I’ve clipped and accumulated about a hundred news articles, decreasing in size and moving further back in the pages week to week, about the first political hostages of the Obama administration, the two reporters who work for Al Gore’s TV network. They were captured, held hostage, fake-tried and sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp in North Korea.
I’ve also taken notes on the TV news coverage. At first, mention was routinely made that they were “employees of Current-TV, the company created and owned by Al Gore.” That fact has been mentioned less and less frequently. Even an item in the June 11 Wall Street Journal referred to them as employees of the San Francisco-based Current TV, omitting mention of Nobel Prize Winner, leading hero of the Left, all around good guy and humanitarian, conscience of America, internationally beloved and respected but, for the moment, silent and invisible Mr. Gore.
Given that two of the journalists in his employee have been snatched and held hostage, kangaroo court-convicted and are now beginning their term of enslavement, torture, and use as negotiating pawns by North Korea, shouldn’t we and the entire world be seeing at least as much of The Great Gore as when he was running around promoting his movie or preening about his award?
Shouldn’t he be everywhere on the TV dial, from “Meet the Press” to “Letterman?” On the editorial pages? At the White House, news-pack in tow, to meet urgently with his buddy the president and his old compatriot, Hillary, contributing his impressive intellect and world influence to the rapid rescue of these employees of his? On one of the giant carbon footprint jets he uses to zip about for speaking engagements and corporate board meetings? Shouldn’t he be landing in Beijing with the press-corps and maybe Jesse Jackson or Jimmy Carter or some other nose-sticker-inner, to meet with the Chinese leaders and compel their direct intervention?
Maybe I’ve just missed seeing all this happening. After all, what with the president’s relentless, endless campaign of “major speeches” and town halls, and travels to countries distant from our hostages, with infomercials coming out of the White House, something like Al Gore’s Rescue Mission might slip by unnoticed...
There is one other possibility. That The Great Gore is not very great at all. That he is a pompous blowhard and pretender and about as humanitarian as a tin can. That he is a yellow-bellied coward; a selfish narcissist not about to fritter away a dime of his quite enormous wealth, endanger his image or ego through risked failure, or sacrifice political capital by demanding action from our government or the feckless U.N. or the world community that’s bestowed so many laurels on him. That he has no influence or integrity. That he is perfectly willing to hide and cower and hope that, soon, the media will stop mentioning the hostages altogether. Then it’ll be safe for him to reappear on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to lecture us all about the size of our cars or the aerosol cans we buy or the bottled water in our fridges.
(Dan Kennedy, Town Hall column, June 19)