By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Lynch clogs the pipes

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Boston, didn’t invent the lie about Al Gore’s claiming to have “invented” the Internet. But Lynch repeats it on his just-unveiled Web site. (Via Blue Mass. Group.)

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  1. Anonymous

    This is so not a big deal that I am curious as to why it even registers with you?

  2. o-fish-l

    “U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Boston, didn’t invent the lie about Al Gore’s claiming to have “invented” the Internet…” –Media Nation 11/05/06.What is the lie, that Lynch substitued INVENTED for Gore’s actual and equally ludicrous 1999 claim that, “I took the initiative in CREATING the Internet?”One hundred years from now when historians recount the Democrat failures in 2000 and 2004, one has to guess that there will be plenty of focus on both Gore’s and Kerry’s penchant for saying one thing and later denying they meant what they had clearly said.

  3. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: This is sad. Are you even remotely aware that what Gore said about his role was true, and that Newt Gingrich himself has said as much? If it weren’t for Gore, we’d still have the military and universities enjoying the ARPAnet while the rest of us would be stuck with Prodigy or something. (OK, that’s an exaggeration.) Given how close the 2000 election was, the false version of what Gore actually said may have cost him the presidency.

  4. mike_b1

    Gore’s failure to carry his home state cost him the presidency. I doubt anyone in Tenn. was concerned over whether Gore “created” the Internet or just played a role in bringing it to the masses.And Fish, one hundred years from now … blah blah blah … what makes you so sure about the future? No one is going to be discussing Kerry and Gore in 2100. Runners-up are forgotten. William Jennings Bryan was in his time a great populist, but no one’s selling books on him. Heck, had he not died in office, they wouldn’t even talk about McKinley. No, what they’ll be talking about is how George Bush effectively destroyed democratic society by alienating pretty much the entire world and bankrupting the U.S.

  5. o-fish-l

    Dan – A little comic relief I came across while researching the topic:David Letterman’s December 3, 1999 Top Ten list: Top Ten Other Achievements Claimed By Al Gore 10. Was first human to grow an opposable thumb 9. Only man in world to sleep with someone named “Tipper” 8. Current Vice President – Moesha fan club 7. He invented the dog 6. While riding bicycle one day, accidentally invented the orgasm5. Pulled U.S. out of early 90’s recession by personally buying 6,000 T-shirts4. Starred in CBS situation comedy with Juan Valdez, “Juan for Al, Al for Juan”3. Was inspiration for Ozzy Osboune song “Crazy Train” 2. Came up with popular catchphrase “Don’t go there, girlfriend” 1. Gave mankind fire———Lastly, it seems Steve Lynch was only following Bill Clinton’s lead in poking fun at Gore.In a speech to the Gridiron Club one week after Gore’s claim, Clinton said: “Al Gore invented the Internet. For the record, I, too, am an inventor. I invented George Stephanopoulos.”(Source: Boston Globe, March 28, 1999)

  6. Donna L. Halper

    What really bugs me is how Republican talking points still resonate as “factual” years later, even when they are demonstrably false. I was a guest speaker at a historical museum yesterday and the hostess, in introducing another speaker, repeated the myth that we had to invade Iraq because of 9/11. I just about fell our of my chair…

  7. Anonymous

    Mike_B1 – President William McKinnley would most certainly be talked about even if he wasn’t assissinated while in office. Remember he supported the annexation of the Phillipines which was a very important moment in U.S. foriegn policy.

  8. Anonymous

    Let’s not indulge in revisionist history. Gore was quite correct and justified in his original comment. That remark was then distorted and mocked for political purposes by the Republicans, and became common currency in the media to such an extent that it replaced the real comment in the public mind. At that point, it became a source of “humor,” thereby entrenching itself even further in the public mind. The fact that Clinton used it as humor is meaningless. Gore even uses it himself, evidently having given up on any fair treatment in the media and having decided that he might gain more from self-deprecating humor than defensiveness.

  9. Anonymous

    Dan,Arguing with o-fish-l is like arguing with “Mallard Filmore.” Actually, reading o-fishl”s posts is just as pointless.The Daily Howler did an excellent job of documenting that this was a deliberate lie : interesting is that Karl Rove’s focus groups showed Gore’s biggest strength was his credibility, so they set out to destroy it. Gore lost because he was so busy distancing himself from Clinton that he he ignored Carville’s advice to fight back.

  10. mike_b1

    anon 10:14:Best. Joke. Ever.

  11. whispers

    Mike – Gore’s failure to win TN did not cost him the Presidency. His failure to get a full and accurate recount in FL did.Or…Monica Lewinsky cost him the election.Or…the Bushite lapdog media cost him the election.Or…picking Joe Lieberman as his VP candidate instead of somebody from a swing state cost him the election.My point is that a lot of things happened, and Gore was never required to win TN. Just an Electoral College majority.

  12. MeTheSheeple

    donna l. halper: What really bugs me is how Republican talking points still resonate as “factual” years later, even when they are demonstrably false.Tsk, tsk. This reliance on so-called “facts” completely neglects the power of truthiness. And if you want to keep believing in facts, ask any college philosphy professor whether the “truth” can ever be definitively, objectively known.(This was, unfortunately, an attempt at satire. Unfortunately, too, your point is all to truthy and true.)

