Steve Benen: James Fallows (here) had an interesting item this afternoon, noting the “Why Americans Hate the Media” thesis, and highlighting a case study that came into focus today:

“Al Gore’s new essay in Rolling Stone, about impending climate disasters, is mainly about the failure of the media to direct adequate attention to the issue, and to call out paid propagandists and discredited phony scientists. That’s where the essay starts, and what it covers in its first 5,000 words. The second part, less than half as long, and much more hedged in its judgment, is about the Obama Administration’s faltering approach on climate change. But of course the immediate press presentation on the essays has been all “OMG Gore attacks Obama!” For instance at Slate, TPM, NY Mag, the AP, and the Atlantic’s own Wire site.”…..

…..After writing several thousand words on the crisis itself, Gore actually praised President Obama, lauding the fact that the White House “included significant climate-friendly initiatives in the economic stimulus package he presented to Congress during his first month in office….. (see here for details)

….In the next paragraph, however, Gore wrote, “But in spite of these and other achievements, President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change.”

On CNN’s political page right now, well below a top-of-the-page piece about Bristol Palin’s memoir, CNN’s headline reads, “Gore: Obama has ‘failed.’”

As Fallows put it, “The reaction to Gore’s essay illustrates the pattern: from his point of view, it’s one more (earnest) attempt to say ‘Hey, listen up about this problem!’ As conveyed by the press, it’s one more skirmish on the ‘liberals don’t like Obama’ front, and one more illustration of the eyes-glazing-over trivia and details about melting icebergs and scientific disputes.”

Full post here


The first comment on the post:

This passage from Gore’s article highlights the irony of Steve’s post: “Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context.”

48 Responses to “sigh….”

  1. June 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    And now tweedy! Funny how al gores new channel just employed olbermouth this week!

  2. 2 Sue in Minnesota
    June 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    F@%k the media. And thank god for the Steve Benens in our midst.

  3. June 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    And now wolf blitzer said al gore said Obama has failed! Twice and loudly!


  4. 9 Doris
    June 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Makes you want to scream.

    • 10 Puddin
      June 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      NO….this craziness should make us want to turn the nonsense OFF. If we all (there is a whole lot of us) stop watching, their ratings will be lower than they have ever witness. They keep talking nonsense and we keep watching…they lk at their numbers and they think they are doing a GOOD JOB.

      BOYCOTT MSM!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. June 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    The media decided to bring this president down. They will stop at nothing. Sadly, they’ll have a lot of help from “Democrats”. PBO will have to have so many of us fighting for him, or he won’t stand a chance.

  6. 15 Me4obama
    June 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Chris Mathews just brought the house down, he laid into the Media and AL- LAZY- GORE . Where has Algore he been all these years? Did he campaign for democrats, in the 2010 mid terms? Hell NO.

    • 16 Dorothy Rissman
      June 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      Me4m, You just saved my day. Everyone is griping about the number of troops, the economy and jobs, and then Al Had to do this at this time. Too much negative stuff right now. It is going to be a tough few weeks for PBO and all of his supporters. I will watch Chris.

    • 17 utaustinliberal
      June 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      I saw that too Me4obama. I’m watching Hardball and he did kinda lay into Al Gore and those in the media that perpetuate the myth that climate change isn’t real. He said there are those who are fire starters and those who are the fire brigade. The fire starters like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and other so called mainstream “experts” deny deny deny climate change and spread their hate and BS all over. The fire brigade; case in point President Obama are fighting a strong headwind that don’t want any progress being made on climate change. He said people would do well to listen and support the fire brigade b/c at the end of the day, it saves lives.

  7. June 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Typical media whores. An article about their own failures becomes a story about Obama’s so-called failures. Deflect, deflect, deflect. Al Gore should know better though. He’s been a victim of it for years.

