I've told you before that I don't watch TV news anymore. Al Gore explains why in his latest book, The Assault on Reason. Here's an excerpt from an article about Gore's conversation with Harry Shearer on the subject:
"The Assault On Reason" is a powerful indictment of the lack of fairness and honor in media. Of media's misuse of information to manipulate and promote fear. Of media using inane and sensational stories like the OJ trial, the Laci Peterson case, and Tom Cruise's leap onto Oprah's couch to dumb down the population. Gore bemoans screaming pundits and the danger of sound bytes as communication tools. He disdains media consolidation and recognizes the potential for democracy's demise without an open and transparent government. He uses the comical, yet woeful phrase "committing candor" as metaphor for truth-telling in the Bush Administration, where honesty is akin to a crime.In "The Assault On Reason," Al Gore's stated goal is "to lead us to an understanding of what we can do, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason and safeguard our future."
Seeing Al Gore on television is emotional. Seeing him in person is even more emotional when considering what could and should have been. He's a contradictory testament to all that is good with this country and all that is bad.
WHAT IS GOOD is his patriotism. His dazzling knowledge of history. His dedication to country and family. His desire to restore this nation and make it heal. His innate goodness. His ability to discern what is important for the planet and focus on it with unselfish intent. His mastery of technology. His respect for science. His introspective nature, which translates into reasoned thought and action.
WHAT IS BAD is that as much as Al Gore understood the pitfalls of media, he fell prey to them anyway. What is bad was the media's egregiously successful effort to demonize him throughout the 2000 campaign, choosing to promote the inferior man instead. What is bad is the dishonest, out-dated election system that permits winners to lose. What is bad is the politicized Supreme Court that awarded the governance of this nation to a culture of corruption from which it may never return.
Sandra Day O'Connor has a lot to answer for. Now, of course, she is on record as being horrified by the Bush administration. But her vote the other way on Gore v. Bush would have put Gore in the White House.