Greta Thunberg rests her chin in her hand and raises an eyebrow during a press conference
Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg gestures during a press conference ‘with Fridays For Future movement’ at the COP25 Climate Conference on December 09, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. The COP25 conference brings together world leaders, climate activists, NGOs, indigenous people and others for two weeks in an effort to focus global policy makers on concrete steps for heading off a further rise in global temperatures. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Let’s All Revel in the Rightwing Outrage Over Greta Thunberg Being Named TIME’s Person of the Year

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If there’s one guarantee around TIME’s Person of the Year, it’s that no matter who the magazine chooses, it’s bound to upset a lot of people. Despite the fact that the title is based on impact, not honor, dubbing someone “person of the year” still reads to most people as an endorsement.

The magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019 is Greta Thunberg, a choice that has sent all the worst people spiraling into major tantrum territory.

Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted about Thunberg yet (Update: Yes he has), but it’s hard to imagine he’s not fuming. Not only has he publicly mocked the young climate activist in the recent past, but he has a long history of being obsessed with TIME Magazine. He famously hung fake TIME covers featuring himself in his golf clubs. In 2012, he tweeted “I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100.” In 2013, when he wasn’t on that list again, he called it “a joke and stunt of a magazine.” In 2015, when Angela Merkel was picked, he tweeted, “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany.” In 2016, he actually was named Person of the Year but by 2017, he was back to pouting about it.

Before Trump the elder got around to commenting on Thunberg, his dopey son was more than eager to pick up the slack.

The Hong Kong protesters were on TIME’s shortlist and clearly, theirs is a cause that means a lot to Trump Jr. Just kidding, these are literally his only two tweets about Hong Kong since the protests started:

Two tweets from Donald Trump Jr. sharing articles about Hong Kong protests.

image: screenshot

He’s expressed even less support for the protesters than his father, who has said next to nothing on the issue.

Trump Jr. isn’t the only person ranting about TIME’s Thunberg pick. It’s a big day for terrible people sharing their garbage opinions online.

Former Trump aide Seb Gorka retweeted this one:

For the record, Thunberg is only the fifth individual woman or girl to be named person of the year in the 90-plus-year history of the title. But concern trolls are gonna troll, no matter what.

Whether or not you agree with this one magazine’s ultimately arbitrary assessment that Thunberg and what she represents deserve this recognition–and she herself notably does not!–there are plenty of ways to express that that don’t involve being a belligerent jerk to a teenager.

(image: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.