On journalism, global warming and Al Gore.
Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 9/5/14
London’s Daily Mail has served up some reporting on former vice president Al Gore that you likely won’t see here in America. Here are two examples.
In a story dated May 6, 2013, the Mail tells us that Al Gore is a very wealthy man – wealthy enough, in fact, to be mentioned in the same sentence with 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. According to the Mail, Al Gore has a net worth of about $200 million, compared to Mitt Romney’s $250 million.
And it turns out that Gore got rich in pretty much the same way that Romney did. Gore sat on corporate boards – like Romney, exercised the resulting stock options – like Romney, was a principal in an investment firm – like Romney, and sold a company at a sizable profit – like Romney. The difference is, no one on the left and none of the eastern establishment press (but I repeat myself) has ever painted Al Gore as a real life Gordon Gekko.
But Al did something else. He made a bunch of money as the world’s Chicken Little-In-Chief on the subject of global warming. By offering an apocalyptic vision of a world about to snuff itself out beneath a blanket of suffocating man-generated carbon dioxide, the former veep was able to parley an all but unreadable book called An Inconvenient Truth into an all but unwatchable movie. (Oh, and a Nobel Prize.)
Gore was always at pains to tell us that the proceeds from the book and the movie went to the non-profit Climate Reality Project (that he founded). But the $175,000 a pop speaking fees that the book, the movie, the Nobel Prize and his former VP status made possible went straight into Al’s pocket.
Which segues nicely into the second example of the Daily Mail’s journalism on Al Gore.
In a story last week, the Mail called Gore out on a prediction he made in 2007. In his Nobel acceptance speech, Gore said,
“The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff. It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years.”
Which, seven years later, confronts Al Gore with an inconvenient truth.
According to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center, an area the size of Alaska that was open water two years ago is now a solid sheet of ice. One estimate from the Danish Meteorological Institute places the increase in the polar ice cap at 63 percent. I’ll bet you haven’t seen that story in an American paper.
Al Gore’s wealth affords him a 10,000 square foot mansion that costs more per year to heat and cool than a lot of families make. His SUV reportedly sits outside those $175K speaking gigs idling with the air conditioner running so as to avoid the inconvenient truth of a hot car.
From which we can learn two things.
First, with respect to wealth, there is no greater hypocrite in the solar system than a rich liberal. And second, with respect to journalism, the reporting of the Daily Mail may offer a clue as to why American newspapers are dying while British newspapers continue to thrive.