TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY VOTE?”


I t would seem that the editors of TIME have plenty in common with Ahmadinejad, Khamenei and the IRGC (Islamic Republic Guard Corps), at least insofar as respecting votes is concerned.

How ironic that after 6 months of sustained protests by the Iranian people, since the rigging of the June 12 presidential election in Iran by militaristic Islamist zealots, that they should have to experience deja vu, only this time the joke foisted upon them was by the editors of TIME. Once again, the people of Iran have to ask “Where is my vote?” only this time, from TIME!

tehran-crowd-where-is-my-vote
(image source)

Several weeks ago Time setup an online poll:

Who will be Person of the Year 2009?

Interestingly the following was posted at the beginning of the poll:

Take a look at the candidates and give them your rating — though TIME’s editors reserve the right to disagree.

This begs the following question: Why in the hell bother with an online poll then? TIME, are you ignoramuses? This may be a fun little game for you, but the world has for years taken your publications choice seriously. What better opportunity did you have in the past 30 years to pick a person of the year as unique as Iran’s Protesters, who have been protesting and risking their lives for months in the face of the most despicable tyranny? Did you not see how they courageously took videos with their cell phone cameras and risked their lives getting the footage out to the world via Twitter and the social-networks, despite a government ban on foreign-journalists? Did you not see how violently the regime cracked down, and how despite that the people are still protesting the fraudulent election. Have you not seen their courage? Are you truly blind?

But I digress. Let’s provide a bit more information, so people reading this article from scratch wondering why I am unhappy (to say the least) with TIME understand what happened.

The following were listed as choices for Person of the Year in the poll:

Your 2009 Candidates

1. Angela Merkel
2. Barack Obama
3. Ben Bernanke
4. Iran Protesters
5. Olympia Snowe
6. Somali Pirates
7. Stanley McChrystal
8. Steve Jobs
9. Timothy Geithner
10. Usain Bolt

Underneath the list of names you can click to view the poll results. This is what has been listed for the last 10 days (at least):

time-poll-for-person-of-the-year-2009-showing-iran-protestors-in-the-lead

Here is a screenshot I took showing the URL. I’m posting this in case TIME decides to pull another trick out of Ahmadinejad’s hat… (like hiding the evidence). The TIME link is still up as I write this article, but… just in case:

Picture 1

I noticed that the results suddenly stopped incrementing about 10 days ago. In fact I tweeted about it on December the 4th, with the following series of tweets (click to view them on Twitter):

1. Strange, but TIME Person of Year stats haven’t changed all day today. Iran at 573,561 all day. http://bit.ly/5u9kXT #IranElection
(10:11 AM Dec 4th from web)

2. I wonder why the stats are not incrementing anymore? http://bit.ly/5u9kXT #IranElection
(10:14 AM Dec 4th from web)

I was watching the poll very closely from about Dec. 1, when I first found out about it. The poll was incrementing. Basically each time I checked, the numbers changed. I wish I had taken screen shots, but it’s not a stretch to believe that an online poll would show results as they come in. This one was doing so. It stopped sometime before my tweets above.

Iran Protesters – Avg Rating: 92% – Total Votes 573,561

The next person in the list:

Barack Obama – Avg Rating: 51% – Total Votes 111,848

That means that up until the incrementing just stopped happening about 10 days ago, (despite the fact that you can still vote!) Iran Protesters had more than 5 times as many votes as Barack Obama.

So why did TIME’s editor, Rick Stengel, share a short-list on the Today Show this morning for TIME Person of the Year 2009 that did not have the Iranian Protesters in it? See the Huffington Post article showing the new short-list for TIME Person of the Year 2009, without Iranian Protesters.

The new short-list according to the Huffington Post article:

1. Steve Jobs
2. Ben Bernanke
3. The Chinese Worker (??? Hello??? Where did this come from? It wasn’t even in the original list on TIME’s own online poll (see above images)…)
4. Nancy Pelosi
5. Stanley McChrystal
6. Usain Bolt
7. Barack Obama

Is this a joke? Iran Protesters get 5 times the number of votes as the next person in TIME’s own poll, Barack Obama, and they don’t even get short-listed?!

So what does this all mean and why does it matter? Are the thousands of people on Twitter currently railing against TIME by using the hashtags of #TimeEpicFAIL and #TimeFAIL, for leaving Iranian protesters out of the final short-list cry-babies?

Should we just suck it up and move on?

Afterall, TIME’s editors did reserve the right to (sic) disagree with the results of their own poll. I would guess they started to “disagree” about…say…ten days ago, when their poll counts stopped incrementing, just like on June 12, before the full votes across Iran could be tallied Ahmadinejad and Khamenei decided to announce Ahmadinejad as the winner…

This is not something that anyone who has been following the historic events in Iran can just shrug off. TIME, has squandered a historic opportunity to pick the clear Person of the Year, this year: the Iranian Protesters.

TIME, What can you argue?

