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January 15, 2007
Paging Brooke Gladstone ...

Earlier today, I posted an interview between myself and Brooke Gladstone of NPR on media credibility, specifically regarding the Associated Press and its reporting in Iraq. Brooke and I sparred about the relative reliability of the AP as opposed to bloggers, and I said that the AP normally does a good job but failed to follow its own rules in its Iraq reporting, using single sources for some very inflammatory stories and applying pseudonyms without noting them. Today, however, brings a more mundane example of either poor research, outright bias, or both. Instapundit noted this earlier today:

When it comes to squandering the earth's natural resources, residents of this desert land of chilled swimming pools, monster 4x4s and air-conditioned malls are on a par with even the ravenous consumption of Americans, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The average person in the Emirates puts more demand on the global ecosystem than any other, giving the country the world's largest per-capita "ecological footprint," WWF data shows. The United States runs second.

But the oil-rich Emirates is considered a developing country, and even as a signatory to the United Nations' Kyoto protocol on global warming, is not required to cut emissions. The United States is no longer bound by Kyoto, which the Bush administration rejected after taking office in 2001.

Jim Krane obviously did not bother to check into when Kyoto went into effect in the United States. In fact, it never did, making his contention that the US "is no longer bound" by the treaty somewhat mystifying. Treaties do not become law in the US until ratified by the Senate, and the Clinton administration never bothered to submit it for debate. The reason? The Senate had voted 95-0 for a resolution proclaiming that they would not ratify any emissions treaty unless it included caps on emissions for all nations, most importantly India and China. (The resolution was authored by radical conservatives Robert Byrd and Chuck Hagel.)

In fact, the Bush administration has not adamantly opposed Kyoto except on this basis. He has followed the Clinton aministration's lead in refusing to submit Kyoto to the Senate, and in that period the Senate has not bothered to ask for it -- and since most of the people who voted to spike Kyoto in 1999 still serve in the body, one presumes that they still want to see China and India get emissions caps along with us before we approve Kyoto.

How hard was it to find this information? I found it at Wikipedia and The Environmental Literacy Council in about two seconds. We have never been bound by Kyoto, and the impetus for that position came well before George Bush's election -- and from a Senate controlled by the Democrats.

Krane must have gotten the notion that Bush spiked Kyoto from somewhere; that idea doesn't just come out of sloppiness in research. It seems as though Krane assumed that any policy that opposes environmental activism originated with George Bush, which also appears to indicate some sort of knee-jerk hostility towards the current administration. It apparently seemed so obvious to Krane that he never bothered to check his assumptions.

It's precisely these kinds of unchecked assumptions and lack of research that sours people on the media in general, and the AP in particular. When people allow their biases to keep them from checking their assumptions, that's when we get articles like this and supposed exposes of National Guard memos that are so obviously fraudulent that people wonder how journalists could have been so gullible. (also via several CQ readers)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 15, 2007 7:50 PM

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» Audio: Captain Ed spars with NPR over Jamilgate from Bill's Bites
Part 37 of a series. Continued from this post.NPR Interview On Media CredibilityEd Morrissey Last week, NPR invited me to do an interview with On The Media co-host Brooke Gladstone, for what was supposed to be a five-minute segment. Brooke [Read More]

Tracked on January 16, 2007 3:59 AM


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