    • 19 theo67
      June 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      I think Al Gore knew what he was doing. It’s not his first time at the rodeo. He wanted the sensation of using the word “failed” in conjunction with President Obama because he knew that’s what the media would pick up and get him the most publicity. Well, Al Gore has failed, as far as I’m concerned. He didn’t need to go into the “failed” mode – the EPA has been fighting an uphill, solo battle since the beginning of this Administration, with no help from the so-called foremost climate change expert (Al Gore) – who has only come forward to criticize. He should be ashamed.

      • 20 Dorothy Rissman
        June 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        Does anyone know how we can write or email him? I am furious with that ahat. Now, he has to do this? I guess he decided to throw Obama under the bus so that he could increase his viewing audience on GOTV. Slime ball, that is what he is. I never liked him anyway.

        • 21 utaustinliberal
          June 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

          Hey DR, I checked and it looks like he doesn’t have an email address. So this was what I was able to obtain for now.

          Honorable Al Gore

          2100 West End Ave.

          Suite 620 Nashville, TN 37203

          Fax: 615-327-1323

          Phone: 615-327-2227

          I’ll keep looking. 😉

      • June 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm

        theo I didn’t read the article and prolly won’t even bother at this point, but I must agree with you.. Gore had no need to even connect Pres Obama with the word Fail, knowing exactly how it would be used by the media. Also did he bother to call out Congress members?? I applaud him for getting after the media, but he could have done so much more these past two years.. and what about his timing- the night POTUS is speaking about the war?

        • 23 Chi
          June 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

          These days, it appears that in order to get any sort of coverage, one must include an obligatory/random slam of President Obama…

  8. June 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    By the way, on that executive order on the DREAM ACT. I posted this on the other post but I can’t find it on the White House website. I don’t see it on Think Progress or Talking Points Memo and if I Google it only right wing sites come up.

    Here is the Executive Orders page:


  9. 27 carolyn
    June 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Al Gore should be ashamed of himself. Like all the other professional left, he wants the president to be concerned only about HIS issue. Obviously, all he can handle is one thing at a time. I’ve been disgusted with him since he didn’t fight harder after the election of 2000 and left us with GWB!

  10. 28 nintendowii10
    June 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Gore is right, Obama failed to use the bully pulpit because 1) Obama isn’t a bully and 2) Obama has way too much to do to use the bully pulpit for a cause Al Gore believes in.

    And who is Gore to talk, when he conceded the 2000 election to the Supreme Court and Bushies? The man didn’t fight for Florida, yet here he is, scolding Obama for “not fighting harder” on climate change.

    I think Gore is just jealous that Obama is President and he never got to be President because as I pointed out, Gore didn’t fight against Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, and the Bushies in Florida. Gore needs to get off his high horse and off POTUS’ back, if you believe in climate change Mr. Gore sir, why aren’t YOU using the bully pulpit?

    • June 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      That is the problem with all the democrats and the republicans. They are so jealous that this brilliant man ran for President and won first time out the gate. The American people chose him to lead this country. They want to be President Obama so badly it’s pathetic.

      And you’re right, if Gore had fought, Bush and the Rs would not have had a chance to wreck this country. I blame him.

    • 30 Dorothy Rissman
      June 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      ninten, I think you bring up a good point. He cannot stand the fact that this out of no where guy (PBO) won the presidency.

  11. 31 Brian
    June 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    The Huffington daily brief headlined “Gore Blasts Obama.” I swear, if HuffPo were banned from using overheated verbs like “blast,” they would lose over half their headlines. “Liberal media bias”?? I’d like to know how that falsehood still has legs…

    • 32 nintendowii10
      June 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      HuffnPuff is a virtual clone of Drudge Report and every other right wing rag, and Arianna has outted herself as a Republican operative out to destroy President Obama. I haven’t posted over there in months, since a bunch of right wing and left wing trolls just make endless posts bashing Obama, not to mention over the top headlines like the one you pointed out. It’s nothing more than a right wing tabloid.

