Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Al Gore Bites the Dust

Another one bites the dust. This time it's Al Gore, the man with the kind of name you say in one great exhalation. "ALGORE". The National Enquirer has blown a hole into the side of Algore, much like a 15 kg cannonball fired into a wooden frigate. An unnamed rub down professional has accused Mr. Gore of sexual misconduct. She refers to the man from Tennessee as a "sex poodle" and a "lummox".

These charges arose as a result of a massage session in Mr. Gore's hotel room in 2006. The masseuse asserts that the ex-Vice President became frisky during a massage. The anonymous accuser's charges were investigated but the authorities did not proceed with more than a preliminary investigation. Up until now the masseuse, who is duly licensed in Oregon, did not want to be subjected to the rigors of the legal process.

The National Enquirer, a newspaper with a schizophrenic sense of duty, reports that the mystery woman asked for one million US $ for an interview. The Enquirer said no and it proceeded to report her story based on the police report, which is publicly available. Barry Levine, the executive editor, said that the newspaper did not notify Mr. Gore of their plans nor did they seek his input. The reason Mr. Gore was omitted from the launch of the story was the paper's fear he would send out a pre-emptive news story of his own. In doing so, he would have presumably dampened the Enquirer's coup and diminished their profit margin.

Al Gore has fallen from his pedestal of late, beginning with the announcement that he and his high school sweetheart wife of some 40 years, Tipper, are separated. Everybody likes to believe in the happy, monogamous couple. When a marriage icon crashes, disappointment and sadness come forth. Naturally, one can't help but think the breakup is related to another lover. In Mr. Gore's case, Laurie David, was quickly identified as the home wrecker. Whether this is indeed true is not clear. Ms. David and Algore deny such a liaison.

From a journalistic standpoint, the Enquirer's actions are not only greedy and rash, but unfair. The front paged accused Mr. Gore deserves better. The salacious sub headline, that the red haired fingerer saved her stained black work pants, smacks of Monica Lewinsky. A Gap blue dress carried the spew of Bill Clinton, the inference is that the aforesaid black pants carry Algore's DNA. One has to wonder what the masseuse from Oregon was thinking when she stashed her pants?

An average person, seeing this front page while waiting for $220 worth of groceries to be bagged in front of him, will dive into this story. The work-a-day Joe or Josette will tell at least three or more others by starting with, "Did you hear about Al Gore..." Later, when the dust settles, the National Enquirer will have no follow-up headlines, unless the details are more salacious than they appear now. Perish the thought that Al Gore is vindicated, the NE is off of that story.

It must be difficult to be a famous person. TMZ, paparazzi, scheming opportunists, the Star, the NE love to vet and to expose you. Sometimes its easy, like Kobe and Tiger and Jesse and Michael and Charles. And don't forget Jack and Ike and John and Franklin. All philanderers. The jury is out on Algore and this is still America. He is innocent until proven otherwise. Hey, National Enquirer, think before you ink.

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