Twenty or 30 years ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was considered to be among the most prestigious awards in the world. It helped make historic figures out of Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Lech Walesa. But in the last 20 years, its prestige has lessened as its political correctness has hardened.
It went from an award that championed human rights to an award that honored dictators and terrorists (Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990, or Yasser Arafat, 1994). It even honored frauds -- Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian, was honored in 1992 upon the 500th anniversary of the historic voyage of that "oppressor" Christopher Columbus, based on an autobiography full of phony stories.
Today, the Nobel committee seems especially interested in using the Peace Prize to tweak American conservatives, honoring Jimmy Carter in 2002 (when it excluded him from Camp David accords honors in 1978) and now Al Gore in 2007. People are asking the obvious: How has Gore's alarmism on global warming aided world "peace"? The Nobel committee touted his efforts to "build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." In other words, one has nothing to do with the other.
Gore's victory makes it look much more like a Nobel Progressive Prize, awarded to lionize the world's greatest promoters of socialist, command-economy boilerplate. With the emphasis placed so heavily on Gore's "educational" campaigning, it's really a Nobel Propaganda Prize.
Since Al Gore's eco-doom crusade is less about peace and more about the perils of chlorofluorocarbons, was his Nobel controversial? Of course not. The American news media are celebrating Gore with gusto. Poor Al, so cruelly rejected from his deserved posting at the White House by partisan manipulators at the Supreme Court, is finally getting his due as a global genius.
Margaret Carlson, who sang tributes to the glory of the Clintons and the Gores as Time magazine's White House correspondent in the 1990s, went on TV to declare that Gore "rose above a great injustice" in the 2000 election and "became a prophet on an issue that is crucially important to the world."