Nice try, Al.

Via Politico:

Former Vice President Al Gore on Tuesday defended the sale of his Current TV channel to Al Jazeera.

”As an independent network, the only independent news and information network, we found it difficult to compete in an age of conglomerates,” Gore said on NBC’s “Today” show. “And I’m very pleased Al Jazeera has established itself as a really respected news gathering network.”

Host Matt Lauer argued that Al Jazeera, which acquired Current earlier this month, is backed in part by the Middle Eastern country of Qatar, tying the network to money from oil reserves. He asked Gore, a climate change crusader who has blasted oil money, whether there was a “contradiction in that.”

“I certainly understand that criticism,” Gore said. “I disagree with it. I think Al Jazeera has, obviously, long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective news gathering organization. And by the way, its climate coverage has been far more extensive and high-quality.”

Lauer interrupted, noting that Gore targets “fossil fuels” as part of his crusade against climate change, but reiterated that Qatar’s wealth is based on those substances.

“Isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy in that?” he asked.

“Well, I get the criticism,” Gore repeated. “I just disagree with it, because this network has established itself. It’s objective, it’s won major awards in countries around the world and its climate coverage, as I said a moment ago, has been outstanding and extensive.”