Brutally Honest TIME Covers

The inconvenient truths of right now

TIME Magazine named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “Person of the Year,” which gave the audience they seek to please exactly what it wanted. Something about it, though, rang a little false, considering the year we just lived through. 

For a candidate and a vice presidential candidate who were instructed to do almost nothing to win an election in an overwhelming majority, Joe Biden seems an odd choice as “person of the year.” Imagine Biden and Harris running in an ordinary year, without COVID. She would have been relentlessly attacked by the media, as Hillary Clinton was, and Biden would make one gaffe after another. But this never happened because COVID was the best excuse imaginable to keep them well out of site so that the election was indeed a referendum on Trump.

I admire both Biden and Harris so this is not a knock against them (Twitter would say it was racist just to criticize it) but it is a reminder of just how invested the press is in telling the narrative people WANT to hear. Or see. Or read. And how little the major media outlets are in either telling the truth or giving people something to think about. That is no longer their job. Their job is giving people what they want - and nothing but what they want. 

As I watched Chris Cuomo and Jake Tapper bleat wildly against Trump on Twitter last night, I heard Albert Brooks’ voice in my head from Broadcast News, “let’s never forget, we are the story.” That, more than anything, defines what CNN has become. To be fair, Trump did call them “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.” But then many of watched in horror as they became “fake news.” I would argue that many of the 74 million voted for Trump because he was the only person in Washington who call CNN “fake news.” 

(Before I get to the end here, because likely not many of you will read it all the way to the end: I am not saying Trump isn’t destroying norms, breaking a fragile democratic system, and a complete fool to tweet like he does. I am saying that the reason Trump exists at all in government, the reason he is so popular, is that he is the only high profile person with the guts to stand up to the left. To my mind, if you fix the left there is no Trump. But if you’re looking for yet another “Trump is bad” piece of writing, this isn’t going to be it.)

From the front line workers on COVID to Anthony Fauci, to Black Lives Matter, to AOC, to Nancy Pelosi, to Jim Clyburn - all of these people had a greater impact than Biden did. I say this as a major Biden supporter early on. 

TIME appears to have reluctantly put Biden on the cover in order to actually put Kamala Harris on it. They didn’t have the guts, ultimately, to go full Harris but that is what they wanted to do - and honestly, that is a better choice because she did just make history. So why put Biden on there? Because they already know that the joke right now is that Biden is the figurehead and Harris the actual President. They did not want to encourage that way of thinking because remember - the media can’t make you THINK about anything. They have to serve you kindly, gently, and sweetly exactly what YOU want. Half of you, anyway. The acceptable half. Not the deplorable half. 

Who owns TIME? Salesforce chairman Mark Benioff and his wife Lynne bought the magazine, according to CNN, to restore trust - which is the biggest joke imaginable and spit-take worthy. Here is how CNN wrote about it:

Benioff said he wanted the magazine to be "unshackled" from financial constraints to carry out its mission to provide truthful, trustworthy information to readers. 

"Time magazine can be a steward of trust," Benioff said. "It's one of the core values of Time: trust, impact, the core magazine itself, and that it's about equality."

And:

And he said it's working. Benioff said the print edition of Time is "probably more popular than ever," even as many other legacy print outlets struggle to compete with digital news. He claimed Time's most recent issue, its annual "Person of the Year" feature, is "probably the most successful issue of Time magazine of all time."

After the magazine named Greta Thunberg its person of the year for 2019, it raised some questions about the kind of influence Benioff — who has been outspoken about the need to address climate change — has at the magazine. But Benioff said that when he purchased the magazine, he decided not to get involved in editorial or operational decisions.

Um. Yeah. Sure. Whatever you say. 

The way you sell to the consumer left is to make them feel virtuous. Steel straws, products labeled “ethically sourced” and “humanely raised” and “recyclable.”  Thus, the only way to sell this magazine is to give people something to put on their Instagram and in their hope chests to say: “Yes, we are the good people because we chose the right people, or the right person — Kamala Harris, not necessarily Joe Biden.” 

If Trump had been the Person of the Year, which he probably should have, given that he is the only thing people were taking about for a solid year, the magazine would have been viciously attacked for days on end, the reporters humiliated, shamed and forced to apologize for offending half the country. They would have been boycotted. Seriously, it almost would have been worth it to watch them grovel before the mob like every other outlet has. Rather than do that, they pandered.  

I was thinking about what the version of Person of the Year might mean if TIME, or any major outlet, was still in the business of being provocative, rather than reassuring. So here are a few offerings. 

The Media

This was the year the media mobilized their forces, joined the “resistance,” unmasked their intentions and fully jumped the shark. In subverting any kind of balanced coverage - for fear of being accused of “normalizing” Trump - in trading journalistic integrity for activism, in pandering to the rise of the strident and punitive left, mainstream media gaslit the American people over a wide variety of topics, from the protests to COVID to Trump to Biden. They took a credibility hit they will never get back. 

Trump declared war against the media, specifically CNN. They paid him back by launching a war against him but the real losers in all of this are people like me, who has respect for journalism and expects them to hold true to their ethics even in trying times like this.  Worse, they gaslit the American people for a solid year. One could argue they’ve been doing it for the last four years but I only started paying attention this year. Their coverage of the protests was truly Orwellian because people could see with their own eyes what was happening on the streets and yet the press insisted upon calling them “mostly peaceful” - lest they be called racists on Twitter.  That is gaslighting.

