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CyberAlert -- 06/15/2001 -- EU's Non-Ratification Ignored

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EU's Non-Ratification Ignored; Fodder to Show Bush Unintelligent; Bush Criticized the Right on Vieques; Senators Only "Conservative"

1) During an EU press conference, a reporter noted how none of the nations criticizing Bush for dumping Kyoto had ratified it. But unless you watched the event live, you'd only know about that question from FNC. While NBC Nightly News gave a clause to the fact, ABC, CBC and CNN remained focused on anger at Bush's stance. "Most Europeans insist the science is in and any delay amounts to fiddling while the planet burns," CNN insisted. CBS lamented how Bush's "defiant stance on the global warming treaty" led European leaders to deliver "a sharp rebuke."

2) President Bush "gives his critics fodder" to demonstrate he's unintelligent, CNN's John King contended in pointing out how Bush called Africa a "nation."

3) CBS and NBC actually approached Bush from the right on his Vieques decision. "The Bush administration came into office vowing to rebuild the armed forces," CBS's David Martin noted, "but military officers are now accusing the White House of selling out combat readiness for political reasons." NBC's Jim Miklaszewski picked up on how military officials are "calling it strictly a political move that could well hurt military readiness."

4) ABC anchor Charles Gibson portrayed the Boy Scouts as the ones with the intolerance as he referred to "the Boy Scouts' refusal to accept gay members," instead of to school boards' "refusal" to "accept" the Scouts as he set up a story in which Linda Douglass tagged Jesse Helms as "conservative" but let Senators Boxer and Biden go unlabeled.


1

During the European Union press conference Thursday with the head of the group, the Prime Minister of Sweden and President Bush a reporter asked about how none of the European nations criticizing Bush for dumping Kyoto had ratified the treaty themselves. But unless you watched the press conference live on CNN, FNC or MSNBC, you'd only know about that little fun fact as raised by the unidentified reporter if you watched FNC later in the day.

CNN's Inside Politics and Wolf Blitzer Reports, ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News all kept the burden on Bush without mentioning how no European country had yet ratified the treaty. Probably prompted by the question, NBC's David Gregory finally gave a clause to the reality: "Negotiated in 1997, the treaty, which has not yet been ratified anywhere in Europe, requires countries like the United States that are large polluters to reduce their emissions of so-called greenhouse gases." Gregory proceeded to relay as fact the liberal spin: "Such emissions come from cars and coal-fired power plants, and in time, scientists believe, could drastically warm the climate, causing everything from more severe weather globally to drought and food shortages in the American heartland."

Without noting their non-ratification of Kyoto, on CNN's Inside Politics Christine Amanpour stressed how "most Europeans insist the science is in and any delay amounts to fiddling while the planet burns." CBS's John Roberts lamented how Bush's "defiant stance on the global warming treaty [is] the wedge issue of a building rift between the U.S. and Europe," which caused European leaders to deliver "a sharp rebuke, proclaiming that they would move forward without America."

FNC viewers got an insight into European hypocrisy. In a piece on Special Report with Brit Hume, FNC's Jim Angle observed: "One reporter asked the Europeans why not a single one of them has ratified the four-year-old treaty and asked Mr. Bush what he makes of that."
Bush: "I believe people are genuine about the issue. I don't think there's any politics necessarily."
Angle: "Not necessarily, but Mr. Bush listened with interest as a European leader struggled to answer."
European Union Commission Chairman Romano Prodi: "There is no, no one single country who has declared not to ratify it."

Later, during the roundtable segment, Morton Kondracke of Roll Call predicted: "This is a case where the way the press reports it really is important. If the story ever really gets out somewhere other than Fox, that these hypocrites in Europe that are beating him all the time up over Kyoto, not one of them has ratified the treaty, it seems to me that the public would support him. But I don't think the word's getting through."

No it's not, at least not on the television networks other than FNC. A rundown of ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC from Thursday night, June 14:

-- ABC's World News Tonight held itself to this short item read by anchor Charles Gibson which highlighted the anti-U.S. take on global warming: "President Bush was in Sweden today to meet with European Union leaders. The principal issue was climate change. Mr. Bush repeated his criticism of a global warming treaty. Sweden's Prime Minister accused Bush of pursuing wrong policies that endanger the environment. The Bush visit drew thousands of demonstrators; more than 200 people were arrested."

