Gore blasts Murdoch

Former Vice President Al Gore has blasted Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. for removing Current TV from Sky Italia. Gore charges that this is an abuse of power triggered by Current TV hiring Keith Olbermann for his long-awaited new show that will begin next month.

Gore's charge rings true. I do not have the smoking gun, but it is outrageous that Murdoch or News Corp. would remove Current TV for any reason. The Italian government should look into this matter.

I have written about Gore, Olbermann and Current TV for The Hill, Daily Beast, Huffington Post and the Hollywood Progressive because I believe it could (maybe) bring a major improvement in cable news. I hope Gore and Olbermann lift the quality of cable news by challenging MSNBC to do even better and by challenging Fox News.

My hope is that Current TV, Gore, Olbermann and MSNBC all provide viewers, especially more progressive viewers, with a higher quality of television. If all they offer is more trite talk of "why we hate the right,” or the Arnold love-child, or Donald Trump talking about the birth of the president to promote his show by using the presidency as his prop, they will all lose. They will all deserve to lose. And I will write that if need be.

Personally I am fed up with, and often stop watching, the endless parade of superficial nonsense and trite punditry and salacious garbage that masquerades as news.

The issue with Murdoch is more troubling because it does involve, as Gore charges, an abuse of power. To remove Current TV from Sky Italia is cheating Murdoch's customers of a valuable option, and cheating the democratic discourse of a valuable voice.

This also furthers a disturbing trend among some on the right. If they do not like a voice or an opinion, they try to silence it. If they do not like facts or science, they try to deny them.

Too many on the right fear an honest debate. They try to wish away, or will away, or deny, opinions and facts and truths that they do not like. Witness their denial of the president's American birth and their denial of climate change. They say they favor competition, but very often they fear it.

Gore is right. Murdoch is wrong. Current TV should be put back on Sky Italia. MSNBC, CNN, Current TV and Fox News should all be everywhere in the battle of eyeballs and ideas. Let the viewer choose which programs to watch and which to turn off. No individual, including Rupert Murdoch, should be the censor for the world.