The Time A Drunk Al Gore Almost Bought Twitter

According to a new book, Al Gore made an effort to buy Twitter after throwing back a few drinks:

He might not have invented the Internet, but according to Al Gore, he got pretty close to buying one of the Internet’s most popular websites back in 2009.

GORE: ”My partner Joel Hyatt and I, back when I was with Current TV, which we founded, tried to buy Twitter. … It’s become a global utility. It’s a great business.” (Via Bloomberg)

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A new book called “Hatching Twitter” reveals some background information behind the social media giant’s failed business deal. (Via WGAL)

According to an excerpt published in The New York Times magazine, Gore and his business partner Hyatt had a few too many to drink before they met the Twitter co-founders at a hotel in San Francisco.

At the meeting, the author writes after they had already appeared tipsy, the Current TV partners were still pouring ”copious amounts of wine and Patron tequila.” (Via News 12 Long Island)

The deal never happened, of course, and Twitter is now set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange some time in the coming weeks.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Quick Takes, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.


  1. anjin-san says:

    The myth of “AlGore says he invented the internet” is still around?

    Al Gore and the Internet

    By Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf

    Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.

    No one person or even small group of persons exclusively “invented” the Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among people in government and the university community. But as the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore’s contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of

    Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his role.
    He said: “During my service in the United States Congress I took the
    initiative in creating the Internet.” We don’t think, as some people have
    argued, that Gore intended to claim he “invented” the Internet. Moreover,
    there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore’s
    initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving
    Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and
    promoting the Internet long before most people were listening. We feel it
    is timely to offer our perspective.

    As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed
    telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the
    improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official
    to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact
    than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship. Though easily
    forgotten, now, at the time this was an unproven and controversial
    concept. Our work on the Internet started in 1973 and was based on even
    earlier work that took place in the mid-late 1960s. But the Internet, as
    we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still
    in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided
    intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential
    benefits of high speed computing and communication. As an example, he
    sponsored hearings on how advanced technologies might be put to use in
    areas like coordinating the response of government agencies to natural
    disasters and other crises.

    As a Senator in the 1980s Gore urged government agencies to consolidate
    what at the time were several dozen different and unconnected networks
    into an “Interagency Network.” Working in a bi-partisan manner with
    officials in Ronald Reagan and George Bush’s administrations, Gore secured
    the passage of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act in
    1991. This “Gore Act” supported the National Research and Education
    Network (NREN) initiative that became one of the major vehicles for the
    spread of the Internet beyond the field of computer science.

    As Vice President Gore promoted building the Internet both up and out, as
    well as releasing the Internet from the control of the government agencies
    that spawned it. He served as the major administration proponent for
    continued investment in advanced computing and networking and private
    sector initiatives such as Net Day. He was and is a strong proponent of
    extending access to the network to schools and libraries. Today,
    approximately 95% of our nation’s schools are on the Internet. Gore
    provided much-needed political support for the speedy privatization of the
    Internet when the time arrived for it to become a commercially-driven

    There are many factors that have contributed to the Internet’s rapid
    growth since the later 1980s, not the least of which has been political
    support for its privatization and continued support for research in
    advanced networking technology. No one in public life has been more
    intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving
    Internet than the Vice President. Gore has been a clear champion of this
    effort, both in the councils of government and with the public at large.

    The Vice President deserves credit for his early recognition of the value
    of high speed computing and communication and for his long-term and
    consistent articulation of the potential value of the Internet to American
    citizens and industry and, indeed, to the rest of the world.

  2. rodney dill says:

    …that would’ve solidified the ‘twit’ part.

  3. Argon says:

    I still haven’t figured out the hype behind Twitter. Now, RSS is something I really like but Twitter? Meh. It’s neither productive nor interesting enough for me.

  4. Matt says:

    @anjin-san: Indeed Al Gore never really got the credit he deserves for his help in the advancement of the early stages of the internet.

    Instead he has to deal with the bullshit “AL GORE INVENTED TEH INTERWEBZ!!!”..

  5. Franklin says:

    @anjin-san: Judging by the lone downvote, somebody’s imaginary world just got a little more real. Or maybe they’re still in denial.

  6. Rick Almeida says:


    Seriously. Even more high-frequency, low signal to noise ratio communication? No, thank you.

  7. bill says:

    if he bought twitter it would have died of boredom and some other form would be used- i don’t do twitter so whatever.

    @anjin-san: are you super cereal?! well he did help invent man made global warming… long as he could line his pockets and maintain his exorbitant carbon footprint (like any limousine liberal would) – what a douche.

  8. Tony W says:

    @bill: As usual you demonstrate for us that facts to Republicans are as useful as violins to a canary.