Who is that yo-yo?

A man calling himself Kenny Strasser exhibits his dubious yo-yo mastery on one local-TV clip.

A while back, Earth to Philly asked whether eco-friendly product delivery was enough to merit calling sex toys 'green.'

And we don't bring that up now just so that we can have the word "sex" in the first sentence of this blog entry. But it helps.

Thing is, a wacky story about local-TV producers brought that previous post to mind because it also spurs the question of whether "green" is now a meaningless catch-all to get people to pay attention to things that need extra juice.

Apparently Kenny Strasser felt his own story, as a former alcoholic and drug abuser turned Yo-yo champion, needed that extra juice, and so he threw in the eco-tips when he successfully pitched a handful of Wisconsin stations to put him on the air.

Thing is, not only does "Strasser" seem to not be a champion, he seems particularly inept at the Yo-yo, hitting himself in the face and groin at one appearance, breaking the yo-yo in another, and "forgetting the string" upon arrival to a third, leading to a TV spot about champion yo-yoing that consisted solely of chit-chat. His skills as a guest are also a little suspect after he chose to answer his cell phone in the midst of a live on-air interview.

You can read the full story here, see how "ZimZam Yo-Yo, the world's first 'green' nonprofit toymaker" got this guy into morning television on the promise of "fun tips about how kids and adults alike can take small steps to make the world a greener place," watch a couple of clips from his infamous appearances, and learn how Mr. "Strasser" now seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth he so desperately wanted to save.

While TV producers draw the moral that we must all do better background checks on supposed yo-yo champions who wander into town, Earth to Philly would like to extrapolate a bit: Watch out for anything and everything whose newsworthiness depends on it being "green" and look into exactly what gives it that claim to fame. Swapping one process for another or putting something on a bike doesn't mean it's going to save the planet. Remember 'clean' coal.