Here’s more proof that the media cynically use the environment as a hammer to whack Republicans: the non-existent response of ABC and muted comment by The New York Times about Obama’s refusal to attend a major environmental conference, contrasted with their fury 10 years earlier over a similar decision by President George W. Bush.
President Obama is not attending the United Nations Environmental Conference on Sustainable Development, informally known as Rio+20, scheduled from June 20 to June 22. Rio+20 seeks “to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.”
The American media has ignored the issue of Obama’s non-attendance. None of the three major networks mentioned the 2012 summit once, and the New York Times has briefly raised the issue of Obama’s non-attendance – once in print and twice on its blog networks.
However, 10 years earlier, when George W. Bush was president, the media slammed Bush for his refusal to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development, popularly called Rio+10). In 2002, The New York Times featured Democratic politicians’ criticisms of Bush for his refusal to attend Rio+10, and published articles on its editorial page bashing Bush - written both by the Times’ editorial board and by guests.
ABC provided a platform to an environmental activist, who complained that the U.S., Canada and Australia were “taking an isolationist approach to this whole summit” without allowing any supporters of the president to defend him.
The media apparently realize that UN environmental conferences have little to no positive impact on the environment, and cynically uses the specter of environmental catastrophe as a phantom weapon to bludgeon Republicans.