Greta Thunberg: PR puppet or climate figurehead?

  • Date: 30/01/19
  • Stefan Winterbauer, meedia.de

More to the Thunberg phenomenon than meets the eye

16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg is now regarded by much of the media as a “figurehead of the climate protection movement”. The student gained worldwide fame through her appearance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland. Most recently, she appeared at the World Economic Summit in Davos. Meanwhile, there have been more and more hostile comments and reports on the net, saying that Greta Thunberg is the puppet of a Swedish PR consultant.

[There are] more and more doubts about the “story” of the climate girl from Sweden. The right-wing Swiss magazine Weltwoche published a widely shared article entitled “We’re Making a Climate Icon“. The article claims that “their success is largely down to the Swedish PR expert Ingmar Rentzhog, who has good contacts in several propaganda organizations”. As evidence, Weltwoche reveals that shortly after Greta began her school strikes, her mother, a well-known opera singer, published a book. On the day of the book’s release, PR man Rentzhog published a picture of Greta on [school] strike on Instagram and published an article about her on Facebook. This triggered a “chain reaction” in the media. In addition, Greta Thunberg [has been shown to have] given her speech at the UN summit [in Katowice] to almost empty seats, with Swedish public television having arranged the pictures to give the false impression that she had spoken to a large audience.

The media have contributed surprisingly little to [clarifying matters]. The traditional media has almost exclusively released reports documenting and/or celebrating Greta Thunberg’s performances. Articles dealing with the role of PR consultant Ingmar Rentzhog have been few and mostly in the right-wing media or from Sweden.

Full story (in German)
(Link to Alexandersson blog added for this translation)

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