-- CBS Evening News. From Gothenburg, Sweden, John Roberts pointed out how "President Bush was an easy target for protesters at the EU summit today, his defiant stance on the global warming treaty the wedge issue of a building rift between the U.S. and Europe."

Following a soundbite of Bush maintaining the Kyoto Accord was not well balanced because it didn't include developing nations, Roberts asserted: "European leaders delivered a sharp rebuke, proclaiming that they would move forward without America. The move brought cheers from demonstrators who took to the streets by the thousands today."
Phil Clapp, National Environmental Trust: "The President is completely isolated, not only in Europe but around the world. And the United States now looks like a rogue nation on the environment."

After some more video of protesters, Roberts concluded: "While President Bush saw none of today's protests, he is well aware of the emotions that his visit has stirred. Tomorrow he will outline his vision for the future of U.S.-European relations at a speech in Poland. It would appear from today's events the relationship needs work."

-- CNN's Inside Politics. MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth observed that Christiane Amanpour approached the topic from the European perspective: "Europe is still smarting from his unilateral withdrawal from the Kyoto climate control treaty, and discussions here did nothing to bring the sides closer together. Indeed, Goran Persson, Swedish Prime Minister, and President of the EU, says the two sides agree to disagree."
Goran Persson: "The European Union is stick to the Kyoto protocol and go for ratification process. The U.S. has chosen another policy."
Amanpour: "President Bush reiterated his promise of more money for more research....But most Europeans insist the science is in and any delay amounts to fiddling while the planet burns."
Lena Hjelm-Wallen, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister: "We can't start from scratch again. Then, we would lose up to ten years, and it is a question of survival."
Amanpour: "The President not only has to defend controversial policies but also his intellect. 'Is he smart or stupid?' asks Sweden's biggest newspaper. 'You do what I say!' screams another one, worried about his intentions."

Later, on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, John King told Blitzer from Sweden: "A very blunt, remarkable open disagreement on the issue of global warming. The European Union has issued a very sharp statement critical of the Bush administration, saying Mr. Bush should reverse himself and sign on to the Kyoto treaty on global climate change, the President saying no, he's not about to do that, that the treaty is flawed..."

-- NBC Nightly News. From Gothenburg, David Gregory focused on anger at Bush over global warming, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
"A hostile reaction to President Bush in Sweden. Hundreds of arrests as environmental protesters clash with police. Outside Bush's hotel here in Gothenberg, a crowd makes a crude gesture of disrespect [mooning]. And tonight the protests against President Bush continue. These thousands of marchers who accuse him of failing to protect the planet from global warming now in a standoff with riot police. The trouble in the streets just an exaggerated snapshot of the deep division between Bush and his European Union counterparts. The President telling them in person today he will not support the Kyoto accord on global warming. Negotiated in 1997, the treaty, which has not yet been ratified anywhere in Europe, requires countries like the United States that are large polluters to reduce their emissions of so-called greenhouse gases. Such emissions come from cars and coal-fired power plants, and in time, scientists believe, could drastically warm the climate, causing everything from more severe weather globally to drought and food shortages in the American heartland."
Philip E. Clapp, National Environmental Trust: "Without a binding international agreement of which the United States is a part, we will never stop global warming."
Gregory: "But Bush told European leaders today in its current form, Kyoto is dead, primarily because he believes mandated rather than voluntary emission reductions will hurt business and hurt the U.S. economy."
Bush: "The goals were not realistic. However that doesn't mean we cannot continue to work together and will work together."
Gregory: "But while Bush tried to paper over his differences with European leaders, off-stage they let their irritation with the President show."
Goran Persson, Swedish Prime Minister: "I think it will have a tremendous impact, sorry to say, because I think it would have been extremely strong signal if U.S. had sticked to the Kyoto protocol."
Gregory: "Tonight an agreement is not in sight, and these protests a reminder of how the environment could undermine the President not just at home but abroad."

An undermining at home abetted by a lack of focus on the hypocrisy of his critics from the left abroad.

2

President Bush "gives his critics fodder" to prove he's unintelligent, CNN's John King contended in pointing out how Bush called Africa a "nation."

