In Defense of Al Gore

Vilify. Then verify.

That has become the raison d'etre for the media. Cheap, easy journalism that is downright formulaic:

Step 1: Pray for a notable celebrity to have an allegation lobbed against them. The tawdrier, the better.

Step 2: Ignore whether the accuser is even remotely credible.

Step 3: Create the most provocative, accusatory article imaginable. Insinuate guilt.

Step 4: Use the accuser's quote in the headline, so when you call them "a pervert, and a sexual predator" in 100-point font next to a full-page picture of their face, you can pretend you were merely repeating what you heard.

Step 5: Slide in the word "allegedly" somewhere in paragraph seven to cover your ass, long after your audience has stopped reading.

Step 6: Once the public tires of hearing about them and their reputation is thoroughly trashed, rinse and repeat with the next unsuspecting victim.



Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal, Round 2?
The press consistently lends its credibility to people who clearly don't deserve it.

It is the symbiotic relationship between an organism that benefits from scandal and an organism in pursuit of fame or money at all costs.

Who knew that two parasites could survive off of each other?

How quickly we forget cases like the infamous Duke Lacrosse rape scandal, where Al Sharpton told the press that the woman (now proven to have fabricated the charges) "was the victim of a racially motivated hate crime." His Rainbow Coalition even said it would pay for the remainder of her college tuition.

I wonder if she can still go to college with her house arrest ankle bracelet on?

Sharpton was far from alone, though, in attempting to seize the publicity opportunity. Mike Nifong, the then-district attorney prosecuting the case (in both the courtroom and the press) called the players "hooligans," while ignoring offers by the students to take polygraph tests, and even the results of DNA testing.

All before the trial began.

Rather than taking the time to find out the truth, the press jumped at the chance to publish the shocking headline of rich white kids raping a poor black stripper.

Ultimately, all her claims were proven to have been false, and Nifong was disbarred from practicing law for a litany of ethics violations surrounding the case.

The only problem is that the damage was already done. Three innocent kids had their mug shots plastered on every major magazine in America with headlines screaming rape.

The Only Court That Matters (Is That of Public Opinion)
Now Al Gore, a man who has done more for raising environmental awareness than perhaps anyone in the world, finds himself staring down the same bright light of accusations, with headlines calling him a "crazed sex poodle."

The alleged event happened four years ago, and the woman declined to seek prosecution at the time. Now, four years later she is widely reported to have been shopping the rights to tell her story for one million dollars.

In a bizarre twist, she kept her pants from that night in a bank safe deposit box for the last four years.

While none of this proves innocence or guilt, it does raise the question of her motives. At the very least, it should sound a warning bell and cause the press to tread carefully until the facts are known.

It won't.

The Pursuit of Truth (Only When Convenient or Profitable)
I have had the pleasure of meeting Al Gore several times, as we both attend the outstanding TED Conference every year in Long Beach, Calif.

I have seen firsthand the tremendous and genuine passion he has for the environment. I have watched him contribute a significant portion of his time, energy, and wealth to help the greater good.

Unfortunately, the most inconvenient truth of them all is that his innocence or guilt doesn't matter.

By the time any trial plays out, the damage will already have been done.

17 comments about "In Defense of Al Gore".
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  1. Shelli Strand from STRAND Marketing, Inc., July 8, 2010 at 12:21 p.m.

    excellent - I think it's time we put the mainstream media's feet to the fire and not let go. If they want to stay in business, they'd better start reporting news. Infotainment, for at least this reader, is old, boring, and a complete waste of time.

    What's horrifying is the baby boomers, particularly the older ones, are the majority of TV 'news' viewers. It's a habit they can't break, and worse, they tend to see the infotainment as real news. I would think that those who grew up with people like Cronkite would understand the difference between editorial and news, but I think they've grown used to and get comfort from the sad replacement of information with sensationalism.

    After all, it's so much easier to be told what to think, rather than how to think.

    Thanks for this article.

  2. Brad Stewart from Molecule Inc., July 8, 2010 at 12:29 p.m.

    I thought we learned our lesson on 9/11 that obsessing with the sex lives of world leaders should be our lowest priority. To the sexually puritanical on soap boxes under the guise of "helping victims": take a look at what's happening right now in the Congo. This type of media circus sickens me. Good for you David for speaking against the mobs. You too Shelli. Let's grow up and start acting like adults.

  3. Chris Corbett from KMA Direct Communications, July 8, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.

    Oh, please. Where was the outrage over the bs hurled at Sarah Palin, now admitted to be lies? Or the outrage over the media frenzy when George Bush was accused of being a college coke-head? Or the outrage over the slander against Clarence Thomas? Or the baseless allegations of sexual misconduct against Dan Quayle?

