Former Vice President Al Gore is on the stump, promoting his new book, “Assault on Reason.” One of his points, something I agree with¹, is the marginalization of elections, treating them like horse races or beauty contests.
Here’s what TVNewser wrote about Gore’s appearance on Good Morning America.
After promising to “dig deeper” later, in an as-yet-unaired segment, Sawyer looked off-camera and said “to dig not very deep, at my peril here, I just want to say one more time. Donna Brazille, your former campaign manager, says ‘if he drops 25 to 30 pounds, he’s running.’ Lost any weight?”
Gore laughed heartily. “I think millions of Americans are in the same struggle I am on that one,” he responded. “But listen to your questions. The horserace, the cosmetic parts of this — look, that’s all understandable and natural. But while we’re focused on Britney and K-fed and Anna Nicole Smith and all this stuff, meanwhile, very quietly, our country has been making some very serious mistakes that could be avoided if we, the people, including the news media, are involved in a full and vigorous discussion of what our choices are.”
When I first wrote about this back in Janurary, I quoted Ann Coulter. Now Al Gore. Could there be stranger bedfellows? Yet they’re on the same page here.
Looking at polls, statistics and Al Gore’s weight are simple – but that’s not reporting. That’s not news. It’s really ‘newsroom helper’… a way to fill more space with less product. And, it’s a disservice to all of us.
No matter what the election, our decisions are important. There are matters of taxes, the environment, even war and peace.
The horse race element just takes our attention off the real issues and makes the whole thing superficial. It does us all a disservice.
¹ – As you probably know, Al and I part company on An Inconvenient Truth.