Can you say that technically Iranian Protesters is not a ‘person’? Well, is the Chinese Worker? What about ‘You’ your 2006 winner.

Can you say that anyone showed more courage that Neda Agha Soltan?

How about Sohrab Arabi? Or Taraneh Mousavi? Do you even know who they are? Look them up?

Or how about Majid Tavakoli? Do you know who he is?

How many times in your lifetimes have you witnessed a people that prior to a specific point in time, the world had an image of as a monolithic group of anti-American zealots, transform into modern, intelligent, courageous seekers of freedom and human rights in the face of the starkest tyranny? That is what happened on June 13, 2009, the day after the elections in Iran. Millions of people took to the streets in a dignified manner asking “Where is my vote?”

They were brutalized by the regime for doing so, yet they kept going. Again and again we have seen protests that have challenged the regime to the very core. And it’s nowhere near over. On December 7th (16th of Azar in Iran) students across the country protested against the government. These protests were met with force and over 200 protesters were arrested, but that has not deterred consecutive protests on and around campuses across the country every day since.

TIME, may or may not choose Barack Obama as Person of the Year this year. But either way, it was still a dubious move to list the Iranian Protesters in an online poll, show that they have five times as many votes as the next person, and then “choose” to ignore this completely.

It would have been a different story if Iranian Protesters were at least included in the final short-list. Of course, I and others would still have been disappointed if TIME did so, but chose to go with another winner. But, the way TIME handled it shows incompetence, or at the very least wanton disregard of their own online poll. Iranian Protesters should have at least been on the final short-list considering their clear lead in that poll. Such disregard for the vote, and the suspicious way the poll stopped incrementing ten days ago makes TIME look like it has been caught pants down.

So TIME, I invite you to answer the question: Where is my vote for Iranian Protesters for Person of the Year 2009? Perhaps you can ask Ahmadinejad’s PR people who “handled” the same question (as it pertained to the presidential election) for help.

For now it looks like some people are already talking about boycotting your magazine…

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Dave Siavashi is the founder and editor of Iran News Now. He provided coverage of breaking news and analysis on events in Iran during the unrest that followed the 2009 presidential election. One of the early journalists to use social media effectively to report on breaking events, his tweets and articles have been cited in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Christian Science Monitor, Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish, and Huffington Post, among others. He writes for Iran News Now and EA WorldView.
  • http://topsy.com/tb/bit.ly/59oEov Tweets that mention TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY VOTE?” | Iran News Now — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Iran News Now, Iran News Now. Iran News Now said: (INN exclusive) @TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY VOTE?” http://bit.ly/59oEov #IranElection #TimeEpicFAIL [...]

  • http://enduringamerica.com/2009/12/15/where-is-my-vote-sequel-time-snubs-green-movement-as-person-of-the-year/ “Where is My Vote?”, Part 2: TIME Snubs Green Movement as “Person of the Year” | Enduring America

    [...] 0800 GMT: Iran News Now has a spirited investigation of Time’s poll and the dropping of “Iran’s Protesters” from the final list [...]

  • faye

    Time Magazin is an American paper give them free oil and they will vote for you.

  • http://2009-swineflu.com/?p=420 How to Protect Senior Citizens From Bird Flu | Swine Flu 2009

    [...] TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY … Share and Enjoy: [...]

  • sarina

    OMG, i just can NOT believe this story. Why did TIME do that? They should explain!!!! (( Where is my vote??))

  • Mike

    Correct the spelling of late Miss Neda, above the video frame

  • IranNewsNow Admin

    Thanks Mike. Done.

  • kevin

    we would like to believe the impartiality of TIME MAGAZINE for this survey.If the objective is to elect the Man of the Year up on the readers opinion, the iranian protesters got 92% of votes, if not and the time magazine board want to elect man of the year by itself and according to their short and long interest, there is no need to make a survey!!!

  • http://www.thiswinkis.com Pedram M

    This is disgusting. I encouraged nearly all my friends to come and vote on the site. Iran protesters were ahead by a far higher percentage! What is wrong with these people? Angela Merkel? With an average rank of 31?

    Who can we trust?
    Shame on you TIME.
    I will never read this biased medium anymore.

  • http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1939691_1939704,00.html Time Reader

    This is not correct!

    Time has not removed it. You have just wasted your time!!!!

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1939691_1939704,00.html

  • Issa

    Don’t worry about the snub; time has not been relevant in a long time.

  • betman

    candidate = nominee not winner.
    that’s the way i read that list on time. the position of the candidates is total random and apparently you can still vote.

  • Wrong !
  • Negar Chevre

    Thanks Liss for great analysis!

  • bamdad

    Who is a more a$$hole bastard than current gov in Iran to help US (and Russia and UK) raid middle east?

  • http://www.paeintarin.persianblog.ir nakes

    hey TIMES WHERE IS MY VOTE???

    kos kesha

  • hamed

    TIME, Shame on you … WHERE IS MY VOTE???? GIVE MY VOTE BACK

  • tom

    WHERE IS MY VOTE ?????????????????????????????????

