NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – Glenn Beck says Al Gore refused to consider selling him Current TV before selling the channel to Al Jazeera, a network that Beck says “hates America.”
Current TV announced Wednesday that it had been sold to Al Jazeera, the network financed by Qatar. It plans to shut down Current’s lineup of liberal-skewing news and talk in favor of its own programming.
After the Wall Street Journal reported that Gore turned away interest from Beck last year, Beck took to the airwaves Thursday to offer his side of the story. He said his negotiators approached Current about buying the network in order to get Beck’s network, Blaze TV, into the 60 million U.S. homes reached by Current.
Beck said his people were told that the former vice president would have to be consulted on the possibility. Beck’s negotiators received a callback within 15 minutes, Beck said.
“Yeah, umm‑umm, no, not even interested,” Beck paraphrased the Current representatives as telling his people. “We ‑ our legacy is too important and there would quite frankly be too many people, too many friends that the vice president would have to explain why he’s selling to Glenn Beck.”
Instead, Current opted to sell to Al Jazeera, which Beck characterized Thursday as “a Qatar government outlet that ran every terrorist video and hates America.”
Al Jazeera has long struggled to reach American viewers, and has stressed its journalistic integrity and independence from Qatar. But that position has sometimes been undermined by allegations that the Qatari royal family has meddled in its coverage.
An Al Jazeera spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The New York Times reported that Current was sold for $500 million. Beck said that at the time his people approached Current, he believed the price would be around $250 million.
But he never got to the offer stage, Beck said, because “we were not allowed to the table.”
“He didn’t sell to the highest bidder. He looked for, who do I ideologically align with,” Beck said of Gore. “The vice president of the United States of America tells you that he is more ideologically aligned with Al‑Jazeera than an American broadcaster who believes in America, just doesn’t believe in what he does, believes that America is a good place, that America is ‑ has a bright future ahead of it if we just do the right thing, a guy who believes that global warming is nonsense.”