In an interview with Politico, Current TV host Bill Press called the sale of the network to Al Jazeera “a real setback for progressive talk radio in the country,” and expressed concern about the future of the format:
This does mean a real setback for progressive talk in this country. And I think that’s going to be missed, and I think that means those of us involved are going to have to go back to the drawing board and see what other vehicles there are for reaching out and getting our message out.
Al Jazeera, which purchased Current at the beginning of the year, hasn’t announced its new program lineup. But several hosts have either left or announced their plans to leave, once it became clear that Al Jazeera only bought Current for its cable television access and not its programming.
Current, which had vowed to challenge MSNBC from the left, struggled to attract viewers, leading Gore to give up on his experiment and disappoint his fans on the left, as he put money over ideology.
While not criticizing Gore directly, Press was clearly disappointed with the sale and showed no love lost for MSNBC either:
I was hoping that Current TV would be the new major voice for progressive media in this country and that’s just not going to be right now, which I think is sad. And it leaves the American people without good options when it comes to political point of view. It will be harder and harder to find progressive voices on radio and television. And MSNBC does a good job in their evening line-up, but the rest of the day they’re not there for progressives the way Current at least had the promise of being there. I think that’s unfortunate and that’s sad.
What Press wasn’t willing to admit, though, was the fact that progressive talk is largely a failure. If there aren’t any “good options” left, as he puts it, it’s because in a media marketplace saturated with left-wing ideology, there is little demand for more “progressive talk.”
Maybe Press is just jealous he didn’t get a slice of the $500 million that Current sold for.