December 1, 2005

Brent Bozell’s ‘Media Research Center:’ Dubious Commentary on ‘Air America Radio’

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 21, 2005 @ 9:41 am
Filed under: Right Watch, Media Watch

NBC Lends Help to Scandal-Plagued Air America“* says a link on the front-page of the rightwing “Media Reseach Center.”

What is NBC doing to help the progressive radio station?

Actress Janeane Garofalo was hired to appear in three episodes of the drama “The West Wing.”

Gee, hiring an actress to act.

For a long list of Janeane Garofalo’s film and tv credits, click here.

Maybe the dozens of directors who have hired her during the years before she started hosting “The Majority Report” on AAR knew that someday she would be a liberal radio host, and wanted to help pave the way.

Or maybe not. Maybe she’s been hired in the past because she was right for the roles, and she was hired for “The West Wing” because she’s right for the role.

By the way, Fred Thompson, former Republican Senator (currently a promoter of John G. Roberts for the US Supreme Court), stars on NBC’s “Law & Order.”

Is that so NBC can promote the Republican Party?

I doubt it, but according the MRC’s logic, one could conclude that.

What Scandal?

Brent Bozell’s latest MRC column says AAR…

…had taken $875,000 from a children’s charity as a “loan” that it hasn’t paid back. An Air America executive that also served as development director for the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club of the Bronx made a “diversion” of funds for the struggling leftists.

Bozell titles the column “Omitting Air America,” referring to there supposedly being insufficient coverage of this “scandal.”

But Bozell is guilty of ommission of his own.

He omits that AAR will pay back the money starting next month.

More importantly, he omits the name of the man responsible for the loan: Evan Montvel Cohen.

Discussion of Even Montvel Cohen would lead to discussion of his Republican credentials.

Cohen acted as chief of staff for Republican Governor of Guam 1994 Candidate and Guam Senator Tommy Tanaka. Tanaka lost that election to Democrat Carl T.C. Gutierrez. Around 1998, Cohen testifed on behalf of Governor Gutierrez (and against the Republican challenging the election) in the contested Guam governor election case of Joseph Ada v. Carl T.C. Gutierrez.

In mid 2004, Cohen became involved in the Air America radio network concept through a meeting arranged by David Goodfriend, a former Clinton aide and Beloit College classmate of Cohen. Goodfriend intoduced Cohen to Anita and Sheldon Drobny, a wealthy Chicago couple who had conceived the idea of starting a progressive talk radio network. Shortly thereafter Cohen and Rex Sorensen created Progress Media, Inc., which was the parent company for Air America Radio. Rex Sorensen is the founder of Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting Inc., a network of five radio stations in Guam and Saipan.

Questions were raised about Cohen’s previous ties to the Republican Party on Guam. Cohen dismissed concerns about his political past by saying he was a committed “progressive…”

Evan Montvel Cohen lied to Air America about how much money he raised. He also unethically used his position on the board of the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club to secure the loan of the “scandal.”

Air America Radio got rid of Evan Montvel Cohen, the first CEO, around May 7, 2004, about five weeks after they started broadcasting (it debuted on March 31, 2004.)

Current employees of Air America aren’t responsible for his behavior, but AAR will pay back the loan.

As a progressive, I’m not proud that the first CEO of Air America was a crook with a Republican background.

I am proud that they got rid of him so fast.

I don’t blame the talk-show hosts.

Do you have a website? Blaming the Air America hosts would be like blaming you if the CEO of the company-you-rent-the-space-for-your-website-from did something unethical.


* The link mentioned at the start of this article goes to:
http://newsbusters.org/node/389




Police in Canada May Soon Be Allowed to Read Emails Without a Warrant

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 21, 2005 @ 5:13 am
Filed under: Free Speech, Government

From “Bill would let police monitor your e-mail: Judge’s permission would not be needed,” Tim Naumetz,
CanWest News Service, August 19, 2005:

OTTAWA - The federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority.

The new measures would allow law-enforcement agents to intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure websites used for purchasing and financial transactions.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, a law and privacy expert involved in consultations over the bill, said a draft version of the legislation circulated earlier this year did not require court authority for police to intercept communications or demand information from Internet servers.

“I think it’s the kind of legislation that is literally going to shock millions of Canadians,” said Geist.

…Geist said the version of the legislation that was circulated by the government failed to protect the privacy and legal rights of citizens. It also placed a severe requirement on Internet service providers to hold data and records of Internet and e-mail use by their clients.

If a government is going to get involved in whether ISPs save a list of websites all of their customers visit, then it should to be a bill to ban ISPs from collecting that data, not a bill requiring them to.