Posts filed under 'Gore'

Ignoring The Obvious

Al Gore and Michael Hiltzik speak the unspeakable truths about global warming and the healthcare industry industry.

But since they’re both advocating change that would not be profitable, Congress – especially the Senate – will continue to hide their heads in the sand until it’s too late.  Assuming it isn’t already.

March 1st, 2010 at 07:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Healthcare,Politics

Random Thought

I love Al Gore, really, I do, and I wish he had won in 2000, and that he had run in 2008.  But I can’t help wondering…

If he had won in 2000, would Lieberman have become the first Vice President in history to break a 50-50 tie in the Senate by voting with the other party?

January 12th, 2010 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Gore,Lieberman,Wankers

McCain 2008 = Gore 2000. Sort Of.

Hey, remember the 2000 election, when the media turned Al Gore into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from the Republican presidential campaign?  Well, now they’re turning John McCain into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from… the Republican presidential campaign:

I started reading up last night on some of the campaign styles of presidential candidates of the television era (every race since Kennedy-Nixon), and it led me to conclude that John McCain is running the most fundamentally dishonest campaign of the last half-century. Every candidate from both parties has spun, accentuated, and exaggerated. They’ve all taken cheap shots and made promises they almost certainly knew at the time they couldn’t keep.

But there’s just something breathtaking about John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and it’s not just because he’s running in part on his reputation for candor and integrity. We’re talking about a candidate who’s been lying about everything — his record, his running mate, his opponent, his agenda, his past, and his policies. He’ll lie, get caught, and then repeat the same lie. He’ll lie, get caught, and then lie about lying. He’ll lie about some things in which the truth was just as good, but lying came more naturally. And he seems to be lying more as the race unfolds.

(…)

And the New York Times’ Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg report in a news story today that this might, slowly but surely, be on its way to becoming a campaign narrative.

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions.

That’s an exceedingly polite way of noticing all of the people who’ve noticed McCain’s pathology.

As Paul Krugman pointed out in his column yesterday, the character of a campaign is a much better predictor of how a candidate will govern than its competence.  It certainly was in 2000 and 2004, when Dubya ran deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (but very competent) campaigns, and then proceeded to give us 8 years of deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (and utterly incompetent) government.  And now John McCain is running the same kind of campaign with unabashed gusto.

So much for that March 11 memo from Rick Davis to the campaign leadership:

It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John’s lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.

Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.

(…)

Overheated rhetoric and personal attacks on our opponents distract from the big differences between John McCain’s vision for the future of our nation and the Democrats’….

Throughout his life John McCain has held himself to the highest standards and he will continue to run a respectful campaign based on the issues. We expect that all supporters, surrogates and staff will hold themselves to similarly high standards when they are representing the campaign.

Yeah, McCain’s enforcing that about as well as the no-lobbyists rule.

(h/t bmaz)

1 comment September 13th, 2008 at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Gore,McCain,Media,Politics

Gore-Al Ensures That The Human Race Will Live On

This may well be The Greatest Onion Story Ever:

EARTH—Former vice president Al Gore—who for the past three decades has unsuccessfully attempted to warn humanity of the coming destruction of our planet, only to be mocked and derided by the very people he has tried to save—launched his infant son into space Monday in the faint hope that his only child would reach the safety of another world.

“I tried to warn them, but the Elders of this planet would not listen,” said Gore, who in 2000 was nearly banished to a featureless realm of nonexistence for promoting his unpopular message. “They called me foolish and laughed at my predictions. Yet even now, the Midwest is flooded, the ice caps are melting, and the cities are rocked with tremors, just as I foretold. Fools! Why didn’t they heed me before it was too late?”

Al Gore—or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al—placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity’s hubristic folly.

(…)

As the rocket soared through the Gore estate’s retractable solar-paneled roof… the onetime presidential candidate and his wife, Tipper, stood arm-in-arm, nobly facing their end while gazing up in stoic dignity at the receding rocket, the ecosystem already beginning to collapse around them.

