Monday, May 21, 2007

Just in Case it Comes Up: Al Didn't Say He Invented the Internet

As James Boyce helpfully reminds us.

Here's the truth.

In March 1999, Vice President Al Gore was doing an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. In the course of that interview, he said:

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
And guess what? It's true.

Let's quote Vincent Cerf, a man often called The Father of the Internet,

"The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator."
Marc Andreesen, Internet pioneer who actually received federal funding thanks to Al Gore, who while Senator wrote the High Performance Computing Act also credits Gore. Another Internet expert, Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet "would not be where it is today."

Multiple early web pioneers say that Gore was the first political leader to grasp and understand the Internet and its possibilities. They all say it was his vision and yes, initiative, that helped turn the Internet into what it is today.

Al Gore took an essentially internal government program and set it free to the marketplace.
I'll drill it down to a simple talking point. "He was the one who pushed for its early funding, and helped with its legal development in Congress."


If they keep on trying to pull out the bullshit, just say "no, he didn't say that. He gave it money. He pushed the government to invest in it. Do investors help in the creation of a product? Yes? Then he helped with the creation of the Internet. Now shut the hell up."

Looking forward to the book, by the way.

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