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SXSW: Al Gore defends selling Current TV to Al Jazeera network

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By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

March 10, 2013 | 2 min read

Al Gore took his stage time at South by Southwest this year to answer critics on his Al Jazeera deal.

Gore sold Current TV, a cable news network he co-founded in 2002, to Al Jazeera for $500 million.

At the time, there was much said on Gore’s decision to sell to a news network largely funded by Qatar, a major oil producer. .

Interviewer, Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal, asked Gore how he could argue for independence from foreign oil in the US, but sell the company to a news outlet owned by Qatar.

Gore responded: "I knew when I made that decision...my principle obligation was to do business in a way that makes the world a better place.

"You have heard me be very critical of American television journalism. I think that the addition of a very high-quality, 24-7 honest-to-goodness news channel that covers international news as well as national — that covers climate, that covers poverty, that cover issues that are ignored today — has the potential to be disruptive in a creative and positive way, and raise the game for television journalism here in the United State of America."

Hitting back, Gore then asked Mossberg how he could work for Rupert Murdoch, with Mossberg simply replying that Murdoch isn’t in the oil business.

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