Kyoto, and the dangers of traveling with TB

Bad decisions...

Another day, another battle in the political blogosphere. Today, conservative bloggers are accusing National Public Radio and the Associated Press of, yes, misrepresenting facts. In a segment on president Bush’s new call for the world to set goals tackling climate change, Eric Weiner writes on NPR’s website: “The issue will get plenty of attention in another meeting this year: The signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are due to meet in Bali to discuss a follow-up agreement. But critics say the protocol is meaningless without the cooperation of the U.S., the world’s largest contributor of greenhouse emissions. The protocol, which expires in 2012, was never submitted to Congress for ratification. President Bush objected to it because it exempts China and India, two of the world’s fastest-growing economies, from the tough standards.”

A disappointed Moonbattery accuses NPR of “rewriting history to suit the liberal storyline,” whereas in fact “it was the Senate that killed Kyoto—four years before W took office. With characteristic disregard for the country’s well-being, Clinton gave in to Al Gore’s nagging and signed Kyoto in 1997. The accord would have spelled doom for the American economy, so the Senate passed a resolution 95-0 stating plainly that it would not ratify this suicide pact…even committed leftists like Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer voted against Kyoto.”

Captain’s Quarters echoes this line of thinking, arguing that this is “the true history of Kyoto.” And now, Bush is suddenly an environmental activist: “Bush, in fact, took more initiative than the Clinton administration ever did after the Senate rejection, and is still trying to reach a truly global agreement.”

It is CQ’s concluding words about the media as as monolithic entity that unsettle us here at CJR. “The media must think that if they keep repeating the same misinformation long enough, it becomes accepted truth. That says volumes about the competence and the bias at these media operations, and it goes to the heart of their credibility.” So now NPR and AP are, themselves, the media, relentlessly touting the liberal agenda that is the rule in that imaginary single office from which every piece of American news media is disseminated.

Responding to this comment, Liberal Values says, “Remove ‘media’ from the above and substitute ‘right wing blogs’ and you will have a true sentence. It is the right wing noise machine which makes a practice of repeating the same lies in the hopes that some will believe them.” The blog argues that under Clinton, the Senate did not reject the Kyoto Protocol, but instead insisted on its modification, that it would not be doing enough. Ultimately, therefore, “it was George Bush who withdrew the Kyoto Protocol. You would think,” LV writer Ron Chusid concludes, that the conservative blogs “would at least show some consistency here and commend George Bush for doing what they would prefer rather than attempting to rewrite history.”

In other news, a man infected with a rare and probably deadly strain of tuberculosis is getting heat for deciding to travel the world. “What the hell is this guy’s problem?” asks My Two Sense. “What happens if someone who sat next to the guy gets sick and dies? This guy should be charged with some kind of crime, because he knew he was sick but flew anyway.”

State of the Day brings in the superstructure of the current Bush government: “In the age of Bush when we are warned of the dangers of terrorists utilizing biological warfare, it doesn’t look very good when our government can’t keep tabs on one lone guy whose actions are far less nefarious yet may have the same result nonetheless. But it’s not really that much of a surprise when you consider that the CDC has had a scalpel taken to their budget so many times.”

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Eric Hirsch is a Columbia Journalism Review intern.