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So, people are sending me @andersoncooper taking the Blue Checks to task for thinking CNN had Greta Thunberg on as an expert. I am one of the people who griped, and since Anderson was nice enough to have me on his show once, I'll explain why I thought this (fwiw). /1
First, I think anything involving Greta in a public forum is basically exploitative, but that's my personal bias. I've explained why before. So, I was predisposed to roll my eyes. But the ad was three public health experts and a teenager. It sure looked like a panel. /2
Yes, there were other CNN panels, with celebrities. I honestly didn't notice them. I also would not recognize Alicia Keys if she walked into my living room. But most of them looked like "here's four celebrities." This was "here's two MDs, a former HHS Sec, and Greta." /3
But more to the point, Greta's thing is lecturing. (She says "I just tell people to listen to science," but yelling HOW DARE YOU at the UN isn't really that.) She's an activist, as she even calls herself. So, when she's on a panel, I figure it's her doing her thing. /4
Turns out she's there to bring attention to UNICEF, and no one can object to that. But for those of us who think the whole Greta phenomenon is bad for expertise and bad for public debate, it wasn't crazy to see that ad and think: Here we go again. /5
That doesn't excuse Don Jr and the rest of the troll army, but I think for those of us who have a different (and, I would argue, more principled) objection to child-activists, I think it's an understandable reaction to an ad that sure looked like an expert panel. /6x
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