Time's Controversial Influential for 2019

Last week Time released “Time 100: Most Influential People of 2019”. On that list were Sandra Oh, Taylor Swift, Lebron James, Mitch McConnell, and countless others. Making headlines and highlighting controversy are the listings of Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

In September of 2018, controversy broke out after President Trump announced his nomination for Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Shortly after his nomination, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California came to the media with a story that to most is all too familiar. In their teenage years, Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted Ford. As she states, she felt compelled to say something about the character of someone nominated for such a high position. Despite the controversy, Kavanaugh was inducted onto the court.

Since that controversy, many have written pieces commending Dr. Ford on her bravery and her story. Interestingly enough, Time wrote an excellent piece that cemented and documented the timeline of that fall very well.

As an avid news reader, an intersectional feminist and someone who surrounds myself with others who have similar views, my timelines, newsfeeds and sidebar search views have been filling up with articles about the “Time 100” article and various thoughts on the fact that both Ford and Kavanaugh were listed and the way in which they were listed.

For me, I am struggling. I am angered, tired and sad that women keep coming forward with their stories and we keep responding as a society with, “we believe you”, but it always seems to follow with, “we believe you…..just not enough to do anything.”  

I do not blame Time for their listing of Brett Kavanaugh. If you look on that list- especially on the politics list- there are many names and figures that I believe most people would have a gripe about. Many that if our kids asked about them in the future we would just cringe and say, “eh, yeah not the greatest.”

But the fact that Time allowed Mitch McConnell to write the blurb that is under Kavanaugh’s name is infuriating to me. At first, I thought, “well Time is being unbiased and really highlighting that this was significant for the United States.” And then I realized that McConnell wrote what was said under his name: “special interest sought to distract the Senate”. The inside of me flamed.

Yes, I agree that he is an influential figure for the year. Yes, I agree that Time has due diligence to add him because it is a noteworthy issue. But the fact that they have someone write about him who was a supporter is mindblowing.

To me, Kavanaugh is an influential character in that he is a prime example of why women don’t speak up. Because even when they do, it shows that time and again, “we believe you…..just not enough.”

I am utterly disturbed that Time decided to put these two people on their lists in the journalistic format that they did. In an era, where true, unbiased news reporting is sparse and hard to come by I would hope that Time would be held to a greater standard as a source that documents our culture and society in time periods.