The Republican Media- No. 31
We all laughed.
No doubt a howl went up from the crowd when Mitt Romney quipped in Spartanburg, South Carolina "Congressmen taking responsibility or taking credit for helping create jobs is like Al Gore taking credit for the Internet." Vice-President Gore had stated on CNN
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 growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
The claim that Al Gore claimed he took credit for the Internet has been thoroughly debunked more than once, in this case by snopes.net, which explained Gore
was not claiming that he had "invented" the Internet (in the sense of having designed or implemented it) but that he was responsible, in an economic and legislative sense, for fostering the development (of) the technology that we now know as the Internet.,,,
Gore never used the word "invent" and the words "create" and "invent" have distinctly different meanings- the former is used in the sense of "to bring about" or "to bring into existence" while the latter is generally used to signify the first instance of someone thinking up or implementing an idea...
If President Eisenhower had said in the mid-1960s that he, while president, "created" the Interstate Highway System, we would not have seen dozens and dozens of editorials lampooning him for claiming he "invented" the concept of highways or simply lying that he personally went out and dug ditches across the country to help build the roadway. Everyone would have understood that he meant he was a driving force behind the legislation that created the highway system and this was the very same concept Al Gore was expressing about himself with his Internet statement.
Romney's biggest critic, Newt Gingrich, once stated "In all fairness, it's something Gore had worked on a long time. Gore is not the Father of the Internet, but in all fairness, Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet, and the truth is -- and I worked with him starting in 1978 when I got to Congress." Of course, the former House Speaker now apologizes for agreeing with Nancy Pelosi about climate change and said about Paul Ryan's Medicare plan "any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood." So, admittedly, Newt Gingrich is not the best source- on anything.
But the Internet myth played a major part in the War on Gore (as the Daily Howler's Bob Somerby terms it) conducted by the nation's print and broadcast journalists. Though the media in its initial reports never suggested that Gore had claimed to have invented the Internet, once the Republican National Committee went to work ginning up its propaganda machine, the mainstream media went into action.
Al Gore, however, never will become president, nor was he allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court to take office twelve years ago after he was elected president. But Barack Obama would like to be re-elected and Mitt Romney is determined to prevent him from being so. Yet, after Romney re-invented history in Spartanburg, the news media, perhaps because it is invested in its enduring and false narrative, stayed silent.
And not only about Al Gore but also in response to Romney, leading in to his "joke," alleging "Government doesn't create jobs. It's the private sector that creates jobs."
Mitt Romney's Repub Party itself (indirectly) acknowledges that government creates jobs- when the GOP argues for yet more income tax cuts. Private sector job growth continues in this economy partly in response to the President's stimulus package. And teachers, police officers, FBI agents, and clerical workers throughout the land testify to the fact that government creates jobs. Mitt Romney' job itself as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was "created" by government. But the leading and likely Republican candidate for President of the United States- a government job!- says "government doesn't create jobs." And the media goes collectively silent.