Green Piece

The simple musings of a man who thought he knew everything . . .

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Al Gore's Speech: Diatribe or Commercial?

Al Gore went on (another) rant the other day. He called it "The Threat to American Democracy". His main point in this article is that ever since the MSM lost control of what you get to hear about, free speech has been in peril. This is very convenient for him to say because he has just put together a new TV station. Of course Mr. Gore takes the time to verbally jab the President. The following are some quotes from his rant with my comments

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered " an alternate universe"?

I have not heard one person say that. The only reason you are hearing this is because you do live in an alternate universe known as liberal elitism.

Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice?
Mr. Gore, please get this straight - nobody is as nice to their enemies as we are. Give it up.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was - at least for a short time - a quality of vividness and clarity of focus in our public discourse that reminded some Americans
I cannot believe that you used the coverage of Hurricane Katrina as an example of how things should be done. There is one reason for your assessment. In your mind Bush Bashing = good journalism. During Hurricane Katrina there were news reports of cannibalism, "bands of rapists, going block to block", gunfire, killed policemen, ten thousand dead. None of this turned out to be true. But, hey, if there is anything bad about Bush, then it's some goooooood reportin'.

The internet is a formidable new medium of communication, but it is important to note that it still doesn't hold a candle to television.
In other words, you still need my TV station.

And here is my point:

it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.
Your reasoning is so backwards from reality that it is almost funny. There was a time - a golden age for liberals - when a very few sources controlled all of what was presented to the world as news. How is that a marketplace of ideas?

safeguards were enacted in the U.S. -- including the Public Interest Standard, the Equal Time Provision, and the Fairness Doctrine
Again, your logic is flawed. You are literally arguing that restraints on free speech helped the marketplace of ideas.

though a half century later, in 1987, they were effectively repealed. And then immediately afterwards, Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.
If you really believed in a marketplace of ideas, Mr. Gore, you wouldn't be so frightened of the ideas that are winning. There is a reason that your network, along with Air America, is failing. Nobody thinks they are worth listening to.

Dan Rather - who was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House
What he said may have angered the White House, but you left off that he used forged documents to accuse the President of something that never happened. The very thing you claim to be espousing, i.e. free speech, is what brought Dan Rather down. there was a time when he could have gotten away with his underhanded pratices, that time is gone.

Later he basically goes on to say that his new station is what America needs, blah blah blah.

Read this speech, but don't be fooled by it.


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