  • http://weeklybasis@blogspot.com weekly

    thanks for bringing this up

  • ardalan

    As a citizen of the UNited States, I feel my vote has been stolen by time
    Where is My vote?

  • Aydin

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1947546,00.html

    here is the reason why they were removed!
    when the GREEN MOVEMENT starts to celebrate IMAM KHOMEINI, it is no longer the movement of FREEDOM!

  • http://facebook.com nicholas

    somali pirates?? is that a joke or what?
    But Yes Iranian Protesters deserve the title without a doubt
    but stupid bureaucrats get in the way of everything the majority of people have spoken but the idiot gets the final decision

  • IranNewsNow Admin

    A few points. Yes, the link is still up on TIME original poll. I mentioned that in the article. What happened is that they left that up, and then announced their short-list on the Today Show, which didn’t include Iran Protesters anymore, but added the Chinese Worker. This is despite Iran Protesters having a clear lead in their own poll.

    As to why they chose not to include Iranian Protesters in the short-list, we can only speculate, but if the expectation was that somehow they would be able to overthrow the most brutal regime on the planet in under six months, TIME is setting the bar too high. Especially with some of the other candidates on the list.

  • fara

    Where is my vote?????????

  • siasama

    thats so cheap, i didnt expect that from times, its just unacceptable!
    chinese workers?! wtf man?! get real!

  • Mahdi

    where is my vote?
    where is my sisters and brothers? in jail or in grave? how can you explain this situation in iran? how do you explain freedom?!!!
    Do you know what is the meaning of “where is my vote?”
    I’m sure that you dont know it!

  • http://sepsep3.wordpress.com/ SepSep

    Why do you get excited so fast? You should read the title first before voting:

    “Take a look at the candidates and give them your rating — though TIME’s editors reserve the right to disagree”

    (removed offensive commentary)

  • IranNewsNow Admin

    SepSep I’m not sure if you read the whole article that I wrote, but I explicitly addressed the little disclaimer they made about reserving the right to disagree.

    It seems some people are not clear on the point of the article. The main point is this: Why did TIME bother holding a vote on the matter if they are going to COMPLETELY ignore the vote?

    And that is exactly what TIME did when they created a new short-list AFTER the online vote that Iranian Protesters knocked out of the ballpark.

    At least they could have reasoned along the lines of, “okay, our online poll shows Iranian Protesters getting the most votes by a wide margin, so at least we can put them in the short-list for final evaluation.” Instead, they not only ignored the vote they they held on the matter, but they even included a candidate that was NOT IN THE ORIGINAL LIST in their own vote! Chinese Workers… What’s that about?

    If you don’t understand how bizarre it is to hold an online vote, then blatantly disregard the results of that vote when short-listing candiates by essentially cutting the group that was ahead of the next highest candidate by a margin of 5 to 1, I can’t help you.

  • Babak

    Time = Ahmadinejad

  • http://heh me

    Time is out !!

  • lili

    Where is my vote?????????????????????????????????????

  • http://irantime.co.cc/?p=13934 TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY … | Iran Today

    [...] View original here: TIME steals from Ahmadinejad Playbook – “Hey TIME, WHERE IS MY … [...]

  • http://twitter.com/KevinScottDC Kevin Scott

    Funny; I told an exuberant JoanneMichele 2 weeks ago not to get so excited, because that this vote would end up being just like one of those Playboy Playmate of the Year votes. A million-or-two readers vote, and then Hef throws all the votes out and just decides himself.

    Those 573,561 votes were great, until you realized that the Time Editor-In-Chief had 573,562 votes.

  • Fozhan

    Where is my vote?!!!

  • Mario

    To TIME, Please explain….where is my vote????

  • Mario

    Wh vote? They picked Ben Bernanke as 09 man of..
    Shame on Time and no more Time.

  • Mahnaz

    shame on TIME!!! I guess our votes don’t matter… AGAIN!!!

  • Jomhouriyeh Irani

    Well for those who care to let TIME know what they think here is their e-mail. Don’t take this silently and show that you are truely GREEN. letters@time.com

  • Mihan

    Shame on Time !!!

  • gilad poodle

    Fuck the Jews

  • gilad poodle

    Fuck the Bahai movement
    bahaiphotos.wordpress.com/

  • gilad poodle

    Bahalluah is a hairy pedophile
    bahaiphotos.wordpress.com/

  • gilad poodle

    Netanyahu is a Zionist Jew Bastard
    bahaiphotos.wordpress.com/

  • gilad poodle

    Why are Jews allowed to do baby penis sucking in the West? 
    Jews Suck Baby Penises | Subverted Nation

  • gilad poodle

    Proof of Jewish baby penis sucking ceremonies
    http://www.subvertednation.net/jews-suck-baby-penises/

  • gilad poodle

    Secrets of the Bahai cult video
    https://vimeo.com/46953624

  • gilad poodle

    Israeli terror against Iranians – video
    https://vimeo.com/46866796

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