According to Glenn Greenwald, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year award is a “meaningless award from a meaningless magazine,” however he does believe that they should have chosen Edward Snowden for the meaningless award in the meaningless magazine.
In an email to TPM, Greenwald, who has reported extensively on the National Security Agency’s top secret surveillance programs revealed by Snowden, said that the selection was motivated by Time’s desire to be “relevant” — if only for a moment.
“But for the reasons which the New Yorker’s John Cassidy, the New York Times’ Margaret Sullivan, and the Washington Post’s Andrea Peterson all stated, Snowden is clearly, by far, the person who has most influenced this year’s news events. If it were a serious magazine with minimally brave editors, then of course Snowden would have been chosen, but I never expected him to be precisely because that’s not what TIME is.”
And if they had chosen Edward Snowden, Time Magazine would be revered as a serious magazine with serious editors, so sayeth Glenn Greenwald. But since they didn’t, it’s a meaningless rag. Obviously.
They may have chosen Pope Francis rather than Edward Snowden because Pope Francis could potentially change the lives of people worldwide and permanently alter the face of the church while Edward Snowden hasn’t change anyone’s life. Snowden hasn’t even changed policy unless you count a deepening of secrecy inside the intelligence community and loud noises made during congressional hearings that lead nowhere because Congress was already aware of current policy.
Edward Snowden is a treasonous tool with delusions of grandeur who, after being employed by the intelligence community for years, suddenly had a change of heart (after President Obama was reelected) and stole sensitive national security documents. Through his exploits, he handed a PR victory to foreign powers. He betrayed his colleagues, his family, his girlfriend, his country, and his employer. His flight of fancy has also cost American businesses billions of dollars.
Snowden’s legacy amounts to a Summer of excellent page views for The Guardian, a wealth of fan fiction, a boon for adversarial intelligence agencies, and Glenn Greenwald’s meal-ticket. He’ll barely register in the margins of history while Pope Francis could leave a permanent mark.
The Vatican still has a long way to go, but I don’t view this as even being a contest. Snowden wouldn’t even register on my short-list of considerations.
We can all read more about the true Person of the Year, Saint Edward Snowden, when Greenwald’s new “journalism” venture launches. It promises to be a biased, all-you-can-eat paranoid shitheap paralleled only by the echo chambers of Fox News.