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.
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
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
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.