(…)

Despite the child’s humble beginnings, experts predict the intergalactic journey may have some extraordinary effects on Kal-Al’s physique, eyesight, and, potentially, his powers of quiet, sensible persuasion.

Read the whole thing.  It’s really super.

(h/t Ian)

6 comments July 31st, 2008 at 07:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Environment,Gore

Take That, Al Gore!

Damn, what does the NYT Science section have against Al Gore?  First the wankeriffic John Tierney uses the upcoming Inconvenient Truth opera as an excuse to mock him, then they try to claim that the internet was invented years before Al was even born:

In 1934, [Paul] Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”

(…)

Although Otlet’s proto-Web relied on a patchwork of analog technologies like index cards and telegraph machines, it nonetheless anticipated the hyperlinked structure of today’s Web. “This was a Steampunk version of hypertext,” said Kevin Kelly, former editor of Wired, who is writing a book about the future of technology.

Otlet’s vision hinged on the idea of a networked machine that joined documents using symbolic links. While that notion may seem obvious today, in 1934 it marked a conceptual breakthrough. “The hyperlink is one of the most underappreciated inventions of the last century,” Mr. Kelly said. “It will go down with radio in the pantheon of great inventions.”

Today, Otlet and his work have been largely forgotten, even in his native Belgium. Although Otlet enjoyed considerable fame during his lifetime, his legacy fell victim to a series of historical misfortunes — not least of which involved the Nazis marching into Belgium and destroying much of his life’s work.

Amazing – he conceptualized hyperlinks before there were even computers.

June 17th, 2008 at 09:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Environment,Gore,Science

Perspective On Courage

Brent Budowsky reminds us just how low the bar for political “courage” is set in this country:

Benazir Bhutto was no angel, but she was a believer in democracy who gave her life for her country, retuning to Pakistan knowing she would probably give her life for her country.

By contrast, Democrats in Washington have a life crisis, consult an army of pollsters, and have trouble taking clear leadership stands on war and peace because members of a Congress with record unpopularity might lose another point or two in the polls.

Our discredited politics in America has become a sad Kabuki dance of insiders congratulating and protecting each other, of pollsters and pundits uttering sweet nothings into the ears of politicians too fearful and self-indulgent to take even minimal risks for the higher values of our country.

Benazir Bhutto gives her life. Democrats in Washington cannot risk a point in the polls. Republicans in Washington cannot summon the courage to speak out against a president and war that many of them privately, silently, believe is a disaster for our country.

(…)

Give Al Gore credit for elevating the debate about climate change, but at a moment that our country, under George Bush, sabotaged the Bali summit, why isn’t Al Gore running for president?

Never have the man and the moment come together so perfectly as Al Gore for President in 2008. Never has any potential candidate been so clearly the heir to Roosevelt and Kennedy, never has any potential candidate so clearly embodied change when change is needed, and experience when experience is needed, as Al Gore for President in 2008.

Having supported Gore through campaigns and governance over a generation, words cannot express my disappointment, my sadness and to some degree my outrage that Al Gore had better things to do than be leader of the free world.

(…)

Does Al Gore, or anyone, seriously believe that any presidential candidate, in either party, is even remotely as committed to the battle to save the Earth from the planetary emergency as Gore? If the world is truly in danger of extinction unless major changes are made within the term of the next president, isn’t there some higher obligation to hold the one office that can lead the nation and the world toward those changes?

My hope is that Gore at least makes a major endorsement for change in the coming hours, but the real shame is that our strongest leader does not lead where it matters the most, and the voice of both experience and change is silenced on the most important debate about the future of our nation and the world.

Benazir Bhutto gave her life for her country; Democrats so often lack the courage of their convictions to risk even a few points in the polls; and Al Gore racks up the prizes and awards, no doubt deserved, but sadly silenced when the man who should have been leader of the free world had higher priorities.

