Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem
Posts tagged "Al Gore"


CNN Anchor Bill Weir Angers Fox Nation, Calling Them 'Ignorant F*cksticks'

Bill Weir of CNN doesn’t think much of climate change deniers, and let out a ‘colorful’ tweet earlier today you don’t often see from cable news anchors.

via The Wrap

Bill Weir is not impressed with Fox News site’s weather story

CNN anchor Bill Weir didn’t mince words in his assessment of a Fox Nation post.

“Climate Doesn’t Cooperate With Al Gore Group’s Visit to Denver EPA Hearings,” read the headline of a post on Fox News’ opinion and aggregation site. The story, from the Washington Times, noted that while Gore’s group has linked global warming to hot temperatures, Denver was 58 degrees and rainy on the day of the hearings.

To which Weir replied on Twitter: “Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant fucksticks.”

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1386288741770-3’); });

(via silas216)


Leave it to "terror babies" wingnut Rep. Louie Gohmert to take what should be a very serious hearing over whether or not any more mergers of these already too big media and communications companies ought to be allowed, and turn it into a clown show.

Gohmert Accuses Comcast Of Trying To Keep Glenn Beck’s Network Off TV (VIDEO):

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday accused Comcast of trying to keep conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze, off of television.

During a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on the Comcast-Time Warner merger, Gohmert floated the theory that Comcast while Comcast launched Al Jazeera America, the company refused to let The Blaze purchase a network it owned.

"Al Gore was pushing the sale of Current TV, and Glenn Beck, the Blaze were trying to buy it. And it was reported that Al Jazeera wanted to get their Sharia law push into the United States, and they were willing to pay big bucks, regardless of whether they had oil and carbon all over the money," Gohmert began.

read more

Former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis told ThinkProgress this week that they support marriage equality. With their endorsements, every living former Democratic presidential nominee is now on record in support of same-sex marriage.

Every other living Democratic nominee had previously made their support explicit.

The list includes:

  • 1. Former President Jimmy Carter (1976 and 1980). Carter said last year “Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things — he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.”
  • 2. Former Vice President Walter Mondale (1984). Mondale, who invoked civil rights legend Hubert Humphrey as he campaigned against last year’s proposed Minnesota marriage inequality amendment, said in an e-mail that he not both “opposed the constitutional amendment that would prevent legalizing gay marriage and I supported the legalization of gay marriage adopted this past week in Minnesota.
  • 3. Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis (1988). Dukakis confirmed his support to ThinkProgress in a May 12 e-mail.
  • 4. Former President Bill Clinton (1992 and 1996). Clinton announced his support for marriage equality in 2009 and has actively campaigned for it since. Clinton had previously signed the anti-gay 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
  • 5. Former Vice President Al Gore (2000). Gore delivered a “forceful endorsement” of marriage equality in 2008, saying “gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women — to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage.”
  • 6. Secretary of State John Kerry (2004). Kerry told the blog Blue Mass Group in 2008 that he “absolutely” supported civil marriage equality. He explained his evolution in a 2011 Boston Globe op-ed entitled “Politicians have the right to evolve on gay marriage.”
  • 7. President Barack Obama (2008 and 2012). President Obama made his historic announcement one year ago, telling ABC’s Robin Roberts: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

Former Senator George McGovern (D-SD), the 1972 Democratic nominee, also endorsed marriage equality prior to his death last year. He told the Daily Republic last May: “I’m a ‘conservative’ when it comes to marriage. I think if two people love each other, are living together and having sex, they ought to get married.”

Follow Think Progress on Tumblr at:

H/T: Think Progress LGBT


Keith Olbermann has resolved the $50 million legal dispute with Current TV over his firing from the network, a well-placed source tells The Hollywood Reporter.

A settlement is said to have been reached during a private mediation session in San Francisco on Tuesday. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Olbermann and Current, who sued each other in April 2012 over his dismissal from the liberal-leaning network, are expected to file court documents soon dismissing the case.

On Wednesday, Olbermann and Current TV released a joint statement to THR: “The parties are pleased to announce that a settlement has occurred, and that the terms are confidential. Nothing more will be disclosed regarding the settlement.”

