This is the man who won TIME Magazine’s Person of The Year: Mark Zuckerberg; responsible for creating Facebook 5 years ago.
These were the results of the TIME Magazine Person Of The Year Poll online. Note especially Assange‘s position and number votes as compared to Zuckerberg’s.
Now, I’m not ignorant to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is an extremely deserving individual: I was on ‘Facebook’ when it was ‘The Facebook’. 500 million members later, voila. Bow, humbly at the twenty-something year old billionaire online revolutionary that forever changed human interaction. For about 4 years, Mark has deserved to be on that cover; and on more than one occasion has been unrighteously snubbed.
Kudos to the kid for finally making it on there.
But if you’re wondering why, given the people’s votes, Mark(who came in at position 10, with less than half the votes Julian Assange got) is the one that graced the cover and won the award, it’s all quite simple.
The online poll is what the people think; the cover is what the editors decide.
So, the ‘Person of the Year’ is not so much a ‘democratic’ popularity contest between a million or so intellectual readers; it’s an autocratic decision dictated and devised by a small consortium of editors in New York.
And they have every right to this decision. It’s their magazine.
Because Lord knows if I had my own magazine, I’d have awarded it to Julian Assange.
Not because Mark doesn’t deserve it; but because he deserved it 4 years ago. To be blunt, Twitter has had more relevance in 2010 than Facebook has. Seeing as the award is restricted to the year, maybe just maybe, 2010 is not Facebook’s year. Yet in 2010, the American government got put on its knees and had it’s stomachs turned inside out for the world to see thanks to a certain incarcerated gentleman. Billions of people applauded this in hundreds of countries: the man’s impact in the past few months outweighs Facebook’s since inception. Because truth be told, Facebook may be responsible for a lot of divorces, but it never ousted the US on what they did and continue to do in War-torn nations. It’s yet to cause diplomatic crises – plural. I don’t think I’ve heard a single national leader outwardly applaud it, let alone nominate it for a Nobel Peace Prize. Yet all these things can be said about WikiLeaks & it’s chief spokesperson and founder Julian Assange.
That’s not just my opinion, either. You see there’s another reason I’d have Assange on the cover of my internationally renowned magazine. He represents everything publications like TIME should: freedom of speech, transparency, information and empowerment of the people. That what is printed, what you read is not just the World through our eyes, but the World as is. That bullshit politics and political correctness stop where justice and truth is concerned. Because refusing to get behind such a cause would mean that my magazine was some government teddy bear and toy and not the people’s weapon and shield.
But the main reason the man would grace my cover, the MAIN reason he’d be on there, is because the people said so.
It’s not about ‘Democracy’; that’s a failed notion on more levels than Plato would care to explain; it’s all about simple logic. The readers are not stupid. They are not uneducated. They are not biased -mostly. They may be ‘biasable’ but they have a voice. And that voice should be heard and acknowledged when reasonable.
If Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had topped that list, I'd have said 'Fine, put Zuckerberg on there.' Really, I'd have said 'Nah, f*ck that, put Assange on there.', but I would be able to live with TIME selecting Zuckerberg. But the people spoke; wisely so. Assange was the people's choice. By a mile and change, for the duration of the poll. Also, he was deserving – more so than almost any winners of the award in recent times.
But alas he was the real revolutionary, and that's really not who you want on your magazine cover if you're trying to sell the truth.
Lies sell better because they taste better- especially white sugar-coated ones. And they come with government backing and presidential hugs and kisses. The truth generally gets you blackballed. Or imprisoned – like Assange.
This is not say that TIME magazine are scared of the consequences of endorsing telling the truth; just that they are aware of them.
As are we all.