In what is one of the most absurd articles I've read in a while, Chicago Tribune reporter Nara Schoenberg tries to argue that "blue" is the new "green"
. In other words, green (as a symbol of environmentalism) is old hat. So people are now starting to say "blue" instead of "green".
Her main evidence is that Mercedes-Benz calls its new clean-diesel technology BLUETEC. And a few environmental websites have blue pages.
I refer to this journalistic technique in Hippo Eats Dwarf
as the "Generalization from a Single Example": "A reporter makes a sweeping statement, but backs it up with only one or two examples... [leading] audiences to believe they represent a larger trend, even if the reality is the opposite."
David Roberts of Grist Magazine offers this analysis
of Schoenberg's article:
Culture reporter wants to write something on green, but needs something new, a counterintuitive trend piece that can get some attention.
PR shill pitches reporter on fake trend: blue is the new green! Perfect.
Reporter calls actual green journalist. Actual green journalist points out that trend is fake.
Even better! Now you've got a trend piece with some he-said she-said controversy attached!