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Monday, October 15, 2007
AIM's Gore Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The New York Times' Paul Krugman has a column today headlined "Gore Derangement Syndrome." The latest victim of this affliction on the ConWeb side is Accuracy in Media's Roger Aronoff.

Aronoff starts off his Oct. 12 column by claiming that the Nobel Peace Prize is "a joke, something that should be fodder for late-night comedians" because Al Gore won it. He then joins the ConWeb parade of citing a British court ruling that found "11 inaccuracies" -- apparently it's nine now; can't the right-wingers get the statistics right? -- though unlike, say, Noel Sheppard, Aronoff did actually note that the court also found that the film was "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact."

Aronoff also asserted that "Gore's history of lying could also be fair game" should he decide to run for president. As evidence, Aronoff notes that "AIM previously published the '17 Lies of Al Gore.'" Well, one of ConWebWatch's very first acts upon its founding was to debunk a significant portion of that article. In it, Reed Irvine had listed among the "lies":

  • "He uncovered the pollution at Love Canal."
  • "He and Tipper were models for 'Love Story.'"
  • "He took the initiative in creating the Internet."

As we pointed out, he never claimed to "uncover the pollution at Love Canal," only to hold the first congressional hearings on it; he was merely repeating what he thought a reporter had written about "Love Story" (and Gore did indeed serve as a model for one of the characters); and no less than Vinton Cerf, the guy who arguably did create the Internet, said that "I think it is very fair to say that the Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the vice president in his current role and in his earlier role as senator."

Aronoff then tries to downplay AIM's error-filled history on this, claiming that a Vanity Fair article noting the inaccuracy of the attacks against Gore boiled down to "nitpicking the media about misquoting Gore on creating or inventing the Internet." But nowhere does Aronoff mention that AIM called Gore's proclaimed involvement in the Internet a lie -- a claim that itself is a lie.

That's a strange stance for someone working for an organization called Accuracy in Media to take.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2007 10:41 AM EDT

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