April 2, 2008

Here We Kyoto Again: AP Lets False Claim That Bush ‘Pulled Out’ Stand

In a post earlier this evening, Lynn Davidson at NewsBusters chronicled the myriad errors in a March 31 Reuters “Factbox” relating to the Kyoto Protocol.

Among the errors Davidson noted was the wire service’s claim that “The United States ….. came out against the pact in 2001″ — implying, but not actually stating, that the US government was perfectly happy with Kyoto until mean old George W. Bush came along. This is, of course, patently untrue.

The error made by Erin Gartner of the Associated Press in covering Chelsea Clinton’s appearance at the University of North Carolina on behalf of her mother’s presidential bid was more obvious. It is just the latest in a long line of direct or attributed misstatements the AP has let stand about the treaty’s history in the US (HTs to Captain Ed at Hot Air and Instapundit):

Clinton told about 250 people at N.C. State that her mother, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, would work to repair the nation’s reputation abroad.

“I think the world will breathe a sigh of relief when this president is gone,” Clinton said, criticizing Bush for pulling out of various accordings, including the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

(No, I don’t know what “accordings” are either. Gartner meant “accords,” but perhaps Chelsea Clinton actually said “accordings.”)

Sigh — as Instapundit says, it’s the “same old Kyoto revisionism.”

This is from the Wikipedia entry on Kyoto (bold is mine; footnotes not included):

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States”. On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

Memo to Ms. Gartner, and Ms. Clinton: Please note that George Bush was not in office when any of the above occurred.

The Bush Administration’s position on Kyoto has had nothing to do with “pulling out,” but instead has involved “never getting in,” and is best seen as continuing the actual policy of the previous administration — without the sympathetic posturing.

This grievous, obvious historical error about Bush and Kyoto has been committed by AP so many times, and the error pointed out so many times by so many people, including yours truly (Dec. 12, 2007 [NewsBusters; BizzyBlog]; Jan. 16, 2007 [NewsBusters; BizzyBlog]), that Captain Ed says:

At a certain point, it stops looking like errors and more like deliberate dissemination of political propaganda.

I’d say we’re past that point.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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