On the passing of Art Bell

Radio personality and truly unique individual Art Bell died yesterday --
I've received a pile of related queries so I'll say a few words here.

Art originated the "Coast to Coast AM" radio show which went national in
1992. He had one of the most interesting biographies I've ever seen and
very much focused on UFO, paranormal issues, and later on matters
involving privacy concerns and such -- though conspiracy theories were
always a popular topic. He never claimed to agree with all the strange
stuff some of his guests would discuss.

As I recall, it was privacy issues that pulled me into his orbit -- I
was a guest on the show a number of times when he hosted, and while I
don't remember the details I was probably trying to get some truth out
regarding the reality of Internet privacy issues at the time.

Art left the regular hosting of the show at the end of 2002, and current
host George Noory took over as regular host at the start of 2003. George
broadened the show's focus and invites on many more mainstream
technologists and scientists, which is why my appearances on the show
have grown so dramatically over the years since then.

Frankly, I've never concerned myself with what other guests on the
show are talking about. They can talk about UFOs and ghosts and other
stuff that goes bump in the night -- and that's their choice. As far
as I'm concerned, the show gives me the frequent opportunity to speak
what I consider to be truth regarding a range of Internet and other
technology-related policy topics, to audiences that routinely exceed a
million listeners. And given the right-leaning nature of talk radio
audiences, I consider the show a great opportunity to break through
the misinformation "filter bubbles" that so often pervade radio
today. And it helps that George is a great host and the show's
producers have explicitly given me carte blanche to say whatever I wish.

But *none* of this would be possible without Art Bell's pioneering
efforts to draw large audiences to late night national radio, and
creating a show that has dominated that time period ever since.

He will be missed. Peace.

Lauren Weinstein (lau...@vortex.com): https://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Lauren's Blog: https://lauren.vortex.com
Google Issues Mailing List: https://vortex.com/google-issues
Founder: Network Neutrality Squad: https://www.nnsquad.org 
         PRIVACY Forum: https://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: https://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Google+: https://google.com/+LaurenWeinstein
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
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