    I'm pretty sure I didn't see any outraged posts about those in MediaPost blogs.

    Surveys of media beliefs, going all the way back to Litcher-Rothman, show the media is doesn't just lean to the left--it has fallen over on its side. Surveys of media reporting, documented by groups such as the Media Research Center, show that this leftist worldview is translated into biased reporting over all channels. It's an open and shut case.

    Yet now, because one of the left's darlings---a man who bases his environmental extremism on claims that are being discredited and whose credibility with the public is sinking---is investigated by the police for allegations of sexual misconduct, you don't think the press should cover it? Give me a break.

    The coverage of the Gore story actually has been quite tame, other than the National Enquirer. The police complaint and investigation have been duly reported on, and that's about it. If the accuser has DNA then Gore's cooked. If not, it's probably going to be he-said, she-said, and dropped from sight.

    But one thing for sure, if this had been a conservative politician, the media would have pumped it up to the size of a blimp . . . and I seriously doubt that you would have protested with a single keystroke.

  4. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., July 8, 2010 at 1:56 p.m.

    @Chris, I'm not even remotely political, so it's odd that you warped this into a left vs. right issue.

    I might have been equally outraged about false allegations against Dan Qualye, except I was in 3rd grade when he came into office, and I'm pretty sure MediaPost doesn't hire pre-pubescent journalists :)

    I am just tired of rampant sensationalism.

    Your comment that presupposes my response if it was a conservative, falls squarely in that category.


    p.s. I'm not "the media". I'm the CEO of a software company who writes an opinion column. Your wrath is both sensationalized, and severely misguided.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, July 8, 2010 at 1:56 p.m.

    David, you are so right. The more well paid, fact checking journalists there are with less paid to the sensationalists, the better information we will have to make decisions. Sex sells, people are sheep, privacy is disappearing and the ability to focus is diminishing. As many advances there have been in the past 25 years, history will find us the sorriest era, if we will be allowed to learn about it.

  6. Chris Corbett from KMA Direct Communications, July 8, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.

    @ David, in my opinion, to say that you are "not even remotely political" is a tad naive.

    You passionately admire and defend Albert Gore, a politician who has merged his environmentalist views -- with which you agree -- with an aggressive political agenda. You shouldn't be ashamed to be "political," but I do think you need to be candid about it.

    And if you are writing an opinion column then yes, you are also part of the media. Again, nothing to be ashamed of, but it's healthy to admit to that reality.

    I, too, decry sensationalist journalism. Though yellow journalism has been around since the founding of the country, it is used to mislead and distract.

    But my main complaint is that such journalism -- indeed, almost all journalism -- is tilted far to the left. Al Gore is getting kid-glove treatment compared to what would have happened if a conservative (say, George Bush or Dick Cheney) was in a parallel situation. That's why I took umbrage at your column. In light of the entire context of media in America, your protests ignore a great deal of context.

    I again recommend reading the work of renowned political scientists S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, and the continuing survey work of the Media Research Center. Also, the work of former CBS veteran reporter Bernard Goldberg. They demonstrate the liberal bias in the media beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    And I'll be looking for a piece decrying the recent, sensationalized mainstream hatchet jobs on Bush (coke-head), McCain (adultery with staffer), Cheney (racist and war-criminal), Palin (adulteress, book-banner), all of which proved to be false after dominating headlines of the NY Times and other media fixtures.

  7. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 8, 2010 at 8:55 p.m.

    Let's hope the defenders of Gore don't fall into the same trap encountered by the defenders of John Edwards. I recall that the New York Times ignored that story for weeks and left all the investigative work to the National Enquirer.

  8. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., July 8, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.


    I appreciate you putting words in my mouth, but I'm clearly plenty good at doing that on my own :)

    You missed the point of my article. I didn't defend Al Gore as a politician, nor did I proclaim his innocence.

    I do however appreciate Al as a person. I haven't spent any time analyzing his political views to know whether I agree with him or not (because I truly don't care about politics. I am not even registered to vote).

    As for the news slanting to the left, that is an oft-repeated, but no longer accurate statement. The #1 news program on the air is the utter absurdity that is Fox News. They are unabashedly right leaning.

    Fox News is an easy target, but far from alone in producing junk. A quick scan of the left-leaning CNN front page has top stories including "Ronaldo naming his baby" and "Lohan's career of wrong turns."

    Finally, as for Bush, I agree with you. It is ridiculous to falsely attack him for begin a coke-head.... because there are a dozen things wrong with him that are both much worse, and completely true. :)


  9. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., July 8, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.


