TECH BLOG

Al Gore’s Sudden Case of Secrecy

When the former vice president of the United States gives a speech at a major technology conference in San Francisco, you’d expect to see a story about it the next day, or — since it was a technology conference — later on that same day.

You’d see a run-of-the-mill story in the Chronicle or the Examiner, read a few paragraphs, marvel that Gore’s still going on about that global warming stuff, then move on to the sports section.

Not so with Gore’s recent speech to a group at the RSA Security Conference. In fact, the media were barred wholesale from the speech. No coverage. At all.

Hecklers 3, Journalists 1

Only one journalist got in — Cnet’s Robert Vamosi, and that’s because he was a speaker at the event, so he had the right kind of credentials. With his speaker badge, he walked right in and covered the speech.

Apparently, according to Vamosi’s story, more hecklers got into Gore’s speech than did journalists.

That’s because Gore has a clause in his standard contract that expressly prohibits the media from being admitted.

What’s the Point?

I’m still trying to figure out what the big secret is. If the former vice president of the United States is going to give speeches all over the country, including at major technology trade shows, how does he expect that the media will simply accept being barred from his speeches?

I have a theory as to the reasoning behind Gore’s information elitism. Here’s how it goes: Gore is on the board of Apple, notorious for its greedy control over everything it touches.

Feeding Frenzy

The result of that secrecy for Apple is that it builds anticipation, feeding the fanboy frenzy such that rabid fans will do anything they can to claw out the slightest bit of news about Apple’s next product. It’s marketing genius, really.

That approach, however, doesn’t really work when you’re not making consumer products. The only thing I can think of as an advantage for Gore is that it sets him up to build anticipation for a sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Maybe that’s what he’s doing with these speeches: Polishing material for a second installment in his global warming scare series.

Maybe he can call it “An Unnecessary Secret.”

Click here to e-mail Jason Z. Cohen.

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