A few years ago, the former vice president of the United States had an easy run of life. The unbelievable campaign mystique of a Naomi Wolf-minted "alpha male" had worn off thanks to nearly a decade of public displays of self-pity for a job that never came through and Al Gore had emerged as a vulnerable faun of dashed beta ambition. More than that, he was the lumbering nerd protector of Gaia with his immensely popular documentary film about how cork-screw lightbulbs were all that stood between humankind and an underwater Logan's Run of dystopian futurity. Often came the clucking claim that if only this man had been elected president in 2000, we'd have had our holiday from history and then phone in sick for a spell longer. Al Qaeda would be the name of a Mediterranean tapas bar in Nolita, Baghdad would still be a safe place to fly a kite at the weekend, and instead of The Hills, all the young people would be watching episodes of a serialized Swann's Way on MTV.
Now look: After forty years of uncomfortable physical chemistry, Al and Tipper have split, leaving the old boy free to partake of as much porn and video gaming as heart desires. The vulnerable faun has given way to the ravenous satyr, accused of having sexually molesting a female masseuse, whose patchy tale of prurience amid the bath towels and unguents is a lot less revealing that the reaction of so-called liberals to an accusation of brutish misconduct by their hero.
Tom Scocca at Slate has trolled through the comments section of correct-thinking call-to-prayer tower Talking Points Memo and found the progressive response to Gore's naughtiness wanting. Here are the comments he plucked for his blog:
alyoshakaramazov She was treated like that and then remained ALONE in the room with a violent man in order to finish the massage? Sounds like a load of horse shit. Check if the woman is in sudden need of lots of cash.
mans_best_friend So after two years of trying to squeeze Gore for money she decides to make a statement to the police? Bit of an odor coming from this
HusseinTenaX Let me just add here: Al Gore is a man of importance and power and you can't tell me he doesn't have his own bunch of political groupies who would give it up to him in a second. In other words, he doesn't have to fight some 54 year old masseuse to get laid. I know at least 3 women who have such crushes on him, they'd fight each other for the chance.
rb6 The biggest problem is the delay in reaching out to the police. It makes it virtually impossible to corroborate aspects of the story -- for instance, at one point there might have been videotape that validated the timing, when she arrived and when she left, and even her appearance or demeanor as she was leaving. That surely must have been taped over by now. Likewise, the hotel staff might have noticed if she seemed upset or disheveled as she left but that kind of evidence probably won't count for much if it isn't developed four years after the event.
xargaw Another media whore looking for face time on some sleazy tabloid show.
And here's Scocca:
She should have left. She should have reported it to the police right away. She's a whore. She's an ugly old whore, and someone as important as Al Gore wouldn't need to have sex with her. She's looking for money. She's looking for attention.
These are the readers of a liberal website? Again: I have no idea what happened. And neither do any of these people.
Yeah, but when has that stopped DNC faithful from defending one of their own from charges of sexual intimidation or worse? Now we know what we'd been deprived of all this time: A more robotic continuation of the Clinton years.