NPR logo An Inconvenient Tube

An Inconvenient Tube

Let's leave aside less weighty matters like, say, the fate of the planet.

Is it possible Al Gore was right about something far more consequential? Here, we're talking about television.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a piece today about Current TV, the digital cable channel that was seen as a vanity exercise by former Vice President Gore. (And you thought he was a electoral wanna be. Gore's partner, Joel Hyatt, is a Democratic businessman who lost when he ran for his retiring father-in-law's Senate seat in Ohio — and lost — back in 1994. Good year for Republicans. Not so good for Hyatt.)

As the Chron recounts, (not re-count, Al, sorry 'bout that), Current was derided as a dopey experiment when Gore and Hyatt announced a year ago it would rely on material submitted by its viewers. But that's the philosophy that propelled to success — and Current appears to have started turning a profit. CNN and the CW are both now experimenting with consumer-generated content as well.