January 29, 2013
Former vice-president turned climate change activist Al Gore answered NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer’s “tough questions” on the sale of Gore’s Current Media company to Middle East news agency Al Jazeera.
In the interview, Gore shied away from admitting that it is the epitome of hypocrisy to sell a company that warns about the dangers of man-made global warming to a company funded by fossil fuel wealth.
The Washington Free Beacon published this transcript of the interview:
LAUER: Yet even as you sold to Al Jazeera, you in the book blast other television news programs, saying this: “Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal, and gas companies–not just during campaign seasons, but all the time, year in and year out–with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened.” And the critics jumped, and they said, here’s the guy who just sold to Al Jazeera, which gets an undetermined amount of funding from the country of Qatar, which gets its money from oil reserves. Isn’t there a contradiction in that?
GORE: I certainly understand that criticism. I disagree with it. I think Al Jazeera has, obviously, long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization. And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and high-quality than any of the networks here–
LAUER: But if they get funding from a country that bases its wealth on fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are the enemy you target in climate change, isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in that?
GORE: Well, I get the criticism. I just disagree with it, because this network has established itself. It’s objective, it’s won major awards in countries around the world and its climate coverage, as I said a moment ago, has been outstanding and extensive.”
The Free Beacon also noted that Gore reportedly received an estimated payment of $100 million for his media group and that he even tried to purchase before January 1st, “in a bid to avoid higher taxes on the transaction.”