It appears that the premise of the meme that opens this post and the premise upon which I wrote this post is a fallacious one. According to the YouTube video below, CNN never made Greta Thunberg a panelist on their coronavirus town hall program.
As it turns out, CNN often uses celebrities and important figures in promotional material for its upcoming programs that speak to the themes to be represented, but those celebrities and important people are not necessarily slated to appear. This is apparently the case with Greta Thunberg.
That said, the point of my post still stands despite this. People have the choice to tune in or tune out of a given network’s content. However, I wanted to set the record straight here with my readers and correct the error of compounding the fallacious premise of the meme by writing about it within the fallacious context the meme is propagating.
The original, unedited post is below:
To say that 17 year old climate change activist, Greta Thunberg receives outsized media attention is an understatement. She is as well-known around the western world as any celebrity.
The meme that opens this post is one of many critiques on social media concerning Thunberg’s selection to sit on CNN’s scheduled Coronavirus Town Hall, ostensibly as an “expert”.
Thunberg sitting on a climate change panel would be specious enough, but given her claim to fame and her activism in that area, it would make at least a little sense. Her selection to sit on the CNN coronavirus panel is not only specious, but ludicrously incomprehensible.
At least on the surface…
While I realize that the above meme is making a partisan political statement (a right-leaning one in this case), unlike most political memes that I typically enjoy deconstructing, there is a great deal of truth in the fact that while Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is a Republican (who claims to be libertarian) politician, he is also a licensed physician who actually contracted and recovered from COVID-19 and is far, far more qualified than most people on the planet to be on CNN’s panel, and certainly more qualified than a 17 year old climate change activist from Sweden.
However, there is a reason that partisans are overlooking due to their ideological blindness…
Greta Thunberg is on the CNN panel to discuss and highlight the positive environmental effects the world is witnessing thanks to worldwide stay-at-home, quarantine measures.
To be fair to right-wing critics, a 17 year old girl being considered an expert in anything is stretching the term “expert” to its limits.
However, to be fair to CNN and left-wing supporters of Greta Thunberg, she is an extraordinary child who, with the help of loving parents, overcame Asperger syndrome, selective mutism, and obsessive compulsive disorder to speak out plainly, articulately, and powerfully on climate change after reading about it extensively and wanting to do something about it. People tend to admire people who speak what they perceive to be “truth to power”, especially when it is someone so young doing the speaking.
Critics of Thunberg are not necessarily out of line by pointing out that her parents are likely the driving force behind her opinions and because she fits all the right aesthetics, Thunberg is the kind of sympathetic spokesperson that the media likes to promote. It’s difficult for critics to attack her without it looking like they are attacking a child while having no coherent counter to her arguments.
All of the above said, it is not as absurd as it might appear for CNN to put her on the Coronavirus Town Hall panel.
Is CNN servicing an agenda?
But then CNN is perceived as a left-wing, progressive network. Ergo, no one should be surprised by the makeup of their panel. Including inserting Greta Thunberg into the mix.
Fox News could always invite Senator Paul to be part a coronavirus panel on one of their programs. After all, it’s a free country.
There are a lot of things to criticize CNN or any network for, but people really should think before they post political memes. Political memes are almost always meant to engender emotions, not promote critical thinking.
End note: my next blog post will address what Anderson Cooper touched on in the YouTube video…
-The Rational Ram