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Is Al Gore an Oil Hypocrite?

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The former vice president's new book criticizes the TV news industry for getting hijacked by oil and gas companies. And just whom did he sell his television network to?

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Al Gore might have wanted to consider the ironic timing of releasing his new book, The Future, just a few weeks after selling his television network to Al-Jazeera.

The pan-Arab broadcaster is backed by Qatar, a member of OPEC that owes its wealth to its oil and gas reserves.

In Gore's new book, which will be released Tuesday, he complains that oil, coal and gas companies are twisting television news. The former vice president's publisher, Random House, is asking consumers to shell out $30 for a 592-page book.

According to an excerpt published by the New York Times, Gore writes that "virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies -- not just during campaign seasons, but all the time, year in and year out -- with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened, and the carbon companies are working diligently to further develop renewable energy sources."

Given the timing of his sale to Al-Jazeera, Gore's message might strike some Americans as hard to swallow.

After all, by some estimates, Gore made a $100 million profit from his sale of Current TV, making him possibly worth more than former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Gore has a few words to add about Al-Jazeera, which bought Current TV for an estimated $500 million: He calls the Arab broadcaster "feisty and relatively independent," according to the review from the Times' Michiko Kakutani.

It's likely that his sale to Al-Jazeera will come up in several television interviews scheduled this week, notes TVNewser.com. The former vice president will appear on NBC's "Today" and "Late Show with David Letterman" on Tuesday and on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" on Wednesday.

Current TV staff might consider tuning in to hear Gore's thoughts on the sale, given that he refused to appear in front of his own employees to explain the sale, according to the New York Post.
Editor's Note: This story by Aimee Picchi was originally published on MSN moneyNOW.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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