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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Chooses Putin as Person of the Year 2007

Seems that dismantling a free press and gutting democracy can be a very effective strategy for impressing Time Magazine.


Matthew said...

Time's Person of the Year has often been a dubious choice (remember when "You" won the award?). Putin certainly warrants attention...but who has been in the headlines, day after day, over one thing or another, more than Hillary Clinton? Certainly Time would be wary of chosing her, and having it be seen as a tacit endorsement from a conservative magazine. But I can't think of anyone that has gotten talked about more around the water cooler, who isn't a careening bimbo-sack of drugs and alcohol like Paris, Britney, or Lindsay. She forces everybody, from the President to the ladies in my Mom's church choir, to have an opinion on her as a given circumstance of living in this world. The same can certainly not be said of Putin.

david d. said...

I think Matthew makes a strong case for Hilary as the better choice.

Personally, I think Putin clinched it when he did those rustic, bare chest photos. I'll bet people at Time use those as their desktop wallpaper.

Anonymous said...

Another view of Putin from Mike Whitney at Counterpunch.

The whole thing can be read at:


Vladamir Putin is arguably the most popular leader in Russian history, although you'd never know it by reading the western media. According to a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Putin's personal approval rating in November 2007 was 85 per cent, making him the most popular head of state in the world today. Putin's popularity derives from many factors. He is personally clever and charismatic. He is fiercely nationalistic and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary Russians and restore the country to its former greatness. He has raised over 20 million Russians out of grinding poverty, improved education, health care and the pension system, (partially) nationalized critical industries, lowered unemployment, increased manufacturing and exports, invigorated Russian markets, strengthened the ruble, raised the overall standard of living, reduced government corruption, jailed or exiled the venal oligarchs, and amassed capital reserves of $450 billion.

Russia is no longer up for grabs like it was after the fall of the Soviet Union. Putin put an end to all of that. He reasserted control over the country's vast resources and he's using them to improve the lives of his own people. This is a real departure from the 1990s, when the drunken Yeltsin steered Russia into economic disaster by following Washington's neoliberal edicts and by selling Russia's Crown Jewels to the vulturous oligarchs. Putin put Russia's house back in order; stabilized the ruble, strengthened economic/military alliances in the region, and removed the corporate gangsters who had stolen Russia's national assets for pennies on the dollar. The oligarchs are now all either in jail or have fled the country. Russia is no longer for sale.

Freeman said...

Thanks Anonymous! I'm glad to know that large corporate interests are now being left out of Russia's political machinations. I mean, besides oil.

Mac said...

What is Person of the Year for, exactly? I've never read a Time POTY writeup. I've occasionally been told by people that it's not intended to be an award but more a citation of the person who most affected the world in a particular year, for good or ill. Does anyone know if that's true?

isaac said...

actually, to be a little bit NERD ALERT here... Time's person of the year award is meant to be for whomever they feel impacted the news the most. It's an amoral prize. Both Hitler and Stalin were Man of the Year back when they called it that (Stalin was MOTY twice!).

I'm no fan of Vladimir Putin, but it's important to remember that the gutting of Russian democracy happened under Yeltsin (with our blessing) and continued under Putin (without it).