If Jean Healge had been in “Mean Girls,” it’s safe to say she wouldn’t have been a member of The Plastics.
In a story light on facts but heavy on praise, CNN’s “American Morning” profiled Heagle and her two and a half-year quest to rid her life of plastic narrated by liberal, pro-regulation Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The segment was merely the latest example of the media’s portrayal of environmental extremists as fascinating individuals who could be emulated by people trying to make a difference.
”What started as an experiment for Jean Healge turned into a way of life,” Gupta said. Healge said she wanted to try to pursue a life without plastic because she’d heard of “chemicals” contained in plastic and was scared that no one had warned her about the potential “dangers:”
”For me, um, not knowing is scary and I felt like there, there was no one telling me if it was okay or not,” Healge said in a longer video appearing on CNN.com. She must have also rid her life of television because the news media has repeatedly made the case that’s it’s not okay to use plastic again and again and again.
Healge went on to explain how she divides her shopping between Whole Foods and local farmer’s markets, and makes as much as she can from scratch, from bread to toothpaste. She uses cinnamon and vodka in her toothpaste recipe.
Not until the end of the story did Healge concede that she has a few “plastics” in her fridge: “I kind of am all-American I guess and I really like ketchup and mustard, so I have ketchup and I also have some yellow mustard.”
Healge joins the ranks of environmental extremists celebrated by the media such as “No Impact Man” and “Compost Man.” In each case, the media downplayed their radicalism. Meanwhile, the news media have no problem attacking traditional values or labeling Tea Party conservatives as ‘extremist’ or ‘radical’.
Maybe the media will nickname Heagle “No Plastic Girl” in their ongoing attempt to find modern environmental superheroes, because in their view, environmentalism is always so fetch.