Green Issues Are the Place to Be

     The answer to the old riddle “What’s black and white and read all over?” is a newspaper. The new riddle is “What’s black and white and green all over?”


     Now it’s a magazine.


     On newsstands today, you can find enough “green issues” to satisfy even the most eco-illogical. There are special editions or cover stories from Vanity Fair, Fortune, the Atlantic and Glamour. Others like Time, Newsweek, Motto, Cookie, Outside and Domino already chimed in – attacking business, urging new regulations and generally adding “-ist” to the concept of social responsibility. Sports Illustrated even gives us the business of sports in a warming world.


     Sports Illustrated? Is a cover photo of Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis hip-deep in water an eco-statement, or does it imply the franchise is headed underwater for the 2007 season? Liberals can now blame the famous SI curse for dumping cold water in the form of snow on so many spring global warming events.


     Elle’s green issue comes out soon – probably complete with beauty tips, just like Glamour’s “woman’s guide to saving the planet.” BusinessWeek went green in January. The Week goes au naturel on April 20, just two days before Earth Day.


     Or is it The Week after the national global warming Step It Up 2007 events? Left-wing protesters hold hundreds of mini-rallies demanding Congress act on global warming, and most shiver in their Birkenstocks under April cold.


     These magazines could be foreshadowing July 15’s “International Day of Direct Action for Climate Justice, against Climate Change and the G8!” That event doesn’t need a slogan; it doesn’t have room for one. It’s just anti-corporate spin more reminiscent of the losing side of the Cold War than global warming. And another of what seems like hundreds of left-wing events and protests painted green by adoring journalists.


     And when it comes to the magazines, only a few titles are pretending to be green themselves, making lame attempts at recycling to save trees. But they pile on mountains of intrusive ideas about how everyone else should change. Big government? Who cares as long as it’s the Green Menace and “evil” corporations suffer.


     As penance for our “250-year industrial bacchanal,” Time devotes 44 pages of its April 9 edition to get us to stop eating steak, change our lightbulbs, make only fuel-efficient right turns, ride the bus and pay lots of taxes. It’s no longer a magazine. It’s a green Mary Poppins.


     Glamour buries its recommendations amidst ways to get “amazing hair” and “a flatter belly.” At the same time, it tells readers about women confessing their “crazy, naughty, surprisingly normal” sex fantasies. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the hot topic Al Gore has in mind when he talks about warming.


     Glamour’s“10 easiest things you can do to help the planet” are part of more than 50 ways to help the planet or attack industry, whichever comes first. The magazine urges dropping “toxic” household cleaners, eating only locally grown food and buying organic jeans. Newsweek provides a mere 12 ideas. And Time has 51. Together that’s more than two per week to save Earth, and each one is more left-wing than before.


     Ironically, the magazines are more designed to make green than save it. Fortune has a 10-page special advertising feature. Newsweek, Time and others turn thoughts of “climate change” into “climate dollars” with environmentally friendly ads while advocating a return to Big government-style socialism flush with our tax dollars.


     Vanity Fair has more green issues than all the other magazines combined. The May “Green Issue” showcases actor Leonardo DiCaprio with polar bear superstar Knut – putting cute faces on enough journalistic toxic waste to put Love Canal to shame.


     The profile of Rush Limbaugh accuses him of enabling “environmental destruction.” Another feature claims “almost every move you make affects the health of the planet.” From the second the alarm clock goes off, it argues, we are killing Mother Earth.


     One despicable feature describes “Dante’s Inferno: Green Edition.” The illustration portrays a beatific Gore in paradise almost as high in heaven as the left’s beloved Prius, which sits atop a nearby hill. The circles of hell are filled with images of some of the conservatives or businesses punished, from “Charlie” the Starkist Tuna to author Michael Crichton, holding his own head in one hand and his book “State of Fear” in the other.


     Any who challenge the green gospel get a ticket straight to hell – courtesy of Vanity Fair.


     This liberal agenda seems amazingly familiar. A massive media propaganda onslaught. Big government Socialism controlling all aspects of daily life. Left-wing protests in the streets. Attacks on business.


     Maybe the greens aren’t really greens after all. They’re reds. And many prominent magazines have become red all over as well.



Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.