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Gore’s TV War: He Lobs Salvo At Fox News
New York Observer ^ | Josh Benson

Posted on 11/26/2002 11:02:56 PM PST by BADROTOFINGER

Gore’s TV War: He Lobs Salvo At Fox News by Josh Benson

Among the many problems facing the Democratic Party, according to former Vice President Al Gore, is the state of the American media.

"The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party," said Mr. Gore in an interview with The Observer. "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole."

Mr. Gore has been airing his views during a nationwide promotional book tour that marks his re-emergence in public life after a self-imposed exile following his loss in the 2000 Presidential election. Now, as Mr. Gore considers another Presidential campaign, he’s determined to confound his ponderous image by unveiling a new Al Gore—one who doesn’t hesitate, as he puts it, to "let ’er rip."

Hence his controversial criticisms of President Bush’s foreign policy, and his surprise announcement in favor of a government-run universal health-care system. And hence, in a phone interview with The Observer, his extensive criticism of the media, which is hardly a conventional way of launching a national political campaign.

Actually, Mr. Gore may have little reason to hide his views about the media, for his re-emergence, while generating a massive amount of attention, has also inspired ridicule from commentators of all ideological persuasions. Conservatives seemed delighted by his return, remembering his awkward candidacy in 2000, and many liberals have been quite frank in wishing that he would simply disappear.

But Mr. Gore has a bone to pick with his critics: namely, he says, that a systematically orchestrated bias in the media makes it impossible for him and his fellow Democrats to get a fair shake. "Something will start at the Republican National Committee, inside the building, and it will explode the next day on the right-wing talk-show network and on Fox News and in the newspapers that play this game, The Washington Times and the others. And then they’ll create a little echo chamber, and pretty soon they’ll start baiting the mainstream media for allegedly ignoring the story they’ve pushed into the zeitgeist. And then pretty soon the mainstream media goes out and disingenuously takes a so-called objective sampling, and lo and behold, these R.N.C. talking points are woven into the fabric of the zeitgeist."

And during a lengthy discourse on the history of political journalism in America, Mr. Gore said he believed that evolving technologies and market forces have combined to lower the media’s standards of objectivity. "The introduction of cable-television news and Internet news made news a commodity, available from an unlimited number of sellers at a steadily decreasing cost, so the established news organizations became the high-cost producers of a low-cost commodity," said Mr. Gore. "They’re selling a hybrid product now that’s news plus news-helper; whether it’s entertainment or attitude or news that’s marbled with opinion, it’s different. Now, especially in the cable-TV market, it has become good economics once again to go back to a party-oriented approach to attract a hard-core following that appreciates the predictability of a right-wing point of view, but then to make aggressive and constant efforts to deny that’s what they’re doing in order to avoid offending the broader audience that mass advertisers want. Thus the Fox slogan ‘We Report, You Decide,’ or whatever the current version of their ritual denial is."

"We understand that Gore is frustrated," said R.N.C. spokesman Kevin Sheridan. "He’s the leader of a party without a message. But if he thinks that the Republican National Committee can control the American media, then perhaps he needs a break from the book tour."

Fox spokesman Rob Zimmerman said, "We won’t dignify this with a response."

A spokesman for The Washington Times didn’t return calls for comment. Rush Limbaugh was traveling and not available for comment.

A Left Hook

Of course, some of the harshest criticisms of Mr. Gore have come from distinctly non-conservative quarters. Mr. Gore seemed particularly stung, for example, by an op-ed written by Frank Rich of The New York Times, suggesting that his new spontaneity was a charade. "When people write a line like one that I read this morning—quote, ‘People do not change,’ period, end quote—well, there’s a difference between learning from experience and self-reinvention," Mr. Gore said. "People do change, particularly in America. If you don’t learn from the experiences you have in life, then you’re not trying very hard, and if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not human …. If people who make their living criticizing anybody and everybody want to add me to their list, that’s all right. Hell, they’ve got to make a living."

Democrats sympathetic to Mr. Gore frequently maintain that "political insiders"—the media, big donors, professional politicians—paint an overly pessimistic picture of his viability as a candidate and suggest that his position has been strengthened by the party’s poor showing in the midterm elections several weeks ago. "There are all these people in the party who have been adamant that we need a fresh face," said Joe Andrew, who headed the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. "I think a lot of those people are taking another look at Al Gore now, saying that, ‘Well, at least there’s someone out there with big ideas, who looks good on TV, who looks more comfortable with himself.’ I think it’s simply a fundamental reaction to the sense that he is a serious candidate with serious ideas."

