I saw a story last night that got a note from Glenn Reynolds but I honestly couldn’t comment on it because it made me angry. I needed a little cool-down time to ponder what, exactly, has become of Reuters.
The story is here. It is a brief but glowing review of how some of the developing countries are cutting their greenhouse gas emissions – more than us rich countries! – and are saving the world. That’s nice and all, but unfortunately Reuters couldn’t just let the story be the story.
They had to start making stuff up and soft-pedaling mass murder.
Here’s where the story goes very, very wrong:
President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of Kyoto in 2001, arguing it would cost U.S. jobs and that it wrongly excluded 2012 goals for poorer nations such as China.
That, folks, is a flat-out lie. President Bush never pulled the US out of Kyoto because the US was never in Kyoto. The US considered Kyoto briefly back when the President was Bill Clinton and the Vice President was Global Savior Al Gore.
Some of us, who aren’t “Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent” might recall that the US Senate decided, by unanimous vote, not to even consider ratifying Kyoto or any agreement like Kyoto. Thanks to that overwhelming vote, President Clinton decided not to even bother taking the treaty to the Senate because it was a dead issue. President Bush had nothing to do with it.
And he still has nothing to do with it. In fact, the President has already brokered a deal that is likely to do far better than Kyoto simply because it includes China and India.
Somehow, neither Reuters’ “Environmental Correspondent” nor his editor managed to catch and of that.
Oh, who am I kidding? There’s no “somehow” to the story. Alister Doyle isn’t that dumb and neither are the people who edited this story. I can’t attribute this to ignorance. I would have to be the most naive person on the planet, or Harry Reid, to believe that an “Environmental Correspondent” for one of the largest news-gathering organizations in the world and his editors truly don’t know that the US has never been in Kyoto, thus could never be pulled out of it. I have to believe the simplest explanation. Of course they know. They just decided the lie would work better with the narrative of their story.
That’s not the most egregious part of the article, though. As amazing as that may sound, Doyle and Reuters went one worse than just lying. Here’s the next section.
He said China’s one-child per couple policy introduced in the early 1980s, for instance, had a side-effect of braking global warming by limiting the population to 1.3 billion against a projected 1.6 billion without the policy.
“This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” he told a conference in Oslo last month. China is the number two emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, behind the United States and ahead of Russia.
Wow, that “one-child per couple” policy seems like one heck of a great thing. I mean, it’s helping the Chinese reduce greenhouse gases! Wowzers what good folks those Chinese government people are!
Except that the Chinese are enforcing this policy with forced sterilizations, forced abortions, and infanticide. They’ve been doing it as long as their policy has been in place. It’s been documented to a fare-thee-well. Anyone with half a brain knows that the Chinese have been ruthless about imposing their policy over the past three decades. We’ve read the accounts. We’ve heard the testimonies. We see the demographics. The butchery of the Chinese government is no secret to anyone.
But Doyle couldn’t be bothered to mention that. He simply quoted the Chinese official without comment and touted it as good news with the blessed “side-effect” that it is reducing greenhouse gases.
There’s no rebuttal there – no quote that says “Maybe so, but how many people did they kill or mangle to reach that goal?”. I don’t think he would have had to make many phone calls to get one. I don’t imagine it would have taken any effort at all to mention that the Chinese policy has been accompanied for its entire history by rampant human rights abuses.
The bonus would have been that he could have done that without having to lie.
It’s one thing to simply make up something to dig at the United States. America-bashing is nearly a competetive sport among journalists and lying about George Bush isn’t out of bounds according to the rules of that game. It’s another thing entirely, though, to hold up China’s mass-murdering, mass-maiming, cruel and inhuman “one child” without even a hint of criticism.
That’s not bad journalism; it’s deliberate and monstrous propaganda. It’s wrong and its dangerous and Reuters needs to know that as loudly as we can shout it at them.
The Anchoress believes the President ought to get out in front on this and she’s more than a little peeved that he’s been quiet for so long. I think she’s exactly right. Here’s the best of a great post:
I’m starting to get really pissed off with the Bush Administration for their inability or disinterest in fighting their own battles. We should not have to be doing this over and over, setting the record straight again and again. The WH needed to get out in front of this stupid narrative right away, instead of letting it settle in like kudzu.
I know they have a mountain of disinformation to combat every day…but dammit, this is getting me really riled up, now. Doesn’t the WH have SOME responsibility for insuring that history doesn’t get re-written on their watch?
Yes they sure as heck do. More, they have an obligation to make sure that Reuters reports the story with all the facts, including the death and misery toll the Chinese government has inflicted on its people to get that vaunted “side-effect of breaking global warming”.
And he should name Doyle and Reuters as villains and liars right out where everyone can hear it.
He won’t, but I’d surely love to hear the villains called out by name, just once this year.