Al Gore vs. Drew Carey: Another Nail-Biter

What a curious synchronicity that the same day brings announcements about key politically motivated web moves by Nobel Prize winner Drew Carey and comedian Al Gore. No, wait, my mistake! That’s Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and comedian Drew Carey. Sorry.

Gore & Co. are relaunching their Emmy-winning cable/web operation, Current.com, to incorporate more user-generated content. Meanwhile, Carey & Co. are launching a libertarian video web channel, ReasonTV [www.reason.tv; note funky "tv" domain].

Carey is clearly positioning himself as a right-wing Michael Moore: Another fat funny guy ranting against the stupidity of government, but from the other side of the red/blue chasm. As the French say, les extremes sont meme. I hope I’m doing that college French right.

[Conflict of interest revealed: Drew Carey and I lived in the same dorm together at Kent State University in 1975. He used to mimeograph jokes and post them in the bathroom and call it "The Urinal Journal." Actually that's not a conflict of interest at all, I just like to tell people about that.]

Let’s look at the two political broadcasting efforts and see who wins this race for the hearts and minds of America.

Mission statements

Current.com: “It’s about what’s going on, but as you’ve never seen it before. Your brain doesn’t come in boxes labeled NEWS and ENTERTAINMENT. Neither does the world.”

Reason.tv: “Welcome to reason.tv, home of The Drew Carey Project and other great libertarian videos. Over the next few months we plan to bring you the latest, most compelling stories about freedom from all corners of the Internet, and we’ll be experimenting with new interactive content and features.”

Winner, in terms of clarity of mission: Drew Carey

Position on Political Spectrum

current.com: Left, but doesn’t admit it

reason.tv: Right, but admits it

Winner, in terms of intellectual honesty about political alignment: Drew Carey

Rhetorical Effectiveness

current.com: Sophisticated, ecumenical exposition

Reason.tv: Fist-pounding, insistent propaganda

Winner, in terms of ability to connect with opposing forces: Al Gore

Diversity of Offerings

current.com: Wide range of videos offering political commentary, professional mini-documentaries, personal expression and the usual goofy UGC

reason.tv: Narrow range of issue-focused explainers and professionally produced, sort-of-funny Drew Carey explorations of libertarian anti-government screeds

Winner, in terms of diversity of offerings: Al Gore

Inexplicable Programming Decision

current.com: Some UGC links lead to . . .articles, not video clips

reason.tv: Brian Doherty on Milton Friedman

Winner, in terms of inexplicably bad content: Toss-up

Negative Campaigning

current.com: “Carey That Weight”, a harshly critical video on Carey’s “weird and awkward” debut as host of The Price is Right.

reason.tv: John Stossel book-tour speech that, in questioning the competence of government to do almost anything, complains the government “couldn’t even count the votes” in Presidential elections.

Winner, in terms of effectiveness of negative campaigning: Al Gore

Reach into Mainstream

current.tv: Broadcast via Current cable TV channel into 40 million homes

reason.tv: The Price is Right, The Drew Carey Show reruns

Winner, in terms of mainstream reach: Drew Carey

Wow, wouldn’t you know it? Another race too close to call.

But if you add the votes of the Swedish Norwegian judges. . . Gore wins!

Let’s not even imagine the results if the Supreme Court were called in to break the tie.

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25 Comments on “Al Gore vs. Drew Carey: Another Nail-Biter”

  1. Mark Frankel Says:

    Funny post, Craig. Who knew you went to school with such luminaries? To wrap it up, how about an interactive graphic comparing net financial worth of Stoltz vs. Carey?
    Frankel

  2. Nichomachus Says:

    Not sure what the reference to “Swedish judges” is about. If it’s a reference to the Nobel, you should probably know that it’s given out by Norway — but then, all those Scandinavians look alike.

    PS: “I’m a libertarian” is just another way of saying “I’m not too bright and I’m really gullible too.” You might as well just put your baseball cap on backwards and prove it.


  3. A good analysis, and funny to boot. (Probably a lot funnier than ReasonTV will ever be.)

    btw are you the same Craig Stoltz who was at Baltimore Magazine back in the 1990s? If so, how’s it going, man?

  4. oread Says:

    Libertarian does not equal right-wing. Do your research. I suggest starting at the Cato Research Institute.

  5. Craig Stoltz Says:

    Thanks, Nichomachus. I confess I never took note of the peculiar geography of these awards. The FAQ for the Nobels explains thusly:

    Why is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in Oslo and all the other Nobel Prizes in Stockholm?

    Alfred Nobel left no explanation as to why the prize for peace was to be awarded by a Norwegian committee while the other four prizes were to be handled by Swedish committees. In the will he wrote:

    “The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiology or medical works by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting.”

    I have corrected the blog entry accordingly.

    Craig

  6. Jenna Says:

    You forgot to analyze the name of the channel. Which one is the most Orwellian?

    Winner: Reasontv

  7. deaddrfift Says:

    To Oread:

    Yes, libertarian does equal right-wing, unless you renounce the market fundamentalism that is the main plank of the platform.

    Liking drugs and hookers doesn’t make you left wing… or haven’t you been watching the headlines?

  8. carsick Says:

    I live in Southern Ohio and “I’m a Libertarian” sure seems to be stated a lot here lately. It must mean “I voted for Bush twice but I take no responsibility for the actions of his Republican administration…because I’m a Libertarian”

  9. Dissident Dave Says:

    Libertarian = Pot Smoking Republican


  10. “PS: “I’m a libertarian” is just another way of saying “I’m not too bright and I’m really gullible too.” You might as well just put your baseball cap on backwards and prove it.”

    I couldn’t have said it better.

