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Filmmaker confronts Gore

October 12, 2009
Phelim McAleer, one of the two Irish filmmakers who served as the keynote speakers at the OIPA's 2009 Annual Meeting, got his chance to question former Vice President Al Gore on Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." It didn't go so well.

McAleer and Ann McElhinney, husband and wife documentarians, voiced their concerns about Gore's work in their own film, "Not Evil Just Wrong." And when Gore spoke in front of 500 environmental journalists, McAleer showed up with his own questions.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Some who attended the speech tempered Gore's hopefulness, characteristic of his lauded yet controversial effort to educate the public about carbon dioxide emissions and their link to rising temperatures.

"His optimism isn't shared by a lot of other folks," said Tim Wheeler, an environmental reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Gore may have been trying to push politicians to action, Wheeler added.

Conservative groups led by Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow and Americans for Prosperity held a demonstration Downtown that drew about 200 people, including U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, who also participated in the conference's panel discussion following Gore's speech. The demonstrators worried Gore's policies would push American jobs overseas.

Gore has been criticized for not publicly debating his position since the release of his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

In what organizers said was a rarity, Gore took half a dozen questions from journalists, including one from Phelim McAleer, an Irish filmmaker who asked Gore to address nine errors in his film identified by a British court in 2007.

Gore responded that the court ruling supported the showing of his film in British schools. When McAleer tried to debate further, his microphone was cut off by the moderators.

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