AP Distorts Gore’s Testimony

As Media Matters points out, an Associated Press “analysis” bungled some facts from Al Gore’s testimony last week before the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Let’s compare the AP’s account to last Friday’s NWF live-blog (emphasis added):

NWF — 11:33am … Gore compares people who take their science advice from global warming deniers to people who took their financial advice from Bernie Madoff.

AP — Gore then compared Barton and Bernard Madoff, who swindled investors out of $50 billion, prompting Barton to interrupt Gore: “I’ve never talked to Bernie Madoff.”

Gore wasn’t comparing Barton to Madoff. He was comparing Barton to Madoff’s victims. Big difference.

Let’s look at another exchange (again, emphasis added):

NWF — 12:03pm: What’s with committee Republicans wasting hearing time to take surveys? Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) is asking every witness if they want a “transparent” hearing for the bill. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is asking every witness if they’ve read the entire draft bill (then complaining he didn’t get enough time for questions).

AP — “I have read all 648 pages of this bill,” Gore bragged, a boast that would surprise no one who caught his teacher’s-pet performance in the 2000 presidential race. “It took me two transcontinental flights on United Airlines to finish it.”

Gore wasn’t bragging — he was prepared to give an answer to a question that every other panelist all week had been asked. Was everyone else who said they read the bill “bragging”?

Clearly the AP’s Laurie Kellman was trying to re-write the exchanges to fit the frame of her “analysis” piece — there goes that know-it-all Al Gore again, trying to make himself look smart and us feel dumb! The article makes similar broad generalizations about Newt Gingrich.

You know what makes me feel dumb? When reporters ignore the economic, energy and climate crises that America faces and instead waste our time trying to perpetuate political stereotypes.

Published: April 27, 2009