Benazir Bhutto’s murder is a moment of outrage and sadness, of crisis and shock, but it is also a reminder of the power of hope, of the higher purpose of patriotism and of the higher truth that one woman can make a difference, if she gives enough of a damn to try and puts everything on the line for the cause she believes in and the country she loves.

Good-bye, Benazir. You may be gone, but you will be remembered and honored. Perhaps some day in the land that gave us Washington and Lincoln, some heroic leader will emerge once again, inspired by your courage and your example, and rise above the mediocrity and timidity of our times, as you did in yours.

Sigh. Much as I love Al Gore (and because I love Al Gore), Budowsky is right: We needed Al Gore to run for president. He was the only Democrat with the stature to win, and the intelligence and passion to start cleaning up the mess the Republicans and defensive-crouch Democrats have made over the last seven years. Who knows, perhaps he would have even inspired the Democratic party to start standing up to Republicans instead of progressives.

Sure, another campaign would have been a miserable hardship for Al, but it couldn’t have been any worse than Benazir Bhutto’s.

1 comment December 29th, 2007 at 08:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Gore,Politics,Republicans

Breaking News Flash: Michael Savage Is Still Crazy

I think I understand what he’s going for here, but he’s still a nut:

This is unbelievable. He’s the tutto di capo tutto — whatever, tutto ruto ruto. The tutto di capo di tutto, or whatever. He’s the head of the five families of deceit on the planet, Al Gore-leone.

You know, the Gore-leone crime family is now the number one crime family in the world, when you think about it. He’s about to pull off the biggest scam in the history of the world. It’s bigger than any bank heist, bigger than any drug deal. It’s bigger than any counterfeiting scheme, and he’s doing it all nice and natural with a little help from the socialist perverts in Norway, who gave him a Nobel Prize.

Why do I call them socialist perverts? Answer: because they are. By and large, 90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation, according to the latest scientific studies.

I think he’s trying to make some kind of point about how scientific studies are worthless, or that you can just make bogus claims about what they say. But that really doesn’t make him sound any less crazy.

1 comment December 13th, 2007 at 11:19pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Media,Republicans,Wankers

Least Believable Statement Of The Month

From the AP report on Dubya’s private global warming chat with Algore:

“I know that this president does not harbor any resentments,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “Never has.”

Awesome. Hooray for President Jesus!

5 comments November 27th, 2007 at 11:54am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Environment,Gore,Quotes

Woohoo!!!

Algore wins the Nobel Peace Prize! Soon his world domination will be complete!

In all seriousness, I agree with Bowers that it doesn’t really make that much sense for Algore to use this is a springboard for a presidential campaign, just as it would have been tacky for him to announce it as part of his Oscar acceptance speech. He’s either going to run or he isn’t (probably the latter), but it’s not going to be conditional on any awards he might win.

Also, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that no-one has ever won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize (Peace or otherwise) in the same year. Or possibly at all. You go, Al!

4 comments October 12th, 2007 at 11:37am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore

Quote Of The Day

Al Gore, on the National Museum of the American Indian salvaging his plan to hold a Live Earth concert in DC tomorrow, which had been blocked by Senate Republicans (Inhofe – who else?):

A couple of the global warming deniers tried to deny it with parliamentary maneuvers. The cavalry didn’t come riding to the rescue; the American Indians did.

Heh. Kudos to the NMAI folks. My sister knows a bunch of them; they’re good people.

July 6th, 2007 at 05:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Politics,Quotes

I Spoke Too Soon.

Perhaps I was a little too hasty in naming Roger Cohen my Wanker Of The Day. I had not yet seen Emily Yoffe’s ghastly WaPo piece, but The Carpetbagger deals with it quite nicely.

Apparently, scaring people about the possible consequences of global warming is the wrong way to get them to do anything about it. Algore needs to be, like, more mellow, man. Like, stop harshing our buzz, dude.

