It's hardly news to anyone now that Al Gore sold his highly unsuccessful cable network Current to Al-Jazeera, giving the Arab-Muslim international propaganda agency a bigger footprint in the U.S.
What you may not know is that I virtually foresaw where Al Gore's so-called "progressive" media outlet was headed the day it started more than seven years ago. Gore's vision was for "a 24-hour-a-day news network that looks like MTV." He missed on both counts — it wasn't news, and it didn't look like MTV.
What did I dub it back then? Algorezeera. Since the sale, many have picked up the moniker. Few, however, have noticed the irony of this deal.
How did the family of carbon-hating Al Gore Jr. build its fortune in the first place? Oil.
Specifically, the founder of Occidental Petroleum, Armand Hammer, boasted that he had Sen. Albert Gore Sr. "in his back pocket." When Al Gore Sr. left the U.S. Senate in 1970, Hammer, a primary sponsor of the Communist Party USA and a personal friend of V.I. Lenin and Josef Stalin, provided him with a $500,000-a-year job and a seat on Occidental's board. But Gore had been on Hammer's payroll throughout most of his political career.
When the younger Gore was elected to Congress, the sweetheart deals with Hammer and Occidental continued. To this day, Gore receives $20,000 a year from Occidental as payoff for mineral rights on his farm. The zinc mine on his land, by the way, makes him one of the biggest polluters in the state.
In 1996, Occidental gave $50,000 to the Clinton-Gore re-election effort in response to one of Gore's "no-controlling-legal-authority" phone calls from his office in the White House. Occidental gave more than $470,000 in soft money to various Democratic committees and causes from 1992 through 2000.
Conflict of interest? Hypocrisy? I think those terms would be the understatement of the century with regard to Gore's political posturing about greed and avarice on the part of oil companies and his apocalyptic fear-mongering about greenhouse gases and manmade, catastrophic climate change. He owes his political patronage to an oil company with one of the shadiest histories — one that built its fortune for two generations on bribery by a Communist oil baron, if that is not an oxymoron.
But it gets worse.
As I explained back in 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore used all his influence with President Clinton to persuade him to tap into the nation's emergency oil stockpile. He argued that it was the right thing to do to combat decade-high oil prices. (Gas prices in 2000, by the way, averaged less than $1.50 a gallon.)
"Today, there are families ... all across the country who are wondering how they are going to be able to pay for heat this winter," Gore said. "We have to change that." Gore sought to put on the market some of the nearly 600 million barrels of crude oil known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. To truly understand how corrupt Gore's pandering on this issue was, you need a little more history. But bear with me. It will all be worth it in the end.
In 1922, Edward L. Doheny and Harry Sinclair bribed Albert Fall, the secretary of the interior in the Warren G. Harding administration, for secret leases to drill on two oil-rich fields held by the U.S. Navy as emergency reserves in the event of war or serious disruption of supplies. One of those fields was called Elk Hills in Bakersfield, Calif. The other, just outside of Casper, Wyo., was called Teapot Dome.
Sound familiar? Of course. When the bribes were discovered, the ensuing Teapot Dome scandal forced the resignations of Fall, who later went to prison, and Edward Denby, the secretary of the Navy.
In 1973, during the gasoline crisis, President Richard Nixon tried to lease Elk Hills to increase domestic oil production. Congress stopped the deal. In 1984, 1986 and 1987, the Reagan administration proposed selling Elk Hills for $1.5 billion to reduce the deficit. Congress, again, blocked the efforts.
Now hold onto your hats. In 1996, as part of Gore's "reinventing government" package, he recommended that Elk Hills be sold. Clinton approved the plan. The deal was included in the 1996 defense authorization bill Congress approved. Guess who wound up buying Elk Hills for $3.65 billion. You guessed it. Occidental Petroleum, which tripled its U.S. oil and natural gas reserves in the process.
But the story doesn't end there.
Now Gore has sold his prize media venture to Al-Jazeera, a network founded by Arab oil sheikhs in Qatar.
Once again, Al Gore — the phony who made his second fortune as the world's leading false prophet of carbon doom — has made his third fortune by selling Current TV to Middle East oil barons.
But, because of a media establishment Gore didn't think was far enough to the left, he continues to get a free ride. In fact, he is a hero to the so-called progressives — as much so as was his original benefactor, Communist oil baron Armand Hammer.
Does it get any wackier than this? Oh, how I hate when I am so right about everything.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.