Gore and the Media

Gorescottgriesgetty

Is the MSM back to its old tricks with respect to covering Gore? Paul McLeary thinks so:

[Dana] Milbank gives us an account of a recent speech by Gore that reads almost like a parody of everything we read about the candidate back in '00.

Milbank said that during the speech, Gore "waxed esoteric," "waxed erudite," and "waxed informed," as if these might be bad things to have happen during a speech. Milbank then quotes several audience members who gush over how smart Gore is, concluding that "therein lies a problem for the Gore '08 bubble." Can't be too smart, now, or else you'll look like an egghead, right?

… Making this point in his own way, Milbank says that "the crowd loved it. But would the 'average American?'"

When reporters at places like the Post start acting like they know what's up with the "average American," we're headed for trouble. Milbank is trafficking in a portrayal of Gore that was almost entirely invented by the press, and, given that seven years later the press appears unable to move beyond that caricature, perhaps we'll all be better off if Gore doesn't run.

A couple of thoughts. I'm not unsympathetic to many of Gore's points in his new book. But have you read it? It's a multiple-page-sigh at the idiocy of his fellow humans. He comes off as a total jerk, when he's not being a monumental bore. And if you're a grown-up politician trying to get better press, it might not be the best idea to blame the media for everything that's wrong in American democracy. It's also a stupid argument. The notion that Americans became collectively unhinged after the O.J. Simpson trial, that it's only been in the last decade or so that news has been chased out of American consciousness by celebrity, Hollywod and scandal, is so loopy and ahistorical it reads like a college thesis - which, of course, it once was. Really, I try and give the guy a chance. He's not wrong about everything. He's right about the Bush administration's constitutional excesses, torture, war-bungling and the dreck that passes for news on a lot of cable channels. He deserves mad props on climate change. But there really is something about Al Gore. It took real talent to throw the 2000 election away. He's still got it.