February 27, 2007

Can Oscar Go to the White House?

By Mary Lyon

"I don't think this Academy Award will be known for anything other than Al Gore winning." ( Rich Marotta , KFI)

So said a Los Angeles radio newsguy during the postmortems on this year's Oscars. Highly intriguing and significant, I think, that it was uttered on a station that boasts Rush Limbaugh and wall-to-wall radical conservative screech-meisters. But I think Rich Marotta is onto something. So are the "Members of the Academy", AND a whole lot of other Americans, movie buffs and not. Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and those hapless Wrong-Way Corrigans on the other side notwithstanding, I think there's a global warming to Al Gore - and specifically to Al Gore in the White House. He may have hemmed and hawed and teased on the Oscar telecast, but I doubt much of America is doing so. I think the time has come. Al's time.

At the moment, our poor, battered country couldn't be in sorrier shape. Let's look at just the most recent shades of our former self: it's now reported that the White House has aided, abetted, and funneled money to none other than al Qaeda operatives in yet another in a continuing series of embarrassing mistakes, missteps, and catastrophic miscalculations. We have a vice president who's sown so many seeds of lies, threats, intimidations and scary stories that he literally has become a WMD. We have horribly wounded soldiers languishing in a building filled with filth, vermin, and bugs, and a military that's in ICU, even while a very likely new war looms on the horizon. We have more poor, homeless, disenfranchised, and uninsured than ever before. We have Democrats who don't seem able to decide what to do about any of it, and willfully negligent republi-CON enablers who'd rather diddle and spin while our soldiers die and our people starve. We have international allies who no longer trust us, and are now pulling their troops out of our reach. We have a so-called "president" who doesn't listen to ANYONE anymore. Probably has his fingers so far down into his ears that they've taken permanent root in there.

Our predicament has become so grave that we may just need Superman to intervene. We last saw a clip of him in a special effects montage on Oscar night - in which we soon saw the next best thing savoring a Best Documentary award and ovation after ovation. Let the reactionary snot-noses sneer about how Hollywood Loves Al Gore. What they can't face is that this romance has gone WAY beyond just Hollywood . Perhaps Gore himself is trying to shy away from it, too, but I think it's one of those unavoidable inevitabilities. I think it's becoming more accepted that we NEED Al Gore.

Certainly, we need all our guys and our girl(s). We need all of them to fight harder and fiercer and, yes, maybe also dirtier, considering the adversaries we're up against and their vicious, selfish obstructionism. I can understand how some would rather see Gore stay exactly where he is - so he can concentrate on the environment. But I think he should go for all the marbles. I don't think we can afford for him not to. It's gotten THAT bad. I would like to see him put the heaviest of the heavyweight bully pulpits to work on his "Inconvenient Truth." There's nothing like the force of White House clout to further the fight against global warming. I think his message would go even farther, faster, and with a significantly greater impact if it came from the President of the United States (President Gore) .

Furthermore, h is ascendance to the Oval Office which he rightfully won and that was stolen from him would be miraculously healing for our land, and for the whole world. It would go a long way toward rehabilitating America and Americans after having foisted such a disgrace on the rest of the planet, and we desperately need that kind of recovery operation. We could reassure everyone that the Prodigals have come to their senses and returned home. It would, of course, be a delicious side dish to savor the global repudiation of George W. Bush that would be the subtext of Gore's election this time. Face it: he's OWED. AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. Whether they want to admit it or not.

I also think it will take someone of the nobility, integrity, dignity, and intellect of Al Gore to start cleaning up the multiple disasters Bush and his pirate pals will have left behind. We need far more than merely an able successor. We need one with class, honesty, and creativity who's respected across the planet. Al Gore stands tall - taller than ever, especially by comparison to the cowardly, sniveling, incoherent miscreant twit who presently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue . If Gore were in charge, we'd all stand taller. The rest of the world needs Al Gore, too. His is the face I'd like to have as America 's face to the world. I think the global community yearns for a return to the time when they could look up to the United States for leadership, inspiration, optimism, the moral high ground, and most of all - hope. They can't do that now, and they don't bother trying anymore. They know better.

