Daily Beast falsely claims Gore has made only one public statement on oil spill

The Daily Beast published an article, titled “Al Gore's Weird Silence,” which falsely claimed that Gore has only made one public statement on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Gore has made numerous public statements about the spill.

Daily Beast reporter Dayo Olopade writes that Al Gore's “only public statement has come in a short article for The New Republic's website comparing the oil gusher to CO2 emissions" and that Gore “has been largely silent during the worst environmental catastrophe in memory.”

However, the article itself provides a quote from a Gore spokesman challenging the claim that Gore has only spoken once about the oil spill:

Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for Gore's office in Nashville, said in a statement: “Former Vice President Gore has addressed the crisis in the Gulf in a major speech, an essay in The New Republic and through numerous postings on his Twitter and personal online journal on algore.com. He also works closely on the climate crisis, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and the oil spill through the philanthropy that he chairs, the Alliance for Climate Protection, based in Washington, DC."

It turns out that Gore's spokesperson is correct and Olopade's claim is meritless. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Gore addressed the oil spill in his commencement speech at the University of Tennessee. Gore's New Republic piece [subscription required] -- which Olopade describes as “short” -- is a 2000+ word essay dealing with the spill. He has repeatedly written about the spill on Twitter and on AlGore.com. KBSW also reported that he discussed the spill during the Panetta lecture series in California -- a video of which is embedded in Olopade's piece.

Olopade also wrote that “Gore's disappearance means that environmentalists are lacking that strong voice at precisely the wrong moment” and “a name like Gore's could help shoulder the burden of advocacy, and mobilize pressure for a climate bill that lives up to the promises made during the Obama campaign and in international climate negotiations.”

Yet in the very same New Republic article she cites, Gore writes that the oil spill “is not the only source of dangerous uncontrolled pollution spewing into the environment” and calls for legislation that will move the United States towards renewable energy, high efficiency, and sustainability. Gore goes on to say:

It is understandable that the Obama administration is focused on the immediate crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. But this is a consciousness-shifting event. It is one of those clarifying moments that brings a rare opportunity to take the longer view. Unless we change our present course soon, the future of human civilization will be in dire jeopardy. Just as we feel a sense of urgency in demanding that this ongoing oil spill be stopped, we should feel an even greater sense of urgency in demanding that the much larger and more dangerous ongoing emissions of global-warming pollution must also be halted to make the world safe from the climate crisis that is building all around us.=

If Gore's article doesn't constitute helping to “shoulder the burden of advocacy,” I'm not sure what Olopade is looking for. Then again, given that her attack on Gore is contradicted within her own article, maybe Olopade isn't sure what she's looking for either.