda. Facebook doesn't come close to having as equal of an impact. [BigJournalism.com, 12/15/10]

Hot Air: Tea Party A Better Choice Because It "Dismantled Barack Obama's Agenda And Took Both Political Parties By Surprise." In a December 15 Hot Air post, Ed Morrissey wrote that he was "underwhelmed" by Time's choice of Zuckerberg and concluded by stating:

We deal in politics, and so it's possible that our perspective on the most significant trend or person this year is somewhat skewed. However, it seems pretty clear that while Facebook allowed a lot of people to play, the Tea Party dismantled Barack Obama's agenda and took both political parties by surprise. Even Julian Assange would have been a better choice; while his impact was certainly malicious, he changed the way the world does diplomacy, at least temporarily, and opened a new front in radical transparency. I have nothing against Zuckerberg, but this is a silly, insubstantial choice. [Hot Air, 12/15/10]

Hoft Falsely Claimed That "The Tea Party Nation Did Not Make The List" From The "Far Left TIME Magazine." In a December 15 post, Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft wrote:

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange cleaned up in the online voting but even far left TIME Magazine couldn't quite give him the award.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg won the Person of the Year award instead.

The Tea Party Nation did not make the list even though they were able to stop the onslaught of socialism dead in its tracks this year with the historic wave election in November. [Gateway Pundit, emphasis in original, 12/15/10]

Hemmer: "Facebook Was Around A Year Ago. Tea Party -- Not So Much." On the December 15 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer suggested that the Tea Party should have won Time's Person of the Year. From America's Newsroom:

MARTHA MacCALLUM (co-host): What did you think about Zuckerberg?

HEMMER: Fair, yeah. I think so.

MacCALLUM: Almost half a billion people, connected to each other --

HEMMER: I think second place was the Tea Party, though.

MacCALLUM: Yeah, that's right.

HEMMER: I mean, what Zuckerberg's done with Facebook is extraordinary, too. But what the Tea Party has done for American politics, too, is something that has been a significant story this year, too.

MacCALLUM: You think they should have won?

HEMMER: Could have been. I mean, Facebook was around a year ago. Tea Party -- not so much.

MacCALLUM: I think it's, you know. It's his time. [Fox News' America's Newsroom, 12/15/10]

NewsBusters: "Time Editor Says Tea Party Not Named 'Person Of The Year' Because They're Not A Person." A December 15 NewsBusters post referenced MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell's interview with Time managing editor Richard Stengel and stated:

Time's managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, on Thursday, to promote his magazine's Person of the Year issue and after he cited the reasons for selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he explained the reason the Tea Party didn't was because they were a group. After host Andrea Mitchell asked him to explain his rationale for not picking the other runners-up, Stengel lamely told her he disqualified the Tea Party because he's "biased in favor of putting a single person on the cover."

However, devoting a Time Person of the Year cover to a group of people is not without precedent. In recent years Time acknowledged "The Good Samaritans" of Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates in 2005, "The American Soldier" in 2003, and in 2006, when Stengel took over as managing editor of Time he put a mirror on the cover of the magazine as he declared "You" the Person of the Year. [NewsBusters, 12/15/10]

But The Tea Party Was A Runner-Up For Time's 2010 Person of the Year

Time: Tea Party Part Of "The Swell That Swept Over American Politics in 2010," Like "Beatlemania In The 1960s." Time chose the Tea Party as one of four "Runners-Up" for its annual Person of the Year award, along with Hamid Karzai, Julian Assange, and the Chilean miners. Time included a rationale for choosing the Tea Party, which included:

The surprising thing about the Tea Party movement is how many experts were surprised by it. The U.S. has always been home to a large group of people who think the government is too big and spends too much. Why wouldn't those people rise up when the already gargantuan federal deficit more than tripled seemingly overnight? Some lexicographers say refudiate was the word of the year, but for sheer political impact, it's hard to top the word trillion.


The eye-catching aspects of the Tea Party movement were the folks with tricornered hats and the occasional offensive hand-painted sign and the wave-riding hucksters in various guises, from bumper-sticker salesmen to patriotic songwriters looking for fame to the Tea Party's weepy master of ceremonies, Glenn Beck. Such spectacles were mostly foam, frothing on the surface. Down deep, forces like populism, libertarianism and skepticism of government -- throw in some cultural conservatism and a dash of antielitism (and, according to Tea Party critics, some measure of residual racism) -- created the swell that swept over American politics in 2010, inundating congressional Democrats while battering the Republican establishment.


In a sense, identifying with the Tea Party movement was like catching Beatlemania in the 1960s. People were drawn in for different reasons -- the beat, the haircuts, the lyrics -- and great gulfs of taste divided the John fans from the Paul fans, the George fans from the Ringo fans. [Time.com, 12/15/10]

Tea Party Was Chosen As Runner-Up Even Though It Was Not On Finalists List. The Tea Party was not on Time's list of 25 finalist candidates, though the other three runners-up were.

Right-wing Media Had Similar Complaints Last Year

Beck Freaked Out Because Time Did Not Choose Tea Party For 2009 Person Of The Year. In December 2009, Fox News' Glenn Beck spent several minutes on his television program showing images that Time had chosen to highlight in 2009 and complained that none of them showed Tea Party rallies or protesters. "I can't think of anybody else that might have affected this country at all in the last year, Time magazine," he said sarcastically after reviewing a few of Time's choices. [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 12/16/09]

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