In a piece on Thursday's Inside Politics, King asserted: "One goal of this trip is an image make-over. White House aides don't like it, for example, when other leaders are asked if the President is uninterested or unintelligent."

After a clip of British Prime Minister Tony Blair denying Bush is unintelligent, King countered: "Mr. Bush occasionally gives his critics fodder." CNN viewers then saw a clip of Bush at the EU press conference: "We spend a lot of time talking about Africa as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."
King helpfully pointed out for any CNN viewer as unintelligent as Bush: "For the record, Africa is a continent."

Does anyone really believe Bush doesn't know that?

3

Some refreshing criticism from the right of a Bush policy decision. Both CBS and NBC stressed how Bush chose pleasing Hispanics over national security in deciding to end U.S. Navy training on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico in 2003 whether or not a replacement location can be found.

Dan Rather led the Wednesday, June 13 CBS Evening News, as taken down by MRC analyst Brian Boyd: "CBS News tonight is breaking an exclusive story. The story of a political decision by President Bush that is disappointing and infuriating many in the U. S. military, many of whom openly and actively backed Mr. Bush for election. Our story breaker, national security correspondent David Martin reports that Mr. Bush's political decision will end U.S. Navy combat training in the Caribbean."

Reporter David Martin concluded his subsequent piece: "The decision was made today at a White House meeting chaired by political director Karl Rove and attended by the Secretary of the Navy and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. A senior Pentagon official told CBS News the order to cease training by 2003 comes at the direction of the White House in an effort to end a political controversy that was alienating Hispanic voters. The Bush administration came into office vowing to rebuild the armed forces, but military officers are now accusing the White House of selling out combat readiness for political reasons."

The next night, June 14, Martin highlighted military disappointment in Bush: "It's not the first time politics a has trumped military readiness, but in this case politics also trumped President Bush's vow to re-build the armed forces. The senior admirals feel they've been sold out."

Over on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Jim Miklaszewski asserted: "Tonight, senior military officials here at the Pentagon say they're incensed at the White House decision to end Navy training on Vieques, calling it strictly a political move that could well hurt military readiness."

ABC's World News Tonight didn't mention the decision either Wednesday or Thursday night, but on Thursday's Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed, news reader Claire Shipman offered criticism from the left for how Bush had not gone far enough. During the 7am news update she announced:
"Well, the Navy will soon be looking for a new bombing range close to home. The White House announced this morning that it plans to end the Navy's practice bombing on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, but not before 2003. Critics want the exercises ended immediately."

But at 8am she gave both sides: "The White House says there will be an end to the Navy's bombing exercises on Puerto Rico's Vieques island, but not until 2003. Anti-bombing activists want the Navy to end its training there immediately. The Navy says the Vieques range, which it has used for six decades, is essential to national security."

4

In deciding to produce a full story Thursday night on a Senate amendment to the education bill to deny federal funds to any schools which refuses to provide activity space to the Boy Scouts over their policy to not allow gay members, ABC anchor Charles Gibson portrayed the Scouts as the ones with the intolerance as he referred to "the Boy Scouts' refusal to accept gay members."

He could just as easily have referred to the "refusal" of public schools to "accept" the Boy Scouts. After all, the Scout policy has remained consistent while it is some school boards which have decided to change their policy on letting the group use their facilities. In her story, ABC's Linda Douglass ran soundbites from four Senators, including two liberal Democrats, but she only applied an ideological label to one, tagging Jesse Helms as "conservative."

On World News Tonight Gibson noted how the education bill had passed in the Senate, "but there is also a notable amendment in this bill, an amendment that has brought back the fierce debate over the Boy Scouts' refusal to accept gay members."

Douglass announced: "Leading the fight was conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms with an amendment that would cut off federal funds to any school that refuses to let the Boy Scouts use school facilities because of their anti-gay policy."

Following soundbites from Helms and Republican Senator Bob Smith, Douglass avoided labels in leading into clips from Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Joe Biden: "Democrats insisted that in most states schools cannot legally deny access to the Scouts. They suggested the Helms amendment is simply an attack on gays."
Barbara Boxer: "This amendment is unnecessary, gratuitous. It's hurtful to a group of people."

In Douglass's world there are only "conservatives" and "Democrats." -- Brent Baker


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