Time magazine’s person of the Year franchise started in 1927 under “Man of the Year.” After his historic solo flight over the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was the first to feature on the cover in 1928.
It was Adolf Hitler’s favor a decade after. In 1938, the magazine called Hitler “Man of the Year.”
Following that, controversy ensued — and continues to this day. “Never forget that Adolf Hitler was named TIME magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1938,” says the caption accompanying an Aug. 16 post featuring a photograph of Hitler. “Lesson learned: The mainstream media is NOT your friend.”
While it is true that Hitler was chosen as Time’s “Man of the Year” in 1938, this was not an honor. Indeed, much the reverse.
Time said in 2014 that the magazine’s selection criteria are “the person or individuals who have had the greatest impact on the news and our lives, for good or bad.” “Perhaps you might commit a crime against a nasty man every year and be justified.”
Over 14,000 people have shared the post. USA TODAY requested feedback from the user.
The choosing of a period was a censure, not an honor.
According to the Australian Associated Press, this report has made the rounds online since 2016.
As with the previous allegations, the current piece misunderstands the nature of Time’s selection, making any effort to draw inferences about the validity of Time or the media in general illogical. Time’s choice of the persons who have had the greatest influence on the news is not necessarily an honor.
In Time’s 1939 edition, Hitler is described as “the biggest menace that the democratic, freedom-loving globe confronts today.”
It said that Hitler’s acts “astonished civilized men and women” and that “the man most responsible for this great disaster is a melancholy, brooding, unassuming 49-year-old Austrian-born ascetic with a Charlie Chaplin moustache.”
Time remarked in a 2019 story on Hitler’s legacy that even the cover photo for the 1939 edition was not usual.
“He was shown as a little person facing away from the audience, playing a gigantic organ and spinning his slaughtered victims on a St. Catherine’s wheel.”
According to our study, the allegation that Hitler’s selection as Time’s “Man of the Year” demonstrates why the media “is not your buddy” is MISSING CONTEXT. According to Time, the preference standards are based on the person’s affect — positive or negative – on the news and lives of others. Hitler was picked in 1938 due to his ill effects.