For disciples of Gore, his reaction was truly an embarrassment, or should have been. It was basically no reaction at all, except to wriggle out of tough questions as quickly as possible and return, unrepentant, to his book-promoting talking points.
Letterman, Lauer, and later Jon Stewart tried to elicit some kind of admission from Gore that what he was doing was in some way — any way — hypocritical.
Lauer even quoted an excerpt from “The Future,” in which Gore voiced outrage that “virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal, and gas companies.” When pressed about how he himself could accept a half-billion dollars for his television network from one of these same oil and gas conglomerates when they, according to Gore, are the Great Satan threatening the integrity of broadcast journalism, he said matter-of-factly: “I get the criticism. I just disagree with it.”
Without further explanation, Gore went right back to how many journalism honors Al-Jazeera — the oil and gas state-sponsored network — had been awarded.
It was surreal. And ugly. And even uglier was Gore’s complete indifference to criticism, and seeming disregard for any negative impact this would have on his party, not to mention his leftist legacy. He acted like the calculating, compromised, money-worshipping “Learjet liberal” he has become.
And that’s a shame for his progressive cause.
For me, of course, as a conservative, it’s a breath of fresh air, another glimmer of hope that perhaps — with a little help from some unlikely friends — the national playing field will be leveled again, and maybe even in time for the 2014 midterm elections.
I’m still not sure what our Republican formula for winning will be, but at least I’ve seen the Democratic formula for turning off the American electorate with political hypocrisy.
And that’s an “AlGorithm” we can do without!
Timothy Philen is the author of Harper&Row/Lippincott’s “You CAN Run Away From It!” a satirical indictment of American pop psychology. He is currently at work on a latter-day “Walden,” a tightly knit collection of essays on post-modern American culture.