  13. Anonymous

    Truthiness is correct. As the Daily Howler keeps pointing out, the MSM is more lazy than liberal. Roves brilliance was combining that with the blogosphere’s disdain for facts (especially when they get in the way of a good rant) to do a take out on Gore.

  14. mike_b1

    whispers, you left out as a factor the Ralph Nader.I fully understand that no single event cost Gore the election. However, had Gore managed to take his home state, the 11 electoral votes that came with it would have made Florida a moot issue. And it’s pretty sad that he couldn’t win there. Even Mondale carried Minnesota.

  15. Dan Kennedy

    Mike: While it would have been nice if Gore had carried Tennessee, that wasn’t necessarily his easiest path to victory. Mondale was a liberal who carried a liberal state. Gore was a moderate-conservative who had become more and more liberal during his years as vice president, and certainly during the 2000 presidential campaign. Meanwhile, Tennessee was still conservative.

  16. mike_b1

    Dan, according to the research, it should have been. Read Lewis-Beck and Rice’s study, “Localism in Presidential Elections: The Home State Advantage.” They found 1) a home state advantage does exist (it’s worth about 4 points), 2) that the advantage showed “no dimunuation across time” and 3) the advantage is predictable. Then read, “The ‘Home Grown’ Presidency: Empirical Evidence on Localism in Presidential Voting, 1972-2000,” by Mixon and Tyron. They looked at those who won, finding that the home state advantage during the years studied is 5.19 points. So Tenn, which had elected Gore to two terms as US Senator (giving him more than 60% of the vote) and that also went Democratic when Gore ran as VP in ’92 and ’96, suddenly decides it doesn’t want its own citizen in the White House? Gore lost Tenn by 4 points, a huge swing from his previous wins there. Without looking it up, I wouldn’t know for sure, but my guess is in the 20th Century at least that was unprecedented. It should have been an easy road, certainly more so than Florida. Although I will grant that W. Virginia was an even bigger upset. Despite two popular Democratic Senators, and in a place Republican presidential candidates have carried a total of three times in the 50 years leading up to 2000, Gore lost by five points. Had he carried West Virginia he would have won as well.

  17. o-fish-l

    To Anon 9:32.I’m sorry that my posts vary from the norm here, but pointless? The fact is that what Gore said in that infamous 1999 CNN interview, “I took the initiative in CREATING the Internet” sounds to me and millions of others as if Gore is taking credit for inventing or creating something that is vastly beyond his capabilities, therefore laughable and fodder for the many jokes that continue, even from Democrats, some seven years later. It would be like President Eisenhower saying that he invented public roads. Sure, Eisenhower’s favorite domestic program was the Interstate Highway system, but public roads were here long before him. Eisenhower was savvy enough not to make any false claims.Likewise, the internet was here long before somebody told Gore about it. He would have served himself far better if he said something like, “I led the way in providing federal support for the internet that helped make it what it is today.” On the same note, Kerry would have won if he had merely said, “I was only in Vietnam four months, many soldiers and sailors served longer than me and most sacrificed more but George Bush didn’t sacrifice anything at all.”Instead Kerry claimed to be the second coming of Audie Murphy and folks started asking questions.More than anything, it is the indomitable egos of Gore and Kerry that have cost the Dems the White House for eight years.

  18. bostonph

    O-fish-l. You’re flat out wrong on this one. Gore really did take the initiative in creating the Internet. Look it up. Here’s just one article on the subject:'s well documented that Rove set out to destroy Gore’s credibility and John Kerry’s patriotism. It’s part of his campaigning strategy: attack your opponent’s strengths. You, however, appear to have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. If you want a less contentious example, look up what they did to John McCain during the 2000 primaries.Pointless may be a little harsh, but you’d be more credible if you spent less time repeating Republican talking points. Or less time insulting people. Or less time correcting people’s grammer and spelling. Your choice.

  19. Anonymous

    “less time correcting people’s grammer (sic) and spelling.”Oh great. Four years of this to look forward to.

  20. Anonymous

    anon1:22/o-fish-lGotcha! Adam Reilly is right. You’re truly a dumbass.

  21. o-fish-l

    Actually, I am not anon1:22, hopefully that person will identify himself or herself. O-fish-l is anonymous enough for me, no need to be any more anonymous than that. I’m not sure if Dan can confirm through registration that anon1:22 has no connection to me but I would welcome him to do so. I did notice the misspelling of “grammer” and had a chuckle but decided to let it go. I only had fun (just twice) correcting Adam who gets paid to write and should know better.I’m pointless, now a “dumbass?” I thought this was supposed to be your happy night, why the anger? Hate the game, not the player!”Cant we all just get along?” — Rodney King, April 1992

  22. Dan Kennedy

    Oh, let’s keep nitpicking everyone’s grammar. Fish, you need to put the question mark outside the quotation marks in dumbass — i.e., I’m pointless, now a “dumbass”?I can’t tell anyone’s identity from his registration. I’m too much of a dumbass.

  23. Anonymous

    For the record, I am not Fish. I am, however, someone who has seen Kerry in action, up close and personal. He should be glad that the Swiftboaters got to him before his constituents did. With the various skeletons in his closet, he was never going to be President. Rove could have just plucked one out of the archives every time he needed to. Liveshot continues to be his own worst enemy. Fish, let it go. Don’t you know it’s about how politicians make us FEEL? I wasn’t against Deval. That would have presumed he gave me something concrete to oppose. I’m sure Jesse Jackson will rectify that in short order.1:22

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