Look! It’s a rainbow of spin! Today’s Copenhagen headlines are a snapshot of political narratives worldwide. Want to find out who’s still carrying water for Barack Obama and who’s not? Let’s have a look.
First the bad news: Germany’s honeymoon with the President is kaputt. The Teutonic brethren at Spiegel magazine discovered long ago that there’s big dough in Amerika bashing. Sure, the US President is ein netter Kerl, but these are hard times for journalists, and one can’t afford to be too finicky. You only need to learn three German words to get the gist of their coverage of all things American: Fiasko, Debakel, and Desaster. Need I translate? Here’s Spiegel’s take on the latest out of Copenhagen:
Full Speed Ahead into the Greenhouse
What a fiasco: The Copenhagen climate summit has failed thanks to the politics of unyielding self interest of the USA, China, and many other states. We are likely to soon find out just how catastrophic climate change will really be – in a global greenhouse experiment.
Our British friends, whom Spiegel was fond of referring to as “vassals” and “poodles” of the US back in the days of Tony Blair, are taking a rather more charitable view of the affair. Apparently they’re still not quite ready to throw the President under the bus. According to the BBC,
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a US-backed climate deal in Copenhagen as an “essential beginning”.
He was speaking after delegates passed a motion recognizing the agreement, which the US reached with key nations including China.
The more erudite among the BBC’s readers who get past the headlines will find some less than rosy details mentioned in passing in the body of the article, such as,
However, a number of developing nations were angered by the draft proposals.
BBC environment correspondent Richard Black said the language in this text showed 2C was not a formal target, just that the group “recognises the scientific view that” the temperature increase should be held below this figure.
but such minutiae don’t spoil the overall positive effect.
Here in the US one can also find a version of reality to suit any taste. Of course, they’re pulling no punches at Foxnews:
Has Copenhagen collapsed?
That seems to be the growing sentiment inside the city’s Bella Conference Center, where officials, environmentalists and even delegates to the international climate conference began streaming out Friday evening. What began with excitement and anticipation two weeks ago ended Friday night with disappointment and anger for thousands.
Collapse? What collapse! As I write this, it appears they haven’t noticed a thing at CNN. Their world headlines link has no mention of Copenhagen at all. However, more persistent readers who trouble themselves to click down a page or two will find reassuring “news:”
Obama announces climate change deal with China, other nations
President Obama announced what he called a “meaningful and unprecedented” climate change deal with China and other key nations that was expected to be sealed before the president headed home from the Copenhagen summit late Friday.
There, that’s all you need to know, now just move on. Well, all right, if you have a suspicious nature and don’t believe CNN, just check the rest of the mainstream media. True, the guys at MSNBC are a shade less sanguine, but, after all, the Pres did what he could:
U.S., others broker modest climate deal
Plan includes way to verify reduction in global warming emissions
That last blurb is a bit rich, even for MSNBC, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope the editors of Spiegel don’t see it. For that matter, it’s downright sober compared to the take at ABC:
Obama Hails ‘Significant Breakthrough’ at Climate Talks
Obama and Three World Leaders Have Agreed to a Political “Accord,” Official Says
President unites China, India and Brazil on climate agreement in Copenhagen.
There! See? Whatever were those silly fellows at Spiegel thinking with their hand wringing about a “fiasco?” Still don’t believe me? Apparently you’ll need an even stronger dose. Let’s move on to NPR’s website, where the President, arrayed in shining armor, still rides through cyberspace on his snow white charger:
The president tells the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen that America is setting an example of bold action and other nations must follow or see the world suffer catastrophic effects.
Good old NPR, fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, German nitpickers.