Friday, January 04, 2013
The Gore-y Details
As expected, it didn't take long for Fox News to hone in on the apparent hypocrisy of Al Gore promising to build a completely independent journalistic outlet in Current TV -- one with liberal ideals to spare -- then selling out to the highest bidder. O'Reilly went on a tear last night against Gore, bringing up the above as well as the thoroughly predictable right-wing attack line that he sold Current to an "anti-American" network in Al Jazeera and, to top it all off, made sure the deal was closed in time to capitalize on 2012 tax rates.
Yesterday over at the Banter I ran down the details of the sale and dropped more than a few hints regarding my opinion of the whole thing. I think Gore did sell out and he deserves to be taken to task for that. He walks away from the deal with Al Jazeera with more than one hundred million dollars in his pocket while the network he worked to create from the ground up and professed an unyielding dedication to gets shuttered and its hard-working staff gets thrown out on their asses. The insanely wealthy country of Qatar, meanwhile, regardless of its politics or culture, buys itself a very big foothold in the American market, and everyone pretends that it's just business being business.
Al Jazeera makes a good news product and no one is saying it doesn't deserve a voice in the United States or that it's up until now been treated entirely fairly by U.S. distributors. But the way this deal went down comes off as a little unseemly. Of course no laws were broken, but there's a difference between illegal and simply not all that right. This falls into the latter category.