Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How Al Gore Was Reviled Before He Was Beatified

from Huffington Post by Nancy L. Cohen

Monday's awkward, silent photo session of Al Gore and George W. Bush on the occasion of the presidential reception for American Nobel Prize winners is a testament to the ironic reversals of history. Gore is admired throughout the world. Only a third of Americans approve of Bush. With the presidential campaign in full swing, and one candidate curiously reviled by certain segments of the left and right alike, it is instructive to remember that Al Gore was once hated by certain segments of the left and right alike. His rehabilitation should serve as an object lesson to Democrats.

The Right likes to dismiss Gore as just the latest liberal media darling. But in the 2000 campaign, Gore-bashing was the liberal media's, and just about everyone else's, favored mode. Most damningly, Gore was reported to be a waffler and a dissembler, if not a liar. Following Texas Republican Dick Armey's lead, USA Today claimed Gore boasted he "invented" the Internet. The New York Times reported Gore asserting that he and his wife Tipper were the inspiration for the bestseller and movie Love Story. The Washington Post misquoted Gore and made him appear to be claiming credit for discovering Love Canal. The hitch was that Gore didn't lie. Like a perverse game of telephone, the truth, casually remarked on by Gore, was relayed, distorted, and then deployed as gotcha character attacks. (For the sordid and illuminating details, see Evgenia Peretz's excellent recent Vanity Fair article, "Going After Gore".) Gore did in fact sponsor the legislation that opened the Internet to commercial use. Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, confirmed that Gore was the model for the main character. And the refutations go on.

More after the click ...

From the Vanity Fair article mentioned above:

How does he feel about it all? "I feel fine," he says, "but, when I say that, I'm reminded of a story that Cousin Minnie Pearl used to tell about a farmer who was involved in an accident and sued for damages."

To paraphrase, at the trial the lawyer for the driver of the other car cross-examined the farmer, saying, "Isn't it true that right after the accident, you said, 'I feel fine'?"

The farmer said, "Well, it's not that simple," before going on to explain that the other car rammed into him, throwing both him and his cow from his car. When a highway patrolman came by and saw the cow struggling, he shot him between the eyes. The farmer continued, "The patrolman then came to my side and said, 'How do you feel?'… so I said, 'I feel fine.'"

Of course, if you REALLY believe:
  • Gore claimed to invent the Internet
  • Gore claimed to have "discovered" Love Canal
  • Gore claimed he and Tipper were the models for the novel and movie "Love Story"
... well, you probably don't want to read that long Vanity Fair article linked above. It would take too much concentration and it would probably disabuse you of any number of delusions you'd rather hold on to.

The good news? I've got a great deal on a bridge on Brooklyn for you ... and some land in Florida, too.

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