Howard Kurtz: 'Al Gore's Al Jazeera Deal Doesn't Seem Right'
CNN media analyst Howard Kurtz isn't happy about Al Gore selling his failing Current TV to Al Jazeera.
In a piece published minutes ago at CNN.com, Kurtz elaborated while he missed potentially the greatest hypocrisy in the deal.
"There is something highly unusual -- OK, just plain weird -- about a former vice president of the United States doing this deal with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani," accurately observed Kurtz.
After mentioning that Gore had quickly refused to sell the network to conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, Kurtz added, "So the sale was in part about ideology, which opens the door to examining why Gore believes Al Jazeera gives 'voice to those who are not typically heard' and speaks 'truth to power.'"
Kurtz addressed concerns by some on the right that Al Jazeera's purchase will give it license to spread its anti-American propaganda in the United States.
"But Al Jazeera English," Kurtz objected, "the spinoff channel launched in 2006, doesn't have the same reputation. In fact, no less a figure than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised it as 'real news,' and the channel has won journalism awards for its reporting on the Arab Spring and other global events."
Even so, Kurtz did note the close ties Al Jazeera has to the government of Qatar and that its director-general, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani, is a member of the country's royal family.
"Such details add to the odd spectacle of the ex-veep, who would have been running Mideast policy had he won a few more votes in Florida, selling -- and some say selling out -- to the emir," Kurtz pointed out. "Not to mention that the crusader against climate change is taking petrodollars from an empire built on oil, the bete noire of environmentalists."
I'm glad Kurtz mentioned this, but wish he would have spent more time on it.
After all, Gore has gotten rich - as well as an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize! - scaring the world into thinking that oil is the planet's great bogeyman and that if we all don't stop using it immediately, we're doomed.
In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore proclaimed that the internal combustion engine was “a mortal threat . . . more deadly than that of any military enemy.”
Now this anti-oil crusader is getting a HUGE payday by selling out to a country whose very fortunes stem from the product of the devil incarnate.
How media members across the fruited plain chose to ignore this - and how Kurtz decided it only warranted one sentence - is astonishing.
But the irony didn't end there.
"Some detractors have slammed Gore for hypocrisy because, while he has advocated higher taxes on the rich, he tried to get the Al Jazeera deal done by December 31 to avoid the Obama tax hike. (The sale didn't close until January 2.)," Kurtz wrote. "I don't see a problem trying to legally take advantage of changes in the tax code, no matter what your political stance."
Really, Howie? So a man that has lived his political life advocating higher taxes trying to work the tax code for his own financial benefit should be above reproach?
The truth is that Gore is just another liberal guilty of leading a "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" life, and Kurtz like so many in the press chose to whitewash it.
Despite Kurtz's discomfort with this deal, he missed the larger point: Al Gore is and always has been about his own personal political and financial gain.
His entire foray into environmentalism has made him a multi-millionaire and potentially a billionaire if America were ever to adopt limits on carbon emissions via cap-and-trade legislation.
Never has it been more obvious that Gore has no real core political or moral beliefs than this Current sale to Al Jazeera, and nobody in the mainstream media - sadly including CNN's media analyst - is really willing to expose the naked emperor.
Color me very unsurprised.