Current TV co-founder Al Gore is being sued for $5 million by a television consultant who claims that Gore stole his idea to sell the network to Al Jazeera.
John Terenzio, who describes himself in the lawsuit as a well-established and highly regarded media consultant, executive and producer of television content, says that he conceived the idea for the distribution of an American version of Al Jazeera in June 2011.
Terenzio said he presented his proposal, “Path to U.S. Distribution,” to Richard Nanula, a principal in Colony Capital, to explore potential financing and joint venture partners for the project.
Terenzio says he identified Current TV as a potential acquisition target for Al Jazeera in June of 2012, given Current’s vast distribution network and its well-publicized financial woes.
The suit says that at Terenzio’s direction, Nanula approached Richard Blum, a member of Current’s board of directors and a significant investor in the network, with the idea of selling it to Al Jazeera. The suit also states that Blum was immediately interested and expressed to Nanula that he and other Current investors were concerned about the prospect of losing their shirts in the financially troubled Current.
Terenzio says in the suit that he met with Blum and presented “a step-by-step approach for making the sale of the liberal media outlet to Al Jazeera palatable to U.S. lawmakers, pro-Israel factions, cable operators and, most importantly, the American public,” and that there was a “mutual understanding” that he would be compensated should a deal be consummated between Al Jazeera and Current.
Blum allegedly told Terenzio that he would present his proposal to the Current board, which was meeting the next week, and opined that Gore might find a transaction with Al Jazeera “politically unappealing” but that he would present it to him anyway.
According to the lawsuit, Terenzio was informed and “believed that Gore was adamant in his rejection of the proposal to sell his liberal, environmentally friendly network to the oil-rich Qataris who owned Al Jazeera. Apparently, Gore had a change of heart.”
If what Terenzio says is true, then liberals can take some solace that Gore at least momentarily stuck to his principles before the lure of an estimated $100 million for his stake caused him to become a sellout and a hypocrite, and lose any credibility he had with them on the issue of global warming.
Read the suit here.
(h/t Hollywood Reporter)