  12. 34 Ceb
    June 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Keep in mind that the president mainly circumvents the MSM by taking his message directly to the people and to local media. Additionally, this is not a new tactic, the have done this since day one. The president, his staff, and his supporters know what to do to circumvent them and to get the truth out. Blogs like this, developed by people who were tired of the lies and misinformation, are another weapon in the arsenal. The base tactics of the MSM just make us more determined. And remember, while many people may not be actively engaged at this time, they can see the effects of what the president is doing to move us forward as well as the effects of the obstructionists and liars to hold us back. While the media does have a certain power, the days when they can shape policy, wage war ( think Hearst and the Spanish-American war) have been long over. In our modern age, technology has also limited their reach and influence. This incident is another storm in a tea cup that will last for about a week, if that long. Take heart everyone.

    • 35 Betty's Girl
      June 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks Ceb! I agree 100% and will take your advice.

    • 36 Chi
      June 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      Spot on CEB…

    • 37 Sue in Minnesota
      June 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      I agree, yet appreciate the encouragement. The MSM chaps my ass more than some of our less stellar politicians. I say unplug. I also saw early on that the President and his administration were going directly to the citizens….I think in part it explains why the current MSM works overtime to try to undermine him. If we can continue to grow readership on sites such as this and BWD where good information is aggregated, and open discussions and mutual support is encouraged we can do much to thwart the impact of our media. I know everywhere I go on the internet, zero respect or trust is garnered for the MSM. Zero.

  13. 38 carolyn
    June 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Yes, Ceb….another “nine day wonder” Can any of you remember what the MSM was all worked up about last week? These things do pass, and the President just keeps working. Does anyone actually listen to Wolf?

  14. 40 PoliticalJunkessa
    June 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Yes, it’s easy to go off half-cocked, with little info, and be hysterical. The media does it, politicians do it, even we do it sometimes — I’ve seen the hysteria infect our comments. It’s a good lesson to learn to calm down, view things for ourselves, come to reasoned conclusions, and not give into chicken-littling or false narratives. 😎

  15. 41 HZ
    June 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Remember that it is up to us here to nourish the hope that President Barack Obama gave us in 2008. Nourish, nourish it. We Can and We Will. Think on this my loving family: ” Failure to recognize possibilities is the most dangerous and common mistake one can make.” Mae Jamison 1956-

  16. 42 Karen Sr.
    June 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    (CNN) – Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama’s “failed” approach to global warming Wednesday, forcing the White House to defend its record on climate change.

    And, this is the e-mail I sent to CNN.com/feedback

    Your assessment of the Rolling Stone article totally misses (intentional?) the point former V.P. Gore was making. He is criticizing the media for not only the he-said she-said nonsense of the deniers that go unchallenged, but for the lack of coverage of this serious issue and the dangers of climate change. Ironically, your headline totally makes his point.

    Maybe it’s time to remove the “News” from your brandname.

    • 43 Chi
      June 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Well done Karen…

      I tuned them all out a while back and my blood pressure has been normal ever since…

      If it isn’t posted on this blog and Randi Rhodes isn’t talking about it, I remain blissfully unaware…

    • 44 Sue in Minnesota
      June 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Perfect…..may I borrow from your thoughts….I’ll send them an e-mail. Originally I was going to suggest they are little more than circus barkers and political hucksters, facts be damned. Ain’t CNN if it ain’t got that spin.

  17. 45 EDP4BHO
    June 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Oh whatever….!

  18. June 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I’m about to send CNN, MSNBC an email about this crap about what Gore said. I heard he was mostly were going after the sorry no good media, but they didn’t say anything about that. The bigger headline is Gore slams Obama. The media like CNN has become like the National Enquirer. Trash.

    • June 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      I wrote them all telling them that they deflected his criticism to them and instead chose to go after the president. But Al Gore knew exactly what he was doing. Without that mention of PBO, his article would have gotten zero play, especially if he only took on the press.

      I also asked where Al has been all these years, given the fact that he has influence, money, a TV station and dozens of followers. Why aren’t they using their people power to take on Congress!!

      • June 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm

        Every since that woman accused him of trying to force himself on her, Al has been laying low. Now he thought it was time to open his big freaking mouth. Why wasn’t he out there doing anything? Why doe this President have to do every dog gone thing. This is what I have always said the Democrats have not supported this President.

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