But while Mr. Gore has a solid core of support, many Democrats do want a fresh face to take on George W. Bush in 2004. The same formal and informal polls that show Mr. Gore with substantially larger backing than any other Democratic hopeful also show that a great many donors, opinion makers and party leaders are uncommitted—and leaning toward Anyone But Gore.

It’s possible that no amount of criticism will keep Mr. Gore out of the race, but there’s little question that "Gore fatigue" already has become a rallying point for his potential opponents. "At this point, people are uniformly looking for a different face and a different agenda, an agenda that requires a backbone," Vermont Governor Howard Dean, a potential Democratic contender, told The Observer.

Asked about Mr. Gore’s efforts to make a fresh start as a straight-talking, independent-minded Democrat, Mr. Dean said, "I think it will be kind of a tough job for someone who was a sitting Vice President to call himself an outsider."

Mr. Gore acknowledged his image problem among powerful Democrats, and that the onus will be upon him to recapture the loyalties of those who supported him in 2000. "Maybe I bear the blame for some of it," he said. "I haven’t been very good about calling all of the insiders over the last two years, and maybe some of them have a beef with me because of that. I know they have been courted assiduously by some of the others who are considering a run for the White House, and it may be that some of them have already signed up with other people. If I do decide to run again, I think there’s a lot of support, but I’d also have to work really hard to get a bunch of them committed back to me."

Mr. Gore also reckoned that he would have to prove himself all over again to key political and media players. "I’m well aware that the political insiders and political-journalism community have a considerable amount of influence, and even though I’m stronger at the grassroots level, I think that if I did run again, I would have to convince those two groups that I’ve learned enough in the last couple of years to run a better campaign than I did last time. I don’t think that there’s a thing that I could say and no words I could choose that could accomplish that—the way to convince them would be in actually doing it."

For now, Mr. Gore can only attempt to explain what motivates the ceaseless lampooning he continues to face from America’s columnists and commentators. "That’s postmodernism," he offered. "It’s the combination of narcissism and nihilism that really defines postmodernism, and that’s another interview for another time, if you’re interested in it.

You may reach Josh Benson via email at: jbenson@observer.com.

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TOPICS: Breaking News; Government
KEYWORDS: albertgoreii; albertgorejunior; algore; algoreisnotmyprez; delusionalcrybaby; deweydefeatsgore; dinglenorwood; foxnews; gore; goreiscaptqueeg; goretobehillaryvp; iamtheprezreally; icedtea; inventedthewhine; itsmineyoucanthaveit; lockbox; lostarkansas; lostflorida; lostmyhomecounty; lostmyhomestate; lostmymind; lostmyownprecinct; lostrecount; lostrerecount; lostrererecount; losttennessee; mamalikesbushbest; media; mediabias; mommytheyhateme; mrsnippy; nihilism; pathetic; perotgorein94; postmodernpolitics; preserveouressence; punisholdpeople; rightwingconspiracy; riskyscheme; runslikeagirl; rush; sobsobsobsniff; soreloserman; stillneedsajob; tbinarcotics; tipperkiss; tippervotesgop; turkeyboy; unclewhit; vaportrails; voicessayrunagain; vrwc; vwrc; washingtontimes; whiner; whitlafon; zappahaslastlaugh
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To: Aquinasfan
Algore 9.1: Philosopher-King

LOL!

101 posted on 11/27/2002 6:08:31 AM PST by Skooz
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To: GailA
Here is the meaning from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

zeitgeist
Pronunciation: 'tsIt-"gIst, 'zIt-
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Zeit + Geist spirit
Date: 1884
: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era

102 posted on 11/27/2002 6:09:08 AM PST by Isara
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To: nopardons
That's probably one of THE most revealing gore rants. He's certifiable and why he isn't in a rubber room, now, is quite beyond me. That being said, I pray to GOD, that he runs against President Bush in 2004 ! I do so enjoy a Dem bloodbath, at election time. LOL

Yes, Al, please run, please run. That way we can put you away for good as to having any political viabality at all.

