Following the news on Wednesday that Pope Francis was selected Time‘s person of the year despite speculation and, for some, hopes that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was the top pick, critics from around the world are blasting the magazine for snubbing Snowden in favor of the less controversial choice.
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The former Guardian journalist who has worked closely with Snowden to break the leaks, Glenn Greenwald, tweeted Wednesday:
To some, the nomination for the award, which goes to the person who had the most influence on the news throughout the year, should have clearly gone to Snowden, whose NSA leaks to the mainstream press sent shock-waves around the world and continue to produce major headlines on an almost daily basis.
As the Huffington Post reports:
Pope Francis, on many counts, has also had a widespread effect on the world since his selection in March. As the first pope from South America, Time claims he has changed the perception of the church and has pressed for “compassion over condemnation in dealing with touchy topics like abortion, gays and contraception,” as the Associated Press summarizes. The Pope has also spoken out against inequality and the global socioeconomic system that “is unjust at its root.”
Nonetheless, critics argue Snowden has had a far wider role in world news this year.
Peterson continues in a blog post at the Washington Post:
In a blog posted Wednesday titled “In Naming Its Man of the Year, Time Proves It Doesn’t Even READ the News” journalist and political commentator Marcy Wheeler notes that while Pope Francis is not a bad choice, Time‘s decision may actually stem from “either fear or ignorance about what Snowden actually revealed,” in which she claims the magazine downplays the vast scope of NSA surveillance revealed by Snowden in its write-up of him.
The Huffington Post also collected a series of Tweets similarly blasting the decision.