This is a lesson on how the major media can slant facts and give them new meaning. Let’s start with the explosive facts, as revealed in a Washington Post story.
In 2001, Al Gore was worth less than $2 million. Now, in 2012, it’s estimated he’s locked up a nice neat $100 million.
How did he do it? Well, he invested in 14 green companies, who inhaled — via loans, grants and tax relief — somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion from the Federal government to go greener.
Therefore, Gore’s investments paid off, because the Federal government was providing massive cash backup to those companies. It’s nice to have Federal friends in high places.
For example, Gore’s investment firm at one point held 4.2 million shares of an outfit called Iberdrola Renovables, which was building 20 wind farms across the United States.
Iberdrola was blessed with $1.5 billion from the Federal government for the work which, by its own admission, saved its corporate financial bacon. Every little bit helps.
Then there was a company called Johnson Controls. It makes batteries, including those for electric cars. Gore’s investment company, Generation Investment Management, doubled its holdings in Johnson Controls in 2008, when shares cost as little $9 a share. GIM sold when shares cost $21 to $26 — before the market for electric-car batteries fell on its head.
For a while, the going was good. To make it go good, Johnson Controls had been bolstered by $299 million dropped at its doorstep by the Administration of President Barack Obama.
On the side, Gore has been giving speeches on the end of life as we know it on planet Earth, for as much as $175,000 a pop. (It isn’t really on the side. Gore is constantly on the move from conference to conference, spewing jet fumes in his wake.) Those lecture fees can add up.
So Gore has $100 million.
Now, we get to the slant. The headline for this piece in The Post was “Al Gore has thrived as green-tech investor.”
Pretty soft, don’t you think? I mean, the man has worked every angle to parlay fear of global-warming catastrophes into a humdinger of a personal fortune. And he didn’t achieve his new status in the free market. The Federal government has been helping out with major, major bucks.
This wasn’t an entrepreneur relying exclusively on his own smarts and hard work. Far from it.
And here’s the kicker: Nowhere in The Post’s story was the issue of manmade warming mentioned as “unsettled” or “controversial” or even “the subject of intense debate.” Nope. Not even close.
That’s called a clue. You see, suppose The Post admitted that warming theories are up for grabs — which they most assuredly are. How would it look if Gore were portrayed as a man circling the globe many times to hype an unproven hypothesis, while profiting enormously from the effort because the Federal government was backing his plays? Hmm. Not very good. No, the story would have taken on a whole new and darker hue.
So the underlying assumption of the Post story, as reflected in its wimpy headline, was: Yes, Gore has been making money, but his cause is just and right and the situation of humankind is, in fact, dire because the Earth’s temperature has been rising dangerously as a result of carbon technology; and Gore is, after all, trying to stave off “humanity destroying humanity.” He’s a good man, in the end. Let him be rich.
That’s the slant.
It doesn’t really matter what facts The Post exposes about Gore’s sleazy business operations. He is doing it all “to save us.”
I don’t think so.
How many scientists and other Ph.D.s have been just saying no to the theory of manmade global warming?
Let’s see. Remember the 49 astronauts and scientists who used to work at NASA and wrote a letter just saying no?
Nobel-prize winning physicist Ivar Giaever just said no.
A letter to The Wall Street Journal signed by 16 scientists just said no. Among the luminaries: William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton University; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
And then there was the Global Warming Petition Project, or the Oregon Petition, that just said no. According to Petitionproject.org, the petition has the signatures of “31,487 American scientists,” of which 9,029 stated they had Ph.D.s.
I’m not automatically assuming these people are absolutely correct in every detail of their positions. A definitive argument against manmade warming would take up many pages. In this context, I’m merely indicating that, indeed, the science is not settled, because many researchers are willing to step up and defend a counterargument.
Yet somehow, all these people’s voices are dimmed by the time elite media outlets like The Post cover the story. Mainstream reporters “who count” in the scheme of things look down their noses at those who claim manmade warming is incorrect science or a hoax.
I’ve worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, and I can tell you that, one for one, these arrogant “journalists” know absolutely nothing about warming. They have no significant personal knowledge of the subject. Their whole talent is making it seem as if they do. That’s the game. That’s why they make the big money.
It’s all a matter of style. That’s how you get to be an anchor on the evening news in prime time: You can fool most of people most of the time. You know how to talk, how to convey certain cues and emotions that put you over the top.
Anchors can make it seem as if they represent the best thinking and most intelligent consensus. That’s their skill.
Many years ago, George Burns famously said: “The secret of acting is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
That’s the bottom line for a news anchor.
And that’s the bottom line for the theory of manmade warming.
Is Gore faking it all the way or does he actually believe his all-encompassing, all-seeing global-warming message?
It’s a very interesting question. From my experience interviewing politicians, I’d say many of them lose the distinction after a while. They come to believe what they’ve previously been faking. This happens because they’re successful. They think to themselves: “I must be speaking the truth, because look at how well it’s playing, look at how well I’m doing, look at how many people support me.”
To stretch an analogy, a few of the bestselling medical drugs in the world cause brain damage. Does that mean they really don’t cause brain damage all of a sudden when sales figures reach $1 billion or $10 billion or, as in Gore’s case, $100 million?
People tell people who tell other people who tell other people, going all the way up the ladder, that the science on global warming is settled. Very, very few of the people on the ladder know the first thing about warming. They are parrots.
They tell the rest of us what’s really what and who’s really who, and they expect us to kneel down in adoration.
That’s mainstream news, and it’s falling apart as the online alternative media pick up the ball and run with it, as people indoctrinated to have faith in the major networks wake up from their slumber.
Big Al: $100 million, lockbox, an honorable man saving lives.
The first two items are facts. It’s the third item that should be open to robust debate in major media, but that’s not happening.
Major media, in most cases, echo the assumptions of their sources. The biggest source for stories, by far, is the Federal government. The Obama Administration has had a strict policy of declaring the global-warming issue wrapped up in a package with a red ribbon. It’s decided; it’s “settled.”
If The Washington Post suddenly investigated global-warming science and declared it bogus, it would suffer grave consequences. Many of its best sources, angered, would dry up overnight. If The Post went too far with its investigation, it could find itself on the outside looking in.
At the level of day-to-day news reporting, this is why big-time media outlets fold up under pressure and support the government consensus.
Of course, at a much higher level, The Post is playing partner with radical environmentalists who, in turn, are funded by titans of globalism. These deadly opponents of the free market want to encompass the planet in one management system (one central-planning system) from which all goods and services are distributed.
Global warming is one of their chief issues. Manipulating it entails convincing populations that a massive intervention is necessary to stave off the imminent collapse of all life on Earth. Therefore, sovereign nations must be eradicated. Political power and decision-making must flow from above, from “those who are wiser.”
Gore is their boy. He is their front man.
He jets here and he jets there, carrying their messages. He’s their pizza delivery kid.
And for his work, he is paid $100 million — a drop in the bucket.