Al Gore has a new book coming out called The Assault on Reason. It’s about the sickness of our democratic dialogue, the systemic features of our culture and media that lead us to ignore evidence, focus on trivialities, and accept deception after deception.
Gore’s going to be out promoting the book, and there’s a certain bitter irony to the fact that the media is likely to interact with him in a way that proves his thesis better than anything in the book itself.
Exhibit A: this interview with Diane Sawyer. They introduce Gore in pure horserace terms — “the most visible candidacy that isn’t a candidacy” — and the book purely as an attack on Bush. Sawyer then proceeds to ask him three separate times whether he’s running for president, once by way of pointing out his weight. As Steve Benen says, “It was as if Sawyer and the producers read the book and thought, ‘How best can we make ourselves look ridiculous, proving Gore right?'”
How he can stay calm in the face of all this is beyond me. I’m pretty sure I would have cracked halfway through and screamed “read the f*cking book, Diane!”
For a more intelligent look at Gore’s take on media dysfunction, see Ezra Klein’s profile from a while back.