Austin, Texas is playing host to stars in the worlds of film, music, technology and politics as the annual South By Southwest Conferences (SXSW) kicked off this weekend.
Saturday’s keynote speech featured former Vice President Al Gore and Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. The official title of the event was “Al Gore on The Future.” Coincidentally, “The Future” is also the title of Gore’s latest book. (currently ranked #326 on Amazon.com).
In the well attended session, Gore actually stayed true to his recycling mantra and actually revisited a theme from 2012’s keynote session with Sean Parker. In that session, Gore was talking about the risks to American democracy and told Parker and the crowd, “Our democracy has been hijacked.”
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon, March 8, 2013. Gore and Mossberg on the stage in front of a full house at the Austin Convention Center. Mr. Gore told the crowd, “Our country is in very serious trouble. But that does not mean I am optimistic.” Then the former Vice President shifted focused to the topic of money and politics and trotted out last year’s catchphrase, “Our democracy has been hijacked.”
Twitter took notice.
“American democracy has never been perfect, but more often than not, the will of the people did drive policy. Congress today is utterly incapable of passing any reform of any significance unless they get permission from special interests.”
Mr. Gore went on to say “The NRA is a complete fraud because it is financed by the gun manufacturers.” Gore’s belief is that the NRA is in league with the gun manufacturers as opposed to actually defending the Second Amendment rights of the people.
Walter Mossberg also saw an opportunity to question Gore on the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera. In a rambling explanation, Mr. Gore justified the sale.
“I did extensive diligence and found some pretty remarkable things, it has won major awards around the world for integrity in journalism I felt it was the most interest and disruptive move on the chessboard.”
TheBlaze will post the full video of the keynote event as soon as it is available.
After the event, Gore held a book signing event that was also well attended. A few of TheBlaze staff (Kenton Jacobsen – pictured here – and LJ Herman) endured the line to get a photo of the former Vice President. One of our enterprising crew was sporting the new, limited edition “I Want TheBlaze Because” t-shirt.