Gore Claimed That He
Was Responsible for The Creation of the Internet-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Gore has made statements that he is the creator of the Internet.
The Truth: This
comes from a television interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that was
aired on March 9,1999. TruthOrFiction.com has a transcript of
the entire broadcast. Vice President Gore was not yet a formal
candidate for the presidency, but was clearly setting the stage for
it, and Blitzer's questions focused on his potential campaign.
At one point, Blitzer asked Gore why the Democrats should support
him over rival Bill Bradley. Gore answered, "Well, I will
-- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins, and it'll be
comprehensive and sweeping, and I hope that it'll be compelling
enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will
emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to
every part of this country during the last six years. During
my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in
creating the Internet."
Some of the emails criticizing Gore for this statement point out
that Gore has often shown ignorance about computers, so how could he
have created the Internet? He did not claim, however, to be a
computer geek who toiled in his basement and came up with the
idea. He did claim that somehow as a member of congress he not
only played in role in creating the Internet, but "took the
initiative" to do it.
To his credit, Al Gore has participated in advancing information
technology. When he was a senator, he supported funding for
NSFNet through the High Performance Computing Act that became law in
1991. He wrote guest columns for Byte magazine that reflected
an appreciation of technology. But even his supporters have to
say that any notion of having created the Internet is tough to
According to the encyclopedia Britannica, the Internet dates back to
at least 1973 and in an article that broke the Gore story, Declan
McCullagh of Wired News says the Net goes back as far as 1967 when
Al gore was 19 years old. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency started experimenting with ways to allow networked
computers to link and communicate. It was called The
Internetting project and the ultimate system became known as The
Internet. In a related article on March 11, 1999 in Wired
News, McCullagh says Gore has introduced bills about software for
teachers and a "federal research center for educational
computing to support an "information systems highway."
We've never found any explanation by Gore as to why he made the
claim, but he did have a sense of humor about it. At a meeting
of Democratic leaders, he said, " I was pretty tired when I
made that comment because I had been up very late the night before
inventing the camcorder."