Selling Current TV to al-Jezeera's Oil-Rich Owner Seen as Gore Hypocrisy

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 02:50 PM

By Michael Mullins

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One of the most visible faces of the global environmental movement, former Vice President Al Gore, can expect to earn about $100 million from the sale of his cable news channel Current TV to al-Jazeera, a purchase made possible by the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

Al-Jazeera is substantially owned by the Arab nation, one of the region's wealthiest due to its oil and natural gas resources.

That Gore benefits immensely from a nation that is heavily invested in an industry he routinely rails against has not been missed by industry observers.

"It’s reeking with irony," Jeff Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management, told Bloomberg News. "It seems to be at least a paradox in terms of his positions on sustainability and geopolitics."

Gore went on record in 2006 as criticizing America's dependence on foreign oil from that region.

"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," Gore said then during a conference at the New York University School of Law. "Increasingly, Americans believe that we have to change every part of that pattern."

Gore's environmental activism led to his being the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change," according to his official biography.

It's not the first time Gore has been accused of being a hypocrite when it comes to his environmental positions and the manner in which he conducts himself.

Most famously perhaps is that Gore owned a mansion in Nashville, Tenn., that used 20 times more electricity than the average American household, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

While lecturing others to conserve energy and leave a smaller carbon footprint, Gore routinely used private jets in his travels, burning a considerably high amount of fuel when compared with commercial travel.

Gore's apparent hypocrisy doesn't stop with his environmental stances, as pointed out by the New York Times.

After expressing support for ending Bush-era tax cuts and saying on Current TV that the rich should pay their "fair share" in taxes, Gore apparently wanted to close the Current TV deal before Dec. 31 in order to avoid paying a higher tax rate beginning Jan. 1. Although he may have thought he was saving about $8 million, the paperwork wasn't signed until Jan. 2.

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