Sunday, December 17, 2006

TIME's Person of the Year: Me!

The verdict is in. TIME magazine's person of the year is me. And you. And you, and you, and you, and you...those who produce and consume online media content.

My first thought was that this was a lame stunt to reinvigorate the public's interest in print media. And it may be just many people who ordinarily wouldn't buy TIME magazine will run out and buy a copy just to clip that cover and frame it as a gag gift for someone? But the notion isn't completely without merit.

Those who underestimate the power of the "new media" do so at their own peril. Just ask Dan Rather. CBS's nightly news kingpin was brought low by Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs when Johnson found that the Texas Air National Guard memos were modern-day fakes.

Or ask Reuters, whose credibility still suffers over Photoshopped news pictures which became known throughout the blogosphere as the "fauxtography" scandal. This was another insurrection led by Johnson at LGF.

Most recently, there's the Associated Press's "Jamil-gate" broken by Curt at Flopping Aces. The jury is still out on this one, but Curt seems to have caught AP either (a) fabricating a source for the more horrific allegations of sectarian atrocities in Iraq or (b) acting as a willing dupe for a Sunni terrorist posing as a cop. Rather than publicly authenticating their source, AP has dug in their heels and sneered derisively at Curt and other bloggers as "mad rabble".

Of course, TIME felt the need to be inclusive and cover everybody with a keyboard. The real person of the year should be the "Mad Rabble".

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