Jonah Goldberg recently lambasted Al Gore in the LA Times, remarking how the left (including Arianna Huffington) are all aglow over the "new" Al Gore. (See "Same Al Gore, Different Day.") Goldberg's assertion that Gore somehow lied about a summer trip to France in that the timing of said trip conflicted with Gore's tales of working on the family farm.
ThinkProgress took Mr. Goldberg to task: Mr. Goldberg responded with a typical rant about how the liberal media were 'whining' about him.
Here is my letter to Mr. Goldberg...
Regarding your article here...
Media mischaracterization of Al Gore is a well documented fact. Your efforts to bolster that misrepresentation by claiming he did not go to Cannes AND work on his family farm in the same summer are not only petty, they're wrong.
Yet when challenged on it, all you do is whine "I didn't say anything about me! Why are they making this about me?" It's not so much about you as it is about what you say, and what you do, as a journalist. You decided to pick a profoundly unimportant nit, and you got the facts wrong. In response to the 'challenge' you neither confirm or refute the facts in question!
Then you go on to refer to Gore's trip to France and say "don't you think it's really weird that this is what a fifteen year-old kid wanted to do with his summer?"
Uh, there's nothing weird about that at all. Some kids might want to visit England, or Ireland, or Russia, or I dunno, FRANCE. Your characterization of Gore's trip as 'weird' says a lot more about you than it does about him, and it ain't pretty.
This is not about you. It's about what you do, what you as a prominent journalist write and say. You pick a small, unimportant fact, then get it wrong in a deliberate attempt to propagate the fallacy of Gore as serial liar. You're contributing to the dumbing-down of the coverage of American political discourse by doing so. True, it may be a small bit of dung, but it's still dung, heaped on top of the huge pile that you and those like you have contributed to so copiously over the past few decades.
Al Gore isn't that different now than he was in 1999. It's just that the serial attacks on his veracity have waned since he left the limelight. Perhaps being off the campaign trail has let him loosen up, be more 'real' in public than he was as a campaigner. If that's the case we should not blame Gore but the rampant mischaracterization and -- yes, I'll say slander -- perpetrated upon him by the media, a mischaracterization and slander you seem all to willing to revisit and perpetrate.
Gore was right about global warming, right about Iraq, right about corruption, right about so many things that President Bush was / is wrong about. With all that going on, why do you focus on a summer in France forty years ago? You write for the LA Times, for god's sake. Can't you do better than that?