Press struggles to write something interesting about vacuous Bush speech
That’s one way of putting it.
As expected, Bush said nothing new, just some banalities about how we all recognize the problem and we all have to do something about it, as long as whatever it is doesn’t slow economic growth or otherwise inconvenience us. He once again rejected mandatory caps on emissions, saying that each country should set its own voluntary policy for how and how much it wants to reduce emissions.
All told, a big fat nothing.
Given the predictable vacuity, journalists face something of a challenge. How to spin nothing? The New York Times went with the unenlightening "Bush outlines proposal," leaving skepticism way down in the tenth paragraph. Bloomberg says Bush is "urging green technology," but moves the skepticism up to ‘graph three. AP said Bush is seeking a "new image" and buries skepticism in ‘graph nine. AFX is more upfront, headlining the story that Bush "renews opposition to mandatory caps." Reuters notes that Bush is "isolated," while AFP finds him "on attack."
VOA gets perhaps closest to the heart of the matter when they say that "Bush says fight against global warming must not hinder economies." Or maybe that distinction goes to BusinessWeek for "talk, but no action."
Over in Germany, Deutsche Welle notes that the speech "disappointed Europeans." The BBC is more delicate, noting that Bush is after "flexible CO2 targets." The Times UK is not as circumspect, stating bluntly that "Bush rejects binding cuts." In Canada, the sympathetic National Journal says "voluntary cuts enough to slash emissions," while Digital Journal rounds up the reactions from critics.
And so on, blah blah blah, as the world waits impatiently for 2009 …