Time Man Of The Year Fallout


Time magazine’s courageous choice of the controversial Vladimir Putin as Man of the Year is probably garnering as much discussion already as last year’s saccharine choice of You. Even the President, a fellow Time Man of the Year alum, joked at today’s press conference about the diverse membership of their club. The President also spent a significant amount of time on the subject of principles and their importance to good leadership.

Time’s editor Rick Stengel, on the Charlie Rose program last night, stressed that Putin was chosen for his political impact, not for his principles. Some of the interesting discussion from around the web and around the world on the choice of Putin as Man of the Year:

NBC News Producer, Yonatan Pomrenze on MSNBC’s World Blog: ”Time’s choice of Putin was played out on the major networks here as a nod of support for Putin’s style of leadership. All the networks dedicated between 5 and 10 minutes of their evening newscast to the story, showing long clips of Putin answering Time reporters’ questions. This morning, the ‘Tvoi Den’ tabloid headline declared that ‘Americans Chose Putin: Bush no longer rates with the Americans.”’

Anna Arutunyan, Moscow News Weekly: ”President Vladimir Putin appea­red on the cover of Time this week as the magazine’s ‘Person of the Year,’ the first Russian to hold the title since Mikhail Gorbachev was nominated twice (1987, 1989), at a time when the idea that the Soviet Union could collapse was practically unthinkable.”

Luke Harding, The Guardian: ”The Kremlin yesterday made little effort to hide its rapture at the award, which it will feel gives Putin the one thing he craves above all – international respectability.

”In a hastily arranged conference, Putin’s chief spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Putin had helped Russia get back its national pride. ‘Under Putin’s leadership Russia re-emerged as a constructive and reliable partner in shaping international relations,’ he said.”