Published January 31, 2013
Funny man Jon Stewart got serious on “The Daily Show” when he sat down with Al Gore to discuss the former vice president’s decision to sell Current TV to Al-Jazeera.
Stewart took a break from the jokes and quizzed Gore about his choice, saying he thought the agreement was strange given that Gore is an environmental activist.
“You had an opportunity to make a statement, probably, about your principles and some people would feel—and for me as well, I thought it was an odd move-- not because some of the other things but because it is backed by fossil fuel money.”
Gore stood behind his decision, touting that Al-Jazeera has “terrific climate coverage.”
“I am very, very comfortable with it,” Gore said confidently. “I completely get the criticism but this was a good choice… I completely believe in this.”
Stewart added that viewers may find it hard to get behind Gore’s environmental platforms because Al-Jazeera is “an oil based company.”
“Can you see how people at home might think ‘but he is asking me, in my life, to make choices about light bulbs for the purpose of sustainability’…that’s the issue.”
Gore said the network has announced a plan to shift to renewable energy, and he called Al-Jazeera the United States’ “strongest ally in the Arab world.”
Al-Jazeera has been criticized for having a pro-Islamist bent, and accused of working with members of Al Qaeda. One of its journalists was arrested in Israel in 2011 on suspicion of being an agent of the Palestinian group Hamas. Dave Marash, a former "Nightline" reporter who worked for Al-Jazeera in Washington, said he left the network in 2008 in part because he sensed an anti-American bias there.
The network is subsidized by the ruling family of oil rich Qatar.
Gore won the Oscar in 2006 for his documentary film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth."
Gore netted $100 million with his 20 percent stake in Current TV when it was sold for a reported $500 million.