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Putin is Time's "Person of the Year"

Time magazine has named its "Person of the Year" for 2007: outgoing President Vladimir Putin of Russia. David Morgan reports for Reuters:


Time magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin its "Person of the Year" for 2007 on Wednesday, saying he had returned his country from chaos to "the table of world power" though at a cost to democratic principles.

Putin, a former KGB official picked from relative obscurity to be prime minister in 1999 by then-President Boris Yeltsin, will appear on the cover of a special issue of Time as the person the editors believe had the greatest impact on events, for better or worse.

"He's not a good guy, but he's done extraordinary things," said Time managing editor Richard Stengel, who announced Putin's selection on NBC's "Today Show."


Read the rest at the link above. Many expected General David Petraeus, the man who turned the situation around in Iraq, to be named, but he only finished fifth in the magazine's voting, behind Al Gore, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling (!?), and Chinese President Hu Jintao. What exactly anyone thought Rowling may have done to deserve the award - or even Hu - wasn't mentioned.

As last year's winner, I am disappointed the magazine rewarded Putin, who has installed a puppet successor, murdered, arrested, and blocked from the ballot his opponents, confiscated private property - in short, acted like a full-blown KGB boss. At Time there remains much nostalgia for the good ol' days of international communism.


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Comments (34)

At Time there remains mu... (Below threshold)
mantis:

At Time there remains much nostalgia for the good ol' days of international communism.

Time picks their Person of the Year on the criterion that that person, "for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year." It's not an endorsement.

I nearly drove off the road... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I nearly drove off the road this morning when I heard this on the radio.

The fact that Gen. David Petraeus isn't even mentioned as a nominee, demonstrates just how un-serious the editors at Time truly are, even about their own "award".

P.S. I think you also forgot to mention something about Putin poisoning his own spies/ex-spies. Oh, and selling nuclear material to Iran. Just two more of his "extraordinary" accomplishments.

mantis,Then where'... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

mantis,

Then where's Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? For better or (for a lot) worse, he made more news and had more influence this year than Putin.

Then where's Iranian Mah... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Then where's Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? For better or (for a lot) worse, he made more news and had more influence this year than Putin.

Maybe so. I'm not saying they made the right choice, just that the designation is not based on "who's awesomest."

Times can use whatever excu... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Times can use whatever excuse for their lousy choice. I am glad that their subscription is plummeting. This stupid choice shows that the Times deserves it. It is simply another example of the junk liberal media.

Maybe so. I'm not saying... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Maybe so. I'm not saying they made the right choice, just that the designation is not based on "who's awesomest."

Sounds like Schrute-ism. LOL. And I see your point.

My only point is that the Time editors are a bit arbitrary in deciding what qualities make someone/thing "Person of the Year" from one year to the next. I think many people think that the award is supposed to connote something good in the person of the year, hence the confusion over the selection in some years.

Whatever helps magazine sales is the most likely motivation behind the issuing the "award", obviously.

"Many expected General Davi... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Many expected General David Petraeus, the man who turned the situation around in Iraq..."

lol

See if you can spot the two fantasies in this sentence!

Darn, I was pulling for Hug... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Darn, I was pulling for Hugo Chavez, or Saddam Hussein.

Seriously, Gen Petraeous didn't make it because he is only helping to quell an insurgency and set up a nation safe from Islamist violence. Doesn't compare to a heartless KGB Boss, heartless Communist, or heartless Childrens Author.

Peter is right about the "s... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Peter is right about the "shock" choice with man of the year, just as Jim is right about the nostalgia part. 12 journalists have been murdered since Putin came into power. Two higher profile killings were that of Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov, an American editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine.

How did Putin affect the wo... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

How did Putin affect the world? Sure, he's stifling freedom in Russia, but what has he done to affect the world?

I would have put the Goracle in before him, sure his Inconvenient Truth has very little truth, inconvenient or otherwise, but he's definitely affected the world much more than Tsar Putin I.

"Then where's Iranian Mahmo... (Below threshold)
Sophie:

"Then where's Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? For better or (for a lot) worse, he made more news and had more influence this year than Putin".

He's next years' Man of the Year.

Putin still is behind Stali... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Putin still is behind Stalin who was picked as Time 'Man of the Year' in 1939 and 1942.

Maybe Times doesn't want to... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Maybe Times doesn't want to remind Americans of the great job Patreaus has done. All these flimsy excuses are nothing but excuses for the Times. In the end, liberals have to spin a liberal rag despite their loud proclamation otherwise.

How did Putin affect the... (Below threshold)
mantis:

How did Putin affect the world? Sure, he's stifling freedom in Russia, but what has he done to affect the world?

Apparently people forget the power that Russia used to have, and the power they could potentially regain. Anyway, why don't you just read the Time article?

Actually read the article? ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Actually read the article? My but you have high expectations of these folks Mantis.

"I looked the man... (Below threshold)
Brian:
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.


"I was able to get a sense of his soul.

"He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship."

--George W. Bush

<a href="http://matthewygle... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Putin bears a most "excellent" similarity to this fellow.

I hope he can live up to th... (Below threshold)

I hope he can live up to the legacy I left as the 2006 Time Magazine Man of the Year.

Did you read it mantis? </p... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Did you read it mantis?

whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression--this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power.
That's from their reason.
First they say he could do something in the coming decade that he's already doing, and then they claim that Russia is "back to the table of world power."
Buh? How so? He's just becoming a dictator, as they note. Sure he can bully around former SSRs, but he's been doing that for years. What did he do this year that's brought Russia back to the "table of world power"?