Current has called the allegations “false and malicious,” arguing that Olbermann breached his contract by, among other things, failing to show up for work on several occasions and revealing his salary to THR and the Wall Street Journal. Gore and Hyatt sold Current for $500 million in January to the owners of the Al Jazeera news organization, and it is unclear what role that sale played in the mediation with Olbermann. Al Jazeera executives have said they hope to launch a U.S.-based news outlet this summer on the former Current network.

H/T: The Hollywood Reporter

Bring Back KO!

Al Gore, environmental activist and former vice president, said he was “very pleased” to hear President Barack Obama pledge to combat climate change in his inauguration speech. He urged the president to “follow through” on his commitment.

“There are some actions he can take that do not require congressional approval,” Gore said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

Gore argued the president should expand current Environmental Protection Agency regulations, saying such action would be protected by the Supreme Court.

“There is a law on the books that requires the EPA to regulate pollution. The Supreme Court has agreed with the obvious interpretation that global warming pollution is pollution,” he said. “It’s been applied to new coal plants. It should be applied to all facilities.”

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council have also called on the president to keep his distance from Congress on climate change.

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

Fox News attacks Gore for selling to ‘anti-American’ Al Jazeera instead of Beck (via Raw Story )

The hosts of Fox & Friends on Friday slammed former Democratic Vice President Al Gore for being a “great American businessman” and selling his Current TV network to the “clearly anti-American” Al Jazeera network instead of former Fox News host Glenn Beck. On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal…


Current TV is considering putting itself up for sale, or entering into a partnership with another company, a spokesperson at the independent and politically progressive cable company told TPM Friday.

While nothing is formal yet, Laura Nelson, Current’s senior vice president for communications, said, “We’re exploring strategic options, including sale, also including partnerships or straight investment.”

The New York Post got the scoop late Thursday evening. Current’s CEO Joel Hyatt told the Post: “Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company. This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence, we thought it might be useful to engage expertise to help us evaluate our strategic options.”

Hyatt and former Vice President Al Gore founded Current in 2005. Current hired progressive heartthrob Keith Olbermann in February 2011 to launch the network’s primetime programming. Cenk Uygur and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm later came on board to round out the evening lineup.

Olbermann was noticeably absent during the network’s Iowa caucus coverage and a couple Republican primary debates in early 2012. Reports of clashes between Olbermann and his bosses swirled, and Current finally ousted its star host in March.

h/t: David Taintor at TPM

Kudos to Sen. Sherrod Brown for giving CNN contributor/ loon Dana Loesch exactly the amount of respect she deserved, when she popped up like a malevolent jack-in-the-box at the Netroots Nation conference.

The wingnut blogosphere won’t take this deadly insult lying down, of course. You can expect the crazies to start cranking out the phony persecution rhetoric any minute now. First out of the gate — Michelle Malkin’s fake news site Inconvenient Tweet? Al Gore Quickly Deletes His Retweet of Dana Loesch.

Sen. Brown said, “I’m not going to be played for a fool.” Way to go, Senator.

h/t: Charles Johnson at LGF

I love Sherrod Brown for standing up to rent-a-goons like her.

After Current TV fired Keith Olbermann last week, the combative host vowed he’d sue his (most recent) former network. Olbermann and his lawyers filed suit in California yesterday, and their allegationsmake for quite the read. Olbermann’s complaints with his former employer range from the social to the technical. Here are the ten most serious—and funniest—charges Olbermann makes against Current TV and its executives in the order they appear in the lawsuit:

1. Current co-founder Joel Hyatt was kind of socially awkward: A thread running through Olbermann’s lawsuit is that Current tried to distance him from his representation, sometimes to disadvantage him in negotiations. But in this case, Olbermann makes a more personal allegation, that “Hyatt also attempted to isolate Olbermann from his professional representatives in an awkward attempt to form a close personal friendship with his new star.”

2. Current underinvested in its web presence, to the detriment of its audience base: Sometime, these charges are an opportunity for snark, as when the suit alleges “Stunningly, Al Gore’s network was not interested in establishing a strong internet presence.” But the suit also suggests that the network was slow to build out its web presence and wouldn’t allow Olbermann’s show to stream online, a hook that might have helped viewers who didn’t have Current or weren’t sure where to find the network on their channel lineups, continue to watch the program. “Current even refused Olbermann’s request and contractual right, to stream segments of the Program and additional web-only content over the Program Website. It is both sad and ironic that a channel owned and founded by Al Gore, for the stated purpose of creating an independent perspective, free from the control of large corporate interests, restricted the rights of its most celebrated commentator and Chief News Officer to fully broadcast his opinions over, of all things, the internet.”

