Both girls are 16 years old.
Both have chosen to become politically active.
Both have filed legal complaints over their respective grievances.
Both have put themselves in the crosshairs of public opinion for an issue they feel affects them and their future.
But you only know one of their names.
The difference in the media and pop culture treatment of climate change activist Greta Thunberg and star athlete Selina Soule is more than just a bit curious. The contrast stands as a profoundly alarming commentary on the power our media still wields in creating news more than reporting it.
It is no secret that mainstream media – that is, the large percentage of major newspapers as well as all the major broadcast news networks – tilts far to the left. That doesn’t mean they don’t ever cover liberal political causes skeptically or prudently, nor does it mean that they always report on conservative political causes harshly or with undue prejudice. It does mean that the mass of evidence – everything from voluntary polls of the political leanings of media personnel, to whistleblower testimony, to objective studies of story selection, and more – reveals a media culture as eager to promote progressive ideals as they are to suppress conservative or Christian ones.
The Thunberg/Soule contrast is a startling example.
Obviously I don’t need to spend much time telling anyone who Greta Thunberg is given that her media exposure leads her around the world to wag her finger in the faces of global leaders. But Soule? Chances are most have never heard of the young track phenom who has been forced to file a Title IX discrimination suit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for their decision to allow biological boys to identify as girls and compete in girl sports.
Unlike Thunberg who can point to no actual harm that has come to her personally, Soule missed the opportunity to compete in the New England regional finals where she would have run in front of 55 college coaches. She missed that chance because two biologically male athletes, identifying as female, took up two spots in front of her.
It’s not that this issue is merely a local one, or one lacking in national importance. Just days ago, a biological male who identifies as a woman won gold in the Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester for the second year in a row. The cyclist, Rachel McKinnon, then proceeded to mock those who don’t want biological males competing against women as “losers.”
Yet, the coverage of Selina’s legitimate plight isn’t even in the same universe as the coverage of Greta’s theoretical one. Simply conduct this experiment yourself. Do a Google search for “Selina Soule” and observe the paucity of mainstream news coverage. Then compare that to a search of Thunberg and you’ll notice that once you get to the “t” in Greta, Google is already returning hundreds of millions of results. Or make it specific. A search of “Selina Soule NY Times” yields no articles from the nation’s newspaper of record, while a comparable query for “Greta Thunberg NY Times” produces pages of stories.
So why the difference? It’s not that climate change is that much more of a hot-button political issue than transgenderism. It’s not that Greta is that much more of a sympathetic figure than Selina is. For those who exhibit even a modicum of intellectual honesty, the answer is apparent: Greta gives voice to the pet liberal cause of so-called climate change, while Selina’s efforts on behalf of female athletes cheated by transgenderism challenges one.
That’s why Greta gets the magazine covers, the fawning interviews, the effusive praise, and the absurd talk of Nobel Peace Prize nominations, while Selina gets ignored. It’s galling, it’s obnoxious, it’s shameful.
It’s also totally predictable.