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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:07 AM

Current TV. How Gore had a chance for a revolution and failed.

I just read this thoughtful article from The Hollywood Reporter. The picture of Keith Olbermann caught my eye.

How Al Gore Lost Current From the Start (Analysis)




In 2005, Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt announced in San Francisco that their new cable channel, Current, was going to be revolutionary. Gore made lots of pronouncements about youth and modern media, and it seemed, if you cut through all the spin, that Current was going to be a cable channel dedicated to something different: It was going to be about social change. As if to hammer home that point, the launch party featured Sean Penn and Leonardo DiCaprio.

..."One thing, however, was very clear to Gore -- what Current would not be: "We have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel or a TV version of Air America," he said. "That's not what we're all about. We are about empowering this generation of young people in the 18-to-34 population to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell their stories of what's going on in their lives, in the dominant medium of our time."


Except that is exactly what we needed back then bigtime. We needed a channel that was not afraid to tell the truth as they see it. I am thinking that now for 500 million we might have that channel in Al Jazeera.


.."This is what David Bohrman, president of programming for Current, said when he and Gore sat before us at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January 2012: “So we are really, really excited about what we’re doing. Bringing Keith Olbermann to Current was the trigger, the transformational spark that showed Joel Hyatt and Al what we needed to be, what we could be, what the audience, conceivably what their appetite was for this kind of programming. So I was brought on board to help build it, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”


Except by that time Olbermann was gone.

When the news of Current’s sale to Al Jazeera broke, there were no Sean Penn or Leonardo DiCaprio sightings. There was no talk of a youth revolution overturning staid media. There was only shock that a channel that never found out what it wanted to be and one almost no one watched was sold for a whopping $500 million.

27 replies, 3018 views

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Current TV. How Gore had a chance for a revolution and failed. (Original post)
madfloridian Jan 2013 OP
snot Jan 2013 #1
Botany Jan 2013 #2
snot Jan 2013 #5
Festivito Jan 2013 #10
RudynJack Jan 2013 #15
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #7
madfloridian Jan 2013 #3
MADem Jan 2013 #6
RudynJack Jan 2013 #8
Festivito Jan 2013 #16
RudynJack Jan 2013 #17
libdem4life Jan 2013 #4
RudynJack Jan 2013 #9
libdem4life Jan 2013 #13
RudynJack Jan 2013 #14
libdem4life Jan 2013 #21
just1voice Jan 2013 #11
madfloridian Jan 2013 #23
jsr Jan 2013 #12
KoKo Jan 2013 #18
yurbud Jan 2013 #24
PETRUS Jan 2013 #19
KoKo Jan 2013 #20
madfloridian Jan 2013 #22
PrincetonTiger2009 Jan 2013 #25
madfloridian Jan 2013 #27
madrchsod Jan 2013 #26

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:29 AM

1. Remind me, what happened with Olbermann?

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Response to snot (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:31 AM

2. he was a pain in the ass and he was fired w/ just cause

n/t

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Response to Botany (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:54 AM

5. Just to be clear, fired by Current?

I've kind of forgotten how he left his previous network -- didn't he ask for a raise, and the network said no, so it was more like a non-renewal?

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Response to snot (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:24 AM

10. That might be correct, but IIRC,

The story was that he donated to the political campaign of an old friend showing political bias for which they had to fire him.

Whether that was the reason or the trumped-up reason or a smoke-screen reason, I do not know.

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Response to Festivito (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:53 PM

15. I think he was suspended for a week or two

for the donation.

IIRC, he was fired for not showing up on a holiday (New Year's Eve)?

My information is subject to fact-checking.

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Response to Botany (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:43 AM

7. Sadly true. nt

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Response to snot (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:36 AM

3. My view...he did not toe the line.

Olbermann is not good at that. But we needed his voice. I would have to look up the details.

I don't think Gore or Hyatt were easy to work with, at least that is what I read.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:55 AM

6. By "toe the line" you mean "not show up to do color commentary during the Iowa caucuses?"

and "Complain about his studio furnishings?" and "Not be a team player at a start-up channel?"

I don't think OLBERMANN was easy to work with--which is why he's had trouble at every job (ESPN, Fox, MSNBC, CURRENT) he's held.

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Response to snot (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:02 AM

8. He's been fired by every employer he's had

He's an extremely talented asshole, from what I can discern. I wish he could find a place. I loved seeing him on TV.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:07 PM

16. Given our M$M, that's not necessarily a bad thing. /nt

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Response to Festivito (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:38 PM

17. Yeah, it kinda is. /nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:41 AM

4. Going to guess that Hannity and O'Reilly are also pains in the ass...yet...n/t

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:07 AM

9. No doubt they are

but they know how to play the game. Hannity and O'Reilly are actors - they read their lines. Olbermann actually cared and that was his down-fall.

This is why the left loses all the time in the media (aka Radio). Nobody on the right actually believes what they say, and they are shameless in expressing it. People like Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes actually have integrity. There's more money to be made if you have no shame.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:51 PM

13. FTR...I love Olberrmann and can't judge what went down...but wonder why the Left

can't have an "asshole" or two that would charge up the faithful and one the Right would love to hate.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:10 PM

14. I've thought long and hard about

this question over the years. The best answer I can come up with is that liberals simply don't want listen to an omniscient voice that tells them what to believe. Rushbots LOVE that. They don't have to think for themselves - the radio tells them what to believe. FOX viewers can get their views reinforced without real information.

Those on the left are more questioning, less trusting of authority, more skeptical.

Even on this board, look how often people will attack good liberals for the slightest infraction. We could have a media hero in people like Maddow or O'Donnell or the like, but we don't allow that. I've seen Carville reviled. Hell, even Presidents Clinton and Obama are routinely attacked here. We suck at sticking together behind someone. The right stood behind George W. Bush no matter what.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:12 PM

21. Liberals think, question, look ahead,critically think. RW just the opposite...follow the dittoheads

Still with all the talent and skills under the Democratic Tent, we should be able to rattle some media chains. Wouldn't it be funny to have a sitcom "Democrat/Republican" with one or the other every week. A comedy with all of the quirks, dogmas, insanities, arguments, etc. DU would give material for years to come!!! Oh well, one can dream.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:37 AM

11. $460 million gain is a "loss"? Plus, cable TV sucks and cost way too much.

 

Not to mention the story is linked from "The Hollywood Reporter".
Not to mention Current will be a lot better if it's not on commercial TV.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:51 AM

23. Not a loss for Gore.

Seems to me the Hollywood Reporter is a pretty neutral source. I always read several articles and check the about page before I use a new source.

But then the other day I was attacked for using Huffington Post which is also a neutral source with good writers.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:40 AM

12. Great write-up.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:39 PM

18. I think that Al Gore is such a Serious Person he couldn't get it together like Colbert or Stewart.

He is who he is...and from a different time and maybe was so disillusioned with "Selection 2000" that it ate into his soul and when all his calls for ACTION over Climate Change were scoffed at...and he realized POLITICS for what it was he decided to do what was right for HIMSELF...and just make money off of the corruption in our SYSTEM.

Howard Dean followed the same path with supporting some disgusting NeoCon thing with Iran to make money off of speeches and Bill Clinton has made Millions off of Haiti Relief with George HW Bush.

The CORRUPTION IS RAMPANT. Going against the MIC means you die in deficit.

Better to get along with the MIC than GO AGAINST THEM. Your Children and their Children will do well if you just CAVE!

Who knows what this means MORALLY? I don't know what I would do faced with the enormous power these Leaders had and how it seems they sold the "Average Amricans Out" ...and why and what their motives were.

I wouldn't want to live with their lives to the end, though. I wouldn't want to have that stuff on my soul.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:27 PM

24. I missed that Howard Dean story--got a link?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:49 PM

19. Sideways to your OP, but not totally unrelated and worth noting:

"For some reason no one appears to be asking this obvious question in the context of Al Jazeera's purchase of the Current TV station. According to the news reports, Al Jazeera does not intend to keep much, if any, of Current TV's programming. That means it is willing to pay $500 million simply to be carried by the large cable providers. That implies that these providers have extraordinary market power. This should be raising lots of questions at the Federal Communications Commission."

-Dean Baker of the CEPR (http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/are-current-tvs-slots-on-cable-distribution-worth-500-million)

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:02 PM

20. +1 ...thanks for adding this "Good Read" to this post!

K&R

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:48 AM

22. That makes me wonder...

Lately two of our local affiliates, news stations, have had to plead with viewers to contact their cable and satellite providers to keep them on the air. One is Channel 8, WFLA, an NBC station. The other is a Gannett Company, used to be CBS station.

I wondered when they did this for days, like AMC did with Dish Network...with streamers and banners just how much it cost?

So money must be a large factor.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:10 AM

25. I totaly understood why Al gore would not sell too Glenn Beck AKA Blaze Network..

He was very clear when he said... "the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view"

Article here (ignore the crazy bits) http://minx.cc/?post=336258

I just dont understand why he would let all those shows/workers go under..I love Joy Behar and Elliot Spitzer is so clear thinking, he really brings a depth to his subjects..he has already decided to leave Current according to the NYT today

..All jazeera?? How could Al have been so mislead..the whole network is owned by Qatar!!...They are huge oil and Gas exporters and they are ruled by one family that does not allow womens rights !!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar

"Qatar has been ruled as an absolute and hereditary emirate by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Formerly one of the poorest Gulf states, the mainly barren country was noted mainly for pearl hunting. It was a British protectorate until it gained independence in 1971. Since then, it has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas"

I am so upset I could scream..I dont know who mislead Al about this sale and I know when he finds out the truth he will be devasted

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Response to PrincetonTiger2009 (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:43 AM

27. Al Jezeera has done some very good articles that our media missed.

Right now they appear to be investigating an immigrant center in Florida, and I think that is a good thing.

No media covers anything, all media is skewed. Since Bush's invasion of Iraq the media changed for the worse in this country. It has taken a long time to even get one major station like MSNBC to even be partly even handed.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:39 AM

26. al jazeera on the tv and miller on the radio

multi task listening!

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