Fox News and other conservative media outlets are accusing Al Gore of being a "hypocrite" for allegedly trying to avoid paying higher taxes on the sale of his Current TV operation after he said in November the rich should pay their "fair share" in taxes.
Fox talk show hosts Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly devoted a portion of their programs Thursday evening to Gore's sale of Current TV to the Al Jazeera news network based in Qatar for an estimated $500 million.
Gore, according to the New York Times, sought to avoid paying the higher tax rate that took effect on Jan. 1 on his estimated $100 million share of the sales price by closing the deal before Dec. 31. The paperwork wasn't signed, however, until Jan. 2, possibly costing Gore some $8 million more than the estimated $15 million he would have paid had the sale been finalized in 2012.
"Is former Vice President Al Gore a hypocrite?" Van Susteren asked Thursday, before airing a video tape quoting the former vice president in a November Reuters interview saying there was nothing wrong with asking wealthy Americans to pay higher tax rates.
"Let's ask the most fortunate in our society, including me and you, to do our fair share," Gore said at the time.
"Apparently, he doesn't want to apply that rule to himself, or he has a different idea what his fair share is," Van Susteren said, suggesting Gore tried to "beat the deadline" by closing before Jan. 1.
"Nothing wrong with it, except for the question of whether or not it's being a hypocrite, when you're asking others to pay," she added.
O'Reilly, meanwhile, offered up his own take on the sale to what he called "the anti-American network Al Jazeera" and Gore's alleged tax avoidance. He called it "sleazy" and "disgraceful," adding that the former vice president had "shamed himself."
He invited Gore to appear on the program and present his side of the story. But he added that Gore would never do it, because "we have a problem with hypocrites here in the No Spin Zone, and Al well knows it."
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