Air America's Birth Pains on HBO
In another scene, [Air America co-founder Evan] Cohen is seen exaggerating the network's revenue. When the New York Times calls with a question about ad sales, he asks an associate for the gross sales figure and is told, "Right around $639,000 — pushing $650,000." Cohen immediately calls the newspaper back and says, "We're $1 million in sold advertising as of today. That's a fact, a documentable fact."That's from the documentary "Left of the Dial" that will air Thursday night on HBO (8 p.m. PST), as reported in today's LATimes Calendar section. LAT sets up the show:
Later, after being told of a $6,000 sale of advertising to Hewlett Packard, Cohen tells someone on the other end of his cellphone: "The good news is that we just sold a Hewlett Packard contract today for April — $16,000."
New York filmmakers Patrick Farrelly and Kate O'Callaghan wound up telling a gripping tale of incompetence, betrayal and perseverance as their subjects struggled to keep one of the most overhyped media launches from crumbling around them.Will the documentary be all that hard-hitting, or will it be a fawning hero-worship of Air America, with Cohen cast as the sole bad guy in an cast of otherwise stellar characters? I'm betting on the latter, given Farrelly's creditials as a producer for Michael Moore's "TV Nation."
It does sound like the film will confirm a Conservative perception of the Left as idealistic to a fault and unconcerned about the value of money, especially other people's money. If the LAT preview is close to accurate, it will be fun to watch the mishaps of a group that's long on passion and short on any real radio experience, reflecting the old hippy values of letting it be, then murmering "Far out" as the implosion occurs.