Al Gore's $100 million payday, which resulted from his sale of Current TV to the Al-Jazeera network, exposes the former vice president and chief environmental evangelist as someone who has taken hypocrisy to unprecedented heights.
After rejecting a lucrative offer from talk show host Glenn Beck, Gore opted to accept oil-tainted money, timed his business transaction to avoid paying a “fair share” of taxes, used his former office to lobby for legislation, and ultimately ended up providing assistance to a foreign government-owned network with an alleged anti-American bias.
At the New York University School of Law in 2006, Gore said the following: “Many Americans are tired of borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the Persian Gulf to make huge amounts of pollution that destroys the planet’s climate.”
In relation to his Current TV transaction, it appears as though Gore was comfortably able to exempt himself from his own personal ethical, ideological, and fiscal framework.
The government of Qatar owns the Al-Jazeera network, and the nation obtains almost half of its gross domestic product from oil and gas earnings. The country has a hereditary monarchy governed by the Al-Thani family, a royal clan that controls massive wealth from Qatar’s oil and gas reserves. Additionally, Al-Jazeera’s owner possesses other characteristics inconsistent with the publicly expressed positions of Gore.
The Qatari government embraces Shariah law and considers homosexual activity to be a criminal offense, imposing imprisonment, physical punishment, lengthy sentences, and/or deportation of those deemed to have engaged. Individuals with HIV/AIDS are not allowed to reside in Qatar and those who contract HIV/AIDS may be subject to deportation.
In Qatar, incidents involving insults, obscene language, or gestures often result in arrest, overnight imprisonment, and/or fines. Women are not permitted to wear clothing that is considered revealing or provocative, including items such as sleeveless blouses, halter tops, or shorts.
In 2008 former ABC “Nightline” television show reporter Dave Marash, who had anchored Al-Jazeera English for U.S. audiences, left his position, accusing the network of “reflexive” anti-American bias.
Al-Jazeera purportedly did not purchase Current TV in order to acquire any of the network’s on-air personalities, including Joy Behar, who had previously been cut from the lineup of HLN, or Elliot Spitzer, who had been let go from CNN.
Current TV’s audience of approximately 42,000 viewers is miniscule, as reflected by the network’s insignificant advertising income of less than $20 million annually. Almost all of its value had been tied up in its access to an estimated 42 million cable television households.
Gore had been able to build up the number of Current TV channel placements on cable and satellite systems through use of his stature as a former U.S. vice president. He had also provided assistance to the cable industry via his personal backing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which cancelled price controls and allowed cable companies to increase rates for expanded basic services.
Cable rates have consistently gone up, rising far faster than the rate of inflation and simultaneously enhancing the value of Current TV.
While Gore’s business plan of the past may have had an innocuous appearance as he went about promoting a supposed unique public interest-oriented cable television channel, the Al-Jazeera sale has managed to unmask the environmental hypocrite and lay bare his avaricious self-serving agenda.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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