103 posted on 11/27/2002 6:12:59 AM PST by billva
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To: BADROTOFINGER
the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole

Gore's definition of this concept is ABCNNBCBS beathing the Democrat talking point of the day into the ground.

104 posted on 11/27/2002 6:13:12 AM PST by steve-b
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To: GailA
Algorebatross was mentally deranged LONG before his Loss to Dubya.

Did Bubba turn him to the Dark Side, or was he always a weasel?

105 posted on 11/27/2002 6:14:29 AM PST by steve-b
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To: goody2shooz
I think these guys have figured out that they can keep their names in the media by attacking the media. It's boring - both sides are over-doing it. Rush was going on and on about the NYT yesterday. Overkill. They're jerks and wrong. Everyone knows it.

Also really tired of hearing what the dims did wrong or what they should do to make a comeback. Would rather hear what we're going to do or should do now that we have the power. /rant>

106 posted on 11/27/2002 6:25:39 AM PST by Let's Roll
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To: KQQL; Paul Atreides; Registered
This just looks wrong doesn't it. Hey, guys, remember that famous picture of the celebration of the end of WW2, the picture where the sailor grabs the nurse and gives her a kiss?

Would one of you wonderful Freepers lend your awesome talents to a little photo doctoring?=o)

107 posted on 11/27/2002 6:32:05 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: MissAmericanPie

;o)

108 posted on 11/27/2002 6:38:27 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: Skooz
"Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks"

Interesting that he publicly admits that the media is enough of a part of the Democratic Party that any opposing view should be referred to as fifth column.

But Gore reminds me of the old days when Spiro Agnew was referring (much more colorfully) to the press as "nattering nabobs of negativity."

I agree with those who refer to him as certifiable. He sounds that way. I'm series.

109 posted on 11/27/2002 6:44:54 AM PST by Sam Cree
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To: BADROTOFINGER
algore invented insanity - tipper perfected it.
110 posted on 11/27/2002 6:58:50 AM PST by mombonn
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To: BADROTOFINGER
Someone call Al a WHAAAAMBULANCE!

111 posted on 11/27/2002 6:59:31 AM PST by finnman69
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To: All
19% favorability rating
112 posted on 11/27/2002 7:02:07 AM PST by finnman69
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To: Demidog
"We understand that Gore is frustrated," said R.N.C. spokesman Kevin Sheridan. "He’s the leader of a party without a message. This coming from the spokesperson of a party without principle. Too rich.

Perhaps I misread this, but surely you speak of Gore, not Sheridan, correct? I would have to assume so, giving you the benefit of the doubt, because to think otherwise would border on ignorance at best, and delusional at worst (dare I say DUped?).

113 posted on 11/27/2002 7:10:21 AM PST by SpinyNorman
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To: BADROTOFINGER
BTTT
114 posted on 11/27/2002 7:12:53 AM PST by EdReform
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To: Quilla
Hey Quilla... you doctored up his lips, right? The blush on his cheek? HA!

The moron is so dumb, he doesn't even know what gender he is.

115 posted on 11/27/2002 7:13:25 AM PST by johnny7
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To: BADROTOFINGER

THEY'RE slow to recognize things?? LOL!

And anyway, I think it's more like the repubs have opened their eyes to how the game is played to win.

116 posted on 11/27/2002 7:19:14 AM PST by GirlNextDoor
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To: johnny7
Moi?

Well, maybe just a little doctoring (and mascara).

117 posted on 11/27/2002 7:20:26 AM PST by Quilla
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To: John Lenin

This must be the real Al Gore speaking...

118 posted on 11/27/2002 7:25:44 AM PST by Toidylop
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To: L.N. Smithee
>>"That’s postmodernism," he offered. "It’s the combination of narcissism and nihilism that really defines postmodernism, and that’s another interview for another time, if you’re interested in it."<<

Never use a small word when a big, impressive word will do.

Gore reminds me of the dorks I went to graduate school with. Always using big words nobody in the real words because, hey, you're supposed to be "smart" and smart means talking over everybody's heads.

119 posted on 11/27/2002 7:37:46 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: BADROTOFINGER

120 posted on 11/27/2002 7:42:34 AM PST by dreamusic
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To: GAGOPSWEEPTOVICTORY
>>I don't get the new Dim straegy to attack Rush Limbaugh and the so-called "right wing" press.<<

Reminds me of the early days in the Clinton administration...where did I hear this?...Blumenthal or Carville or some other Clinton bootlicker went into his office, and Clinton was in a blue funk over "that damn Rush Limbaugh."