What CNN and the New York Times and every other left leaning outlet did was GASLIGHT the American people who then turned to the right, to Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro who were at least talking about what they could plainly see with their own eyes. But that turned out to only be the beginning.

CNN sold non-stop COVID fear, as did Rachel Maddow, day in and day out, nonstop panic. Then, when the protests erupted suddenly there was no more COVID fear. Whoosh. It disappeared. Now it was all about racial injustice as a wave of antiracism hysteria swept the nation (with no end in sight and probably about to become the entire focus of the Biden/Harris administration).

Because they could no longer shame people for gathering in large groups, since we were all witnessing the largest protest in human history, the focus fell on masks. Mask shaming was all. If you wore one, you were “good” - if you didn’t, you were “bad.” If you caught COVID on the left, you were offered sympathy and kindness. If you caught it on the right, you were getting what you deserved.

The media 100% adopted this mindset - to give their viewers what they wanted, rather than the truth. By the end of it, they would succeed in removing Trump from office but they should be shocked by a couple of things. The first, roughly 74 million people voted for Trump anyway because they do not trust the media anymore. How do you know this? Because his approval numbers never changed as the media spun out of control for years attacking him. But they earned this award because they proved their dominance in 2020. They should enjoy it while it lasts

Cancel Culture

The only people who feel truly emboldened to talk about “cancel culture” are either those who have already been cancelled and fled to Substack, like Andrew Sullivan or Jesse Singal or Glenn Greenwald. But they were put in a bit of a bind when the only politician taking a public stand against it was none other than Donald Trump.

While Greenwald and Matt Tiabbi still see themselves as journalists so they did not reveal their votes but the rest of them did - they were emphatic that you not vote for Donald Trump, even if all they’ve done for the past year is warn of the dangers of “cancel culture.” Trump put them in a bind. He did that because he knew, or someone on his staff knew, that this was a genuine concern for a good many Americans, and most of them - just as with the protests — had to stay silent out of fear of losing their jobs, their status, their friends. That is where we are in 2020.

Meanwhile, over at Fox News or on right leaning podcasts they let it rip about how terrible “cancel culture” is. Their extreme version is like Trump’s - a hard no. While on the left, people like AOC call it “holding people responsible.” The left as a group might secretly hate “cancel culture” but not only don’t they admit it, they willingly go along with it by remaining silent or actively participating. High status Democrats and Never Trump Republicans warn that they plan to continue to persecute not just Trump supporters but all Republicans who went along with Trump. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

Barack Obama 

The Democrats could not find a way to move forward so they had to move backwards. I myself knew this was the only way to remove a one term president with a strong economy. That was before COVID broke America. But even still, Obama’s fingerprints were all over this election - and why Biden did not need to campaign at all.

Obama had completely reinvented Biden from whatever his legacy was going to be, into a legacy that attached itself to the most beloved president in US history, or at least one of them. That was why Biden had to do next to nothing to win in both the primary and the presidential races. He was not Trump and he was Obama’s Vice President.

Americans chose to step backwards to a time when they last felt safe.

Obama, I would argue, is the apex of the modern left’s utopian ideal of America. It is Obama to whom all aspire. Anything that offends that ideology is to be scrubbed out.  Trump, who questioned Obama’s birth certificate publicly, declared himself Obama’s public enemy number one. The two of them locked horns with the majority of the news deciding Obama was the saint and Trump the deplorable. Obama tried mightily to pull Hillary Clinton over the finish line but that did not work, thanks to a variety of factors I will skip for now, but Biden was a much easier candidate.

There is no question, to my mind, that the real winner of the election was Obama and his legacy, which was threatened by Trump. 

George Orwell

While so far government has not been involved in everything Orwellian laid out before you, which includes forcing people to believe and speak and say things so as not to “offend” because speech is now deemed harmful, we might not be that far off if the Biden/Harris administration aren’t confronted and kept in check. But look around - do you see much pushback from mainstream press?

What happens when the same dynamic that played out at Evergreen or the New York Times or anywhere people were fired for saying something deemed offensive, gets into government? Biden has already said he is going to make antiracism a priority, and Kamala Harris backs “equity” ideology. Will these be things to aspire to or will they be mandated? And how will that go? Are we about to witness witch hunts to ferret out racists wherever they may be?

Racism, like witch craft, is not something you can exactly prove. Is America about to become Evergreen, where a liberal administration was forced into confinement because they could not fire a tenured professor? Is that what is about to happen to Joe Biden? I guess we’ll wait and see.

Had Trump been the fascist the media and the left said he was there would have been no protests allowed period. He would be the one advocating for censoring Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. He would be the one advocating for book burning, for adherence to a strict language and moral code, as Orwell foretold. But he never did any of those things. Are about to see an administration that will? Who will fight against it? Who will feel safe in doing so?

Orwell’s 1984 was about top-down fascism with a government controlling everything you do, think, read, say. You were punished for your “wrong think.” My friends, we are almost all the way there. All we need is a government willing to go all the way.