The Reason for the Assault

Former Vice-President Al Gore has been making the rounds on various talkshows to plug his new book, The Assault on Reason. In this book, he argues that lies and misdirections have triumphed over reason and common sense because of misinformation or distortion from both the Powers That Be and from the mainstream media. Arguing, like Winston Smith in 1984, that 'all hope lies in the proles', Gore places the internet on a pedestal as the last vestige of the reasonable, a place where intelligent people can openly debate issues.
Now, much as I like and admire Gore, and would surely support that bid for the Presidency he's so strategically avoiding at the moment, I must respectfully disagree with the distinguished gentleman on this issue.
The internet is a place for reasoned, intelligent debate?! I believe Mr Gore frequents a different cyberspace continuum than me. Remember, it is the internet that gave birth to Godwin's Law ("As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."). It's the internet that prompted the coining of the phrase, 'Winning an argument on the internet is like winning the Special Olympics: even if you win, you're still a retard.' And only because of the internet, "more than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them." Intelligent debate indeed.
So while I support Mr Gore's sentiments, I find his allegiance with the Net to be somewhat suspicious. Could it be that he has found leftist blogs such as Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars to be particularly effective in mobilizing his supporters, while the mainstream media have stood by Bush much longer than they should have, caving in to populist commercialism? Maybe I shouldn't be too shocked to find a cynical politician, but somehow, I expected more of good old Al.

Posted by cronopio at 03:30 PM, May 31, 2007