As the old saying goes - If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
That’s exactly what former Vice President and 2000 Presidential nominee Al Gore did – even if the decision to sell Current TV to Arab media giant Al Jezeera clashes with winning the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting global warming and flies in the face of comments he has made regarding big oil and negative impacts oil giants have on the environment and society.
That’s right. Al Gore is a capitalist who capitalized. Money talks and (well, you know the rest).
Al Jazeera has been seeking an American market for some time. The Arabic media giant is owned by oil-rich country of Qatar, among the more beautiful places in the Middle East, rich with oil and natural gas, and a popular destination for American military on leave from the gulf wars.
I had some experience there in 2004 when I visited Qatar as part of the U.S. State Department’s Partners in Participation program which was a project under U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. The program included both Democrats and Republicans who traveled on an international mission to teach Arab women from six countries how to run for public office and what to do after they get elected.
In my case, I remember meeting a broadcast journalist who exclaimed to me “I am the voice of your President Bush”. He was among the interpreters chosen to translate for trainers from English to Arabic so the young Arab women students could understand what we were teaching.
I was told during the same trip of Al Jazeera’s connections to the Taliban, which instantly made me break out in hives.
That’s my story. Here’s Al Gore’s:
Al Jazeera is paying about $500 million for Current TV. That means former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s stake in the deal may net him $70 million. Not surprisingly, much remains cloaked behind the deal’s burqa. Some are criticizing Mr. Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against global warming.
Gore has said investors in oil and gas companies that ignore the cost of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases are making a mistake similar to investing in sub-prime mortgages. Some wish he had sold to Glenn Beck rather than lining his pockets with money from Al Jazeera, the cable channel partially funded by oil-rich Qatar. See Glenn Beck Tried To Purchase Current TV.
“It’s reeking with irony,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean at Yale School of Management. “It seems to be at least a paradox in terms of his positions on sustainability and geopolitics.” See Al Gore’s Payday From Oil-Rich Qatar ‘Reeking With Irony’.
You can read the rest of this very good analysis at Forbes Magazine entitled “Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore’s Al Jazeera Deal”.
Also, an accompanying article on Twitter cashing in on laughs at former VP Gore’s expense is here.
What do you think? Will Al Gore pay his fair share in the form of American taxes this year?
Photo Credit: Wikipedia