During a phone interview with the Associated Press, the former politician defended the move, based on Al Jazeera's journalistic reputation.
The media giant is most commonly known for giving a platform to terrorist, but according to Gore there's more than meets the eye. “They're commercial-free, they're hard hitting,” he said. “They're very respected and capable, and their climate coverage has been outstanding, in depth, extensive, far more so than any network currently on the air in the U.S.”
Current TV sold for a whopping $500 million, and Al Jazeera hopes to use the network to help change its reputation in America. “We won every major award in television journalism, and we were profitable each year, but it's difficult for an independent network to compete in an age of conglomerate,” Gore added.
During a separate exchange, this time with the TODAY show's Matt Lauer Tuesday (Jan. 29) morning, Gore was taken to task on the business move. Lauer asked if the sale was merely an “investment,” and called him out as being hypocritical. In a passage in Gore's book The Future, he blasted “every news and political commentary program,” for being “sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies.” Lauer pointed out that Al Jazeera gets funding from Qatar, a country which gets its money from oil reserves.
Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP