Al Gore unpacked some serious nonsense on national TV this morning during an interview (see below) while selling his new book¬†The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. ¬†Give Matt Lauer credit (though I’m not sure why we keep giving special credit to journalists who do their jobs; I guess I‚??m just thankful when it happens) for challenging the former vice president¬†to explain the crass hypocrisy of his $100 million oil deal:
¬†‚??I certainly understand that criticism,‚?Ě Gore said. ‚??I disagree with it. I think Al Jazeera has, obviously, long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization. And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and high-quality.‚?Ě
Lauer interrupted, noting that Gore targets ‚??fossil fuels‚?Ě as part of his crusade against climate change, but reiterated that Qatar‚??s wealth is based on those substances.
‚??Isn‚??t there a bit of hypocrisy in that?‚?Ě he asked.
‚??Well, I get the criticism,‚?Ě Gore repeated. ‚??I just disagree with it, because this network has established itself. It‚??s objective, it‚??s won major awards in countries around the world and its climate coverage, as I said a moment ago, has been outstanding and extensive.‚?Ě
I‚??m confused. What is Gore disagreeing about? Does Al Gore disagree that Qatar would not have¬†any¬†economy if it weren‚??t for the oil and natural gas that happens to lie underneath it? Does he disagree that Al Jazeera is backed by money used to sell that oil and natural gas to the world? Gas and oil that he says is destroying the planet, does he not? Does he disagree with the¬†State Department¬†that Qatar is a ‚??destination country for men and women‚?Ě subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution as the government ‚??does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.‚?Ě Does he disagree that Qatar funds terror groups like Hamas? Does Al Gore believe that extracting $100 million in oil money from a network looking to gain footing in the US market isn‚??t immoral simply because he finds the network‚??s climate change coverage up to his standards? Or is Gore actually saying that an organization that features global warming coverage that meets his expectations has a dispensation from criticism?
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Or is Al Gore just greedy, like all those capitalist swindlers the Democrats keep warning us about? In the same interview Gore claims that ‚??as an independent network, the only independent news and information network, we found it difficult to compete in an age of conglomerates.‚?Ě Actually, we‚??re in the age of democratized media and thousands of smaller media outlets compete every day with the big ones. We used to be in the age of media conglomerates, we are no longer. So Current wasn‚??t especially ‚??independent‚?Ě ‚?? whatever that means. And Al Jazeera, a state-run network of a theocracy, even less.