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Gore has faced blowback from the sale of his news network Current TV to Al Jazeera, which is backed by the oil-rich Middle Eastern nation of Qatar. The networked fetched $500 million, a fifth of which Gore is pocketing — troubling to some, given his fierce advocacy against climate change.
“I’m proud of the transaction. It’s going to really be a positive addition to the U.S. media landscape,” Gore told Stewart. “[Al Jazeera] has the highest quality, most extensive, best climate coverage of any network in the world … They’re very, very good.”
Stewart pressed him on the issue, asking whether “mogul Al Gore” could co-exist with “activist Al Gore” and pushing Gore on whether he couldn’t fine a “more sustainable choice to sell to?”
Gore again stressed Al Jazeera’s journalistic bona fides and boasted they offered “24/7 commercial-free outstanding news reporting and do thorough coverage to the climate issue.”
Still, Stewart was unsatisfied, framing the question as a matter of public perception.
“In your cost-benefit analysis, one of the major factors would be, I would think, sustainability. You had an opportunity to make a statement, probably, about your principles,” the host charged. “And for some people would feel — and me as well, I thought it was an odd move, not because of some of the other things, but because it’s backed by fossil fuel money … Can you see how people at home might think, ‘Well, he’s asking me in my life to make choices about light bulbs, and the cost-benefit analysis, for the purpose of sustainability, when I just want to see my book.'”
Yes, Gore admitted, he can understand people’s frustration — he just didn’t agree with it, and added that Qatar has announced a commitment to switch to renewable energy.
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