At SXSW Forum, Al Gore Faces Scrutiny Over Sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera

March 11th, 2013 6:25 PM

Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal's has a March 9 post in which she noted how former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was confronted at 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival about his sale of Current TV to the Qatari government-backed Al Jazeera network by her colleague, AllThingsD editor Walt Mossberg:

You sold your network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a government that’s a big oil producer,” asked Mossberg. “How could you do that?”

While hemming and hawing about that, Gore then came back with a good one: “I don’t ask you why you continue working for Rupert Murdoch.”

This meant war. “Last I checked, he’s not in the oil business,” countered Mossberg.

“He’s also not strictly in the news business, either,” said Gore.

Oh dear, time to get back to global warming, because it’s getting hot in here.

It was then onto a short Q&A, with one question about the Internet — an issue near and dear to Gore’s heart. In truth, despite all the jokes, he was critical when a senator to turning the Internet over to the people, from its origins as a government project.

And in this Gore finally pointed to a bright glimmer of hope. “The future of democracy,” he said, “may well depend on the continued freedom and independence of the Internet.”