Apparently, people only take bold, decisive action on important, life-threatening issues when they feel totally relaxed and unthreatened. Who knew?

June 25th, 2007 at 06:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Media,Wankers

Brooks On Books

David Brooks, already a world-class wanker extraordinaire, really outdoes himself with his “critique” of Al Gore’s new book:

If you’re going to read Al Gore’s book, you’re going to have to steel yourself for a parade of sentences like the following:

“The remedy for what ails our democracy is not simply better education (as important as that is) or civic education (as important as that can be), but the re-establishment of a genuine democratic discourse in which individuals can participate in a meaningful way — a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response.”

But, hey, nobody ever died from contact with pomposity, and Al Gore’s “The Assault on Reason” is well worth reading. It reminds us that whatever the effects of our homogenizing mass culture, it is still possible for exceedingly strange individuals to rise to the top.

Gore is, for example, a radical technological determinist. While most politicians react to people, Gore reacts to machines, and in this book he lays out a theory of history entirely driven by them.

He writes that “the idea of self-government became feasible after the printing press.” With this machine, people suddenly had the ability to use the printed word to debate ideas and proceed logically to democratic conclusions. As Gore writes in his best graduate school manner, “The eighteenth century witnessed more and more ordinary citizens able to use knowledge as a source of power to mediate between wealth and privilege.”

This Age of Reason produced the American Revolution. But in the 20th century, television threatened it all. In Gore’s view, TV immobilizes the reasoning centers in the brain and stimulates the primitive, instinctive parts. TV creates a “visceral vividness” that is not “modulated by logic, reason and reflective thought.”

TV allows political demagogues to exaggerate dangers and stoke up fear. Furthermore, “conglomerates can dominate the expressions of opinion that flood the mind of the citizenry” and “the result is a de facto coup d’état overthrowing the rule of reason.”

Fortunately, another technology is here to save us. “The Internet is perhaps the greatest source of hope for re-establishing an open communications environment in which the conversation of democracy can flourish,” he writes. The Internet will restore reason, logic and the pursuit of truth.

The first response to this argument is: Has Al Gore ever actually looked at the Internet? He spends much of this book praising cold, dispassionate logic, but is that really what he finds on most political blogs or in his e-mail folder?

(…)

Gore seems to have come up with a theory that the upper, logical mind sits on top of, and should master, the primitive and more emotional mind below. He thinks this can be done through a technical process that minimizes information flow to the lower brain and maximizes information flow to the higher brain.The reality, of course, is that there is no neat distinction between the “higher” and “lower” parts of the brain. There are no neat distinctions between the “rational” mind and the “visceral” body. The mind is a much more complex network of feedback loops than accounted for in Gore’s simplistic pseudoscience.

Without emotions like fear, the “logical” mind can’t reach conclusions. On the other hand, many of the most vicious, genocidal acts are committed by people who are emotionally numb, not passionately out of control.

Some great philosopher should write a book about people — and there are many of them — who flee from discussions of substance and try to turn them into discussions of process. Utterly at a loss when asked to talk about virtue and justice, they try to shift attention to technology and methods of communication. They imagine that by altering machines they can alter the fundamentals of behavior, or at least avoid the dark thickets of human nature.

If a philosopher did write such a book, it would help us understand Al Gore, and it would, as he would say, in fact, evoke a meaningful response.

Wow. Just wow. So much wankery in there, I hardly know where to begin. I’ll just note the “Algore is a cold-fish Vulcan weirdo” cheap shots in passing, and start with the three examples that Brooks uses to demonstrate that Algore is incoherent and out of touch. Notice that that they all have a common theme: The key to democratic government is democratic discourse. Gore states this in the abstract in the first passage, then cites the specific examples of the printing press and the internet in the other two. I can certainly see where Brooks might not see the value of discourse of/by/for the people, as opposed to top-down, one-way communications from the corporate and government spheres, but he’s not exactly an impartial observer here. When David Brooks tells me that it’s a bad idea for the unwashed rabble to have their own voice, I’m going to be a leetle bit skeptical.

