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Praise be unto Al Gore for his Internets

Braisted: Well, Al Gore, meet John McCain, inventor of telecommunications and the blackberry.

The difference being that no one claimed McCain invented the blackberry. Gore did claim he ‘took the initiative in creating the Internet’. Which is only debunked if you somehow think inventing it and taking the initiative to create it are substantially different. Or you don’t know what the fuck debunked means.

39 Responses to “Praise be unto Al Gore for his Internets”

  1. Robb Allen Says:

    You know, I don’t even bust Al’s chops for what he said. He didn’t mean he sat down and wrote the whole TCP/IP design then pulled copper wire out of his ass and hooked up the world, he meant he was part of the team that said “Hey, someone else has this cool idea! We like it” and maybe gave some funding or something.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I know. But that’s not what he said.

    However, that’s pretty much exactly what McCain’s rep said.

  3. tgirsch Says:

    Sorry, but I think that the distance between what Gore said about the Internet and what McCain’s camp has said about the Blackberry is a lot shorter than the distance between what Gore actually said and what is falsely attributed to him.

    I know you don’t like it when it happens to your guy (even if he’s only “your guy” by default and not by preference), but you’re usually above such sour grapes.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    I didn’t falsely attribute anything to Gore. But Braisted did to McCain. So, I assume your comment is directed at him?

  5. tgirsch Says:

    Notice I said “what is falsely attributed to Gore,” not “what you falsely attributed to Gore.” Important distinction.

    In any case, you frequently make fun of Gore’s falsely-attributed claim to have invented the internet, so you’re playing coy when you say that you don’t falsely attribute anything to him. Although I can certainly understand why you’d want to maintain plausible deniability…

  6. SayUncle Says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Of course, I refer to it as the internets, which makes fun of another VP. Fair & balanced!

  7. tgirsch Says:

    If you were really fair and balanced, you’d call them “Al Gore’s Intertubes.”

    (And am I the only one who thinks Stevens got a bit of a bad rap on that.)

  8. SayUncle Says:

    I did for a bit. But I just can’t stand Stevens.

  9. Sean Braisted Says:

    “Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.”

    Yeah, I totally exploded that out of context. He didn’t invent telecommunications, he created it. My bad, what a bad little liberal I am.

    (btw, that was the first and last time I planned on mentioning that comment by McCain’s staff, I wasn’t going to rape it to death as Conservatives have done with Gore’s comment.)

  10. SayUncle Says:

    Yeah, I totally exploded that out of context. He didn’t invent telecommunications, he created it. My bad, what a bad little liberal I am.

    You said he invented it. Nice try but you’re doing the exact same thing that gave Gore a pass for saying something: exaggerating the claim. At least McCain’s guy said committee.

  11. Tam Says:

    If you were really fair and balanced, you’d call them “Al Gore’s Intertubes.”

    Hey, now! That’s what I call them! 😀

  12. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    I’m going to go float on my Intertubes in the pool and drink a beer.

    Something you can float on and download porn with would be a big seller.

  13. Manish Says:

    sheesh..get a room. Al Gore’s statement:

    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

    McCain’s aid:

    “He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. “Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.”

    So Al Gore “took the initiative to create” while McCain “did” the blackberry. Of course its ironic that the Republicans typically feel the best that government can do for innovation is to step out of the way apparently think that the Blackberry was created in the Commerce Committee of the US Senate.

  14. SayUncle Says:

    manish, what’s funnier is that both these bozos tried to take credit for something they really had nothing to do with.

  15. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Ok, so we have Al Gore, crediting himself with the creation of the internet and we have someone on McCain’s staff crediting his boss with being the head of the committee that oversaw the creation of the modern telecom industry.

    Yep, completely identical, that.

    Or not.

    You know, when McCain himself declares he created the Mobile Telecom network, get back to me. But a staffer who credits his boss with leading the industry’s regulatory committee just doesn’t rise to the same level of self-exaggerated importance.

  16. Sebastian-PGP Says:


    Gimme a fuckin break. They’re quite obviously the same fucking thing–a DC big wig taking credit for a public policy position that they think brought around something good.

    Funny how people will put aside reason when agenda comes into play.

  17. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    I mean…really. If you think Al actually was saying “he created the internet with his own two hands”…you’re a bigger idiot than either Al or McCain.

  18. Rabbit Says:

    Algor is a time-traveller, too. I was using ARPANET in the 70’s on a Digital PDP7 about 7 years after Thompson and Ritchie created UNIX. maybe Al will regale us of tales of long nights over pizza and beer with them, hacking out C code to play that Star Travel game the very first time.

    On a lighter note:


  19. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    The funny (if it weren’t so sad) part?

    McCain is actually one of five Senators to have voted AGAINST the telecom act of 1996 (for those who don’t know…it was the bill that brought competition to local service and allowed the Internet and VoIP revolution we’re enjoying today).

