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!
Several weeks ago Time setup an online poll:
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):
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:
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):
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…