“He was once called 'Mr. Stiff.' Now he's known as 'The Goreacle,' the new Al Gore,” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric touted in plugging an upcoming Friday night story. With “Gore 2.0” on screen, Couric set up the subsequent tribute by asserting that “no one's getting more attention than the latest edition of Al Gore. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on Gore 2.0.” Attention from the media, certainly. Alfonsi trumpeted how “Al Gore seems to have gone from awkward to almost slick,” proposing that “all it took was eight years, some melting polar ice caps and an Oscar win for his documentary.” Interspersed with clips of Gore on various news and entertainment shows, Alfonsi hailed how “he spread the word about global warming, and now is changing the political climate. In some polls, Gore is third for the Democratic nomination, and he's not even a candidate. And he's come out with another book, The Assault on Reason.” In his media tour for it, he's “knocking the media with one arm and the Bush administration with the other.”
This is not the first time this year that CBS has gushed over Gore. Less than two weeks ago, the Mother's Day edition of the CBS Evening News devoted a story to DraftGore.org (Mark Finkelstein's item). Bill Whitaker touted him as “a star of an Oscar-winning documentary on global warming” who is “so hot he's cheered on one of the coolest shows on TV,” Comedy Central's The Daily Show hosted by left-winger Jon Stewart. When he testified before House and Senate committees back in March, Couric celebrated “a lot of excitement on Capitol Hill. A movie star showed up to testify before Congress -- a movie star named Al Gore.” On The Early Show in February, Harry Smith asked Richard Branson: “Is Al Gore a prophet?”
The CBSNews.com posting of the video of Alfonsi's story also fawns over Gore, with the caption touting how “he points out the mistakes America has made while we watch Britney and K Fed.” The full caption, which is presently on the CBS Evening News page as well as the pop-up browser page featuring the latest CBS News videos:
“Gore's 360-Degree Turnaround: Al Gore's efforts to spread the word on global warming are changing the political climate. He points out the mistakes America has made while we watch Britney and K Fed. Sharyn Alfonsi reports.”
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the May 25 CBS Evening News story:
KATIE COURIC: This is already one unusual presidential campaign. For one thing, it is the longest one ever. The seasons will have changed seven times before it's over. It's also a campaign in which the non-candidates are drawing as much attention as those who have declared. And no one's getting more attention than the latest edition of Al Gore. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on Gore 2.0.
SHARYN ALFONSI: Remember this Al Gore?
AL GORE CLIP #1, DURING 2000 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: I will keep Social Security in a lock box.
GORE CLIP #2: It should stay in a lock box.
ALFONSI: The guy who loved talking about putting Social Security in a lock box so much, some thought he might have hid his personality in there.
GORE: -the power to issue bonds interest-free.
ALFONSI: All of a sudden, Al Gore seems to have gone from awkward to almost slick.
DAVID LETTERMAN TO GORE ON THURSDAY'S LATE SHOW: Would it have killed you to wear a tie?
ALFONSI: All it took was eight years, some melting polar ice caps and an Oscar win for his documentary.
GORE ON THE MAY 24 LATE SHOW: A global warming slide show presented by Al Gore. What doesn't say blockbuster about that?
ALFONSI: He spread the word about global warming, and now is changing the political climate. In some polls, Gore is third for the Democratic nomination, and he's not even a candidate. And he's come out with another book: The Assault on Reason.
GORE ON ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA: You know, Britney and K. Fed and Anna Nicole Smith and all this stuff. Meanwhile, very quietly, our country's been making some very serious mistakes.
ALFONSI: Knocking the media with one arm and the Bush administration with the other.
GORE ON THE DAILY SHOW: -that actually Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the attack of 9/11.
JON STEWART: You keep coming back to this. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?
GORE: It's shocking, isn't it?
ALFONSI: The guy who was once the punch line now seems to be in on the joke. He's just not in the race, at least not yet. Sharyn Alfonsi, CBS News, New York.
Fun fact: Sharyn Alfonsi is the younger sister of the guy who, in the mid-1990s, worked for the Media Research Center handling our IT issues and running our then-nascent Web site. Apparently, his influence didn't rub off on her.