Time's Person of Five Years Ago the Year: Mark "not as controversial as Julian Assange" Zuckerberg!


No alarms and no surprises, please:

You misspelled "2005"!

When a news magazine lags the interest curve and production time even of Hollywood, the CW rigor mortis really has set in. Snippets from Richard Stengel's defiantly purple prose:

Evolutionary biologists suggest there is a correlation between the size of the cerebral neocortex and the number of social relationships a primate species can have. […] Because of airplanes and telephones and now social media, human beings touch the lives of vastly more people than did our ancestors, who might have encountered only 150 people in their lifetime. […]

In a sense, Zuckerberg and Assange are two sides of the same coin.

Succeeds in making Mark Zuckerberg seem normal

And so on.

Quite unlike Zuckerberg/Facebook, Assange and his WikiLeaks project are the Rorschach Test of our times, in which our self-revealing reactions correlate highly to where we stand on authority, American establishmentarianism, the U.S. role in the world, liberation technology, and sexual assault laws, for starters. Zuckerberg in 2010, on the other hand, was prominent mostly as a vessel for Aaron Sorkin's anxieties.

Some relevant and fun reading from the Reason archive:

* The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of the Past 40 Years
* Our 2006 People of the Year
* "2004: The Year of Puppet Sex"
* Jesse Walker's 2002 appreciation of Time's perennial publicity stunt
* Reason's Zuckerberg file here; Assange archive here.

NEXT: Clause Escape

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  1. Anybody remember when Time still had a shred of credibility?

    Yeah, me neither.


    1. I vaguely recall when it was worth looking at Newsweek. If you were stranded on desert isle or in a dentist’s waiting room or similar uncivilized place.

      Does that count?

      1. re: ways to occupy one’s time while on a desert isle or in dentist’s waiting room (or similar uncivilized place)…

        thank god for internet porn and no sense of shame..


  2. Isn’t this really just a payoff to Hollywood advertisers? It is Oscar season and I am sure whoever made that movie likes this as a way to promote the film for awards.

    1. That would at least give Time relevancy, as it is, this is their lagging “TEh INterTubeZ!” story.

    2. I’m sure that’s part of it. Sort of like how they gave it to Bernancke to convince us the economy was just fine and the Bush-Obama administrations were taking good care of us.

  3. Is that pic revenge for us calling people sheep fuckers, and getting you guys in trouble.

    If it is then well done sirs, because Zuckerberger’s(sp?)ugly mug has made my eyeballs bleed blood.

    1. Some women like guys with moles and freckles all over them. And a billion dollars or so.

      1. But only if they’re not in it for the money.

      2. Lindsy Lohan is all freckles…..dabd_o.jpg

        and totally hot.

        It is the shape of his face that makes him ugly not the freckles.

  4. Time stands still.

  5. Where is STEVE SMITH to defended his beloved Time? It’s the most difficult thing he reads. On average, it takes him about three days to get through an issue.

    1. For real?

      *consults archive looking for quote*

      1. STEVE SMITH’s first dust-up with me was on a thread about Time.

        1. To be honest he kind of kicked your ass.

          Sorry SugarFree, but the only one of the five elections that took place during the time the US was fighting WW2 was 1944. Each of the other elections came while the US was at peace, and at a time when the Keynesian boost the war gave the economy didn’t exist. Moreover, none of FDR’s four elections were even close, and Truman’s election was only close because he was kept off the ballot in a half-dozen southern states. The American people clearly and eloquently rendered their judgment on the New Deal at the time.

      2. Nothing, just a lot of quotes about hikers in all caps.

  6. The Top 10 Most Absurd 10 Time Covers of the Past 40 Years

    And here I was hoping for 100 awful Time covers, neatly divided among 10 lists.

    It can’t really be that hard to do.

    Here’s my 1%: Cats

    1. I love the “Reagan’s Risky Victory” headline in the corner. I can’t tell when that was, but it was clearly in the 1980s and had been a bad week for liberals. So Time decided to talk about something important like pets. And then run a back page story reassuring liberals. They haven’t changed in twenty five years.

      1. Blown-up version

        The date was December 7, 1981. Northeast of “Reagan’s Risky Victory” it says “VETO” over a dollar sign, so I’m about 100% sure it’s referring to his only veto at the time, which was of a continuing resolution. He signed a new version a few hours later, so it ultimately shut down government for a half-day.

        But seriously, cats? Love ’em or hate ’em?

        1. Love ’em, but it’s hell on the waistline to eat a whole one at a single sitting.

        2. Here is the Reagan’s Risky Victory article.

      2. Neither has the conservative victim mentality.

      3. According to Wikipedia, that week brought:

        * November 29 ? Hollywood actress Natalie Wood drowns, aged 43. To this day the details leading up to her death remain a mystery.
        * November 30 ? Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin negotiating intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings end inconclusively on Thursday, December 17).

