Leave it to NBC News’ liberal sister network MSNBC to continue to criticize Al Gore for his decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera, the Arab news network owned by the government of Qatar. Appearing on Morning Joe Wednesday morning, Al Gore was sharply criticized from the left by co-host Mika Brzezinski for selling his company to a network funded by oil.
Speaking to Gore, Mika opened up the interview by asking him, “Is it okay, then, for you personally to -- I'd say profit from oil?” Nowhere in the interview did Brzezinski or the rest of the panel -- including mildly conservative Joe Scarborough -- challenge Gore for selling Current TV to a network the airs strong anti-American viewpoints. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Instead Brzezinski, who supports Gore’s global warming hysteria, wanted to know why Gore was comfortable in profiting from oil:
But isn't there a moral question there that you had to contend with? Because that money that basically funded Al Jazeera is funded by oil?
Not only did Gore flatly deny the leftist complaints of Brezinski, he decided to double down in defending the journalistic standards of Al Jazeera:
Well, I see it differently. I understand the criticism, of course, but Al Jazeera has long since established itself as a really high-quality news-gathering network. And I think the addition of Al Jazeera to the U.S. media landscape will be a big net plus. And by the way, their climate coverage is far more extensive and high quality compared to any other network in the U.S.
One would have hoped that the lone so-called conservative on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough would have stood up and challenged former Vice President Gore over the anti-American sentiments of Al-Jazeera, but the former Florida Republican congressman remained curiously silent.
See relevant transcript below.
January 30, 2013
7:24 a.m. EST
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Let's start there because the fight against climate change is often a debate. And I'm going to read from "The Future," your words. And you say this about oil and the media. "Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies -- not just during campaign seasons -- but all the time, year in and year out with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened, and the carbon companies are working diligently to further develop renewable energy sources." A little bit of a ruse being played on our society overall?
AL GORE: Well, when you see all these ads for coal and oil, they're not designed to get you to say hey, I want to go down to the corner and buy some coal.
GORE: They're designed to condition your political beliefs and to give you the impression that they've got our back. And look, they have -- there are about $27 trillion in subprime carbon assets when you include public companies, private companies and sovereign states. And they depend upon the ability to continue using the earth's atmosphere as an open sewer. The problem is we put 90 million tons of global warming pollution up there every day.
GORE: And it traps enough extra energy to equal 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs going off every day. It's a big planet, but that’s a lot of energy. And that is what contributed to Superstorm Sandy. That's what contributed to 60% of the country being in a drought last year. 110 billion dollars worth of climate-related disasters. Yesterday in Queensland, Australia, they had 2 1/2 feet of rain. The greater evaporation from the heat off the oceans fills the sky with much more water vapor so that when a storm releases it, we get these giant floods. My home city of Nashville, two years ago, thousands of mine and Jon's, too, thousands of our neighbors lost their homes and businesses and had no flood insurance because it had never flooded there. It was a so-called once in a thousand-year event. But we're having once in a thousand-year events in a lot of places every few years now. And the fires in the west, half of the North Polar ice cap is gone in summer. And the rest is going to be gone soon. It's literally insane for us to continue on this path. But all of these factors are interconnected. And one of the main themes of this book is that we have two large and powerful tools to use in shaping our future. One is democracy. One is capitalism. But both have been hacked. And both are in need of reform.
BRZEZINSKI: It's also choices we make. My brother is serving in Sweden as Ambassador and is desperate for me to come there and go see the glaciers that are melting. So I understand what you're saying on many levels. I have to challenge you a little bit, though, and ask this question.
BRZEZINSKI: You just sold Current TV to Al Jazeera which is funded by Qatar, which is funded by oil. Is it okay, then, for you personally to -- I'd say profit from oil?
GORE: Well, I see it differently. I understand the criticism, of course, but Al Jazeera has long since established itself as a really high-quality news-gathering network. And I think the addition of Al Jazeera to the U.S. media landscape will be a big net plus. And by the way, their climate coverage is far more extensive and high quality compared to any other network in the U.S.
BRZEZINSKI: But isn't there a moral question there that you had to contend with? Because that money that basically funded Al Jazeera is funded by oil?
GORE: I understand what you're saying. I strongly disagree with it. Because they have established themselves as an award-winning, high-quality network. Now, Qatar is our strongest ally in the Arab world. Our fleet is there. They have been working very closely with the U.S. Secretary Clinton said Al Jazeera is part of the solution, not part of the problem. They also have a very ambitious plan to shift to renewables. There is a visionary plan to connect the Middle East and North Africa with solar and wind resources to Western Europe. The world is changing. And we are part of a global media landscape now. And getting points of view that are not just the same is a good thing. We went through 2012, Mika, with all of the climate-related disasters that I just mentioned without a single question being asked by any member of the American news media to any of the presidential candidates in any of the debates about the climate crisis. That is pathetic.