US President Donald Trump has said that he turned down the opportunity to be Time Magazines ‘Person of the Year’ for the second year running, not wanting to have to partake in a photoshoot and lengthy interview for the magazine.
On Friday evening Trump tweeted “PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year’ like last year” and that it was his choice not to participate finishing with “Thanks anyway!” This continues Trump’s well-known self-image and was quick to be shut down following the tweet on Friday.
A former Time magazine editor, Richard Stengel, replied to Trump’s tweet by saying that the fact that he was able to turn it down means that the magazine more likely just wanted an interview and photoshoot with the president as opposed to actually being in the running for the award. This was followed up with a statement regarding Trump’s eagerness to display his own success with Stengel saying that he was sure Trump would have one of his fake TIME covers somewhere in storage
Time also came out to say that they disputed the President’s claim and that he was wrong in regards to how they choose ‘Person of the Year’. The magazine stated that they do not disclose the winner until publication. The contenders for Time Magazines 2017 ‘Person of the Year’ includes; American football player Colin Kaepernick, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and women who have shared their stories of sexual harassment or assault through the hashtag #MeToo amongst others.
Trump has long had a fascination of having his face on magazine covers, especially Time, having compared himself to a supermodel, only ten times bigger. His arrogant demeanor is further emphasized by the use of many fake covers displayed throughout his clubs, mixed in with the real ones.
In 2016, Trump was in fact named the Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ narrowly beating Hillary Clinton, singer Beyoncé, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage. This victory was followed with a speech that further highlighted his success stating that he had been lucky enough to be on the cover many times throughout the year and last year.
The façade of modesty displayed in the speech was likely in response his near miss in the previous year in losing out to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who at the time was being accredited with her success in opening Germany to thousands of refugees and managing Europe’s debt crisis. This was followed by an attack on the Magazine saying that he knew they wouldn’t crown him ‘Person of the Year’ despite being the favourite an instead picked the person (Angele Merkel) “who is ruining Germany”.
Trump’s claim is almost certainly just another attempt to maintain media focus as his presidency continues to take shape. The property developer isn’t shy of the camera and knows full well just how much the media desire an interview with him at any stage, only increasing since becoming president.