As if by clockwork, president Trump has once again managed to dominated the holiday weekend news cycle, with a strategically timed, Friday afternoon tweet, in which he claimed that Time called to tell him that he was “probably” going to be named the magazine’s person of the year, but that he turned the offer down.
“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 no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” the president tweeted.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Less than three hours later, Time disputed the President’s narrative, effectively calling Trump a liar: “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,” Time responded in a tweet that got approximately three times as many likes and retweets as Trump’s.
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.
— TIME (@TIME) November 25, 2017
It is unclear why the president would (should) have a chip on his shoulder: last year, Trump was named Time’s 2016 Person of the Year, shortly after his shocking victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
However, that accolade has done little to normalize relations between the president and the publication: Trump has repeaetedly and publicly derided Time for not being selected in recent years.
“Thank you @oreillyfactor for your wonderful editorial as to why I should have been @TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. You should run Time!” Trump tweeted in December 2015.
Similarly in December 2012, Trump tweeted,” I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100… ”
There appears to be a somewhat unhealthy infatuation between Trump and Time’s opinion of him: in June, the WaPo reported that at least four Trump Organization golf properties had on display a fake Time Magazine with Trump on the cover and featuring flattering headlines about his reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”
Trump also claimed previously, and incorrectly, that he holds the record for cover appearances on Time Magazine.
Speaking to the BBC, a former editor of the magazine, Richard Stengel, said the use of the word “probably” meant Mr Trump had missed out on the accolade. Richard Stengel referenced the report when he retweeted the president on Friday, adding the comment: “Hate to tell you but that probably means you’re not Person of the Year. They just wanted a photo shoot. But I’m sure you still have that fake Time cover somewhere in storage.”
Hate to tell you but that PROBABLY means you’re NOT Person of the Year. They just wanted a photo shoot. But I’m sure you still have that fake TIME cover somewhere in storage. https://t.co/HkW1XkKxXK
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) November 24, 2017
Which likely means that Time’s Person of the Year 2017 is, for now, wide open… unless of course Time goes the GQ route and gives it to Kaepernick.