On Friday's Good Morning America, ABC reporter Dan Harris relayed the news that Bill Clinton and Al Gore are now very rich men. But he couldn't do it without mangling a fact or two. Harris began:
"Think about it, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore both left the White House, they both had some serious financial problems. Now they both have some serious cash. President Clinton left power in 2001 dogged by legal bills. But last year, he made more than $10 million in paid speeches, according to new federal filings released by his wife’s presidential campaign."
When Bill Clinton left the White House, his wife had already agreed to an $8 million book advance. If the Clinton marriage means their assets are held in common, it couldn't accurately be said Clinton "had some serious financial problems" with the legal bills. Harris also ignored the Clintons had a multi-million-dollar legal defense fund to defray costs. Listen to NBC's Andrea Mitchell touting Bill's big $12 million book deal in August 2001:
"The deal is so big, Clinton will be able to pay off his lawyers, still owed almost $4 million, after raising more than $8 million in a legal defense fund. And he’ll even have money left over for the mortgages on his two luxury homes -- the $2.8 million Washington mansion and the $1.7 million house in Chappaqua."
By Mitchell's numbers, Hillary's book bonanza alone would have finished off the legal costs and pretty much eliminated the mortgages on their "luxury homes."
Without explaining how Gore was having serious financial problems in early 2001 -- assume it's presidential campaign debts -- Harris then went on to hail how Al Gore is filthy rich, and not only that, he's "enjoying behing right" about the future:
"However it's Bill Clinton’s former number two, Al Gore, who is really raking it in. After his failed presidential run, a bearded an embattled Gore signed on as an advisor with a then obscure internet company called Google. He went on to join the board of Apple and start his own profitable cable company and asset management firm. And now, according to a new article in Fast Company magazine, Al Gore is worth at least $100 million."
Ellen McGirth (Fast Company): "I think he feels that he's doing things that are innovative and transformational in sectors which he thinks are badly in need of change. I think he’s enjoying being right."