ABC’s GMA Champions Al Gore: 'The Comeback Kid? Al Gore Takes on the World'

With "The Comeback Kid? Al Gore Takes on the World,” as the on-screen moniker, ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday championed Al Gore’s comeback, through his hysterical global warming movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which ABC took quite seriously as Claire Shipman touted a potential Gore presidential run.

Shipman enthused: “The guy that George Bush Senior derisively dubbed 'Ozone Man' may have hit his stride after five years in hibernation by promoting his longtime passion.” Shipman trumpeted: "Al Gore and global warming. On the face of it, not two subjects you'd expect to add up to the buzziest film since the last Michael Moore flick. But check it out, here's Al being celebrated in Cannes, doing the celebrity thing at an LA opening, power-walking a green carpet in Washington as rumors of another presidential run swirl." Without scolding Gore for scaremongering or the usual media accusation against conservatives -- using fear -- Shipman calmly relayed how Gore’s “environmental message is blunt: humanity is sitting on a time bomb and has about ten years left to deal with it. It's the messenger, though, this almost President turned dynamic professor who's making most of the waves, dominating the blog-chatter.” Letting a hopeful Arianna Huffington answer, Shipman cued her up: “Is he going to go for the Oval again?" Shipman concluded by gushing: "What does Al Gore say about the possibility of another run? We asked him the other night....He gave a hearty laugh but didn't say no." (Transcript follows)

The 7am half hour piece on the May 23 Good Morning America, which followed a report on the hurricane forecast and Charlie Gibson’s session with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, as corrected against the closed-captioning by the MRC’s Brian Boyd:
Diane Sawyer: "And of course there are a lot of people who believe that global warming is in fact to blame in part for this surge in hurricanes. One of them, former Vice President Al Gore, who has reemerged leading a kind of call to action, a new documentary about global warming called An Inconvenient Truth. It opens tomorrow and it's raised the question what impact will the documentary have on global warming and on the future of Al Gore? ABC's Claire Shipman has been tracking all this, Claire."

(on screen tag throughout most of the story: “The Comeback Kid? Al Gore Takes on the World”)

Claire Shipman, live from DC introducing her taped report: "Good morning, Diane. In political circles everybody is asking the question that a few years ago might have been met with shock, even laughter: Could Al Gore be the comeback kid? The guy that George Bush Senior, derisively dubbed 'Ozone Man' may have hit his stride after five years in hibernation by promoting his longtime passion.”

Shipman, taped piece: "Al Gore and global warming. On the face of it, not two subjects you'd expect to add up to the buzziest film since the last Michael Moore flick. But check it out, here's Al being celebrated in Cannes, doing the celebrity thing at an LA opening, power-walking a green carpet in Washington as rumors of another presidential run swirl and home running his deadpan visit to Saturday Night Live."

Saturday Night Live announcer: "The President of the United States."

Al Gore on SNL: "I have faith in baseball commissioner George W. Bush when he says we will find the steroid users if we have to tap every phone in America."

Shipman: "And will President Bush see the film?"

George W. Bush: "Doubt it."

Gore, in promotional movie interview: "If we listen carefully and clearly to what the scientific community of the entire world is saying, not just saying, they're shouting it now. They're saying 'Hey, wake up. We're facing a planetary emergency here.'"

Shipman: "The film is part devastating imagery and part, get this, Al Gore global warming slideshow, one he's been earnestly delivering around the country for the last year after Tipper dug it out of their Nashville attic and sent him on the road as a way of healing wounds."

Scott Burns, producer of An Inconvenient Truth: "There is something of the Johnny Appleseed in him that made it, you know, enjoyable for him to really go and do the work."

Shipman: "The film's central thread: Gore's personal journey toward environmental evangelism."

Gore, in movie: "The facts they discovered led them to an inconvenient truth."

Shipman, over matching video: "Moments: the 2000 election, his sister's death from lung cancer, his son's near death in a car crash that have changed his life. And his environmental message is blunt: humanity is sitting on a time bomb and has about ten years left to deal with it. It's the messenger, though, this almost President turned dynamic professor who's making most of the waves, dominating the blog-chatter. Is he going to go for the Oval again?"

Arianna Huffington: "The Al Gore narrative is an amazing narrative. A man kind of born to rule who had the most spectacular defeat in American history coming back with a very powerful message. At the top of his game."

Shipman, back on live: "Now, what does Al Gore say about the possibility of another run? We asked him the other night, Diane, at his opening here in Washington. He gave a hearty laugh but didn't say no."

Sawyer: "But what does that mean for that other contender, Senator Hillary Clinton?"

Shipman: "That's another part of the gossip. The Hillary camp versus the Gore camp. A lot of people, believe it or not, are thinking Al Gore could be more electable than Hillary Clinton. But it's early, Diane."
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center