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."
On ABC's "World News," reporter David Wright called it "sweet vindication" and "the culmination of an extraordinary journey" that began at Harvard in the 1960s. (How Gore supposedly argued for global warming when all the environmentalists saw a "global cooling" crisis in the 1970s was not explained.) ABC's "Good Morning America" was also gooey, with reporter Kate Snow saying Gore won for "helping awaken the world to global warming," and has now achieved "a personal milestone, vindication of a sort ... a new entry for the history books."
By the next morning, ABC was interviewing another environmental extremist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and asking why anyone in America has failed to embrace and endorse Gore, and Kennedy blamed the media. That's a little odd with all the cheerleading for Gore all around him, but Kennedy -- like most Kennedys -- sees things differently.
The media have "let down American democracy" by allowing a global-warming debate. Why? "The reason is because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon Corp. and by others -- but largely funded by Exxon -- that has been very, very successful at persuading the media not to cover this issue seriously and reporters simply don't go read the science." Kennedy memo to the hundreds of real scientists questioning global warming: shut up.
The cheerleading was so profound over Gore's Norwegian honor that some in the press began to tout him immediately as a "tantalizing prospect" for the presidency in 2008. (This comes weeks after the same network politicos kvetched that Fred Thompson was getting into the race way too late.) As part of their Nobel Prize party, NBC's "Today" anchors dialed up Jimmy Carter, who says Gore is the "best qualified person in American to be president." That alone should chill the Gore for President enthusiasm.
Since when is an endorsement from Jimmy Carter, one of America's worst presidents, great political news? Yet no one in the media really believes Gore will throw his hat in the ring now that he's wearing that left-tilting Nobel halo around his head. It was easy and cheap for them all to hail his qualifications for the job, without any worries he'd actually challenge Hillary for the White House.
There is nothing conservatives would enjoy more than the prospect of this earth-tone-wearing, lockbox-jargon-droning man to believe the media and throw his hat into the ring. Run, Al, run.