The Corner

Hobbled By Honesty

The latest Vanity Fair has a piece on Al Gore’s view of the media and its coverage of the 2000 race. A very odd story idea, don’t you think? Six-plus years into the Clinton presidency, was there a lot of interest in the media’s coverage of George H.W. Bush? Anyway, here’s an excerpt from the press release sent out by Vanity Fair:

New York, N.Y.—For the first time Al Gore talks about the effect the press had on him and on the 2000 presidential election, telling Vanity Fair contributing editor Evgenia Peretz that he doesn’t blame the media for his loss and that he accepts responsibility for not being able to communicate more clearly with the public. “Modern politics seems to require and reward some capacities that I don’t think I have in abundance … such as a tolerance for … spin rather than an honest discussion of substance. Apparently, it comes easily for some people, but not for me,” Gore says.

Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like…spin, don’t you think? This makes Gore sound like he’s the only honest man in a dirty business and that he was always hobbled by his interest in “substance.” But Gore certainly displayed no reluctance to spin and engage in low-brow emotional appeals,  he was just bad at it. And he still is bad at it. His attacks on global warming “deniers” aren’t substantive, they are shabby and, often,  ad hominem. 

It is not really a mark in Gore’s favor that he was willing to do what he (allegedly) abhors for so long. A one-legged thief would make a bad purse snatcher. It is not a tribute to the man’s love of honest work if he chooses to stop snatching purses after years of trying. 

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