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Did Donald Trump lie about Time magazine offer of ‘Person of the Year’ for 2017

Five former U.S. presidents named 'Person of the Year.'All 5 of these former U.S. presidents have been given the Times award. Two of them (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) were given it twice.

U.S. President Donald Trump may have been caught in a pretty big whopper of a lie or it could be Time Magazine telling a fib.  Trump tweeted on Friday the magazine had “called” him and told him he would “probably” be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year’ again for 2017.

The Donald claims he turned them down, tweeting: Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

That, however, is not the story that Time Magazine subsequently told.  The magazine tweeted:  The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.

The chief content officer for Time, Allan Murray, tweeted there was “not a speck of truth” to Trump’s assertion.  The situation bears a resemblance to other Trump utterances, such as when he said the leader of the Boy Scouts of America called him to say his speech to boy scouts was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.”  The Boy Scouts said none of their leaders had called Trump, about anything.

Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’

The designation ‘Person of the Year’ was called either ‘Man of the Year’ or ‘Woman of the Year’ until 1999.  It was ‘Man and Wife of the Year’ in 1937 when Chiang Kai-shek, leader of China, was awarded it, along with his wife, Soong Mei-ling, and has been called by other names, depending on who, or what, is named.

The vast majority of those named have been males.  Groups have also been given the designation.  ‘The Hungarian Freedom Fighter’ was awarded it in 1956, ‘U.S. Scientists’ in 1960 and in 1975 ‘American Women’ were named.  In 1980 it was computers named, in 1993 ‘The Peacemakers.’

Trump may not be aware that the award does not necessarily denote greatness or a positive result, but rather influence.  Those so awarded were not always liked at that time, such as Wallis Simpson, widely loathed in the U.K. when she was named ‘Woman of the Year’ in 1936; that loathing came, of course, for her role in the abdication of the King.

Some designated went on to achieve notoriety of a terrible degree, including Adolf Hitler, Haile Selasse and Joseph Stalin.  Others achieved, arguably, greatness, such as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.  Two Popes have been named.

Vladimir Putin was ‘Person of the Year’ in 2007.  Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2010.  In total, 12 U.S. presidents have been named since Time began the yearly habit in 1927, many like Obama twice, including Bill Clinton, and one, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, three times.

President Trump has yet to tweet about Time Magazine’s claim that they did not tell him he would “probably” be named ‘Person of the Year’ for a second consecutive year.  So who is lying, the president or Time Magazine?

For the record, while historically Time Magazine has not been oft-singled out for lying, Donald Trump most assuredly has.  You can view a chronicling of his lies by clicking on this link here.

But reader beware – you’ll have to put aside time to get through them all.



About the Author

Marcus Hondro
Marcus Hondro

Actor, writer, father, gadfly, ‘Nucks fan.

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