Sunday, January 20, 2008

Highlanders of the Day ~ Al and Tipper Gore

I'd missed Going After Gore by Evgenia Peretz in Vanity Fair. Infantry training at Fort Benning is my excuse. At least I now have some time to start catching up. Yet I truly miss "home" and loved ones back in Alabama. Al Gore's Attack on Reason is on my desk ready to read. Ms. Peretz writes:

Eight years ago, in the bastions of the "liberal media" that were supposed to love Gore—The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNN—he was variously described as "repellent," "delusional," a vote-rigger, a man who "lies like a rug," "Pinocchio." Eric Pooley, who covered him for Time magazine, says, "He brought out the creative-writing student in so many reporters.… Everybody kind of let loose on the guy."

How did this happen? Was the right-wing attack machine so effective that it overwhelmed all competing messages? Was Gore's communications team outrageously inept? Were the liberal elite bending over backward to prove they weren't so liberal?

I know Al and Tipper Gore deserved better, as did our nation. Imagine exchanging these two for Dubyah and the Librarian. How different our world might be. This examination is also important for the current campaigns out there. We need to get it right, or at least a reasonable facsimile to right, this time. I'd like to have other options than those candidates we'll likely have to replace Bu$hCo but at least "the folksy Texas rogue" will be back on "the ranch" in Crawford.

To have Al Gore rehabilitated is good. There's a need to make sure Joe and Jill Sixpack learn the truth about the 2000 election, before and after the Florida debacle, but the way Al Gore was treated is foundational in those understandings. Also, to have today's all too corporate and all too consolidated media exposed for their favoring infotainment and "horse race" politics over serious analysis has to be a step in the right direction. P/W

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