        * December 1 ? A Yugoslavian McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashes into a mountain while approaching Ajaccio Airport in Corsica, killing 178.
        * December 4 ? South Africa grants “homeland” Ciskei independence (not recognized outside South Africa).
        * December 5 ? American general James Lee Dozier is kidnapped in Verona by the Italian Red Brigades.

        Apparently, the Bush daughters and Britney Spears were born during that week as well.

    2. Just saw someone post this in a FB comment at the *exact* same time… Identity revealed?

      1. I haven’t posted this on Facebook.

        Clearly my comments on blogs just have a large following.

    3. And they wonder why they started losing subscriptions…

  7. MSNBC’s Morning Joe show takes this very seriously. They debated it for ten minutes this morning. All the actors performed their roles flawlessly. The guild protects its own.

  8. Wikileaks as “Rorschach Test of our times” is such a great point. I’ve been arguing with my libertarian friends about this guy non-stop, but because I’ve become more of a foreign policy Realist than libertarian. This dude is clearly a Stalinist butthole, though.

  9. Zuckerberg may be the most self-discrediting choice Time could make, but the “Rorschach Test of our times” thing is precisely what makes “Assange,” the media entity, boring?the same kind of boring “Zuckerberg” is, now that he’s just a character from the movies.

    We don’t know either of them, really?except insofar as we “knew” them before we heard of them, then stuck their faces on what we “know”?and the actual Assange’s achievement, such as it is, is as past as the actual Zuckerberg’s.

    Really, what did Assange do this year? The “cablegate” leaks confirm every foreign policy Establishment Narrative you can think of, and the “Assange” media character confirms (narratively)?as does Manning, in a different way?that leakers are lowly motivated assholes, and their champions are groupies, chumps, and assholes.

    Which we already “knew.”


    1. But, do we ever know anyone? I mean really know them? Or anything?

      Maybe we’re just brains in a jar, or my brain in a jar imagining you, or a guy looking at shadows on a cave wall. The narrative is the thing, dude.

      Man, it makes you think, or not.


      1. **puff, puff, paaaaaaassss**

  10. TIME should do some cover stories on Dentists…

  11. I think this marks the beginning of the end of Facebook.. If they were publicly traded, I’d start selling now.

    1. Deleting one’s facebook account will be so punk in 2011.

  12. Matt Welch- reading Time so I don’t have to.

    Thanks, Matt.

    1. He was (probably) at the dentist.

      1. It’s really quite fascinating. You’ve no idea.

        Dentistry, I mean. Not Time.

  13. Welch: Radiohead for the win.

    I read on about this idea that Ok Computer and In Rainbows are secretly wed and are to be listened to with tracks interlocked.

    I just started this experiment, and although it’s almost assuredly bullshit it’s turning into a good late (Korean) night’s listening.

    1. I tried that the other day. It’s not as mind-blowing as the article claims, but it’s still kind of neat, and the songs do make a fairly cohesive album of sorts, so it’s kind of neat.

      1. I just said “kind of neat” twice in the same sentence. Clearly I am not fully awake yet.

      2. That is my take precisely.

        I could put any of radiohead’s songs/albums in a row and be enamored, but at times it does work quite nicely.

        Videotape and Tourist, for example, were beautiful combined.

        I certainly had a good time, but, having been born in 1987, I strongly contest that Radiohead is my generation’s Beatles, and will fawn over most any of their creations.

      3. That is my take precisely.

        I could put any of radiohead’s songs/albums in a row and be enamored, but at times it does work quite nicely.

        Videotape and Tourist, for example, were beautiful combined.

        I certainly had a good time, but, having been born in 1987, I strongly contest that Radiohead is my generation’s Beatles, and will fawn over most any of their creations.

  14. In fairness, if Reason had a person of the year it would probably be that guy who filmed milk squirting out of people’s butts.

    1. No it would be Bradley Manning with photoshopped general’s stars on his uniform.

      1. No. It would be Alan Venneman. Never under estimate the depths of their bizarre man crush on that dork.

    2. This guy is the milk squirting person of the year every year.

  15. That photo of Julian is creepy, like he should be peering in an airliner window as William Shatner stares out at it in horror.

    1. Goddamn, if I were at home I’d fire up Photoshop and make that picture RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

  16. Didn’t social networking already get props from TIME, when they did “You” as the person of the year?

    What an awful choice.

  17. Is “social netoworking”, like, going to parties and talking to people you don’t know, or something? Cause we used to just call that “networking”….it’s so hard to keep up with the terminology any more.

    1. When you do it on-line, its “social netdorking”.

  18. I liked the Onion’s take on Time magazine:…..-ad,17950/

  19. Both also seem to be very unattractive (nohomo)

    any of the ladies or gays wish to chip in?

    Mind please do not consider their vast wealth or notoriety when assessing their attractiveness.

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