3. Current’s facilities were a mess: This has been one of the most commonly reported points of dissension between Current and Olbermann, particularly after an electrical failure while the program was on-air led Olbermann to bring a candle on set. The lawsuit alleges that “Current President David Bohrman admitted ‘the 33rd St. facility is never going to be a professional facility. We need to move to HD, and a better location.’ He further admitted in that same e-mail ‘We are paying for a Porsche and getting a Yugo.’”

4. Hyatt behavior threatened Olbermann’s staff: “Hyatt’s leadership was highly erratic. Just days before the premiere of the Program, Hyatt even threatened to fire Olbermann and the loyal staff members who had followed him from MSNBC to Current. Hyatt behaved as if he had just paid Olbermann to become his puppet instead of the Chief News Officer of the network.”

5. Hyatt and Current were moustache-twirling blackmailers: “Hyatt blackmailed Olbermann into agreeing to put himself in a position that no other major talent in the entertainment or news industries has been forced into in decades: fending for himself without the benefit of hire advisors. Olbermann gave in to Hyatt’s blackmail for the purposes of saving the premiere of the Program and the jobs of those who worked on it. Olbermann left the meeting devastated at having discovered that he was working for a blackmailer.”

6. Hyatt doesn’t know how the television ratings system works: “The very success of the Program was compromised when Hyatt, displaying his utter lack of industry knowledge, ordered incorrect ratings data and then disseminated it to the media. In essence, Hyatt took what could have been a victory and turned it into an unrecoverable defeat. A show only has one opportunity to be launched. In reality, the Program’s premiere had higher ratings than both CNN and MSNBC in the key demographic for advertisers. The incorrect ratings purchased and disseminated by Hyatt, because they did not contain statistics for same day viewing through DVRs and other such methods, did not reveal that the Program had outrated MSNBC. Because Hyatt did not know that there were two types of ratings and ordered the cheaper ones, the Program missed out on its lone opportunity to tout its success.”

8. Olbermann didn’t think the network should hire Jennifer Granholm or Cenk Uygur, but he really doesn’t like Uygur: “Hyatt and Bohrman asked Olbermann about the possibility of hiring Cenk Uygur. Olbermann told them that he did not believe Uygur would be a good choice. Olbermann opined to Bohrman that Uygur had difficulting separating facts from things he wanted to be true…It was, therefore, reasonable for Olbermann to decline to be associated with a host with a questionable journalistic standard and a show that was not up to the standards expected by the ‘Countdown’ audience.”

h/t: Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress

Keith Olbermann filed suit against Current TV on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the network breached his contract and taking shots against his former employers.

“After being enticed to leave MSNBC and come to Current with promises of editorial control, freedom from corporate influence and the professional support to produce a high-caliber political commentary show of the type his viewers have come to expect, Keith Olbermann was disheartened to discover Al Gore, Joel Hyatt and the management of Current are no more than dilettantes portraying entertainment industry executives,” the suit opens.

In the suit, Olbermann alleges that the network’s “dysfunction permeated all levels of the organization.”

The breaches of contract Olbermann alleges include:

  1. “Broadcasting advertisements containing Olbermann’s likeness without his consent.”
  2. “Using guest hosts for Olbermann’s Program without obtaining Olbermann’s approval.”
  3. “Refusing to allow Olbermann to exercise his contractually granted editorial control over special election coverage.”
  4. “Disclosing the confidential terms of the Agreement.
  5. “Linking Olbermann’s name and goodwill with corporate endorsement without his consent.”
  6. “Ignoring Olbermann’s consultation rights.”
  7. “Disparaging Olbermann publicly.”
  8. “Refusing to invest resources and hire appropriate personnel in order to professionally and competently produce the Program.”

The legal battle has been brewing since last Friday, when the progressive cable network cut ties with its star anchor, alleging Olbermann missed half of his working days in the months of January and February. In addition, according to a source familiar with the situation, Current fired Olbermann for “sabotaging the network” and “attacking Current and its executives.”

Olbermann denies Current’s accusations. In a statement after his ouster, Olbermann said “the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out.”

