Al-Jazeera has bought Al Gore's cable network, enriching the former vice president. An anti-business Hollywood movie now in release was financed in part by Mideast oil. So much for the Chinese taking over America!
The Arab news channel's backers had better hope Gore's Current TV cable network will bring a better return than the movie has so far. “Promised Land” went into wide release this weekend and earned a pathetic $4.3 million despite an intensive marketing blitz.
By all measures, Current TV has been a flop but Gore came out a winner nevertheless. Instead of the “progressive” voice he promised, Current will transition into an outlet for an Arab news service that many view as being anti-American. But then that describes MSNBC as well.
“Promised Land” takes on hydraulic fracturing with a screenplay that could be described as provocative or propagandistic (or as Capraesque or Capra Corn), depending on one's politics. In the view of many movie critics, including liberal ones, “Promised Land” just isn't a very good film. Perhaps star Matt Damon will return to action stories and let the fracking debate be “Bourne” by Al-Jazeera and other news services.
“Promised Land” got major backing from a subsidiary of the United Arab Emirates. Mideast oil interests are disinclined to view with favor the natural gas boom made possible by fracking, the most exciting development so far toward modern-era North American energy independence.
“Promised Land” plays well in the salons of environmentalists. It isn't playing well in theaters. The movie will recover its modest production budget (estimated at $15 million) but will likely hit a dry hole in terms of overall costs, including the marketing.
In the space of three days, America's most vocal environmentalist has taken the money and run and a piece of environmental agitprop has failed to take in much money.