Al Gore's progressive cable network Current TV was recently sold to Qatar-based Al Jazeera
Isn’t it marvelous about Current TV? Oh, not that it failed, though there hasn’t been so gratifying a truncation of life since Leo DeCaprio’s “Titanic” character slid beneath the icy waves. No, what’s marvelous is that it’s brought Al Gore back into the national consciousness.
But how can the re-emergence of the man described best by Jonah Goldberg as a “human toothache” be welcome? Because the hubbub around Gore’s sale of his far left vanity network to Al Jazeera reminds us this man came within a few dimpled chads of being Commander-in-Chief on 9-11. Our penance in the Age of Obama is proof that George Bush had many faults and made many mistakes. But all you need to do is look at what Gore’s said about Al Jazeera and, in turn, what Al Jazeera has to say about the world to be grateful for the ineloquent cowboy.
When Glenn Beck’s company approached Gore about buying Current TV, it was told the former vice president was sensitive about the legacy of his network. He wouldn’t sell to anyone “not aligned with our point of view.” Fair enough. It’s his chocolate factory.
So he sold to an outfit he said speaks “truth to power.” By now, everyone knows Al Jazeera as the network of choice for aspiring martyrs everywhere – a combination terrorist Chuck E. Cheese and Hamas PR shop. Hated by Donald Rumsfeld, beloved by New York Times types, its broadcasts are anti-American and anti-Israel. While that doesn’t much differentiate it from MSNBC, the “Opinion” section on Al Jazeera’s website is instructive and, well, amusing. How about a brief stroll through this funhouse of Gore-aligned viewpoints?
Let’s begin with the regular contributions of one Belen Fernandez, an Ivy-League educated American writer who likes to write about not liking America. Her latest explains how the U.S. is currently trying to revive the Cold War with Tehran standing in for Moscow. Iran’s cozy relations with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have us dusting off the old tools of “US imperialism in Latin America.” We are, she posits, pining for the good old days of “illicit war against Nicaragua,” fostering “state terrorism in South America” and whacking saintly Latin democrats for the benefit of shadowy fruit cartels.
And if President Obama thought his being the anti-Bush would assuage international anti-Americanism, he didn’t count on Comrade Fernandez. On Dec. 29, she heaped scorn on Foreign Policy magazine’s annual “Top 100 Global Thinkers” list. (It is, we’re told, “populated by individuals whose dearth of intellectual qualifications tends to render the whole business an exercise in oxymoron proliferation.” Hey Belan, I’m second to none in my disdain for the Davos-Geneva-Turtle Bay set, but meow!) Anyway, “US imperial predations” have barely slowed under Obama, and neither he nor Hillary escape Fernandez’ poison pen. But perhaps her “aligned point of view” is best summed by her irony-free description of The New York Times as a “bastion of imperial apologetics.” The Times!
Moving on, we come to Paul Rosenberg, “Senior Editor at Random Lengths News, an alternative bi-weekly newspaper in the Los Angeles Harbour Area,” who tells us the GOP kills people. “People die during recessions. People die when they suffer from long-term unemployment,” Rosenberg states. And if we’ve learned nothing the last four years, it’s that recessions and unemployment only occur under Republicans.
Further, “People die from gun violence that GOP, along with its NRA allies and its ALEC allies have both passively and actively helped spread.” And of course, failing that, the GOP’s constantly offing people with lax workplace safety, greenhouse gases and more of those sinister economic policies, which bring “the possibility of another world-wide recession, which would no doubt cause many more premature deaths, along with all the other sub-lethal suffering it would bring.” Wow, if only national Republicans were as effective as the kind they get in the LA Harbour Area!
Rosenberg thinks too small. According to Nick Turse, historian, journalist and fellow at the Nation Institute, it’s Americans en masse that bring death on an industrial scale. Turse’s Jan. 12 offering is a long litany of American atrocities visited on civilian populations from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The last 45 years we’ve been ripping contented foreigners from the gentle ministrations of Ho, Saddam and Mullah Omar and subjecting them to “the constant threat of air strikes, artillery fire, and violence perpetrated by foreign ground troops.”
Turse invites readers to imagine the reverse: America occupied. “ … a country in which those foreigners kill American ‘insurgents’ and then routinely strip them naked; in which those occupying troops sometimes urinate on American bodies (and shoot videos of it); or take trophy photos of their ‘kills’; or mutilate them; or pose with the body parts of dead Americans; or from time to time – for reasons again beyond your comprehension -- rape or murder your friends and neighbors.”
(Paging Bill Ayers …)
Those are just three standouts – Al Jazeera’s opinion contributors are a collection of lefty academics, journalists and Soros stooges, with the same ideological diversity you’d find at a typical liberal arts college, and about the same bong-addled thought.
Are these the aligned viewpoints, and the truths Al Jazeera speaks to power? If so, we should all be grateful anew that George W. Bush ended up wielding the pointy end of American power, and Al Gore ended up with annoying Americans with his PowerPoint.