Abrams: No one outside of media cares about Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

Dan Abrams Live

(NewsNation) — Did you hear Time magazine has named its “Person of the Year”? If you’re in the old legacy media, it’s a really big deal. But to almost anyone else, who cares who TIime magazine named?

In case you missed it, they picked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the “spirit of Ukraine” as person of the year.

At one time in history, this was a big deal. Being selected by Time magazine rally mattered, but that was at a point when magazines like Time and Newsweek were relevant, back when weekly news magazines were a thing back at the very least, 10 years ago, if not a lot more.

I was shocked at just how much coverage in other major media Time’s selection still gets. So many treated this nonevent as though it were the selection of the next pope, or at least acted as if this were still the 1960s.

MSNBC correspondent Ellison Barber said this while reporting from the ground in Kyiv:

“These latest reports of attacks on villages … come as Ukrainians are trying to have a moment, if you will, of celebration, celebrating the fact that Time magazine has decided that President Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine are ‘Person of the Year.’”

I guess it’s possible that Time is a big deal in Ukraine. But it is hard to imagine in the middle of a war zone busting out the champagne over the news that a past-its-prime American magazine put the president on the cover. I mean, President Zelenskyy has been on more than his share of magazine covers in the last year.

But Barber’s report was just part of what was a massive promotional effort, specifically at NBC, which elbowed its competitors out of the way to get the big scoop. They wanted to make sure you’re watching the “Today” Show to see who was being considered for the list. It got worse when it was time for the big reveal.

Their plan worked. The executive editor of Time visited MSNBC and did exactly what Time picks used to, which is create some sort of debate.

Look, I like lists as much as the next guy. Zelenskyy is a solid choice. My issue is not with the pick or the list; it’s with all the nonsense that surrounds it.

The breathless speculation, the days of promotion, constant debate. … It’s the media navel-gazing.

Now that I have done this segment on it, I guess it’s come full circle. I have fallen into the same hype circle or cycle by even talking about it. So from here on in, I will treat it like Voldemort, I will not speak of it again.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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