Maybe in some parallel universe …

Sometimes, fate arranges the world of journalism in ways that make certain conclusions unmistakable. This week was one of those moments, when two interesting news articles were published more or less simultaneously.

One appeared in New York magazine. It was a long, detailed analysis of how Sarah Palin has, in the course of one year, made herself rich. It was a thoroughly reported story, but written with exactly the degree of snark you’d expect a Manhattan magazine to apply to America’s highest-profile conservative. And that’s OK. I slap on the snark regularly, so I can’t get indignant when others do so. Besides, I’m on the record as believing Palin has no business being anywhere close to the White House, so anything which keeps her in check in fine by me.

The other article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Al and Tipper Gore had purchased an $8.9 million oceanview home near Montecito, California. The story was two paragraphs long.

It caused me to wonder if Gore — who, like Palin, amassed a fortune after being in public service — had ever gotten a New York magazine-style analysis of his wealth. After a few minutes of googling, I found that in November 2009, the New York Times took a look at Gore’s practice of investing in businesses that hope to profit from the climate change worries that he endlessly highlights. It was not a snarky article. If anything, it was deferential:

Critics, mostly on the political right and among global warming skeptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire,” profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.

… Mr. Gore says that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.

“Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?” Mr. Gore said. “I am proud of it. I am proud of it.”

Let’s try an experiment here. Imagine that Palin was building her fortune in the same way Gore has. Imagine that she spent all her time crusading for an expansion of off-shore drilling, using her bully pulpit to push for a relaxation of environmental regulation and for tax credits to oil companies to encourage them to drill. Further imagine that she had millions of dollars invested in the very companies that stood to profit mightily from the changes in national policy she promoted.

Can you imagine that the New York Times would ever quote Palin as saying she was “simply putting her money where her mouth is” — and essentially leave it at that?

If so, you’ve got a more creative mind than I do, because that’s where my imagination fails me.

7 Responses to “Maybe in some parallel universe …”

  1. Sheila Says:

    I think the major difference here between Palin and Gore is that Palin QUIT her job as Governor for the sole purpose of cashing in on her newfound popularity. Gore has always been a champion of the environment- before, during, and now, after his political career. I think a lot of people see Palin as a bad joke, thus the ’snark’ and lack of respect for her.

  2. G.D. Gearino Says:

    Sheila: I suspect most people in the media would agree with everything you’ve explained above. That’s why Palin’s money-making endeavors will draw a critical eye while Gore’s won’t — even though his skirt much closer to profiteering.

    And that, of course, was my point.

  3. Locomotive Breath Says:

    Palin quit her job as Gov because Alaska has a law that allows unending frivolous lawsuits that prevented her from doing that job and from which she had to defend herself at personal expense.

    OTOH Gore is a simple loser. All he had to do was win Tennessee and he coulda’ been Pres. I guess Tennessee knew in 2000 what the rest of the world may finally be figuring out. Gore has been selling a fraud and now that the jig is up and he’s made his dough he’s rubbing it in everyone’s face.

  4. Sheila Says:

    Regardless of whether she was Governor or not, Palin could still be sued. Try again. Your personal feelings about Gore aside, please explain the fraud charge you are leveling.

  5. InTheArena Says:

    Sheila, excellent question. I appreciate someone, especially in a mini-skirt, who expects data to back up assertions they disagree with. For the explanation you are looking for, try Googleing “Climate Change Hoax”. Read all the explanations and data there. Get back to us after you have completed this assignment. And again, great question.

  6. Doug Says:

    I’ll be more worried about my carbon footprint as soon as Al Gore appears to be concerned about the one generated by his mansions in California (the one with 9 bathrooms) and Tennessee and the huge houseboat sucking up electricity from the pier.

    Oh, I forgot he planted some trees in Africa.

    My bad.

  7. Locomotive Breath Says:

    Fifteen years ago we were told that the earth was absolutely unequivocally without-a-doubt warming at a rate so fast that it could only be blamed on human CO2 emissions (cf. hockey stick). Recently even warmist-alarmist in chief Phil Jones had to admit that there has been NO warming since then. That and the fact the dog ate his homework so he can’t even say how that conclusion was reached in the first place.

    Which means loser Gore has been selling snake oil and attempting to profit from it.