  20. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:


    No, but if you think self-aggrandizement is the same as a staffer running his mouth then you might have problems of your own.

    Yes, they are both taking more credit than they deserve, but it is being done to different levels by different people.

    I.e. Not the same fucking thing.

  21. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    It’s also not the same because McCain has a much better relationship with the media and the gaffe in question won’t have the same legs. But the guy isn’t a “staffer”…he’s a senior fuckin adviser. He’s a spokesperson for the campaign…that’s why he was busy talking on the record. Duh. Yes, McCain has the dubious luxury of getting to say his spokesperson overreached quite a bit. Whoopee. Until McCain distances himself from the comment in question, I’d say you’re making a distinction without a difference.

    One is self aggrandizement, the other is having your senior adviser aggrandize for you on the payroll (not sure that’s in any way better, but if you say so…).

    In either case, the reality is that agenda driven folk like you have gotten WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more mileage than you ever should have from a rather innocuous and frankly not all that hard to figure out comment that the media ran wild with because AlGore had a crappy relationship with them. (In order to think he was saying he invented the internet, you’d also have to believe he was saying he invented environmental protection, educational systems, and the US economy). If it makes you feel better that a “staffer” said the same sort of overreaching nonsense about his boss…then bully for you.

  22. Tam Says:

    The Media likes McCain better than Al?

    Huh. On which planet is that?

    Srsly, dude, Oscar? Nobel? Getting his sausage snorkeled at no charge by NYT reporters? (Okay, I’m just inferring that last from available evidence…)

    But yes, both statements sound boneheaded on their surface; McCain’s staffer’s won’t get traction because A) He’s just a staffer, and B) Al said it first and funnier.

  23. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    So, he’s a senior adviser. So fuckin’ what? He’s still not the candidate himself claiming sole legislative effort. *That* was Gore’s real problem. He basically dismissed the contribution of everyone else to make himself look good. That is horrible leadership. And it *is* a big deal.

    McCain’s *advisor* claimed his boss’s committee was responsible. While this is a major stretch as there were contributions from outside the committee (it does take majorities in both houses and the POTUS to sign it before it becomes law) but it doesn’t rise to the level of hubris needed to claim for yourself sole political responsibility.

    Unless you think that a puddle is a pond is a lake is an ocean because they are all bodies of water.

  24. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Thanks for not letting that one slide. The only time McCain has “had a good relationship with the media” was when 1) he was attacking republicans, and 2) when he was supporting a democrat.

  25. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Tam: I don’t want to sidetrack us, but the subject of McCain’s favorable treatment by the media could keep us busy for days. Between letting him slide on obvious lies, flip flops, and gaffes that would be national news if they didn’t love the “maverick”, to letting him slide on being a maverick in the first place, it’s pretty obvious that McCain does pretty well with the media. This topic has been all over the news. Again, let’s put the individual agendas aside.

    YAG: at this point you’re splitting a gnat’s hair on a broken record. Assuming you’re even correct that Al was saying he was solely responsible (which he wasn’t any more than he was claiming he was solely responsible for environmental laws or the educational system…I love how you keep ignoring the rest of the quote), how is it any different than the claim he was responsible for Crackberries (when in fact…he opposed the very laws that made them so commonplace?).

    Until McCain repudiates the statement, it’s still the position of his camp. I’ve conceded that it didn’t come directly from his mouth.

    Suppose a senior adviser said “I really don’t like black people” and McCain didn’t repudiate it. Would you still cling to the line that it doesn’t matter vis a vis the candidate’s position if he didn’t repudiate it?

    The lengths you people go to to apologize for a dismal candidate are embarrassing.

  26. Robb Allen Says:

    The lengths you people go to to apologize for a dismal candidate are embarrassing.

    You’re confusing “one” for “all of”, Sebastian. Nobody here is claiming Johnny McShitSandwich is a great politician and the best thing to happen since the McRib sandwich was brought back. They’re claiming a single instance of a particular event doesn’t mean what people are making it out to be. That’s not going through any great lengths to protect the old codger.

    I don’t think you’ll find a single person here who likes the fact he’s the Republicans’ choice.

    Personally, I don’t get it. Politicians like to claim credit for shit they had nothing to do with (outside of not getting in the way), and people like to blame them for things they had nothing to do with either (i.e. Bush and the economy, as if he’s the only one buying Hi-Def TVs and Porn DVDs).

  27. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Suppose a senior adviser said “I really don’t like black people” and McCain didn’t repudiate it.

    Now who’s going to extraordinary lengths?

    Look, this childish game of trying to cover up Democratic politician’s mistakes with “But he did it too!” and “No, he’s not, but you are!” are really unbecoming. You don’t get out of a speeding ticket for driving 120mph by complaining to the judge about all the other drivers running 75.

    John Did your mother call you Maverick because she hates you? McCain has a staffer who said stupid shit. You’re right. And if he doesn’t repudiate it, it should and will be held against him. It does speak badly for his hiring practices. Tell me something I didn’t already know.

