Al Gore: Why no, I'm not a hypocrite for selling Current TV to oil emirs

Three minutes of hilarity come to us today from a rather unlikely pair — Matt Lauer and Al Gore. Give Lauer credit for pressing Gore on the implications of selling Current TV to Al-Jazeera, a global news organization that isn’t sponsored by Big Oil interests, but owned by them.  Reaching back to Gore’s own book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, Lauer asks Gore not once but twice how he can square his accusations that other news organizations are bought by Big Oil and then sell his to Qatari oil emirs.

Gore says … well, watch:

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Erik Wemple practically laughs out loud:

Hypocrisy! “Today” displayed a quote from Gore’s new book “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.” It reads, “Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies…” So Lauer asks Gore if his sale of Current TV to a network owned by the emir of an oil-earnings-fueled Middle East country (Qatar) doesn’t smack of a contradiction. To which Gore had a lame response. “I certainly understand that criticism. I disagree with it. Because I think Al Jazeera has obviously long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization. And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any…”

Lauer came back at him, citing possible hypocrisy. Gore essentially repeated his first response.

And you have to love this explanation of what makes Al-Jazeera so exceptional:

Gore loves accolades won by other outlets. Of Al Jazeera, he says, “It’s won major awards in countries around the world.”

Yes … but did they ever win this Major Award?

Note too (as Wemple does) that Gore doesn’t dispute that $100 million payday.  I’d guess that was the only “major award” that really impressed Gore.  Kudos to Lauer for making Gore answer that question — twice.