I love it. They hate Rush because they hate truth and light being cast on them.
121 posted on 11/27/2002 7:46:52 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: BADROTOFINGER
It’s possible that no amount of criticism will keep Mr. Gore out of the race, but there’s little question that "Gore fatigue" already has become a rallying point for his potential opponents. "At this point, people are uniformly looking for a different face and a different agenda, an agenda that requires a backbone," Vermont Governor Howard Dean, a potential Democratic contender, told The Observer.

Bump for GORE FATIGUE, and for Gore, a truly unlikable phony.

122 posted on 11/27/2002 7:48:27 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: The Raven
>>A well-planned, orchestrated attack by the Democrats (probably hatched by the rajun cajun)<<

Orchestrated, I'll grant you. Well-planned? No.

Brought to you by the same Demonrat strategists who headed up "Election 2002."
123 posted on 11/27/2002 7:52:59 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: Isara
Thank you for that definition of the word Zeitgeist. "Spirit of the times", my interpretation.

Actually, I was sitting here reading this post and I turned to my bookshelf to find my American Heritage Dictionary (1982 Second College Addition) and lo and behold there were dogears on the pages for Zeitgeist, Narcissism and Nihilism. Postmodernism wasn't listed because we were still in the Modernist era in 1982, I suppose. I must have been studying these words back in my college days(in 1982 I was entering my eleventh year of higher education due to the fact that I had a family to support, a job to keep and couldn't go full time unlike one of the more priviledged ones in our country. But thanks to the GI bill I was being supported in this effort by circumstance in which I would like to thank all of you who pay taxes. Thank you!)

I was wondering what ALgore means by these words. Is he willing to invoke zeitgeist("spirit of the times")to justify his support of the "bent one" during the Lewinsky events? Was it just the "thing to do"? After all, everyone was doing it. Was it nihilism ("the doctrine that all values are baseless" AHD page 842) or narcissism (excepts AHD "excessive love or admiration of oneself" and/or "stage of development in which one's own body is the object of erotic interest"? Was this it? I can't wait for George Will to take him up on the offer to give an interview on the topic of "Postmodernism and the role of Narcissism, Nihilism and Zeitgeist is present day politics". O GOD, someone slap me before I die of laughter.

I could go on but surely my fellow freepers can have a little fun with this.

124 posted on 11/27/2002 7:53:51 AM PST by mdcen
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To: BADROTOFINGER
After reading the article it makes ya wanna bring out the "Is it Gore or Unabomber" questionaire again.
125 posted on 11/27/2002 7:55:40 AM PST by rvoitier
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To: PJ-Comix
>>I bet Algore regrets the day he invented the Internet.<<

That's the best line I will read all day, and it's still early! Thanks.
126 posted on 11/27/2002 8:00:15 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
Me thinks that he has has just revealed the standard operating procedure for the DNC, the major networks, and CNN.

I think you're right.

127 posted on 11/27/2002 8:00:18 AM PST by nicmarlo
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To: All
He really is a dope. Can't he distinguish between talk show hosts, who never purport to be objective, and the mainstream networks, which tell us they are giving us news objectively but subliminally imbue every word with their left-leaning opinions? On talk radio, what you hear is what you get. On mainsteam networks, viewer beware.
128 posted on 11/27/2002 8:06:25 AM PST by Inkie
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To: BurkeCalhounDabney
"...inside the building..."

Is that next to the lockbox, Al?

129 posted on 11/27/2002 8:25:51 AM PST by rvoitier
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To: PJ-Comix
Doesn't he deliver the office mail on "Just Shoot Me"?
130 posted on 11/27/2002 8:28:49 AM PST by rvoitier
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To: MissAmericanPie

131 posted on 11/27/2002 9:11:05 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: WoofDog123
is there any site to find footage of anchor's coverage of key moments in 2000 elections?

I'd like to know one if it exists. I taped Rather Biased on CBS (and left the tape rolling so I could see how it turned out, I just couldn't go to sleep not knowing that Bush had won). I watched other channels while I taped CBS and saw Katie Couric holding back the tears. There may be some threads on FR from election night that give some play by play of the broadcasts. Even this year I caught some people saying "That's another one for us".

