Al Gore: Doesn't Matter Al-Jazeera Is Funded By Oil, They've Won Awards!

Al Gore: Doesn't Matter Al-Jazeera Is Funded By Oil, They've Won Awards!

LAUER: You sold Current TV, the network that you cofounded to Al-Jazeera for an estimated 500 million. According to the reports I’ve seen, your take on that was about 100 million pre-tax. Was that always just an investment to you? Maybe I was naïve…GORE: Oh no, no, no.

LAUER: I thought it was something you had an ideological interest in.

GORE: Absolutely.

LAUER: So why did it become just an investment in the end?

GORE: Well it didn’t but I’m proud of what my partner Joel Hyatt and I did with Current TV. We won every major award in journalism. I’m really proud of it. As an independent network, we found it difficult to compete in this age of conglomerates and I’m very pleased that Al-Jazeera has established itself as a really respected news gathering network.

LAUER: And even as you sold to Al-Jazeera, in the book you blast other television news programs saying this: “Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies — not just during campaign seasons, but all the time, year in and year out — with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened”. And the critics jumped. They said “Here’s the guy that just sold Current TV to Al-Jazeera which gets an undetermined amount of funding from the country to Qatar which gets its money from oil reserves. Isn’t there a contradiction in that?

GORE: I certainly understand that criticism. I disagree with it because I think Al-Jazeera has long since established itself and a really distinguished news gathering organization and by the way, it’s climate coverage has been far more extensive and of high quality than any of the networks here…

LAUER: But if they get funding from a country that bases its wealth on fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are the enemy with you targeting climate change isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in there?

GORE: Well I get the criticism. I just disagree with it because this network has established itself. It’s won major awards in countries around the world and its climate coverage as I said a moment ago has been outstanding and extensive.