On the Late Show this week, Olbermann admitted that he “didn’t think the whole thing through” with Current TV, comparing the situation to a “$10 million chandelier” without a home. Olbermann’s contract was reportedly $50 million for five years.

Olbermann lawsuit against Current TV h/t: David Taintor at TPM

Olbermann » Gore, Hyatt, and Current TV.

Current TV made a rapid switch to progressive political programming—and some big-name talent with big-time personalities that might conflict with what the network wants.

You would be forgiven if you thought, at first, that the new incarnation of Current TV looks a lot like the old version of MSNBC. After six years as a nonpartisan news network – albeit one co-founded by former Democratic vice president Al Gore – Current launched its transition to a 24/7 channel with an unabashedly liberal vantage point just in time for Election 2012. And it did so with two headliners plucked straight from MSNBC, the cable channel specializing in progressive political commentary.

  But while there is barely a degree of separation, Current’s chief executive officer and co-founder Joel Hyatt says that what the network offers is very distinct from MSNBC – or anyone else, for that matter. While Fox News is “infotainment” and CNN is “limited by their legacy,” Hyatt calls MSNBC “a confused brand.”

“It’s liberal at night, conservative in the morning, and in the middle it’s nothing at all because it needs to fit in under its NBC parent,” Hyatt told AlterNet. “And even its liberal evenings are inauthentic. We [at Current TV] are liberal because it’s what we do and how we live our lives.”

Hyatt added: “We are a fact-based network that is interested in solutions to problems, not just screaming and hollering about them. We think there’s a huge audience that’s out there that wants that as well.”

Keith Olbermann defected from MSNBC to Current in 2011. He walked into a reported $10 million salary and equity stake in exchange for his “Countdown” show, but nearly backed outfive months later as the network endured an uncomfortably public tussle with its marquee star. This month, after a brief leave for bronchitis, Olbermann returned to “Countdown” with a black backdrop replacing the set he had reportedly complained about.

On Current, “Countdown” continues Olbermann’s interviews, fast-paced commentary, and his “Worst Persons in the World” segment. (Blogger Andrew Breitbart won the dubious honor last Monday – not for the first time.) With the shift to Current, Olbermann welcomed an entirely new set of regular contributors, including Matt Taibbi, a journalist for Rolling Stone; Kate Sheppard, an environmental journalist for Mother Jones; author Jeremy Scahill, and activist and comedian Maysoon Zayid.

When “Countdown” debuted on Current last June, the network finished the weekahead of CNN with viewers aged 25-54 in the 8pm time-slot, even though Current is in 40 percent fewer homes than CNN. This was quite a turn for Current, which averaged 30,000 viewers in primetime in the pre-“Countdown” quarter of 2011. Last September, the show hit 310,000 total viewers for a Tuesday night show where Olbermann interviewed former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson about former vice president Dick Cheney’s memoir. This is recognition of Olbermann’s reputation as a brilliant and creative host who gets to heart of key issues, according to Hyatt.

“Keith Olbermann was the only journalist in America who saw the significance in the Occupy movement,” Hyatt said. “He covered it so well and so consistently that he shamed the mainstream media into taking notice.”  

While “Countdown” is still not a leader in its time-slot, it remains Current’s biggest name, making the internal wrangling with Olbermann all the more significant. Olbermann, after all, has a history of burning bridges. He first came to MSNBC from ESPN in 1997, and then again in 2003 after a stint with Fox Sports. After his acrimonious departure from MSNBC, Olbermann’s trademark talents and temper are on Current’s docket, and, while “Countdown” endures, Olbermann doesn’t appear to feel any particular kindness to the network that gave it a new home: it’sreported that he ignores emails from the West Coast executives, complains about his car service, and is irritated with the network’s low-budget production. (Hence, the black background that debuted on the show recently.) Current seems to be still trying to figure out how to navigate the implications of this. When it put out afull-page New York Times ad ahead of the Florida primary coverage, “Countdown” was the show promoted in the largest type. Hyatt said that Current is particularly proud of “Countdown” as representing the network’s new direction. But in the New York Times ad, Current’s two other political hosts are pictured. Olbermann is nowhere to be seen.

