Tags: gore | al | jazeera | sale

Al Gore: Al Jazeera a 'Distinguished' News Organization

Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 12:01 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

Al Gore has gone on the defensive over the sale of his Current TV to Al Jazeera, insisting he was not being hypocritical for cashing out to the controversial Mideast cable television outlet.

“I certainly understand that criticism. I disagree with it,’’ the former vice president told Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today’’ show on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera is mostly funded by the government of Qatar, which profits from environment-challenging oil and natural gas reserves and has been seen by some as anti-American and anti-Israel in its coverage.

But Gore, one of the nation’s most vocal environmental advocates and critics of pollution-causing businesses, defended Al Jazeera, saying the network “has obviously long established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization.

“And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the networks there.”

He said Al Jazeera had won “major awards in countries around the world’’ for its climate coverage.

Gore also compared Hurricane Sandy and other recent weather horrors to a biblical beast rising out of the ocean and insists they are the disturbing results of ongoing climate change.

“These storms – it’s like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation on the news every day now. People are connecting the dots,’’ he said.

In the Book of Revelation — which is the final part of the New Testament — a terrifying, horned beast rises out of the ocean to wreak havoc.

Gore, author of a new book called “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change," said fighting climate change is difficult in today’s world.

“One of the themes of this book, Matt, is that our democracy has been hacked. Big money is having a corrupting influence and it’s degrading the quality of our democracy,” he said.

“Large carbon polluters have business plans that depend upon them being able to use the Earth’s atmosphere as an open sewer.

“It’s the same thing that tobacco companies did years ago in trying to convince people that the science linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer was not believable.”

In addition, Gore spoke publicly for the first time about his 2010 separation from his wife, Tipper.

“We made a mutual agreement after 40 years of marriage. We’re doing great by the way,” he said, adding that their relationship is "warm."

“We had the children and grandchildren for Christmas, and we have regular family gatherings. Life is good . . . We have a good relationship and our family is strong and that’s what matters.”

The two, while separated, have not filed for divorced.

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