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Daily Howler: When Al Gore made his formal proposal, the nation's Big Press chose to doze
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IGNORE GORE! When Al Gore made his formal proposal, the nation’s Big Press chose to doze: // link // print // previous // next //

WE THE FATUOUS/SON OF EARTH TONES: “What fools we mortals be,” The Bard wrote—and he was understating the problem. Was George Allen’s maternal grandfather Jewish? Why did Allen know or not know it? And what did Jim Webb write in that 27-year-old column? (Was the column written before or after that photo of Allen in high school?) In these, and similar ways, we pretend to conduct our public discussions. Read on to see the way we “discuss” the greatest known threats to our lives:

IGNORE GORE: Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, is on its last legs, as all films finally are; it’s showing in only 110 theaters, down from a high of 587. (Director: Davis Guggenheim.) On the bright side, it stands as the third-biggest documentary of all time, with an American gross topping $23 million. Almost surely, it will win the Oscar for documentary films next March. And who knows? Maybe Melissa Etheridge will win gold for Best Original Song, too.

But that’s the good news, and here comes the bad: On Monday afternoon, in a speech at NYU, Gore unveiled his formal plan to counter the effects of global warming. And the nation’s big news orgs buried it deep—if they bothered reporting it at all.

The Washington Post gave Gore’s speech 484 words, placing it low on page 2. The New York Times—above-it-all always—gave the story 468 words, and a bottom-of-page 17 placement. And try to believe that this appeared as part of the New York Times treatment:
REVKIN (9/19/06): Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the Gore proposals would create ''economic calamity.”

“He’s been hyping unfounded fears of planetary doom for 20 years,” Mr. Inhofe said in a statement, “and his new proposal would require a wholesale restructuring of our economic system.”
Good God! There isn’t a word in the Times report about the overwhelming scientific consensus on warming. But we did get the hear the crackpot Inhofe add to his famous crackpot claim that ''man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Verily, we live at a time when the crackpots rule—and the Gores are assailed for their earth tones.

But then, at least the Post and the Times pretended to cover the Gore proposal. According to Nexis, USA Today ran no story at all; ditto the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. And the Boston Globe didn’t cover the story either. Back in the day, the Globe laid waste to major forests, wasting your time with the troubling story of the arthritis pills of the Gores’ troubling dog. They loved pretending that Gore was a liar. But the earth’s future? Pshaw! Boston slept. And the nation’s networks skipped the speech too. In 1999, Brian Williams was deeply troubled by Gore’s polo shirts. But not today, by his thoughts about warming.

Given the silence of those big, lazy orgs, we can perhaps draw some small humor from the AP’s headline on its Gore story: “Al Gore calls global warming a ‘climate crisis,’ decries lack of action by leaders.”

The silence concerning Gore’s major speech deserves a bit of reflection:

First, concerning global warming/climate crisis: Despite the vast consensus of world climate scientists, the press still isn’t ready to cover this topic. Or at least, they aren’t prepared to cover this topic if it means paying attention to Gore.

Second, concerning Campaign 08: Libs and Dems who would like Gore to run should not ignore the meaning of this. The commercial and intellectual success of Gore’s film gave the mainstream press an opportunity to rethink its trashing of the former Dem hopeful. Result? Film critics did so—and, on the whole, political pundits did not. Remember: These people are the emptiest life forms on earth. They “defined” Gore to their dim satisfaction in 1999 and 2000. They have no plans to rethink their scripts. We wish this didn’t have meaning for Campaign 08. But it plainly does.

Do the empty souls of your celebrity press corps plan to revise their scripts about Gore? Remember, these life-forms plainly aren’t human—and they are deeply, irretrievably programmed. Indeed, there they went again, Dear Readers, right there in this morning’s Post! Lord help us! The life-forms known as “Amy Argetsinger” and “Roxanne Roberts” covered Gore’s work on warming:
ARGETSINGER/ROBERTS (9/20/06): It's hard trying to save the world by yourself! So Al Gore is commissioning an army of Mini-Me's to help him do the work.

Fifty volunteers will descend on Nashville Sunday for three days of training in how to deliver the global-warming slide show that the former veep has presented around the world, captured in "An Inconvenient Truth" (now the third-highest-grossing documentary of all time).

They'll be on the front line of what organizers hope will eventually be 1,000 Gore proxies prepared to go out to community groups across the country raising the alarm about climate change.

Will they all wear earth tones? Take turns kissing Tipper onstage? Recite his crafty non-denial denial of interest in the '08 race?
Yes, we know—it’s just “The Reliable Sources” (one of the paper’s most widely-read features). But don’t misunderstand what this typistry means. These life-forms were programmed in the fall of 1999; every time they type the word “Gore,” they “know” they must instantly type “earth tones” too. (And they must fashion a dimwit suggestion that “crafty” Gore is just cleverly angling for the next election. The life-form publicly known as “Frank Rich” is the king of this latter script.) Remember—these life-forms are programmed to type this way. And you’ve seen science fiction films! Nothing will ever deter them.

Nothing will ever remove their fatuous scripts from their well-programmed “minds.” And yes—this does have meaning for Campaign 08. The young fellows at American Prospect won’t tell you. But we’d guess that this must affect Gore’s thoughts about a new White House race.

GOT NO EXPECTATIONS: Somehow, Carl Pope believes that Gore’s speech has been getting big coverage. Click here.

SON OF INHOFE: Jim Inhofe was sure that Gore would create economic calamity—but then, one of our “liberal journals” was saying that too! What follows is a fairly minor point. But what was Ezra Klein’s reaction to Gore’s speech? Instantly, he flew into print, telling the world that Dumb-Ass Gore must have gone and fucked up his numbers! After receiving four comments from readers, Ezra back-slid, admitting that he didn’t know what he was talking about. (Click here, and click here too.) (Warning! Somehow, Ezra counted only three comments at his own site—but then, he’d been sure that Gore’s numbers were wrong!) Question: When will these fellows notice the obvious? When will they notice that Gore tends not to make the world’s dumbest errors? That he tends to know what he’s talking about? Ezra left the “earth tones” out—but his reaction to this speech was just as scripted as that of the Post’s “Reliable” ladies.

We quote from Ezra’s fifth commenter (at his own site): “I trust that Gore thinks through the policy and budgetary implications of his ideas. I'm sure he's run through the calculations at a pretty detailed level.” Duh! Readers, do you think? Do you think that Gore thinks through his ideas? Gore has been right all along on the world’s biggest issues—but as a basic matter of instinct, he’s still a presumed dumb-ass at the Prospect! Question: When will our fiery liberal leaders develop the common sense of their readers and throw off the scripting about Dumb-Ass Gore? Further question: When our “liberal journals” react so reliably, why do we need the Jim Inhofes?