Drawing A Blank

January 5, 1952 — The Buffalo Evening News

The Mossadegh Project | January 14, 2022                    

After TIME chose its new “Man of the Year”, a Buffalo, New York newspaper offered this juvenile commentary.

Pipsqueak of the Year

Time Magazine, picking its “man of the year,” had to strain harder than usual to find the great exemplar of 1951. All the familiar headliners, it dismissed as not quite making the grade, at least not yet. Finally it settled on a weepy, fainty Iranian pipsqueak, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh. Why Mossadegh, the editors were at some labor to explain; apparently, it was a sort of default appointment by process of elimination. The excuse for putting him on the cover (aside from the fact that Time had to put something on it) was that he “oiled the wheels of chaos” in 1951. He was “man of the year” because he symbolized a new threat to world order, “the split between the West and non-Communist East.” At least, he has as good a claim to the Man of 1951 title as any, which is only another way of saying that there wasn’t really anybody worth singling out. That’s the trouble with these traditional picks: Once in a while you get a bad year, like 1951, when you have to puff up somebody rather than face the problem frankly—and print the cover blank.

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Related links:

Man of Year Choice Echoes 1951 Defeatism | Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4, 1952

TIME Readers Irate Over Mossadegh’s "Man of the Year" Title (Jan. 1952)

Joseph Stalin Should Have Been TIME’s 1951 Man of the Year | Schenectady Gazette (1952)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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