Al Gore Thinks TV Networks Are Destroying Civic Involvement in the U.S.

Illustration for article titled Al Gore Thinks TV Networks Are Destroying Civic Involvement in the U.S.

Despite running a cable channel of his own, Al Gore thinks that TV networks at large wield too much power as gatekeepers of news and areruining civic involvement in the U.S.


In an article for Rolling Stone on the current state of media, Gore holds nothing back in assessing the TV news world:

Unlike access to the "public square" of early America, access to television requires large amounts of money. Thomas Paine could walk out of his front door in Philadelphia and find a dozen competing, low-cost print shops within blocks of his home. Today, if he traveled to the nearest TV station, or to the headquarters of nearby Comcast - the dominant television provider in America - and tried to deliver his new ideas to the American people, he would be laughed off the premises. The public square that used to be a commons has been refeudalized, and the gatekeepers charge large rents for the privilege of communicating to the American people over the only medium that really affects their thinking. "Citizens" are now referred to more commonly as "consumers" or "the audience."


He also acknowledges the internet as a possible cure to what ails our political soul, but says we're a long way away from the days where real journalism is economically viable on the webs. [Rolling Stone via Brian Stelter]

Image via AP

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Ugh. So why did you just put a partisan opinion host like Keith Olbermann* on your network?

This is what bothers me about Al Gore... he makes a VERY good point about something, and then fucks it up by being a hypocrite. Raising awareness about climate change was a good move. Living in a mansion that consumed enough electricity to power a small village? Not so much.

*Even if I agree with most of what he says, it doesn't change the fact that partisan opinion news is a big part of the problem with American cable news.