Al Gore is accusing Rupert Murdoch and his
evil empire News Corporation of abusing their power, after learning three weeks ago that his left-leaning Current TV would no longer be carried by Italy's Sky Italia due to the hiring of Keith Olbermann, who has been critical of News Corp. in the past. Gore said:
"News Corporation is an international conglomerate with an ideological agenda. It seeks political power in every nation they operate. They wield that power to shut down voices that disagree with the agenda of Rupert Murdoch."
Olbermann's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, featuring such contributors as Michael Moore, Ken Burns, Richard Lewis, and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, will make its Current TV debut on June 20, but not in Italy. Gore has good reason to be ticked off: one in three Sky Italia viewers tune in to Current TV at any given time during the week. Gore is also nervous that the non-renewal of the existing distribution deal could impact Current TV's fortunes in the U.K., where News Corp. is on the verge of purchasing BSkyB, the British satellite company that's the largest pay-TV broadcaster in the U.K. with over ten-million subscribers.
Gore does understand that there's been an easing of tensions in the running conflict between News Corp. and Prime Minister Silvio "bunga bunga" Berlusconi's Italian media empire. Current TV had aired several documentaries, including Citizen Berlusconi, critical of the Italian premier and his regime. Gore said, "Sky Italia is in the midst of negotiations to enter the digital terrestrial television market and they need Berlusconi's support." News Corp., of course, said the dispute with Current Italy has nothing to do with politics but is simply a commercial decision. They claim that Current had asked Sky Italia to double the carriage fee.
The former vice-president had some strong words about media monopolies:
"Too much power in the hands of one person is dangerous, no matter the ideology. The conversation of democracy, which used to happen in newspapers or in other public places, now happens on the television screen. But this is a public space in which gatekeepers charge rents."