Imagine the hyperventilating headlines: Global warming denier sells TV channel to Arab Oil organisation, pockets $100 million in oil funds. More proof that giant corporate interests pull the strings on the public debate, and that carbon dioxide causes storms, tidal waves, asteroids, and alien attacks!
Skip the Global Hypocrisy Award for 2013 – don’t even bother sending in entries. It’s over.
Al Gore has campaigned for two decades against the evil vice-like grip that fossil fuel polluters have on the media and politics ““The carbon fuels industry — big oil and coal — have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party” (H/t The Telegraph). So the obvious step was for him to spend seven years building a TV empire in order to sell it to an organisation founded, funded and fused with Big Oil.
Al Gore apparently owned about 20% of Current TV (you’ve never heard of it either, right?).
He’s just sold it to Al Jazeera for half a billion: thus giving the Qatari Royal Family more access to US audiences and earning himself a hundred million or so.
But of course, he really didn’t have a choice, the other large offer coming in was from something far more evil and scary than Big Oil, and that was Big Glenn Beck.
It’s true, Al Gore really did prefer Big-Oil’s point of view:
Other suitors who didn’t share Current’s ideology were rebuffed. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze approached Current about buying the channel last year, but was told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view,” according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
But Al Jazeera just wants to tell the news, right?
While it makes Mr Gore richer, the deal gives Al Jazeera a way to expand its reach in the US. Despite its record of awards and commendations for its international coverage, particularly during the Arab Spring, it has faced an uphill battle in convincing Americans that it is a legitimate news organisation, not a propaganda tool for oil-rich Gulf states or Islamist militants.
Read more at The Independent