TIME Magazine faced widespread backlash online after the left-leaning publication selected Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as their “person of the year,” which prompted calls even from the political left for the recognition to go to doctors and scientists.
“Person of the Year is not an award — it is a marker,” TIME said. “It is history as it’s written, whether good or bad.”
Much of the blowback to TIME’s choice of “person of the year” centered around the importance of recognizing those fighting to address the ongoing pandemic, including frontline healthcare workers and scientists working on the development of vaccines. Some on the political left suggested honoring Black Lives Matter activists. Others mockingly cited Biden’s “basement”-based campaign and Harris’s need to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary early due to lack of support from her own party.
A few examples of the flood of critical responses below:
- Journalist Jenan Moussa: “Odd. Feels like it should have been the healthcare workers and the scientists behind the vaccine.”
- Commentator Mark Serrels: “Scientists who developed vaccines in record shattering time, frontline workers who risked their lives during COVID, Jacinda Adern, BLM activists. This is such a ridiculous, US centric choice.”
- Writer Kyle Smith: “Wow the media are so ready for the Harris Era. Hire a food taster, Uncle Joe, they’re already done with you.”
- Commentator Pat Condell: “Ha ha. On the credibility scale, this is right up there with Obama’s phoney peace prize. Time magazine is a laughing stock.”
- Journalist Curtis Houck: “Time doesn’t care about you, the people. It’s all about THEM. It’s all about their circles in D.C., LA, and New York. It’s all partisanship for them. Cloaked in ‘unity’ and ‘equality,’ they have nothing but venom for people who aren’t Democrats or on the side of the mob.”
- Columnist Eli Lake: “I get that the magazine is trying to seem hip and appeal to zoomers and millennials, but this is such obvious pandering.”
- Economist Brian Riedl: “With all due respect, Biden spent much of the year in a basement and won what was a referendum on the other guy. Harris was even less visible as a VP nominee after badly losing the primary. It clearly should have been health care workers, or those working on the COVID vaccine.”
- Writer Conor Friedersdorf: “How are you going to give this to politicians who haven’t taken office yet in a year when doctors risked their lives on a mass scale and vaccine researchers triumphed with unprecedented speed? The Cult of the Presidency that @GeneHealy wrote about so well is as alive as ever.”
- News anchor Elex Michaelson: “With respect to these politicians, I would have voted for health care workers & other essential workers who’ve sacrificed greatly to keep us all safe.”
- Commentator Jack Hillcox: “Odd choice considering actual people have developed actual vaccines to the actual global pandemic which is killing millions of people.”
- Commentator Freddie Campion: “LOL. They spent 7 days building media buzz about this only to turn around and pick two people who haven’t done anything yet.”