President Donald Trump vexed many of his critics with a tweet claiming that he rejected “probably” winning TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year 2017 award. Trump, who won the accolade in 2016, is now on the receiving end of ridicule and outrage.
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
TIME Magazine denied Trump’s assertion Friday that the publication called him to tell him he was, in all caps, “PROBABLY” going to be bestowed the annual honor of Person of the Year for the second time in a row.
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
Whatever measure of truth or falsity Trump’s tweet had, the redeeming value for the president in these situations seems to lie in the reactions across social media and TV coverage. TIME’s Person of the Year quickly became a top trend on Twitter. Trump's fans tweeted lavishing adoration, while those against him spewed venom.
Some in the media sought to get all the facts straight. Others simply altered Trump’s style as their own, in more obviously sarcastic bromides.
Time magazine also called me to say I was going to be person of the year but I was busy that day too
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) November 24, 2017
FYI, I, too, have turned down being this year’s Time Person of the Year – who needs the hassle?
— Michael Li (@mcpli) November 25, 2017
Still, other NeverTrump personalities took the president’s tweet as an opportunity to bring up RussiaGate or praise special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump’s perceived arch-nemesis.
I don’t know who’ll be Time’s 2017 Person of the Year, but I must say it would be nice if Robert Mueller turns out to be Time’s 2018 Person of the Year.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 25, 2017
TIME completed a photoshoot with Trump in November last year, and announced him as Person of the Year in the first week of December. The magazine’s process for selecting a winning candidate is relatively secret, but there is an online poll that is currently active.
Trump is presently tied in second place in the TIME Person of the Year poll, but so are two other contenders, and they each have only 5 percent. The only aspirant with any substantial voter support appears to be Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with 21 percent.
Behind Trump were “the Dreamers,” illegal immigrants brought to the US as children, the hashtag #MeToo, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, singer Taylor Swift, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Other names garnered 4 percent or less at the time of writing.