As for his other main point, that Gore is advocating the sterile supremacy of reason over emotion, I fail to see the problem – he is talking about public discourse, right? The problem with our mainstream media today is not the presence of appeals to emotion, but the absence of anything else. Indeed, to anyone paying attention, Algore himself is not unemotional in private or in public – far from it. But he clearly recognizes that emotion should serve reason, not replace it. Consider Al’s beloved blogosphere, which Brooks takes an uninformed swipe at: On the liberal side, contrary to what Brooks and Chait believe, there is an abundance of both logic and passion, and that synthesis is what makes the progressosphere so appealing and powerful.

Of course, Brooks’ specialty is fact-free pro-Republican generalizations issued from the heights of Mt. Olympos, so I can certainly understand why a book calling for the return of rational, participatory public discourse might make him feel a little threatened. One of these days, he will have even fewer readers than I do, and there will be much rejoicing.

32 comments May 29th, 2007 at 11:55am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Books,Gore,Media,Wankers

Run, Al, Run!

By way of Atrios, another tidbit of happy Gore nostalgia, showcasing his deep and abiding connection with the great state commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its people.

I fear we shall not see his like again.

May 1st, 2007 at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Gore,Pittsburgh/PA

Run, Al, Run!

Even Republicans believe in global warming now:

Americans in large bipartisan numbers say the heating of the earth’s atmosphere is having serious effects on the environment now or will soon and think that it is necessary to take immediate steps to reduce its effects, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

Ninety percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans said immediate action was required to curb the warming of the atmosphere and deal with its effects on the global climate. Nineteen percent said it was not necessary to act now, and 1 percent said no steps were needed.

Recent international reports have said with near certainty that human activities are the main cause of global warming since 1950. The poll found that 84 percent of Americans see human activity as at least contributing to warming.

Dubya has a 32% approval rating in this same poll. Which means that even a big chunk of his dead-enders believe in global warming as a serious threat. Let’s hope the Democrats can make some hay with this against the Republican deniers in 2008.

(h/t Holden)

April 27th, 2007 at 01:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Energy,Environment,Gore,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Science

Place Your Bets…

So, now that The Scientists have pretty much unequivocally stated that global warming is manmade, is an enormous problem, and requires immediate and drastic action, how likely is it that Bush or Republicans will address the problem with anything more radical than tax cuts for companies who pretend to reduce their emissions? How likely is it that the Democrats will pass a half-hearted bill that doesn’t go far enough, and which Bush will veto in the name of protecting business from unreasonable expenses?

Also, is this report going to be something that percolates into the public consciousness and fosters massive popular demand for action, or will it be a perfunctorily-reported-once-and-then-dropped non-story like everything else that doesn’t fit into the Republican narrative?

Does this increase or decrease Al Gore’s desire to run for president? Will global warming be a major campaign issue in 2008, or will it all be war and terrorism and gay immigrant marriage again?
I can’t say that I’m real optimistic on any of these points…

6 comments February 4th, 2007 at 01:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Energy,Environment,Gore,Republicans,Science

Cassandra ’08!

I just got back from seeing An Inconvenient Truth with spork_incident, and it was everything I had hoped for and more. Gore has been presenting and fine-tuning this message for a long, long time, and his presentation is inexorably logical and organized. And alarming, as indeed it is meant to be.

I found myself thinking, “We are so screwed,” over and over and over again. I knew things were bad, but I had no idea just how bad. And despite his assurances that we have the capability right now to fix the atmosphere’s CO2 imbalance, I think we’re in some serious trouble, for two primary reasons.

1) CO2 and glacial/arctic ice levels are so far out of their normal equilibrium right now that I believe we are bound to experience some nasty climate effects, even if we were to jump into a full-blown program of robust countermeasures this very day.