    You raise a great point, and something I thought long and hard about before I published my column. It is unbelievably pathetic that the Enquirer is scooping real news stories.

    That said, my defense of Al Gore was not a proclamation of his innocence, as I have no more information than anyone else on this. I was just arguing that the media has no right to vilify him without due process.

    Mostly, I just wish the investigative journalists would get off their collective asses instead of quoting the Enquirer.


  10. Jerry Foster from Energraphics, July 9, 2010 at 5:20 a.m.

    @David - Thank you very much for mentioning one of the key issues that got the Men's Rights Movement into the news for the first time: the false rape accusations of the Duke Lacrosse players.

    Men like Nifong are what real American men call "White Knights" or "Manginas" - dutiful members of both US political parties, desperately plying for the "women's vote" while totally ignoring the men's vote and the votes of women who are smart enough to notice the misandry going on around us.

    Please Google the phrase "White Knighting" and "Feminism" and you will find a lot of interesting material.

    But, that said, are you as an obvious Democrat and man-made global warming believer really ready to take on the anti-male legal environment?

    Because once you start reading Glenn Sacks (Fathers and Families) and Marc Rudov (The No Nonsense Man) and Twitterers like @VeteransAbroad and @MensNews, you won't be able to vote Democrat again despite the continued anti-sex message of too many social conservative Republican politicians.

    The federal VAWA law of 2005, written word for word by the radically feminist NOW that controls the DNC and now the White House, allows foreign-born wives to get instant citizenship via a new kangaroo court in Vermont by falsely accusing their new husbands of domestic violence. The NOW has finally made it impossible for men to show proof and witnesses that no DV happened.

    The new Democrat written IMBRA law forces American males to be continually background checked before being allowed to come into contact with each foreign women he may just want to say hello to via an online dating agency. It forces each woman to sign an affidavit saying she's read his background its OK with the US federal government that a man can approach her to say hello.

    That is like having an FBI agent come between you and a babe on the beaches of St. Tropez saying "Sorry dude, need to run a quick background check on you before we let you talk with that foreign girl".

    This kind of law, like those that rob men like Tiger Woods of $100+ million (he made a deal under threat), is meant to regulate the choices of heterosexual males.

    Do you think that a jerk like Mel Gibson really needs to have to give $ millions to someone whom he just got pregnant? Paul McCartney continues to be left wing despite his ex robbing him of a huge sum due to liberal laws.

    Regarding Al Gore, what men are saying on the evolutionary biology oriented relationship blogs like Roissy (Citizen Renegade) is this:

    Only a mentally imbalanced politically correct "powerful man" would harass a 54 year old woman into sex. Someone with Gore's power and money could specify 18 year olds at every hotel. Nobody would believe it if a normal man was accused of pressuring a 54 year old for sex.

    But I believe Al Gore actually did what he is accused of because it would be too politically incorrect to ask one of his young interns for a sexual favor or pre-order strippers like Clinton or JFK would is a feminist principle that men should not "exploit" younger women and I believe Al Gore has taken this principle to heart.

    I believe Al Gore honestly thought this older woman would admire him for being so PC and choosing her.

    I also believe she, herself, waited so long because her Democrat friends were saying "Grin and bear it for the sake of Earth's welfare".

    Readers of blogs are interested in this issue.

  11. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., July 9, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

    wow Jerry... not sure whether to laugh or cringe.

    Nothing like the use of "Mangina" in a business publication to shore up your street cred :)


  12. Chris Koch from Q1Media, July 9, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.

    I love the smell of absurdity in the afternoon, it smells like diversity.

  13. Todd Brewster from Media Buying Decisions, July 17, 2010 at 6:56 p.m.

    Around the time of the Tawana Brawley case was the case against Bernie Goetz (I apologize because I think I am misspelling names). Al Sharpton got even more fame describing the young men Bernie shot as choir boys and outstanding citizens. Roy Ennis the President of CORE defied Al and called them hoodlums. Has anybody heard of Roy lately? I see that Al is a frequent contributor to Fox News.

  14. Jerry Foster from Energraphics, July 22, 2010 at 7:03 a.m.


    I missed your point. Were you trying to say that an American businessman's "Street Cred" is now dependent on not criticizing even the most radical feminists and their hold on the Democratic Party? Even if the businessman is not a Democrat?

    Even if the businessman sells men's products? Tell that to Remington who have a website to help men become pick up artists.

    The show "Mad Men" is popular because both modern American males and females respect men being men and not being ashamed to criticize radical feminism where appropriate.

