Grist’s Gross Mission Creep Reflects Rise of Big Green within the DNC

by William Yeatman on February 25, 2015

in Blog describes itself as “independent green journalism.” Keeping this self-description in mind—with an emphasis on the modifier *green*—consider the following Grist stories that were promoted on the blog’s twitter feed in the previous 8 hours:

Why is Grist, “independent green journalism,” writing *serious* posts on subjects like student loan debts and feminism, which have nothing at all to do with the environment? The answer to this question reflects the rise of green special interests as big time political players.

Many Americans labor under the misapprehension that environmental groups are scrappy underdogs. This may have been true 40 years ago, if ever, but today these groups are deep-pocketed influence peddlers inside the beltway. A major milestone in the green movement’s evolution from little-guy to fat-cat occurred in 2004, when environmental groups first sought to organize a partnership with other progressive groups. The idea was to achieve economies of scale. The enviro-labor bond strengthened, and soon melded with the cause of other special interests, such as the populists and the aggrieved sundries. The bonds have since been institutionalized so that they’re all in it together now, on behalf the “progressive project.” And this is why Grist, the mouthpiece for the NRDC-set, is writing a bunch of columns about the Oscars and gayborhoods.*

Of course, membership in these multi-issue coalitions is akin to membership in the World Bank: The weight accorded one’s opinion is equal to the weight of one’s contributions (in c-notes). As such, with the addition of Tom Steyer to the green team, one would think that green issues will raise even higher in prominence among the political elites (alas).  Steyer et al. learned in 2014 that the public doesn’t care about green issues, and then they adroitly pivoted and spent their money on old-fashioned attack ads on non-environmental issues.

For more on Grist’s brand of “independent green journalism,” see:

*Nota Bene: there’s no one more laissez faire (or, rather, laissez les bon temps rouler) than me when it comes to pretty much any social matter under the sun, except for the death penalty (which I’d extend to all violent crime) although I probably come at it from a different angle than partisans do. Notwithstanding, the social issues aren’t the point; instead, the point is that Grist is suffering from a terrible case of mission creep.

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