Imposing stability? No, he's imposing a dictatorship, it's not very stable. Or hadn't you noticed all the democracy activists he has arrested and put in insane asylums? That's not "stability", that's 'repression' and it's inherently unstable, especially since at least some Russians were enjoying their freedom and aren't too thrilled about losing it.

That view was always naive. Russia is central to our world
First, they obviously are pining for the days of the USSR.
Second, if Russia is central to our world, why should Putin get any credit for it? After all, it's inherent.
And if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
"If"? How about you get back to us "When"?

With dauntless persistence, a sharp vision of what Russia should become and a sense that he embodied the spirit of Mother Russia, Putin has put his country back on the map.
Ummm, no. He's mostly destroyed their economy by taking back all the stuff that Yeltsin gave to his buddies. The only thing that's saved their economy is the price of oil going up. I thought that was Bush's fault? Now Putin gets the credit instead of Bush getting the blame? Interesting. And I own maps, I like to look at maps. Russia has been on the map for my whole life.
The give the game away with this impressive sounding but mostly meaningless comment:
Russia lives in history--and history lives in Russia.

The second part "history lives in Russia" could be said about...oh, everywhere. As for the "Russia lives in history", Russians are pining for the days of the old Soviet Union almost as much as the fine people at Time magazine.
The Russians don't remember the lines, the secret police, the disappearances and the misery. All they remember is that they were "respected", well actually feared, but they equated that to respect.

Time is full of itself. As... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Time is full of itself. As if they were somehow relevant. . .

The "Surge" failed.B... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

The "Surge" failed.
Back in January when Bush announced the Surge he said this would be the result

"To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution."
---January 10...announcing the "Surge"

None of this happened...
Of course it is a good thing that few troops and Iraqi's are victims.

However; the breathing space has been given.
There is no functioning Iraqi Government.
We still have troops being killed and wounded. Troops are on extended tours.
For What?
Remember the kool aid of summer?
After the govt takes 30 days off..then legislation will pass..
How many times have you heard 90 more days?
Six months?
By the end of the Year?
How long has this be going on?

How can we have the "Decider", the "Commander Guy" the "War President" who is incapable of pressure?

The only pressure is a declaration that we will be removing all combat troops in a safe manner over the next 18 months.

As long as we prop up this pretend govt they have no reason to act. Bush is all ranch no cattle..really, there are no cattle on his Crawford Brush Ranch.

veeshir..I am assuming you ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

veeshir..I am assuming you are a Russian who lived there during this time..
otherwise you would come off as some know-it-all that has the depth of understanding what people in a situation you have never experienced should remember or forget..

(kinda like folks here who have never been in combat "know" what that is like.)

Sounds more like the libera... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Sounds more like the liberals who keep their heads in the sand even with all the facts about the atrocities and failures of socialism/communism.
Times doesn't seem to have enough of the communist. More likely it is a distraction from Patreaus and the great job he has done.

Well nogo you come off with... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Well nogo you come off with your senile blathering as a blithering id___.

Yawn. Is there anybody who ... (Below threshold)
Mike in Oregon:

Yawn. Is there anybody who actually CARES about Time's designation?

Times picking Putin ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Times picking Putin as man of the year just illustrates the Liberal entrenched and enscounced media's obsession with the negative.


Nogo, this just silly:... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Nogo, this just silly:

...otherwise you would come off as some know-it-all that has the depth of understanding what people in a situation you have never experienced should remember or forget..

You don't have to be Russian to remember Russian history. What he mentioned actually happened.

"Individuals were not allowed to travel without permission, nor could they protest or talk freely against the government for fear of being arrested by the KGB, the secret police force.

While the government provided necessary items like food and clothes, people in the Soviet Union still had problems. Often there wasn't enough food to go around. People stood in long food lines for hours just to get a loaf of bread."

I sure as hell would remember this well enough to never want to go back to it. Kiss-ass journalism is not a stranger to Time magazine. For all we know, this may be one of many motives for Time's choice is trying to assure of no future casualties such as Klebnikov.

Brian - Well golly gee Bria... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian - Well golly gee Brian you neglected to include the date in your Bush quote. Wonder why?

For the record it occurred in 1991.

Now Brian, can you list all the alleged and factual atrocities, all the political mechanizations to remain in power and other nonsense Ruttin-Tootin Putin has pulled off prior to that date?

You know, things that may in fact make Bush's quote look as though he were wrong in his assessment at the time.

You won't mind if I maintain my normal respiration rate waiting for an answer will you?

nogoveeshir..I ... (Below threshold)
marc:

nogo

veeshir..I am assuming you are a Russian who lived there during this time..
otherwise you would come off as some know-it-all that has the depth of understanding what people in a situation you have never experienced should remember or forget..
And I'm assuming you are a Russian nogo. You can't be a valid judge Veeshir is wrong unless you are.

What? No mirror on the fron... (Below threshold)
Eric F:

What? No mirror on the front cover?

The article is certainly no... (Below threshold)

The article is certainly not flattering. But it does show an almost fawning fascination with the man. Much in the same way someone might witness a serial killer dismember his victim saying, "Well of course it's wrong, but did you see his mastery of the technique?!"

Marc, I think you're defend... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Marc, I think you're defending the indefensible.
The remark was from 2001, not 1991.
And for the record, I have been absolutey ticked off over that remark and subsequent dealings with Putin.

Bush threw the Chechens under the bus and that was very bad.

Veeshir:"Bush threw the... (Below threshold)
marc:

Veeshir:"Bush threw the Chechens under the bus and that was very bad."

I'll grant the point, but still maintain he has done worse in total since.

Leave it to a ultra liberal... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Leave it to a ultra liberal rag like SLIME to name PUTRID PUTIN as MAN OF THE YEAR its a wonder it wasnt AL GORE i mean TIME is about americas most far left news rag around




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