TIME Magazine contradicted the assertions of President Donald Trump that he was offered to be Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” but declined the offer. Trump tweeted that “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year. But I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” The magazine now claims that the account is false.
President Trump’s representation is quite detailed on there being a call to him, a heads up on his probable selection, a discussion of a photo shoot and interview, and his decision to turn it down. That is a lot of information and another person (as well as White House staff) involved in the alleged conversation.
However, Time tweeted in response that “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.” Then Alan Murray, chief content officer of Time Inc. directly contradicted the claim that Trump declined after being asked for a possible interview and photo shoot: “Amazing. Not a speck of truth here,” Murray tweeted Friday night.
An unofficial public poll by Time has Trump tied for third place at 5% of the vote for “Person of the Year.” Strangely, Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is ranked No. 1 with 21% of the vote.
Of course, Sarah Sanders is embroiled in her own “pie-gate” controversy. However, I see no serious basis for the claims that she used a stock photo and she has supplied an affidavit of types from a child. This is less charming and more worrisome as a story.
The statement of Time is obviously damaging but Trump should be able to, at a minimum, produce call logs showing a call from Time and the identity of the person calling. At the moment, all we know is that someone is openly lying. If this call was made by anyone associated with Time (and the President has a very specific recollection), this would be a shocking example of a hostile media effort to discredit Trump. Time has a duty of due diligence to confirm whether a call was made before such a public denial by Murray. Murray is clearly denying the entirety of the tweet, including the call to Trump. Conversely, if no call was made, the President would appear virtually delusional. Either way, it would be good for the public to know the truth. While the subject matter may be trivial, the public misrepresentation is not and it would be good for the public to know whether the media or the President is lying to them.