Thursday, May 03, 2007

TIME's "Most Influential" 100

Time released their “Top 100 Most Influential People” list today. In the Time’s own words, this is their, “…list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.” Remember, the editors of Time magazine chose these rules. There are many characters and figures on the list. One prominent figure not on the list is the President of the United States.

The list is an interesting one. There are two members of the Communist Chinese government on the list as well as at least three dictators, Ayatullah Khamenei, and Osama bin Laden. Popular Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama are also listed as the most influential people in the world. Pope Benedict XVI, Queen Elizabeth II, Condoleezza Rice, Chief Justice John Roberts, and General David Petraeus also make the list. I shouldn’t forget Raul Castro as well.

I can’t fathom how the Time’s believe some of these people (like Raul Castro or Barack Obama) are more influential on the world wide stage than the most powerful man in the free world. Not even ex President Bill Clinton was able to get into the list and he is certainly more influential than some of the others on the list. He is arguably even more influential than his wife. I find it interesting to see so many terrorist and dictators on a list that includes “moral example” as one of the qualifiers for the top 100. The man responsible for much of the death and bloodshed in Dafur, Omar Hassan al-Bashir actually makes a very early appearance on the list.

Time magazine can’t possibly believe that Raul Castro has more influence on the international stage than President Bush. Whether you like his politics or not, Bush is the President of the United States. That title carries a tremendous amount of authority, power, and influence. Time magazine should have done a little more homework. Of the 21 political figures in their list (Rosie doesn’t count), 3 are in their jobs because Bush put them there (Rice, Roberts, and Petraeus). In discussing the 21 “Leaders and Revolutionaries”, President Bush is mentioned a total of 9 times in five different profiles. For someone to be discussed so much in the other “most influential”, how could he not be on the list?

The lone redeeming point to this story is the number of people who have posted complaints on the Time website for not including President Bush. Many of the complaints point out that as President, Bush should have been an easy pick for the list. Some argue he is more influential than the actors and sports figures on the list because of the power the President’s office wields. Is there really anyone willing to take up the banner and argue that Raul Castro is more influential than President Bush?

I think Time has finally revealed itself as the entertainment magazine it is. What was once considered a source of news should now be considered with the same credibility as the National Enquirer.


familyman said...

I'm not making any judgements about the Time list as I have not read the issue. But just basing my response on your post.

Given Bush's growing unpopularity at home and around the world, I don't find it impossible to fathom that there might be more people in the world putting more stock in the opinions of other world leaders than they do in the opinions of George Bush. I would be willing to bet that there are a lot of people around the world that are pretty much writing off Bush as a lame duck at this point.

Bush has had a lot of time to ruin his reputation around the world. Not everybody bases their opinion of him soley on his job title.

Andy D said...

I am sure there are those in the world that don’t think much of President Bush right now. I am also sure there are those who say he is a lame duck. I think the fact that he vetoed a bill that congress couldn’t override shows he is not a lame duck.

There are surely people who listen to other world leaders ahead of Bush. However, if you look at how many people and nations throughout the world can be affected by the President’s actions, if you look at the number of nations that react to how the President acts, and if you look at how the United Nations responds to Bush, you can not deny he is a very influential person.

Is he one of top 100 influential people in the world? He is surely more influential than many of the people on the list (I again cite Raul Castro). Time has the top 100 on their site so go check it out. It is an indicator of how out of touch with the world Time magazine is. Or is the top 100 what Time wishes was the top 100?

HollyGL said...

Basing the qualifier solely on "influence", Andy, I would have to agree with your argument. I think its safe to say that the President holds quite a bit more sway over more people/lives than other people named on the list.

Anonymous said...

I like how Bush has had a lot of time to ruin his reputation around the world. I thought he was just a puppet of Rove and Cheney. Then again he is the evil genius that conjures up natural disasters, is solely responsible for global warming and takes joy in american soldiers dying. Which is it evil genius or puppet? What has he done to be so unpopular? Why is he an evil man? Why will he go down in history as the worst president ever?
I need somebody to explain this to me.

Brandon said...

I agree with you Andy. I may disagree with the president more than I agree with him, but even in his weakened political state he has a tremendous amount of influence. If nothing else, he should be on the list solely because he has the authority to launch nuclear missiles.