‘Scarborough Country’ Addresses Why Conservatives Dislike Al Gore So Much

Want to have some real fun at your next dinner party? Well, invite an equal number of liberals and conservatives, and ask them the following question: “Why do conservatives dislike Al Gore so much?”

It’s guaranteed to be a huge success making you the toast of your neighborhood.

With that in mind, the host of MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” marvelously did exactly that on Wednesday, pitting Republican strategist Terry Holt against Media Matters’ Paul Waldman.

What ensued was a wonderful point-counterpoint discussion about the former Vice President addressing both sides of this suddenly controversial figure (video available here):

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST OF MSNBC’S “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Terry Holt, why do conservatives dislike Al Gore so much?

TERRY HOLT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, what makes the criticism so effective about Al Gore is that Al Gore himself is—generates the problem. It‘s not that he‘s just a hypocrite, and he is, but he‘s a braggart. I mean, he‘s claimed to have invented the Internet, among many other things. He claimed to have discovered the environmental problems that exist today, when in fact, he himself uses more energy in one month at his house in Tennessee than most people use in an entire year at their house. The pristine grounds of Al Gore‘s house in Tennessee backed up on the other side of a mountain by a zinc mine that his family has leased for some 30 years to a mining company.

<“Kent Dorfman’ voice> Boy, isn’t this great?</KD voice> Wonderfully, Holt wasn't done:

Well, because he‘s out there claiming to be something he‘s not, and I think, Joe, from your experience in politics, you know, you can have people disagree with you about everything, but if you‘re sincere, people are going to have some empathy toward you and maybe even like you. Think of Ronald Reagan…But in politics, the single worst thing in the world you can be is a flat-out hypocrite and a braggart. And Al Gore, unfortunately, happens to fit in both categories.

After playing a videotape of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) asking Gore a question during the latter’s recent testimony on Capitol Hill, Scarborough gave the floor to Waldman who proceeded to give a perfect example of double-speak:

Well, you know, I‘m glad that Terry brought up this idea that Al Gore said he invented the Internet. That is actually a lie that started at the Republican National Committee and then was picked up gleefully by the mainstream media.

When Holt challenged him on this, Waldman stated:

I‘ll tell you exactly what he said. This is important to clarify, Joe, because this lie has been repeated literally thousands of times. And let me be clear about this. Al Gore never said he invented the Internet. He didn‘t say it. What he said was that when he was in Congress, he took the lead on the congressional action that led to the creation of the Internet.

Actually, Paul, what Gore specifically said on March 9, 1999, during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” He didn’t say, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the lead on the congressional action that led to the creation of the Internet.”

Sadly, this is another example of poor reading comprehension skills we continually see from folks on the left, wouldn’t you agree?

What follows is a partial transcript of this segment.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST OF MSNBC’S “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Terry Holt, why do conservatives dislike Al Gore so much?

TERRY HOLT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, what makes the criticism so effective about Al Gore is that Al Gore himself is—generates the problem. It‘s not that he‘s just a hypocrite, and he is, but he‘s a braggart. I mean, he‘s claimed to have invented the Internet, among many other things. He claimed to have discovered the environmental problems that exist today, when in fact, he himself uses more energy in one month at his house in Tennessee than most people use in an entire year at their house. The pristine grounds of Al Gore‘s house in Tennessee backed up on the other side of a mountain by a zinc mine that his family has leased for some 30 years to a mining company. So there...

SCARBOROUGH: But Terry...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: Terry, I talked to a supporter of Al Gore, somebody really close to the former vice president, who said—used that as an example, the fact that the day after he won the Academy Award, it was up on The Drudge Report and a lot of conservative sites that Al Gore was a hypocrite. And they were, like, Man, why can‘t they just give this guy 24 hours to enjoy the Academy Award? Why do they hate him so much?

HOLT: Well, because he‘s out there claiming to be something he‘s not, and I think, Joe, from your experience in politics, you know, you can have people disagree with you about everything, but if you‘re sincere, people are going to have some empathy toward you and maybe even like you. Think of Ronald Reagan.

SCARBOROUGH: Right.

HOLT: But in politics, the single worst thing in the world you can be is a flat-out hypocrite and a braggart. And Al Gore, unfortunately, happens to fit in both categories.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: Paul, I want you to listen to what another Republican congressman had to say today going after Al Gore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE BARTON (R-TEXAS): I sincerely don‘t agree with your conclusions. Even the mainstream media, Mr. Vice President, are now noticing that global warming science is uneven and evolving. We need to be deliberative and careful when we talk about so-called scientific facts. It appears that the temperature appears to drive CO2, not vice versa. On this point, Mr. Vice President, you‘re not just off a little, you‘re totally wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH: And Paul Waldman, that, of course, we need to say—that‘s a guy from Texas, a congressmen from Texas, Joe Barton, who obviously is not going to be supportive of what Al Gore supports. Go ahead.

PAUL WALDMAN, MEDIA MATTERS: Well, you know, I‘m glad that Terry brought up this idea that Al Gore said he invented the Internet. That is actually a lie that started at the Republican National Committee and then was picked up gleefully by the mainstream media.

HOLT: No, but it‘s a direct quote!

WALDMAN: It‘s been repeated...

(CROSSTALK)

WALDMAN: Joe, let me finish...

HOLT: He said, I led the way on the Internet...

(CROSSTALK)

WALDMAN: I‘ll tell you exactly what he said. This is important to clarify, Joe, because this lie has been repeated literally thousands of times. And let me be clear about this. Al Gore never said he invented the Internet. He didn‘t say it. What he said was that when he was in Congress, he took the lead on the congressional action that led to the creation of the Internet.

(CROSSTALK)

WALDMAN: I‘m sorry, Terry, what he said is 100 percent true. What you said...

HOLT: I appreciate your apology.

WALDMAN: ... about him is false. And the thing is, it‘s been repeated so many times by reporters who just think, Oh, yes, it must be true because Al Gore is a great big phony. And that‘s not the only thing...

HOLT: The left is blaming the media?

WALDMAN: Excuse me?

(LAUGHTER)

HOLT: The left is blaming the media.

WALDMAN: Absolutely.

HOLT: That‘s rich.

WALDMAN: Absolutely. You know, Terry, I don‘t know where you were in 2000, but they savaged him...

BUCHANAN: I was on the Bush campaign.

WALDMAN: ... every single day. Exactly. So you had a terrific...

(CROSSTALK)

WALDMAN: If you were on the Bush campaign, you knew that the media were willing partners in that attempt...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: All right, and guys, I‘m going to have to...

HOLT: ... direct quotes from Al Gore.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.