Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Al, you can't have it!

What are we missing here?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Al Gore's new media network fights to stay 'current'

Cincinnati - As he reinvents himself as a businessman, Al Gore finds his fledgling cable and satellite TV network in the midst of a high-stakes legal shootout over use of a simple word. That word is "current."

Millions of dollars are riding on its seven letters.

Another company, the Maryland-based Internet business Current Broadband, says it has already trademarked the word. The former vice president and other Internet-savvy entrepreneurs intend to redefine it with hip, high-tech marketing sizzle.

Gore's company, on the air since August and in 20 million American homes, has fought for six months in Cincinnati's federal court to hang on to the network's name and Internet domain, Current.tv and Currentv.com. At issue: Whose turf is "current"?...

You know, there's something fundamentally wrong about Al Gore appropriating the word "current" as he attempts to make his pointy-headed impact in television.

In the arena of television, there will always be but one operation identified with the word “Current”:

A Current Affair.

And no one redefined a word with more hip, high-tech sizzle than Peter Brennan and the gang who invented the most current television template around.

Now, this appropriation of the word current, and the accompanying attempt to erase this part of television history, is particularly galling to the tabloid baby generation, in that Al’s old boss Bill Clinton and his tabloid presidency helped end the original tabloid television era.

Once Dan Rather started leading his newscast with stories about stained Gap dresses and cigars, and once Katie and Matt woke us every morning with Presidential scandal and OJ, the networks began annexing tabloid television territory. And there was no reason to watch the stories again in slow motion.

(Don‘t believe it? Read the entire story here.)

You know what else is wrong here? We didn’t even notice this Gore operation was up and running.

And if they keep featuring Robert Redford and Sean Penn as posterboys on their website, they won’t be current much longer.

Hey, it wasn’t four months ago that Roger Ailes pulled the plug on the A Current Affair revival, in part because the show was scooping his 24-hour team on the latest batch of tabloid stories. But he’s a Republican, Al. We don't have a problem with you using Current for your niche project. After all, you were elected President. But trademarking this piece of history is like us calling this site Tipper.com.

Here are some words you should try to steal. You’ll get just as much attention: Dateline. Airamerica. Insider. Syriana. Gore. O’Reilly.