The Hollywood Reporter ran a story on a $5 million lawsuit filed by a consultant who was cut out of a share of the Current TV/Al Jazeera deal. But what is even more interesting is the key role Richard Blum, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband and a Current TV boardmember, played in presenting the deal to the rest of the board.
The plaintiff, media consultant John Terenzio, seems to specialize in handling propaganda-disseminating organs of state dictatorships (China, Qatar) for US markets.
Terenzio says that in June, he identified Current TV as a potential acquisition target for Al Jazeera given its vast distribution network and well-publicized financial woes.
At Terenzio's direction, Nanula is said to have approached Richard Blum, a member of Current's board of directors (and the husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein), who was interested because "he and other Current investors were concerned about the prospect of losing their shirts in the financially troubled Current."
Terenzio says he met Blum in July and presented "a step-by-step approach for making the sale of the liberal media outlet to Al Jazeera palatable to U.S. lawmakers, pro-Israel factions, cable operators and, most importantly, the American public."
The lawsuit claims that the structure proposed and the strategies developed were the same ones developed by Terenzio for CCTV and that there was a "mutual understanding that Terenzio would be compensated if Current TV utilized his idea to consummate a sale to Al Jazeera."
The presentation was left with Blum to show other Current investors, according to the lawsuit. Blum is said to have opined that Gore might find a transaction with Al Jazeera "politically unappealing" but that he would present it to the former U.S. vice president.
In other words, it sounds as if a US senator's spouse assisted in enabling the propaganda arm of a repressive dictatorship to gain access to US audiences. Not only that, but the Senator's family coffers now slosh with new dictatorship monies. How can that possibly be in the best interest of the Constitution that the Senator has sworn to uphold?
Diana West is a journalist and columnist. Her book, The Death of the Grown Up: How America's Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization was reviewed by Steven Emerson, who said it is "a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why … many in the West are apologetic when confronted with the excesses of radical Islam and what we need to do to win the War on terror. "