links for 2007-09-28
Melanin Level Blogging

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Washington Post Edition)

Is there any reason that the Washington Post should print another paper edition, ever? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

For the past several years Dan Froomkin has been maintaining to me that the Washington Post's Peter Baker is an honorable, intelligent reporter trying as hard as he can to get it right.

Today Matthew Yglesias reads Peter Baker, and retches. The paragraph he quotes is Peter's lead:

Legacywashing With the Post: The Washington Post's Peter Baker falls for administration spin in a jaw-dropping manner. Here's the lead:

As he addresses a conference on climate change this morning, President Bush will face not only a crowd of skeptics but the press of time. For nearly seven years, he invested little personal energy in the challenge of global warming. Now, with the end in sight, he has called the biggest nations of the world together to press for a plan by the end of next year.

This turnaround just didn't happen. The UN had a meeting on Monday aimed at building political momentum for a meeting to happen later in Bali aimed at kicking off negotiations toward an international treaty that will commit the world's countries to binding reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Bush didn't attend that meeting. Instead, he called this other meeting in an effort to subvert action on climate change. He hasn't in the past "invested little personal energy in the challenge of global warming." Rather, he's invested plenty of energy in undermining efforts to respond to the challenge of global warming and continues to do so by continuing to oppose mandatory emissions reductions.

This isn't brain science (it's climate science -- ha!) to move to address the challenge of global warming you need to move to address the challenge not just say you're addressing it while not doing anything. You need to, that is, unless all you really want is for Peter Baker to publish a misleading article about what you're doing in The Washington Post.

It is not that Peter Baker is ignorant, Matt. "Falling for administration spin" is not what is going on here. Not at all.