Al Gore has been rightly criticized for selling his TV network to Al Jazeera. But give the guy a break. By selling to the highest bidder he was trying to teach his fellow Americans that greed is good. By beating the tax hike he was merely demonstrating good business sense separate from political propaganda. By accepting oil money he was only demonstrating that U.S. dollars are the same color whether they come from green energy or black gold.
Forbes lays out an issue not so obvious. The Real Problem With Al Gore's $100 Million Payday From Selling Current To Al Jazeera. Excerpt:
For a channel available in 60 million households, Current has a tiny audience ...
Almost all of its value, therefore, was tied up in its reach. That distribution to 60 million homes was what underlay Al Jazeera’s willingness to spend a half billion dollars ...
Distribution is dear because it’s hard to build. So how did Current succeed in building so much so fast? Through “a combination of personal lobbying and arm-twisting of industry giants” by Gore himself, according to Brian Stelter of The New York Times. Gore “leaned on” Rupert Murdoch, then in control of DirecTV, and other operators of cable and satellite systems, not only to carry Current but to pay it a carriage fee out of proportion to its actual viewership.
If Murdoch et al didn’t push back too hard, it’s because they knew they could simply pass the carriage fee along to their subscribers
Al Gore has certainly proved that he is a good business man. One has to wonder, has there ever been a President or Vice President who parlayed his former government job into a greater profit?