Sunday, 17 January 2021

'Assault on Reason' takes on politics of fear

Al Gore's “Assault on Reason” is a valuable overview of our political degradation, with its “politics of fear; secrecy, cronyism and blind faith.”


It will be especially valuable for anyone who hasn't kept up with alternative news sources for the last several years, or for those who wonder why the mainstream media gives us so little investigative reporting.


One of the most astute media critics I know is Carl Jensen, Ph.D., the founder of Project Censored, a former reporter, professor emeritus at Sonoma State University (and my former husband). He comments “Gore lays the blame where it rightfully belongs, at the feet of the media, led by the persuasive 30-second television spot. This is a 'must read' for anyone who read 'An Inconvenient Truth' and wants to know how it happened. It's a censored message we haven't heard from the announced candidates for nomination for president.”


Much as I admire Gore's passion for educating us about environmental issues and global climate change, it isn't news that his passion would have been helpful in his presidential campaign.


In more non-news, Gore tells us that corporations have gained too much control over our lives, globalization has its downside, political campaigns have become too expensive and too superficial, and the Internet is a powerful force in media.


The book and I got off to a bad start with the introduction, which has a lot of information about the effects of television on the brain. It's valuable information and has been since Jerry Mander's “Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television” was published in 1977.


Gore has longed for an open Internet and helped start www.currenttv.com, where viewers can post their own videos and an irreverent lot they are. He writes “The Internet has the potential to revitalize the role played by the people in our constitutional framework.”


Sure. So do the people, in town hall meetings and other face-to-face encounters. Come to think of it,if you'd like some original thinking on most of Gore's topics, why don't you just pick up Mander's books?


  • Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1977)

  • In the Absence of the Sacred (1991)

  • The Case Against the Global Economy And For a Turn Toward the Local, with Edward Goldsmith (1996)

  • Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples' Resistance to Globalization, with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz(2006)


 

THE ASSAULT ON REASON, by Al Gore. Penguin Press. $25.95

 

 

E-mail Sophie Annan Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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