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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX TUE MARCH 23, 2005 20:32:45 ET XXXXX
HBO MOVIE SHOWS RADIO 'AIR AMERICA' CHAOS
HBO is set to air a behind the scenes look at the launching of liberal radio network AIR AMERICA.
The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained a director's cut of LEFT OF THE DIAL, a grossly entertaining docu-drama of life on the other side of the AIR AMERICA microphone.
The doubts. The lies. The bounced checks. The heartbreak.
The viewer is taken upclose to witness the ugly business of media ambition.
The main character, Evan Cohen, founding chairman and main investor, is depicted as a complete fraud.
The documentary shows Cohen arriving in the middle of night at AIR AMERICA offices to sign over the company and disappear again, but not before lying about how many ads have been sold and how much money is the bank [zero].
It shows how AIR AMERICA executives lied and lied again about not bouncing checks to their Chicago and Los Angeles affiliate owners. [The network was quickly thrown off the stations.]
The film captures AIR AMERICA staff first learning about the Chicago and LA nightmare by reading a DRUDGE REPORT exclusive on their computers.
It shows midday host Al Franken at a staff meeting being told there is no money left, hilariously, just moments after ranting about George Bush's ethics.
The HBO crew is told to shut down their cameras -- but they don't -- and the 'We're Broke!' meeting is filmed raw.
LEFT OF THE DIAL shows an angry meeting of the writing staff being told how money was deducted from their checks to pay for health care -- but the money was never paid to the HMO and they were never covered!
Host Janeane Garofalo looks suicidal in nearly ever scene which she appears.
"What am I going to do, just ramble on and on," panics stand-up-comic-morning-drive-host Marc Maron, as he deals with the reality of becoming a talkshow host.
But every drama must have a hero: Enter Randi Rhodes.
Highlight. The camera captures pm drive Rhodes in her classic PMS mood, but this time at home, in her newly rented NYC apartment.
Wearing a leopard-spotted robe, bra-less, smoking and crying "I'm so f*ckign lost," the relocated Floridian steals the show.
Talking to herself in the bedroom mirror, Rhodes whispers "You can do this."
She bemoans throughout how she is not being featured in any AIR AMERICA press. "No CNN. No USATODAY. No YAHOO wire story." How she is the only one hired at AIR AMERICA that's even been on radio before.
When she attempts to introduce herself to director Michael Moore [rushing out of a Franken Radio interview], Rhodes quickly realizes he does not even know who she is.
The heartbreaking scene is easily a frontrunner for this year's EMMYs.
The HBO film is set for air March 31.
Filed By Matt Drudge
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