I think we all know better. That's why the 2008 campaign started almost two years early. We can't wait for this dreary era to end. So how do we make it happen? Perhaps this is another one of those efforts that takes a village. Preferably ALL the villages. We should be talking this up. Does anybody else see this as a Great American Redemption? Is anybody else out there spreading this message? We should be at the forefront, guiding, leading the way, pushing OUR talking points, helping others to see this for themselves.

I suspect it's an itch that a LOT of Americans are starting to sense but can't quite put their finger on, much less reach to scratch it. Some of my show-biz reporter colleagues used to frame questions that way to various actors, writers or directors - about their life's work, and when they realized this was an itch they just HAD to scratch. I think there's a dull realization starting to come to people, in perhaps such an early dawning that it's hard to pinpoint. They know it's there, intuitively, but maybe it hasn't broken through the surface from subconscious to conscious yet. And that vague feeling, I suspect, is a yearning for Gore's stewardship. He's awakened much of the world to the global warming crisis. Now, he can awaken us to our better selves. We can help solidify and channel that yearning into constructive activism, and the best achievement imaginable. We can start planting the seeds, giving it shape, and feeling, and a life of its own. The "hate radio" mavens did it successfully over the years with their unchecked, unanswered preachings of anger, resentment, destruction and negativity. And they built it into a Frankenstein sequel. WE, on the other hand, can birth a NEW movement of hope, healing, forgiveness, and positivity. If not via the luxury of multiple radio stations, then person-to-person.

I think we get that much closer to this, and to an actual Al Gore candidacy, the more we spread this idea around. It's not so much whether he will or won't run, but what his race - and his win - will mean. It's a sense of The Possible. And as the days go by, and things go more and more sour for Bush, the GOP, and all of those marching along like anger zombies in some murderous negativity corps, the more everybody else will feel repelled from that. We should be ready with our alternative message, the kind that Gore embodies, to fill in the blanks and the gaping holes, and the increasingly desperate and unanswered NEED. Gore does that already. We should have his back. That might be enough to convince him to go for it. His appeal is so broad-based it will transcend everything, including any possible stand-offs between Senators Clinton and Obama. He would instantly unite our party, along with majorities of truly compassionate Americans everywhere.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So does this era in our history. And there's a HUGE vacuum opening up in people's hearts that the Bush/Cheney machinery will never fill. And other far more worthy people on our side of the aisle may not be able to go the distance with all the voters who'll be needed. Granted, ANY of the standouts on our side of the aisle would be a spectacular improvement over the travesties we're forced to endure at present. But I've long believed that Al Gore remains the first among equals, and would win hands down if the drumbeat builds for him to run. I think WE should try to answer that call, fill that vacuum, and scratch that itch - for this country, AND for him. It's just time. His time.

The biggest trophy of all awaits in November, 2008, when the political Oscar, in my opinion, deserves to go to Al Gore. And the winners will be US.


Mary Lyon is a veteran broadcaster and five-time Golden Mike Award winner who has anchored, reported, and written for the Associated Press Radio Network, NBC Radio "The Source," and many Los Angeles-area stations including KRTH-FM/AM, KLOS-FM, KFWB-AM, and KTLA-TV, and occasional media analyst for ABC Radio News.  Mary began her career as a liberal activist with the Student Coalition for Humphrey / Muskie in 1968 and helped spearhead a regional campaign, The Power 18, to win the right to vote for 18-year-olds. She remains an advocate for liberal causes, responsibility and accountability in media, environmental education and support of the arts for children, and green living. Mary writes for,, World News Trust, and's We! Magazine. Mary is also a parenting expert, having written and illustrated the book "The Frazzled Working Woman's Practical Guide to Motherhood."

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