We Media: Al Gore speaks out

Al Gore is about to speak and he’s got his whole family here! Tipper, Karinna, Al Jr-Did you know that Gore started out–pre-Watergate–as an investigative journalist?
Gore–the man who invesnted the Internet (joke) is partners with Joel Hyatt in Current TV–and
he’s got somthing to say: “I truly believe American democracy is facing a great danger… one that is sometimes hard to describe in words..it is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse–I know that I am not the only one who feels something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America’s famed market place of ideas is now functioning…”
Gore says it seems like we are living in an alternative univrrse sometimes, goes on to squewer the excesses and “serial obsessions” of the news media, and asks “Are we, as Americans, still routinely torturing helpeless prisoners and does it feel normal that we are not expressing outrage at this practice? Does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of this issue and whether this abhorrent behavior is being carried on regularly in the name of the American people?”
Gore is stumping–but his message is that the big questions are not being discussed openly in the US under the current presidency. He asks What’s happened to the “full and vigorous debate” in the senate–and, presumably–in the media–and says “30-second television commercials are the only thing that matter anymore in politcal campaigns.”
Gore goes on: “Forty years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news and iformation from the printed word…The republic of letters has been invaded by television that completely dominates the flow of information in modern America…Americans how watch televisio 4 and a half hours per day..that’s 3/4 of all the average discretionary time the average American has (Susan sez: Is this why he started a TV network–gotta be.).
Gore goes on to say that TV has pushed the markeplace of ideas aside, and that the “public forum of our founders” has been grossly distorted beyond all recognition…”It is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas” that has made today’s discussion so strange–and fleeting (and I thought he was attaching Bush..this goes far beyond that!)
Gore is going on and on….but the college professor lecture mode–all good points–has kicked in–and we’re off to a greatest hits medley of the poor choices and sparring made by mainstream media and the Democratic media…and how media has soldoutto advertising (he’s right on that).
–Okay, it’s the wrap-up–a plug for Current TV–and says the channel relies of streaming over the next for user-created content and two-way cinversation.
His close: “As exciting as the Internet is, it lacks the real-time mass distribution of full motion video, the thing that makes TV a powerful medium….It is television, delivered over cable and satellite that will continue to be the dominant medum of communication…We must ensure that the Internet remains open to all citizens regardless of connectivity provider…We must ensure that this medium of democracy’s future develops in the mode of the open and free marketplace of ideas.”