Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'd forgotten all about Al Gore, then I saw this...

In an interview with Matt Lauer, Gore said, 
"Our democracy has been hacked. that's computer term of course, that implies control of the way our political system works has been taken over, in this case by big money corporations designated as persons, anonymous donors and big money is having a corrupting influence and it is degrading the quality of our democracy."

Lauer also quoted an exerpt from Gore's book, "The Future":
"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."

Lauer follows up about what critics were saying:
"Here's the guy who just sold Current TV to Al Jazeera which gets an undetermined amount of funding from the country of Qatar, which gets its money from oil reserves. isn't there a contradiction in that?"

"I certainly understand the criticism, I disagree with it. I think Al Jazeera has long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization and by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the networks here."

"But if they get funding from a country that bases its wealth on fossil fuels and fossil fuels are the enemy--you target climate change--isn't there a bit of hypocrisy in there?"

"I get the criticism, I disagree with him. This network has established itself, its objective its won major awards in countries around the world. And its climate coverage, as I said a moment ago, has been outstanding and extensive."

I don't even know what to say. Awards and excellent reporting--it doesn't matter.  It doesn't change the fact that Al Jazeera receives a bulk of funding from the Qatar government whose per capita GDP is the highest in the world because of...drum roll please...oil...a chemical substance which is deemed responsible for the degradation of the environment he has worked so hard to save!