Well, grills might be too strong a word in this case. Unlike Matt Lauer, who explicitly raised the allegation of hypocrisy — twice — Jon Stewart goes for a softer approach, one that doesn’t even use irony or satirical wit. Instead, he asks whether Al Gore might have found a more “sustainable” buyer for Current TV, at which point Gore feigns ignorance of the context of the word while promoting a book that argues for sustainability:
“Can mogul Al Gore who has Current TV and sells it to Qatar, which is an oil-based economy, can mogul Al Gore coexist with activist Al Gore?” Stewart asked. “If you couldn’t find for your business a more sustainable choice to sell to—“
Gore jumped in, saying, “I think it is sustainable. What is not sustainable about it?”
“I mean, a non-fossil fuel based buyer,” Stewart replied. … “You had an opportunity to make a statement probably about your principles and some people would feel, and for me as well, I thought it was an odd move,” Stewart said. “Not because of some of the other things, but because it is backed by fossil fuel money.”
“I get it. I get it. I get it,” Gore said. “But it was an easy choice after doing the diligence on the network itself.”
“Can you see how people at home might think – but he’s asking me in my life to make choices about light bulbs and a cost-benefit analysis for the purpose of sustainability when I just want to see my book. That’s the issue,” Stewart said.
Yes, and the $100 million payday didn’t hurt, either. That’s the hypocrisy, along with the notion that the sale will somehow boost climate-change coverage. Al Jazeera bought Current TV for its access to cable and satellite subscribers in the US, in order to promote its own interests. Only in the world of high-level political hypocrisy can anyone argue that Qatar’s interests include the reduction or elimination of fossil fuel use. It would be akin to building a fortune out of pro-life activism, launching a media outlet with the money, and then selling it to Planned Parenthood because of their great track record of handing out condoms.
Not that I want to give anyone any ideas.