Cenk Uygur, meanwhile, brought his popular news show, “The Young Turks,” to Current after a spending a few years as an MSNBC contributor and substitute anchor. Last year, he had a short stint as an “MSNBC Live” anchor in the wake of Olbermann’s departure, but left the channel for Current after a dispute over a time slot change—and Uygur said that followed the network telling him to “tone it down” on his show, and that he was too combative against “those in power.” While television ratings are “growing,” according to Hyatt, “no news program on television has a younger audience” than “The Young Turks.” Perhaps a premonition of what was to come for him both politically and professionally, the 2000 election was the first time Uygur, a former Republican, voted Democrat: he cast his ballot for Gore.

Current is also looking to develop a liberal counterpart to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” as well as a Sunday morning talk show, a la “Meet the Press”; indeed, Hyatt said that it intends to “build out an entire 24/7 schedule” over time, and that announcements are expected about this in the coming weeks and months. Current has also brought on Jennifer Granholm, the former Democratic governor of Michigan, to host “The War Room,” an hour-long broadcast specializing in electoral politics that airs on weeknights. And with a nod to its former niche in investigative broadcast, Current is keeping “Vanguard” on its platform; the Peabody Award-winning documentary series may be most well known for itsaffiliation with Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were imprisoned in North Korea while on assignment.

The New York Times has pointed out that on the night of the Iowa caucuses – when Keith Olbermann was absent — Current’s average viewer was 36 years old, while CNN’s was 56, Fox News’ was 63, and MSNBC’s was 65. For whatever worth is measured by Twitter followers, Current easily bests MSNBC: nearly 719,000 people follow @current, while @msnbc has just over 178,000 followers. (To be fair, @maddow, the Twitter account of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, alone has well over two million followers. Olbermann, Cenk, and Granholm combined have about 400,000.) It has yet to be seen, though, whether Current’s business independence will translate into the kind of rigorous, interesting, and meaningful broadcast that cannot be found elsewhere, MSNBC included.

But while it fights to make the channel available to viewers, Current can – and does — amplify the appeal of its independence. The Occupy movement that “Countdown” was one of the earliest to cover is shining a light on the consequences of corporate cronyism just as Current promotes its newly liberal stance in programming: independent progressive television that is sure to resonate with its target audience.

As part of the swift and radical turnaround from its nonpartisan roots, Current went for the jugular. It brought on hosts that already had outsized reputations, whether from their MSNBC and online platforms or, in Granholm’s case, a host who can brag of significant political experience. Hyatt heralds Granholm’s real-world background as turning the tables on the political pundit formula. “She’s lived it,” he said, noting that she wasn’t only a governor, but also an attorney general. “It’s not all opinions in her case … I believe she’s going to be a TV star, but it’s going to be because of her experience. She knows what questions to ask. She’s not just an interviewer; she can have a conversation because she’s been there.”

MSNBC, on the other hand, cultivates hosts from the ground up. Melissa Harris-Perry, a Tulane University professor and columnist for The Nation, is at the helm of her new show after having spent years as a featured contributor and guest host on “The Rachel Maddow Show”. Likewise, Chris Hayes was a frequent contributor and guest host on Maddow’s show, as well as an editor for The Nation, before being given his shot in the spotlight last August with the weekend opinion show, “Up with Chris Hayes.” Maddow herself found spectacular success when she was brought to MSNBC for her first turn in television after hosting a syndicated Air America radio show. She used to be a guest-host on “Countdown” in its MSNBC days, filling in for Keith Olbermann.

Call your cable company to request Current TV if yours doesn’t already!

h/t: Anna Clark at AlterNet 

(via Dana Busted: Climate Change Denier Dana Loesch compares Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to “Nazi Propaganda”)

On The Dana Show yesterday, notorious climate change denier Dana Loesch compared Al Gore’s very truthful documentaryAn Inconvenient Truth to “Nazi propaganda documentaries produced by Leni Riefenstahl.”

Partial Transcript:

LOESCH: ”When we had Al Gore, who won the Peace Prize for a propaganda film. That means Leni Riefenstahl would’ve won the Nobel Peace Prize, because it [An Inconvenient Truth] was the same level of propaganda.”
"Then we have the current President [Obama] who sent more troops to Afghanistan, started a proxy-war with Libya— aided by NATO, was pledging to put boots on the ground in Uganda. And don’t forget Fast and Furious, which gave guns to Mexican Drug Cartels to use against American Border Patrol troops."