Why the traditional media should not have blogs. Thursday morning, “Senior National Correspondent” Jake Tapper headlined his “Political Punch” blog
Stop the presses! An ABC News exclusive — the former President and husband of the Democratic candidate says the only way to fight global warming is to slow down our economy! Needless to say, Drudge ate it up as did the Republican National Committee. As did more than 100 blogs by Thursday night (including Think Progress). And the Clinton campaign even felt obliged to point out that, in fact, “President Clinton was making the opposite point”.
The AP story with the full video is here. Curiously, the AP reporter never mentions the supposedly stunning statement by the ex-prez. Hmm. Maybe this was an ABC News exclusive for a reason. Tapper “reports”:
In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”
At a time that the nation is worried about a recession is that really the characterization his wife would want him making? “Slow down our economy”?
I don’t really think there’s much debate that, at least initially, a full commitment to reduce greenhouse gases would slow down the economy…. So was this a moment of candor?
He went on to say that his the U.S. — and those countries that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases — could ultimately increase jobs and raise wages with a good energy plan..
So there was something of a contradiction there.
Or perhaps he mis-spoke.
Or perhaps this characterization was a description of what would happen if there isn’t a worldwide effort… I’m not quite certain.
Hmm. Jake Tapper is not quite certain what Clinton meant. What to do? I know — let’s quickly take the most sensational possible interpretation and splash it all over the web without actually listening closely to what Clinton said or — shudder — asking him what he meant — or even searching the blogosphere to see if Clinton has ever talked about this before (anyone who saw the videos of the Clinton Global Initiative or read my blog on it knows Clinton believes the exact opposite). Nooooo. That would be too easy. Tapper has managed to combine the worst of traditional journalism and the blogosphere. But I digress.
Let’s look at what Clinton actually said, in context, which, strangely enough, Tapper reports: