Democratic Underground

Why is the Media Still Bashing Al Gore?
October 24, 2001
by Mike Hersh

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Notice the media is still bashing Al Gore? This is no change for the "liberal" NY Times which led the charge against Clinton and Gore -- Whitewater, Monica, Gore as a liar.

This relentless bashing let AWOL Bush keep the election close enough to steal. The media hammered Gore and elevated Bush, especially during the Election aftermath. The media echoed Bush cousin John Ellis' FAUX News call that Bush won, and cast Gore as the "Sore Loser."

Have you read the latest articles by Howard Fineman and others that claim Gore supporters are glad their man "lost?" Most of these absurd articles don't bother to name or even quote these "Gore supporters." When they do, they claim the comments "seem" to show Gore's most ardent and loyal supporters prefer Bush. I am not making this up, they actually use the word "seem!"

In fact, there is no such suggestion in any actual quote from any named Gore supporter. Not one quote saying they prefer having Bush in office. Little beyond but acceptance that Bush is in the job now, and we have to make the most of it. So why all the lies in the media? Why is the media still bashing Al Gore?

The consortium results for the actual voting in Florida are ready, or nearly so. Why all of these vicious, gratuitous Gore slams, instead of stories about the real results in Florida? We all know.

Same reason this went on nonstop for two years. The millionaire media wanted their tax cuts. Their corporate bosses ordered stilted, biased coverage to help Bush. For the past few years, the media has defended AWOL Bush, and lied about Al Gore.

The NY Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and many other so called "liberal" papers slatherered affection on AWOL Bush, and abused Al Gore. TV was worse than print, if anything. Why expect them to change now?

It's hard to even remember how unfair, dishonest, and nasty the media was to Al Gore! Remember debate "moderator" Jim Lehrer abusing his position, hammering Gore at the end of the 2nd debate and the start of the 3rd debate? The latter in a surreal backhanded "apology" for lying about Gore in the previous debate!

It's stunning how my own recollection of the vicious, nearly unanimous Gore bashing in the media has faded. You can do as I did, and check the archives at to see the pundits, writers, and columnists calling Gore a pathological liar, selfish, ruthless, and worse.

Most Americans assume the media is fair, if not biased in favor of the Democrats and liberals. This is taken for granted, and allows right wing politicians to hypocritically cite the same sources that they slam when it fits their agenda.

Most Americans have no idea how beholden the mass media is to the right wing, and how dirty the media and the Republicans really are. I see and deplore the constant media assault on Democrats and their hypocritical protection of Republicans. A vicious cycle starts with RNC attack faxes filled with lies. These picked up and amplified on right wing radio in print tirades that turn vicious character assassination into "the conventional wisdom."

I hope the planned documentary based on the excellent book by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons, Hunting the President, reaches a wide audience. In the book, these reporters prove beyond any doubt that the "liberal" media used dishonest and sloppy reporting to poison our politics and attack our democracy.

Often working closely with right wing activists including infamous lunatics like Ann Coulter, and Ken Starr's officious witch hunters, media giants like Newsweek, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and others dumped outright lies into the mainstream public discourse.

Respected papers like NY Times and Washington Post joined the more obvious right wing attack rags like the Moonie Washington Times media conglomerate which includes the UPI, the Murdoch and Scaife empires. Media double standards, venal and often personal agenda against Democrats, misled the public and helped the right wing.

This is hardly new. Over the past few decades, we've seen the media systematically butcher reputations and distort the records of good people like Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore. Even their friends, spouses and children were targets for attack, innuendo and abuse. This same "liberal" media white washed hundreds of crooked Republicans, protecting them from even slight scrutiny.

Only by knowing the details can we recognize and expose this for what it is. A well devised, heavily financed, seamless but utterly ruthless, Machiavellian media machine. It runs nonstop, spewing Republican propaganda to manufacture consent for increasingly extreme, short sighted, unfair, and failed right wing policies.

Accept anything from the corrupt right wing media at face value. We have to protest this. We have to demand accountability from the media, and get the real news out as best we can.