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INFLUENCING WHOM?

A summary of views, commentary and sometimes comedy compiled by The Harvard Crimson editorial staff.

By Tom Cotton

"Influence is not so easy to come by...these are people who have accomplished something subtle and difficult." So proclaims Time magazine in announcing their selections for the most influential Americans of 1997. What exactly is the "subtle and difficult" thing these men and women have accomplished? Nothing more substantial than winning the hearts of Time's editors.

Who cares what Time thinks anyway? There is no difference between the decisions of Time's editors and the decisions any group of Harvard students could make around dinner. Well, Time does have a magazine with worldwide circulation, but that makes their presumptuousness even worse. To think that their opinions about twenty-five people merit this kind of attention is simply a collective power trip.

Actually, there is a logical and economical reason behind last week's edition. The lemmings in the rest of the media (especially the producers of television newsmagazines) give the edition enormous hype. Time plays it up in preceding magazines. Along with this increase in exposure, Time gets a big bump in purchases, even though NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

Time should stick to reporting the news, not passing off their own heroes as America's most "influential."

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