why can't conservatives stop lying about Al Gore?

The following letter-to-the-editor was printed by my local newspaper:

Al Gore got to Norway aboard an airplane

How interesting it was to read [...] about former Vice President Al Gore taking public transportation while in Norway. I wonder why it was not reported that he got to Norway by charter plane. Hypocrisy is alive and well.

[name and address redacted]

Here is my response:

why can't conservatives stop lying about Al Gore?

Seven years after wresting the presidency away from Al Gore, conservatives are still lying about him. During the 2000 campaign, they misrepresented and/or flat-out lied about many things: Gore's reference to Love Canal, his joke about the "Look for the Union Label" jingle, his comments about Erich Segal's book Love Story, and--most famously--his crucial early support for the Internet. In their desperation to win the election, conservatives threw honesty aside and impugned Gore's credibility at every opportunity. Earlier this year, after Gore won an Oscar for his film An Inconvenient Truth, they even made false accusations about his home heating bills.

The latest claim, according to a local hypocrisy-monger, is that Gore flew in a charter plane to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. Actually, according to the Norwegian newspaper AftenPosten, (and this AFP article) Gore arrived in Oslo aboard "a normally scheduled commercial flight from New York."

Instead of spending a few minutes investigating the facts, conservatives would rather manufacture scandals (such as this "charter plane" myth) and then complain that the media aren't credulously reporting them. Media outlets shouldn't participate in right-wing smear campaigns by spreading their misinformation.

Gore is far from perfect, but he does a better job (by nearly any measure) than his critics will admit. He has done vital work in spreading environmental awareness, and it's not just talk. He renovated his own home to make it more efficient, uses renewable (solar and geothermal) energy, and even replaced his Christmas tree lights with LEDs. He flies commercially when possible, and purchases offsets to reduce his carbon footprint. It shows great weakness among the climate-change deniers that they are attacking Gore instead of his arguments.

[follow-up here]


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