Yesterday, while checking the Pigdog Journal feedback
system, I was surprised to see a letter from influential
talk show host Art Bell, asking if we would mind giving him
a phone call. He wanted to talk about our recent article,
which is about his attempts to manage the information
coming out about his feud with the former guests of his
program, David John Oates and Robert A. M. Stephens.
A message came in a few minutes before Art was to go on the air for that
"Coast to Coast" show asking me to "call now." Unfortunately, I had been out
with my girlfriend shopping at Target, and I got back after the show was
already underway. But I decided to wait until a commercial break and call
anyway. Art's wife Ramona (I assume) answered the phone and patched me through
to Art. As is my custom, I like to watch Art's streaming RealVideo "Studio
Cam" every night during his show, so it was REALLY COOL to watch Art in his
studio while he talked to me on the phone.
What follows is a ROUGH transcript of our conversation. I couldn't record the
phone call, so this is in no way verbatim, but I sat down immediately after
talking to Art, and tried to reconstruct the conversation as closely as
ES: Hi Art!
Art: You wrote an article saying that I am somehow having
sites taken down. Talk to the people involved and see that's not true. The
truth is up on the [Joe Oddo's "Shadie
Pines" (sic)] site. If you go there, you will see what really happened.
ES: Yeah, I talked to Oddo in email and he said that you had
mutually agreed that taking it down was the best thing to do.
Art: Yes, well, his service provider is actually giving him
trouble about the site, heh. [I don't know whether he was referring to
Shadie-Pines, the Shadie-Pines BBS, or one of the other linked web message
ES: Oh really?
Art: Yes. By the way, I've taken all of my stuff on my web
site down too -- in the hopes of resolving the issue.
ES: Yeah I noticed that. But, Art, even if you are not asking
to have web sites taken down, you are creating the appearance that you are
Art: I could not possibly do that... it's their decision to
take a site down. The truth is all up there. I am not doing that.
ES: I am looking at the site right now. Isn't it true that
with montana.com -- I know someone who previously worked there who said -- that
you asked to have it taken down, but they refused. And he said that they had
made the the decision to take the site down on their own.
Art: No, all I did was ask them to review the material. It was
ES: Well, isn't it true that you had the Shadie Pines link
removed from your web site because it had a link to a web BBS that had Robert
Stephens on it.
Art: That was all Keith Rowland's decision. You know my web
ES: Yes. I don't think I should take the article down because
that would make matters worse.
Art: OH NO, I just want you to tell THE TRUTH.
ES: Well, maybe I can ammend the the article with YOUR VERSION
of the truth, but--
Art: NO, listen [heatedly], you go around to talk to the
people involved and find out THE TRUTH and print that.
ES: But I don't think there's anything UNTRUTHFUL in the
Art: No, it's just MISLEADING. Listen, I have to go, I'm on
ES: Okay, bye Art.