    Are Republican males supposed to want to do business with Blue Tie or Adventive because you responded to a discussion of men's rights and Al Gore's feminist sensibilities and allies with an insubstantive and condescending "I don't know whether to laugh or cringe"? Did you read the "Lipstick Jungle" and decide that all your potential clients are feminists?

    Let's please leave business publications free of such not-so-subtle calls for American businessmen to embrace Democrat Party feminism in order to have "street cred".

    As the dinosaur media dies and comments become more interesting than the articles they are seen under, condescending dismissals of issues such as men's rights are no longer possible.

    In today's men's rights news an Israeli court just convicted an Arab citizen of Israel with rape - because he told a woman he was Jewish and she believed him. The poor "victim" wouldn't have done it if she knew the truth. This is chivalry gone mad.

    Soon we might have new US laws where men who lie about their age or income can be convicted of rape after the fact. Meanwhile, the White Knighter politicians like Al Gore will get a pass from the feminists when they really attack the women they presume to want to "protect" from us bad guys.

  15. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., July 22, 2010 at 1:19 p.m.


    Adventive and BlueTie customers hopefully do business with us because we have great products, and a great team.

    My article was not about politics, let alone men's rights. Being a fellow man, I value men's rights, I just never viewed them to be under attack :)

    I am not sure why there is a need to warp my articles into highly-charged political debates.


  16. Jerry Foster from Energraphics, July 25, 2010 at 7:53 a.m.


    To the contrary your article was very much about men's rights.

    The way you slammed the woman who accused the Duke Lacross players was actually quite harsh...but correct. The Duke Case actually kick-started the modern men's rights movement in the USA. Look it up on Google: Try "Duke Lacrosse" and "Feminism". For that matter, try "Nifong" and "Feminism" and "White Knighter".

    Your men's rights article was also valid for a business publication because CEOs like yourself face false sex harrassement charges all the time, both from disgruntled former employees who were fired for incompetence or bad attitude or from former lovers whom an executive had every right to have an affair with regardless of age difference or "power differential".

    The problem with your article was that it showed no irony that Al Gore, like Bill Clinton, was part of an administration that did everything radical feminists asked them to do and got laws and court precedents through that made it illegal for men to do things with women that involved "power differentials".

    Would you like to also defend Eliot Spitzer who signed an outrageous law never before seen in human history, criminalizing men for being weak, days before violating his own stupid law? Do you realize that they dropped the charges on that freak without overturning the law he signed and then violated? No other country has such a law (Sweden just fines men like giving a traffic ticket).

    As for just becoming the first CEO to ever publicly say that he doesn't see his rights as a male under attack, please answer directly, yes or no:

    1) Do you agree with the Massachusetts Alimony law that has men living in basements paying more money to lazy ex-wives than they keep for themselves even while those ex-wives live with other men (deliberately not getting married so they can continue to soak the ex-husband)?

    2) Do you agree with the California Divorce statute that makes it highly dangerous for a rich man to approach the 10th year of marriage while his wife claims residence in that state (many men preemptively divorce women who suspiciously start residing in California in the 9th year of marriage)?

    3) Yes or no, are you glad that Glenn Sacks just successfully led a charge to get state legislatures to stop courts from taking away the children of Iraq War vets and troops in the field because liberal judges let divorcing wives claim the man's "violent career" (killing terrorists) would be a bad influence on the children?

    This isn't a politically partisan subject David. It is about your rights as a man - the topic of your article. You know for a fact that the religous right has always been gunning for your male rights to all kinds of heterosexual fun.

    Do you want the religious right to take away your right to take a client to a strip bar?

    So don't backtrack from an otherwise great men's rights article you wrote about Al Gore.

    And certainly don't do so because you falsely believe that fellow American businessmen will think it is "professional" to imply that "women's rights" are important while "men's rights" are not under any kind of attack from either the feminist left or religious right.

    Considing that feminism is no longer about "equality" and everything about lawyers negotiating zero-sum advantage for one gender in the face of weak opposition, don't think of donating part of your corporate profits to a women's rights "charity" while not giving the same amount to those who would stand up for your own right not to be falsely charged as a CEO or a male.

  17. David Koretz from Adventive, Inc., August 1, 2010 at 10:12 a.m.

    As a writer of opinion pieces, you normally don't get this type of satisfaction so quickly:

    Gore will not be charged over masseuse allegations

    "Senior Deputy District Attorney Don Rees said in his memo that Hagerty and her attorneys were uncooperative, witnesses could not remember anything unusual, Hagerty failed a polygraph examination and she would not say whether she was paid by a tabloid newspaper for her story."

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