2) The political will is simply not there. Nor will it ever be there until the balance of power shifts from the corporations to the citizenry. And even then, that citizenry must be informed and motivated. As long as a voting majority of Americans view environmentalists as a bunch of wild-eyed tree-hugging loonies who want to stifle industry and take away our jobs, nothing positive will happen. So, once again, we need a media that doesn’t solely represent corporate and Republican interests.

Yes, theoretically our elected officials could see the light and dedicate themselves to saving the planet, political consequences be damned, but, well… no. Very little in their past behavior suggests that this is likely ever to happen, not until saving the planet becomes congruent with saving their own asses. If the polls get up to somewhere on the order of “70-80% in favor of not letting the Earth turn into Venus,” maybe then we might see the government show some “leadership” on the subject. Either that, or Halliburton and Exxon/Mobil start investing heavily in environmental technologies.

One of the interesting devices Gore used to make this overwhelming and abstract issue more “relatable” (aside from a very funny quasi-Simpsons cartoon) was to use tragedy and near-tragedy in his own family as metaphors for our current situation. He talked about his six-year-old son’s brush with death as a way of illustrating the profundity of almost losing something that you cherish, and how that kind of experience can change your life and sense of purpose.

More powerfully and aptly, he talked about his older sister’s death from lung cancer caused by smoking, and his father’s decision to stop growing tobacco soon afterward. All the rationalizations his father had used to justify making money from tobacco simply fell away when he experienced that shock. Not only did his beloved daughter die a horrible death, but it was indirectly by his own hand. Gore implies that we haven’t yet had that shock to snap us out of our senses and jolt us out of our comfortable rationalizations, but the fact is that we have. Hurricane Katrina was our wake-up call, and America slept right through it. And before that, the tsunami in Southeast Asia (of course, that didn’t really count, because it was Over There). The Earth is sounding ever-louder alarms, and We. Are. Not. Listening. I can’t begin to imagine Al Gore’s frustration as he desperately tries to alert us to our peril, and is perpetually ignored and marginalized by the mainstream and the conventional wisdom.

I will close with the Upton Sinclair quote that Gore uses in his presentation, which completely and perfectly explains our government and our media, on this issue and all others:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

3 comments June 25th, 2006 at 06:51pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Favorites,Gore,Media,Politics

Risk-Reward With Re-Gore

As some of you may know, I am one of those left-wing crazies who really wants to see Al Gore run for president again in 2008. Of course, I’m only rooting for “Angry Gore” – the fierce straight-talker that Al Gore has become as he has grown more comfortable as a political outsider. My biggest fear about a second (okay, third) Gore campaign is that once he starts to feel the pressure of the public eye upon him, he will revert to being Cautious Focus-Group Gore (HRRN!! Angry Gore hate puny Focus-Group Gore!). But for the sake of argument, let’s say that he snaps Bob Shrum’s neck like a rotten twig the first time he tells Big Angry Al to tone it down for Heartland America, and just lets it all hang out.

For us Angry Gore fans, it goes without saying that a bracing jolt of straight talk about the magnitude of the Republicans’ crimes would have a galvanizing effect on the Democratic and Dissatisfied Independent electorate, but I’m hoping that Angry Gore would actually go beyond merely trashing the Republicans. What I am fervently wishing for is that Gore hires some liberal media critics like Peter Daou or Atrios or the Media Matters folks to staff a “media war room.” It is high time that the Democrats acknowledge that the mainstream media is every bit as much their enemy as the Republicans are, and start alerting the American people to it as well.

Why Gore, and why 2008? Gore, because I think he has the best understanding of the media out of all the presumptive candidates (I’m assuming that Dean stays put as DNC Chair). And 2008, because I believe that the only way a Democrat can get significant media coverage of media factchecking or anything else is if they’re the Democratic candidate for president, or if they kill someone (Note to Gore: Not that Angry).

