I want to be the first to commend Time Magazine for coming clean on this issue. While most current publications and networks continue their wimpy sniveling, claiming to be "moderate" in their views, Time showed its true colors in the "Top 100 Most Influential People" feature today.
You will find people of real influence. There's Justin Timberlake. Ask most people about this bastion of American Excellence, and you will get an answer that includes the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" and a reference to The Super Bowl and Janet Jackson. And then, of course, there's Rosie O'Donnell. My, how my life has been influenced by her. So much so, that I won't even watch "The Flintstones" anymore -- in any form -- because she once played Betty Rubble.
Talk about influence. Every night, before I go to bed, I pray that Angelina Jolie will make the right decisions that determine my own national security, the price of gasoline, and the availability of health care in my local community.
Let's not forget Al Gore. He made the list under the heading "Scientists and Thinkers." No doubt the man is an accomplished scientist; after all, he invented the Internet. But thinker? He still thinks he won the 2000 presidential election, and he didn't even win his home state. Not many candidates can say that.
Now, let's see who did not qualify. How about George W. Bush? That's right. The President of the United States did not make the top 100. Never mind that he can, with the stroke of a pen, veto something by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barak Obama, or Hilary Clinton (they are all on the list), or send Osama Bin Ladin into hiding in a cave somewhere (OBL is on the list, too), I guess he just doesn't have any clout. Maybe it's because the office of president is merely ceremonial, just a figurehead, and the more important issues are handled by congress. No, wait a minute, that can't be it. Queen Elizabeth made the list, and that's all she is. Maybe it's because his Dad was president before him, and Time doesn't feel that relatives of national leaders should qualify. Oops, forget that as well. Raúl Castro is on the list.
Maybe it's because they left off the purveyors of inflammatory party rhetoric. Nope. George Soros made the list. Maybe the people of the U.S. didn't want Bush on the list. That can't be it, either. In Time's listing of popular vote, we see George Bush comfortably in the top 100, but then again, maybe Time, thinking about poor Al the Thinker, wanted to let George see how it feels to win the popular vote and still not "get in."
Seriously, the list is a sad one. Oh, there are some people who deserve to be there, all right. Love her or hate her, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be on the list, since she will be in history books as the first female Speaker of the House. Condoleeza Rice is there, as well. But the list is sadly overbalanced with entertainers, athletes (is soccer really a sport?), actors and pretenders (George Clooney is there), and rock stars. It sends a message to the world: America is by far the biggest consumer in the world. We expect and think we deserve to be fed, filled, and entertained. If one of those fields is lacking, we expect to be subsidized. Do you know why nothing you buy at Wal Mart is "Made in America" anymore (that buzzing sound is Sam Walton spinning in his grave)? Because the rest of the world is kept busy making things for us to consume and throw away. We import everything. It takes the other 6 billion people in the world, working in manufacturing, just to keep up with the Black Hole that is America.
And we only have three exports: Politics, Sports, and Entertainment. I remember a few years back, living on the coast of South America. They had no Dr. Pepper or Dial soap, no USA Today or Snickers Bars. But they all knew who Michael Jordan was. I could walk the streets and hear Madonna singing "Daddy, Don't Preach" to uncomprehending ears (except mine). When the President of Peru decided to clean up congress and threw out the whole corrupt bunch (he was a good president, even though he himself had been made in Japan), the US thought it necessary to denounce the infringement of democracy in Peru. Anyone who has lived in Latin America knows that when God made automobiles and democracies, He did not have Latin Americans in mind. We go around the world trying to impose our narrow political viewpoint on countries who have neither the cultural nor the spiritual background that is a necessary seedbed for the processes of government that we have in our own country.
But back to Time. No hem-hawing on their part. They showed just how liberal and left-leaning they are. I am not a fan of Bill Clinton, but when he was president, in spite of his many flaws, I would never have been stupid enough to say that he did not deserve to be in the Top 100 Most Influential people in the world. He was President of the United States! Come on!
To the people at Time: we know you hate Bush. But your snub was childish and ill-advised. You don't have to like him to recognize his influence. Your idiocy was showing when you omitted him. If the blogged responses to your list are any indication, you obviously are tired of publishing a magazine, and hoping it will silently go away. But you have your pride. We know of your left leanings, of your sympathy for extreme causes. And you weren't afraid to admit it. I hope that major networks and other major publications will come clean as you did, and quit pretending to be "objective." You have helped us all.