7/16/2007

Gore and gallows

The right-wing is trying to hang Al Gore.

An Academy Award-winning documentary and possible Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding, anyone who disagrees with right-wing ideology comes under personal attack. Seldom do facts get in the way of the public lynching.

While perusing samples of right-wing reaction to the recent “Live Earth” concerts, I ran across an Investor’s Business Daily editorial. This downright sophomoric screed is just one example of lame debate hiding behind ad hominem. I include it below as “Exhibit A.”

Why is the right so afraid of grassroots movements?

Several years ago I began commenting on MoveOn.org’s “Great Goals” forum, having joined the online movement, formed to encourage the nation to “move on” following Ken Starr’s witch-hunt and the Clinton impeachment.

Those I met on the forum are intelligent folks who care about their country. Each of us have our own pet issues, but we came together to discuss these issues and explore what we could do to keep our democracy healthy and intact.

Perhaps I am a tad naïve, but I was unprepared for the vicious personal attacks from right-wing posters who came there daily for the sole purpose of interrupting discourse and creating discord.

In some 60 years I had never been so maliciously and vulgarly dogged, and I’m certain that could be said for most of the forum’s regular posters.

Sure, I believe in free speech, but, like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, false personal attacks seem outside the original intent of the First Amendment.

Nor was I prepared for the 3.5 million-member MoveOn.org to be demonized with such a steady drumbeat that its name became synonymous with “anti-American.”

Now, with even greater grassroots support, it’s Gore’s turn.

Global warming is not an issue bound by American partisan politics. Contrary to convictions of many on the right, there is a world beyond America’s borders.

Such a worldwide effort as “Live Earth” cannot be tolerated, according to the voices of the right, and none have been more vocal and visible than those of Fox News.

I remind my readers that on 5/11/2007 (LINK) I reported Rupert Murdoch had made a commitment throughout News Corp to reduce its “carbon footprint” to zero by 2010. In announcing the company-wide goal, Murdoch said climate change can have “catastrophic effects.”

Yet, Murdoch’s man Roger Ailes has permeated every program at News Corp’s flagship Fox News with anti-Gore, anti-environmentalist propaganda.

Why this mission to make a mockery of such a moral, yes, moral issue? How can News Corp do one thing, yet preach another?

Ideally, publishers and media moguls grant “editorial autonomy.” But, there’s a trend toward media suits becoming more involved in editorial content.

Shouldn’t Mr. Murdoch’s 4 billion viewers and readers at least be aware of his personal stand on global warming?

When did it become passé to care about our environment?

And when did personal attacks take the place of cold, hard facts?

EXHIBIT A:

The Investor’s Business Daily editorial (LINK):

Al Gore And NBC: Birds Of A Feather

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Politics: Was what Al Gore called "the largest global entertainment event in all of human history" also the largest in-kind political contribution? And where's the Fairness Doctrine when you need it?

Considering that here in the U.S. the Peacock Network's three-hour Gore infomercial on global warming lost out in the ratings to "Cops" and "America's Funniest Home Videos," Gore's claim may be open to question. Live Earth, in fact, may have been America's funniest home video. Ever.

But thanks in large part to the 75 hours of free airtime that NBC gave Gore on its various stations, starting with NBC and including CNBC, Bravo, the Sundance channel, Universal HD and Telemundo, Gore may now be the 800-pound gorilla this political season.

Gore insists he's not running for president. Yet, as we have wondered before, why would a man who insists that global warming is the biggest threat to mankind, bigger than nuclear terror, not want control of the reins of a major world polluter and chief resister to Kyoto?

Dan Harrison, an NBC corporate senior vice president, called the Gore effort "an initiative we believe in" — the "we" presumably including corporate parent General Electric. Yet he insisted: "I don't think climate change is a political issue."

From the other side of his mouth, Harrison opined: "If it's a political issue, it's whether the political will exists to address that change. We know we need to do something, and this is a way to heighten awareness."

So he considers it NBC's mission to generate that political will in an election cycle in support of a man who once ran for president.

NBC and GE have other interests in hyping climate change. Let's not forget GE is the parent of NBC and stands to make a wad of cash from selling alternative energy products from wind turbines to solar panels to those compact fluorescent bulbs containing mercury.

So when Gore prances on stage to demand we stop building coal-fired plants, that's music to GE's corporate ears.

NBC's Ann Curry certainly thinks global warming is a political issue. During prime-time coverage, she almost got down on her knees to beg the jolly green giant to run for the White House.

Interviewing Gore from the site of the concert in New Jersey, Curry gushed:

"A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for president. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass-roots movement, if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking, would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"

Certainly Gore thinks global warming is a political issue, appearing earlier this year before Democrat-controlled House and Senate committees pleading for action. During his opening statement before the House, he famously said: "The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor."

After Gore's testimony, a better course of action would have been to ask for a second opinion.

When a conservative appears on talk radio, liberals cry for the Fairness Doctrine. Seventy-five free hours for Archbishop Gore's Church of Climate Change? Not a peep.
(End of editorial)

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I rest my case.

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A second brief post follows.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but. . .

What does one say in defense of one's actions when one acknowledges having voted for George W. Bush, twice?

They say, yeah, but the other guy would've been even worse. Gore and Kerry will alwyas be "yeah buts."

Sir Cumspect said...

And, we will always wonder what our country would be like today if either had been president. I believe in both.