Gore warns of corporate control of Internet in wide-ranging speech about the future of American democracy

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In a 48-minute speech at the Associated Press headquarters delivered to executives and practitioners of "new media", former Vice President Al Gore (giraffe profile) says democracy "has been hollowed out" by pervasive advertising and entertainment, the public forum has decayed and the Internet is in danger of being hijacked by commercial interests. "And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both," Gore says. Read or listen to his speech from HERE. Links to other audio from the "We Media" conference are HERE.

LINKS TO WEBLOGS DISCUSSING GORE SPEECH:

http://www.hypergene.net/blog/weblog.php?id=P305
http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=2702
http://www.andycarvin.com/archives/2005/10/podcast_of_al_g_1.html
TEXT: http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20051006/our_democracy_has_been_hollowed_out.php
CURRENT TV LAUNCH: http://www.c21media.net/news/detail.asp?area=1&article=26752

"Our democracy has been hollowed out. The opinions of the voters are, in effect, purchased, just as demand for new products is artificially created. Decades ago Walter Lippman wrote, "the manufacture of consent...was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy...but it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technique...under the impact of propaganda, it is no longer plausible to believe in the original dogma of democracy . . . we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum and create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the Rule of Reason . . . [w]e must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Worldwide Web. We cannot take this future for granted. We must be prepared to fight for it because some of the same forces of corporate consolidation and control that have distorted the television marketplace have an interest in controlling the Internet marketplace as well. Far too much is at stake to ever allow that to happen."
Former Vice President Al Gore, in an Oct. 5, 2005 speech at the headquarters of The Associated Press

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