Of course, the risk here is that the media would spin any such criticisms into a “Gore’s a whiny crybaby who can’t bear the intense scrutiny of a presidential campaign” narrative. Certainly it would behoove them to do everything in their vast reality-controlling power to discredit anyone who shines an unflattering light on them. I believe that the key would be the focus and talent in Gore’s media war room. They shouldn’t cry foul every time the media says anything merely unflattering about Gore, but instead limit themselves to conclusively debunking blatant falsehoods, i.e., “Al Gore claims he invented the internet,” or pointing out any occasions where a media outlet contradicts itself or demonstrates a clear IOKIYAR (It’s Okay If You’re A Republican) double standard. The practical difficulty here lies in presenting the case in a way that is both definitive and sound-bite compact, as well as the risk that every time they let an unflattering-but-not-flagrantly-inaccurate story pass unchallenged, it would be spun as a plea of no-contest. They would also need to work out where to draw the line between major, Swift-Boat-level lies that Gore should address personally, vs. smaller fibs that could be handled by a spokesperson (“Al Gore said he and Tipper were the inspiration for Love Story!“).

I understand that the risk in confronting the media head-on is enormous, but they have so much control over our perception of reality and history, that it is suicidal to allow them to continue infusing that reality with Republican narratives and outright lies. Ultimately, the media must be forced to choose between either taking their journalistic, watchdog responsibilities seriously, or else become a Pravda-esque laughingstock that everyone knows is just right-wing propaganda. My preference is for the former, as more Republican crimes would be exposed that way. I will also observe that the media crisis could also be brought about by some form of media scandal, wherein it is discovered that the media conspired to cover up some sort of major Republican wrongdoing. (But who would report it?) Finally, note that there may be no other way to reform the media – I believe that the Fairness Doctrine could be easily gamed and used as a figleaf, and reform of ownership rules would just kind of nibble around the edges. Any serious media reform would have to come from within, and would require some pretty intense motivation.

What about the bloggers? some of you may ask. I don’t want to sell my more-talented bloggy brethren short, but I think the sad truth is that there just aren’t enough people reading them to make much of a difference, and most of the people who are reading them are already convinced. It’s possible that this could change, or that the left builds a noise machine of its own by the time 2008 rolls around, in which case Nominee Angry Gore probably wouldn’t need a dedicated anti-media strikeforce (no elite motorcycle commandos, please), but I’m not counting on it. As my Cliche-A-Day calendar says, Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

7 comments May 17th, 2006 at 12:22pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Favorites,Gore,Media,Politics,Republicans,Rove

Gore’s Roar, The Revenge: They Get E-Mails

Here’s my e-mail to CNN, for all the good it will do:

I hope you will be covering Al Gore’s speech today, and that you give it more than a 15-second soundbite and a “that wacky Al Gore” shake of the head in between shark attacks and Aruba updates. A former vice president accusing a sitting president of criminality and incompetence, and the Congress and media of abdicating their responsibilities, should be big news in any universe.

Assuming that you do have some talking-head point-counterpoint analysis, I implore you to provide genuine representation for the liberal/Democrat point of view. I know it’s tempting to trot out Joe Lieberman to stick a knife in his old running-mate’s back, but please don’t do it. If you must put “sensible” faux-liberals like Lieberman or Richard Cohen or Joe Klein up there to tut-tut about how “Al Gore is a fine man, but History has passed him by, and he is treading dangerously close to treason by not supporting the President in this time of peril,” at least give some real liberals like Dean or Clark or Krugman an opportunity to rebut them.

This is very important, powerful material, and it is your duty to give it a fair hearing. I dare you.

Here goes nothin’.

6 comments January 16th, 2006 at 03:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Gore,Media,Wankers

Gore’s Roar

Go. Read. Now.

Hopefully later on I’ll have something more coherent to say about it than “BRAVO!!!” and “More like this, please.”

UPDATE: Changed link to point to Hecate’s post on the speech, which is also excellent, and reminds us of what’s morally at stake.

3 comments January 16th, 2006 at 01:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Democrats,Gore,Politics


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