    You see, that’s the problem. If liberals just said, “Yeah, he said something stupid.” and left it at that it would never have gotten any traction to start with. But, appearently, the guy has to be perfect for some reason.

    We know our guy is shitty. Just marginally less so than the alternative.

  28. Tam Says:


    The lengths you people go to to apologize for a dismal candidate are embarrassing.

    If you can show me one instance of me saying anything apologetic (or even nice) about McCain on my blog (try searching under “Col. Tighe” or “The Manchurian Candidate”), I will PayPal you five bucks.

  29. Manish Says:

    sheesh, you guys. Gore mis-spoke and McCain’s aide mis-spoke and both are guilty of a little exageration, and both were kind of funny. Do you really have to fight over something this stupid? Can’t we all agree how wonderful it is that we can use John McCain’s Blackberry to access Al Gore’s internet? Isn’t being bi-partisan wonderful?

    While this is a major stretch as there were contributions from outside the committee

    you are correct that there were contributions from outside the committee..A company called RIM had quite a lot to do with it.

  30. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Aye carumba–Manish, we could have left it at that 15 posts ago, but certain people still insist that maybe just maybe we can’t because maybe just maybe Al really was suggesting that he invented the internet (and the EPA, and educational system, and SEC, and the FDIC).

    It’s friggen ridiculous as hell, but it’s also reflective of the fact that different candidates get treated differently by the media. Innocuous overstatement by one candidate that didn’t really mean what his detractors and haters claim it means? YOU HEAR ABOUT IT FOR DECADES. Innocuous overstatement by a senior adviser from another candidate? NO BIG DEAL.

    For Pete’s sake, YAG, nobody’s saying it’s ok that McCain did it because AlGore did it, your speeding ticket analogy is ridiculous. What we’re saying is that it was ridiculous to run with AlGore’s verbal misstep for all these years and it’d be equally ridiculous to run with Senior Adviser Dude’s–but you won’t see the latter happen for a very specific reason, which is that the latter comes from a camp with a better rapport from the media.

  31. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:


    You’ve gotten the entire point backwards. The only reason you are jumping on McCain is so that you can point back and say “See, Al Gore didn’t say anything wrong because your guy did it too”.

  32. Tam Says:

    It?s friggen ridiculous as hell, but it?s also reflective of the fact…

    …that while other people have done the “Who’s On First” sketch since then, credit is still given to Abbot & Costello for being first.

    Sorry, PGP, but the meme entered the intarw3bz consciousness years ago, and the media had not a damned thing to do with it.

  33. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    From the same AP article that distributed the offending remark:

    A McCain aide later dismissed the remark as “a boneheaded joke by a staffer.”

    The McCain camp repudiated it *immediately* and so, by your own standards, no, it’s not the position of the McCain camp and never really was.

  34. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Al Gore: I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

    Al Gore: Everyone is super-stoked on me, even if they don’t know it.

    McCain Adviser: [holding up a Blackberry] “You’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create.”

    McCain: [To adviser] Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

  35. tgirsch Says:


    Man, I gotta give you credit. You must do yoga or something, to be that flexible with your rationalizations. Even most naked partisans I know can’t bend that far…


    Glad to see I’m not the only one with a nasty habit of tilting at windmills…

  36. The Captain Says:


    They’re politicians. Playing to type, they (or their staffers) take more credit than they deserve. Once in office, they try to take more power for themselves and more money from us, while leaving us with less freedom than we had before.

    The only difference is where the money goes and which freedoms we lose.

  37. Tam Says:

    Besides, folks, everyone knows this thing isn’t a big truck, it’s a series of tubes!

  38. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    YAG: whereas by contrast, for years Al Gore folks spent lots of time insisting he really was saying “gee he really did invent the internet”. Errrr….NO!

    And round and round we go. You’re putting a huge load of words in my mouth if you thinking I’m actually arguing McCain was saying he created anything. I’m merely saying if you apply the same standard to both statements, you don’t have much of a hot poker left to stick in AlGore’s weepy eye.

    I really don’t think I have anything backwards: my point stands, that it’s equally silly to suggest McCain’s camp can claim the Crackberry as it to suggest AlGore really was claiming he created the Intarweb. The only salient difference is I really don’t think you’ll be hearing cracks about McCain inventing the PDA seven years from now. People pretty much immediately pointed out that Gore wasn’t claiming what you as recently as yesterday seemed to think he was claiming, but seven years later we still hear jokes about it (even if Tam and I agree to disagree about why the Al think sticks around…I for one figure it wouldn’t be making the blog rounds in the first place were it not for the media, but YMMV).

    In short…you’d have to be an idiot to fall for either one. Seems only one side of the aisle still wants to do that…

  39. Guav Says:

    You guys are all missing the best part?Blackberries were invented by a Canadian company, RIM.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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