    It’s like Libertarians think the government is corrupt, evil and incompetent but on the other hand, corporations just want to give everyone hugs and bunnies.

    There are people in government who are corrupt, evil and incompetent, but at least I can vote those people out.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing I can do as an individual to stop a multinational corporation.

  11. megisi Says:

    Ah, yes, Drew Carey, the comedian who puked forth the single most racist assault on Indian people I have ever been ashamed to witness … in his stand-up act.

    Lovely guy.

  12. Eric Says:

    what did he say about Indian people?

  13. mitzi morris Says:

    After listening to Bush today I became ill. I have long ago felt ashamed and afraid that this creature represented our country.

    Libertarians offer us absolutely NOTHING in our present tragedy. Carey is another comic representative for thr the Right, all dressed up in Libertarian clothing. What exactly does being a Libertarian mean in our current tragic circumstances?

    It really means that while he differs with Repubniks, he’ll vote GOP anyway. And what alternative has he for himself? Right wing Ralph Naderism that ALWAYS is counterproductive.

  14. mitzi morris Says:

    Carsick says it all about Libertarians.

    But to add one thing…there is ALWAYS something they really love about trickle down or half baked pseudo economics from an extremist like Friedman with an agenda.The mantra was and is always Marxist: The Means Justify the End. UGH!

  15. Maldoror Says:

    Libertarian = Uber-Republican

  16. mitzi morris Says:

    Carey rails against government because all right wingnuts would be happy to see no government. It’s happened. Carey should be happy. Our government is disfunctional, corrupt, unaccountable, and defies the rule of law.

    The hack cronies running FDA and Health, etc etc are political incompetents placed to accomplish NOTHING. They have succeeded. Homeland Security was to go to thug Kerik until vetting proved too embarrassing. So now we are protected by Michael Chertoff. God Help Us All.

  17. ericpalmieri Says:

    Hilarious! Good work!

    -Eric Palmieri

    http://www.ericpalmieri.com

  18. Vanessa Says:

    “Carey should be happy. Our government is dysfunctional, corrupt, unaccountable, and defies the rule of law.”

    Um, but this is precisely what libertarians wish to avoid. If the FDA and Homeland Security didn’t exist, Carey would probably happy.

    “The mantra was and is always Marxist: The Means Justify the End. UGH!”

    Sorry, I don’t understand what you mean. I would say that Marxism is all about the ends, not the means. I would also say that libertarianism is completely opposed to Marxism.

  19. Robert Noval Says:

    The self-serving willful ignorance about Libertarianism from various commenters here is pretty blatant.

    We are neither “left” nor “right”. Terms that however you apply them, presume an ideology that government action is the appropriate manner for the resolution of any issue.

    But Libertarianism is founded on the understanding of the fundamental nature of government as an instrument of coercion. And that it therefore has a limited scope of application.

    These are the principles upon which the Declaration of Independence was founded.

    Perhaps these willfully ignorant individuals intuit that they are incapable of presenting a considered mature argument against a given Libertarain position on any given issue.

    It seems a common (and understandable) tactic; misrepresent us as “Republicans” who just want to engage in debauchery.

    Actually, most of us (at least in the US) are church-going Christians, Ron Paul as example (I’m an ahteist myself).

    As we advocate an individual’s sovereignty over his own person, it is a simple matter to depict us as advocates of drug abuse, etc.

    —The Bikemessenger

  20. Robert Noval Says:

    Actually, I’m an atheist who’s opposed to correct spelling

  21. ShoeFly Says:

    Be suspecious of anyone who wants to do away with laws that “Cramp their style”. For example:

    *Telemarketer
    *Pedophile
    *Gun Nut
    *Toxic Polluter
    *Oil Baron
    *Libertarian

  22. doug lowe Says:

    re: Carey’s “comedy”

    Ironically enough he was the MC for one of the sometimes-funniest shows I’ve known – “Whose Line is it Anyway?” – a spin-off of a British comedy show. However, ALL of the talent in that show, in addition to some great guests, was found in Ryan Stiles,Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady. Every time Carey put himself on the stage the applause meter went way down.

    IMO he’s a holdover variant of the “insult comedians” of an earlier generation – Don Rickles, Jackie Mason, et al, with very few, if any clever moments.

    Regards,
    donilo

  23. Vanessa Says:

    >“PS: “I’m a libertarian” is just another way of saying “I’m not too bright and I’m really gullible too.” You might as well just put your baseball cap on backwards and prove it.”

    >>I couldn’t have said it better.

    Yeah, this guy is really gullible and stupid and most decidedly NOT one of the few existing American heroes:

    http://www.theagitator.com/

    Try clicking on Cory Maye over to the left under “categories.” It will demonstrate that he is truly selfish and unwilling to exert himself on behalf of the disadvantaged. Typical asshole libertarian has got his, I suppose.

    >>It’s like Libertarians think the government is corrupt, evil and incompetent but on the other hand, corporations just want to give everyone hugs and bunnies.

    To the contrary, I believe Libertarians are more aware of the bottom line than are most, and that goes for corporations as well as gubmint.

  24. Dave Hose Says:

    Craig my old friend.

    Nice to see that your still out there. I found your analyses interesting if slightly obtuse, even for an old geologist like me. But that always was your style. To reach the masses (or the mainstream as you put it) you have to dumb-it-down. Drew was always good at that. Al Gore — not so good at that.

    Still I’ll toss my hat in with Al regarding world affairs every time.


  25. [...] the blog entry Brother Google sent the searcher to–the preposterously popular “Al Gore vs. Drew Carey: Another Nail-Biter”–doesn’t answer that question. The entry compares Al Gore’s Current TV [...]


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