Inside the Beltway: Maryland senator’s bill to counter punishment for gun images in schools

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GORE’S CONVERSATION

Al Gore still insists the sale of his public affairs channel Current TV in January to Arab language network Al-Jazeera is a positive thing.

“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 covers 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 States of America,” Mr. Gore told an audience Saturday at the South by Southwest technology and media symposium in Austin, Texas.

But how could an eco-conscious activist sell to Al-Jazeera, based and funded in oil-rich Qatar? That’s what the panel moderator and Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walter Mossberg wanted to know.

“I don’t ask you why you continue working for Rupert Murdoch,” Mr. Gore replied; Mr. Murdoch’s media conglomerate owns the Journal.

“Last I checked, he’s not in the oil business,” Mr. Mossberg pointed out.

“He’s also not strictly in the news business either,” Mr. Gore responded.

POLL DU JOUR

• 53 percent of U.S. voters prefer to reduce the federal deficit by cutting government programs rather than raising taxes.

• 49 percent say the sequester-related spending cuts will have no impact on them or their families; 52 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent overall say the cuts will have a negative impact on them; 36 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

• 47 percent overall say the cuts will have a negative effect on the economy; 27 percent say the cuts will have no effect; 20 percent say they will have a positive effect.

Source: A McClatchy-Marist Poll of 1,068 registered U.S. voters conducted March 4-7.

Conversations, the pitter-patter of applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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