You don’t need to be a complete cynic to be unsurprised by the announcement this morning that St. Greta of Thunberg is Time magazine’s Person of the Year. You knew it was going to be her a few days ago when the five finalists were leaked out. The five were President Trump, Nancy Pelosi (snore. . .), the “whistleblower” (seriously?), and the Hong Kong protesters, and St. Greta. The Hong Kong protesters are problematic from Time‘s point of view, because Time is no doubt ambivalent about being perceived as being critical of China’s authoritarianism that otherwise appeals to them, and besides if we’re going to recognize anti-government protests, it would be awkward to omit the “yellow vest” protesters in France, going on now as vigorously as ever for more than a year. But how can you be against France’s government? Their president is so dreamy and handsome and couth, unlike our Bad Orange Man. “Quelle horreur!”
So St. Greta it is. The media is so self-unaware that it cannot conceive that the whole St. Greta phenomenon represents the nadir of the climate crusade. After all, if a Nobel Prize and Academy Award for Al Gore didn’t do the trick, what makes anyone think a 16-year old Swedish girl will cause everyone to sit up and say, “Well, I guess I better buy a Prius now!”
I’m still awaiting a media story that discloses the massive and organized PR operation behind St. Greta. You don’t really think she emerged spontaneously? Who pays for the travel of her retinue, for her hotel rooms and meals, and organizing the public events and other moveable feasts where she appears? I suspect she and her parents (reportedly leftist artists and actors of one kind or another) are banking some nice coin on this whole scene.
St. Greta can look forward to a great future. In fact, I predict if she keeps this up, she’ll have a shot at marking more appearances on CNN than Michael Avenatti—the media’s last great celebrity hero who they championed not for actual newsworthiness, but because he was a perfect ventriloquist dummy for the narrative they want to promote.
Here’s who ought to have been Time‘s person of the year:
Yes, I know, many of you are asking: Time is still a thing? Not for much longer if they are this unserious and patronizing.
UPDATE—Here are a couple other more worthy Person of the Year candidates: