The Arabic news channel Al Jazeera provides a high quality “honest-to-goodness” service that compares well with U.S. cable news networks, former vice president Al Gore has claimed, Forbes reports
“You have heard me be very critical of American television journalism,” Gore said at the South by SouthWest festival in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, as he was asked about selling his Current TV channel to the Qatar-based network.
He described Al Jazeera as a “very high-quality 24-7 honest-to-goodness news channel that covers international news as well as national — that covers climate, that covers poverty, that covers issues that are ignored today.”
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He said the introduction of Al Jazeera to millions of U.S. homes has the potential to be “disruptive in a creative and positive way.”
Gore sold his network for a reputed $500 million in January. He is said to have made $100 million personally on the deal.
But he came under fire because Al Jazeera is largely funded by the oil-rich government of Qatar. In Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” he blasted big energy for its role in climate change.
“I knew when I made that decision my principal obligation was to do business in a way that makes the world a better place,” he told the SXSW audience.
He said competition from the network — which has been criticized for its coverage of al Qaida and other terror groups — could “raise the game for television journalism here in the United States of America.”
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