Eric Alterman, among my favorite liberals, wrote a great piece discussing the special issue of Time Magazine in which it names the 100 most influential people in the world and then throws a party to celebrate how special it makes everybody feel to be part of it.


Note from the Queen:  Such events were described by Daniel J. Boorstin in his book, THE IMAGE, as pseudo events in America. They are actually a form of propaganda. According to Boorstin, pseudo events stem from our extravagant expectations concerning the amount of novelty in the world.  There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark: “How dull is the world today!”   Nowadays that reader would say:  ”What a dull newspaper.”  Thus it has become journalism’s role to feed our extravagant expectations and create novelty where there is none.  The Time Magazine issue and party are two such examples of pseudo events.  At least this is Boorstin’s theory on why some of the propaganda  is created and thrown in our faces–we demand it and thus it is cranked out for our entertainment and to feed our extravagant expectations for “news.”


Alterman wrote about last year’s issue, focusing on the oddity in particular of inviting Ted Nugent to lie on behalf of Sarah Palin: “But even the adoring profiles that did not lie—or were not written by lunatics—still enjoyed zero journalistic value, and were useful or significant only to the people who got to put framed copies of their alleged wonderfulness on the walls of their studies.”

This year’s equivalent of Ted Nugent snuggling up to Sarah Palin was LOL Michele Bachmann. And the writer to take a good, hard journalistic accounting of her strengths and weaknesses?  Rush Limbaugh.

Rush doesn’t mind admitting that he is “a great admirer of Michele Bachmann’s,” as she is “a strong spokeswoman for unapologetic conservatism. She is neither extreme nor unreasonable, which is why her philosophy has resonated with grassroots conservatives.” Problem is, says El Rushbo, that “she’s conservative. So because she is smart, talented and accomplished and a natural leader—not to mention attractive—the left brands her as a flame-throwing lightweight.”

Alterman took some very effective whacks at Bachmann by pointing out the truth:  ”She thinks the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery. She thinks slaves came to America because they were “risk takers … people that wanted a better life and were willing to do what it took to get it.” She thinks something called the “Hoot-Smalley Tariff,” allegedly passed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, caused the Depression.”   Then, in conclusion, Alterman point out that : “The fact that Time had to go all the way to Limbaugh to get someone to say nice things about her is perhaps significant.”


Liz Berry

Liz Berry