Time 100′s fab list

Time magazine will celebrate its “Time 100” tonight in New York City, complete with the keynote from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Six athletes, four comedians, many politicians made the list, but one person stood out for many: Oprah didn’t make the list. The lady who is a network all by herself isn’t noteworthy enough for the list, but perhaps keeping her off says as much as including her would. Generally, Time‘s list is rather fleeting from year to year, noting the people who this year did something unusual or noteworthy. Last year, an actor from Glee made the list and the year before that Lady Gaga was on the cover.

Does the list measure real influence? Depends who you ask. And the profiles are a little strange, written by people who tend to have their own message to send. The profile of Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards says more about the author Sandra Fluke than it says about Richards.

Of the people Time did include, religion as a force for influence was barely included. Of course, the pieces could have mentioned Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Tim Tebow’s evangelicalism or Stephen Colbert’s Catholicism, but the list barely includes anyone who is mostly known for being religious. The notable except? New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who wrote on his blog:

While the only list I really think about is the scroll of heaven, I must admit appreciation at this selection, and being counted among such influential people. The only “influence” I might have comes from faith, prayer, family, friends, and the ones I serve.

Dolan, though, comes with a political twist. Here’s a portion of the entry by Jon Meacham:

Yet in 2012, this priest with a mien dating back half a century did something few other American Roman Catholic leaders have managed in recent times: he put himself and his church back in the center of the national political conversation, a public square long dominated by Protestant evangelicals.
In leading the opposition to a proposed Obama Administration rule that would have required Catholic organizations like hospitals to pay for contraceptive services for female employees, Dolan successfully argued that such a policy violated the nation’s principles of religious liberty.

Even Dolan’s profile has to have some sort of political angle for him to be included, it seems. Whether he leads an entire Catholic region in the U.S. seems irrelevant to the magazine.

A few professional athletes have noteworthy faith backgrounds. Even then, the profiles might not go too in depth on that angle. Arne Duncan’s profile of Jeremy Lin doesn’t touch on Lin’s faith, and Lin’s profile of Tebow touches briefly on religion:

He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out.

So who’s missing? Perhaps the Pope? The Dalai Lama, who just won the Templeton Prize? Please weigh in.

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  • http://cleansingfiredor.com/ Thinkling

    This list is a misnomer. It is not about influence. It is about popularity. Analyzing the list through the lens of influence would be a grave mistake.

    Case in point. Fr. Z, who I greatly respect and read every day, had petitions on his blog to go vote for Cardinal Dolan and against Cecile Richards. While I understand what his sentiment is, frankly this is absurd. I cannot imagine how any reasonably well informed person could not see that both Dolan and Richards are easily among the 100 most influential people in the US (indeed probably both in the top 20, where they actually ended up) and even the world.

    We can discuss who really are influential people not on the list, but let’s recognize the list really isn’t designed to portray influential people, as opposed to popular people. This list is the dead tree version of what’s trending on Twitter. Consider, if the list came one month later, Jeremy Lin would not have made the top 1000.

  • Sarah Pulliam Bailey

    Thinkling, you’re right, but Time is certainly pitching it as “the most influential” list. The headline: The 100 Most Influential People in the World

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    AS is usual when Obamacare and opposition to being coerced into being complicit in what the Church considers immoral activity, the story about Archbishop Dolan only mentions the Church’s opposition to contraception–not the Church’s opposition to doing surgical sterilizations in its hospitals and being providers of pills for abortion.
    I don’t think there is a conspiracy in the mainstream media, but most polls I have seen show the public far more on the Church’s side as far as its opposition to being coerced to become involved with surgeries and abortion pills whether directly physically involved or through corrupt finance schemes.
    But it seems like 90% of the stories on Catholic opposition to the mandates drop everything but the contraception part of the mandated coercion. Is that on purpose, I wonder????/

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    Terror hits New York!

    Jeremy Lin wrote the Tim Tebow blurb.

  • http://empirethebook.com Russell

    I have a dollar. When does Time go up for sale?