132 posted on 11/27/2002 9:24:16 AM PST by weegee
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To: BADROTOFINGER
…. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—

The fifth column ???

Bawahahahahaha ... KEEP TALKING AL!!!

133 posted on 11/27/2002 9:25:42 AM PST by Mo1
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To: Cincinatus
"It’s the combination of narcissism and nihilism that really defines postmodernism"

It was very postmodern of the Clintons to have a White House Christmas tree decorated with syringes and condoms.

134 posted on 11/27/2002 9:26:12 AM PST by weegee
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To: Skooz
You mean it cracked 2000? The Teamsters and AFL-CIO must be buying truckloads of the things.

I'd look at it from the other angle if I were you. What 500 books did they ban to accomplish this feat?

135 posted on 11/27/2002 9:27:51 AM PST by weegee
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To: BADROTOFINGER
Gore shouldn't candy-coat his "fifth column" comments. Call it what it is: America and Americans.
136 posted on 11/27/2002 9:29:15 AM PST by ampat
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To: BADROTOFINGER
Fox spokesman Rob Zimmerman said, "We won’t dignify this with a response."

Better idea:

Fox spokesman Rob Zimmerman said, "Who's Al Gore?"

137 posted on 11/27/2002 9:29:19 AM PST by NorCoGOP
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To: BADROTOFINGER
"The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party," said Mr. Gore in an interview with The Observer. "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole."

How AlGore can say this with a straight face is beyond my understanding. The libs have almost complete control of broadcast and print media. They have their own billionaires, such as Ted Turner, using their media outlets to push lib agendas - but if conservative elements do the same, it's suddenly something to take notice of? What a crock.

138 posted on 11/27/2002 9:35:28 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy
How AlGore can say this with a straight face is beyond my understanding. The libs have almost complete control of broadcast and print media.

Well it seems Geraldine Ferraro agrees with Al .. she was just on Fox News claiming that conservative media did in her and Mondale in 1984.

I guess she forgot Fox wasn't around then .. come to think of it .. was Rush big then ??

139 posted on 11/27/2002 9:48:56 AM PST by Mo1
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To: aristeides
Al, you've got to stop hanging around Sidney Blumenthal!

Now, that's a name I haven't heard in a while. Where is that guy?

Probably still slapping around his wife.
(obscure Drudge reference)

140 posted on 11/27/2002 9:53:46 AM PST by Tall_Texan
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To: BADROTOFINGER
Gore's use of the term "5th column" to describe domestic political opposition to himslef and the Democrats is just downright scary.
141 posted on 11/27/2002 9:55:43 AM PST by Burkeman1
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To: Mo1
I guess she forgot Fox wasn't around then .. come to think of it .. was Rush big then ??

Now, now, don't go confusing a liberal with the facts. Messes up their timing.

142 posted on 11/27/2002 9:55:52 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: BADROTOFINGER
Republicans take the house w/ Contract with America :1994

Fox News Channnel Launches:1996

143 posted on 11/27/2002 9:56:02 AM PST by paltz
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To: dirtboy
Oops .. I forgot ..

Post #194 messes up their argument also ...

OH NO .. whatever are the Libs going do now
144 posted on 11/27/2002 10:02:18 AM PST by Mo1
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To: BuddhaBoy
You have perfectly described William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.

I don't think it relates to AlGore who, while seriously whacked, does not seem to fit this description nearly as well as his master.

145 posted on 11/27/2002 10:05:34 AM PST by Tall_Texan
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To: BADROTOFINGER
"Mr. Dean said, "I think it will be kind of a tough job for someone who was a sitting Vice President to call himself an outsider.""

And remember, folks...

While Al was sitting, he was also lying!

146 posted on 11/27/2002 10:12:15 AM PST by Airborne Longhorn
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Comment #147 Removed by Moderator

To: Burkeman1
Zeitgeist and Fifth Column. Al Gore seems not to be living in the 21st century.
148 posted on 11/27/2002 10:18:29 AM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
It is now official. Algore has joined the "lamestream media" in its march toward irrelevance.
149 posted on 11/27/2002 10:21:54 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: finnman69
I updated the WHAAAAMBULANCE pic. Read the signage.

150 posted on 11/27/2002 10:25:34 AM PST by finnman69
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