Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Master of Your Own Domain

The things we would do if we could turn back the clock. For example, Alan Chartock would go back and snap up the www.wamc.netdomain name. Who could have imagined that the address would be registered in 1999 by Glenn M. Heller, a shadowy figure who has made a name for himself running a one man campaign against Chartock and WAMC. His website is packed with personal attacks against WAMC's President and CEO ---and a key element to Heller's effort is the confusion he creates by holding a domain name similar to the target of his barrage.

Heller's .com/.org/.net scamming is not reserved for Alan Chartock. He also confuses web surfers with his www.berkshireeagle.net web site, and he runs a site that co-opts the name of a Great Barrington weekly, www.berkshirerecord.com ---he even does this to the tiny monthly Monterey News.

It's not just content that can be poisonous, for domain names mean power. Over the weekend we told you how WGY redirects traffic for www.jrshow.com to their own website ---after they fired Gach in 2002 they retained ownership of the URL.

Heller's WAMC attack site is long on rumors and innuendo and short on supporting documents and information ---and when reporters point this out, they get slammed too, as Mark McGuire did in 2001. This is what makes it strange to hear Heller's work legitimized by NY Post reporter Fred Dicker. Dicker has had Heller on his show several times ---most recently just last week. Among other things, Heller repeated his allegation that WAMC paid out $20,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against the station. Heller bases his accusations on email he claims to have received from people "who either formerly or currently work at WAMC."

Alan Chartock tells Eye that these charges are completely false. Why the anger? No one is sure. Chartock says Heller's complaints against the station began when WAMC aired the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings in 1987.

I don't know what makes Heller newsworthy besides his abiding hatred of all things Alan. Maybe that's enough for Mr. Dicker.