Time Magazine has yet to announce who 2017’s Person of the Year will be, but President Trump wants you to think it was probably going to be him — except he turned the magazine 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 is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Time Magazine, however, is now essentially saying that never happened. “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” Time said in a tweet three hours after Trump’s. “TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
Time’s Person of the Year is someone deemed to have had the most significant impact on current events over the last year (and not, per common misunderstanding, a statement of approval for the named person). While the magazine’s editorial board selects Person of the Year, since 1998 it has also held an online reader poll; this year’s poll remains open until Dec. 3.
Suffice to say, social media users were extremely skeptical of Trump’s statement long before Time Magazine weighed in, with many tweeting what amounts to “yeah, sure buddy” again and again. Read on for a sampling.
You don't know Donald Trump's girlfriend, she lives in Canada. https://t.co/SqZzC7BdDo
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) November 24, 2017
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year” but I would have to agree to crawl out of my own ass. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— talia jane (@jack loves white supremacy & nazis) (@itsa_talia) November 24, 2017
"you know the only reason i'm not going to that party tonight is i have to hang out with my hot girlfriend. she, uh, goes to a different school." https://t.co/PLg9i75cK0
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) November 24, 2017
Great another sexual predator publicly masturbating. pic.twitter.com/Szhkkf0bQD
— Brohibition Now (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 24, 2017
— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) November 24, 2017
i had a friend in 3rd grade who used to say he had special Star Wars figures that weren't sold in stores. every time i asked him to bring them to school he always said he forgot them at home. https://t.co/FZ2GktqWPj
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 24, 2017
Idris Elba called to say he would probably agree to date me but I said probably is no good and took a pass! https://t.co/27rU6ARYf7
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) November 24, 2017
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
Still others pointed out that the idea Time would not allow him to be POTY unless he did a photo shoot and interview has no historical precedent. In fact, when Angela Merkel was named POTY the year before Trump, she did neither:
In 2015, much to Trump’s chagrin, Time named Angela Merkel the Person of the Year. Merkel didn’t grant an interview or photo shoot. This suggests, contra Trump, the title isn’t dependent on an interview/photo shoot pic.twitter.com/2X4M2Ebcnb
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 25, 2017
Incidentally, here’s how Trump reacted to not being selected as Person of the Year in 2015.
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
If Trump ends up being 2017’s Person of the Year, he’ll be only the second person to be named two years in a row. The first was Richard Nixon, who was POTY in 1971, and then shared the distinction with his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972. We’ll have to wait until Dec. 6 to find out if Trump will get his first chance to follow in Nixon’s footsteps.