Peter Musurlian, a documentary producer for Globalist Films in Glendale, Calif., followed a reporter from The Commercial Appeal into Cohen's Overton Park home, where the Congressman had invited local media to respond to a commercial from Nikki Tinker, his 9th Congressional District opponent in Thursday's Democratic Primary, that Cohen called "more mudslinging."
Armenian-Americans from around the country have been enraged at Cohen for his part in stopping Congress from passing a resolution last year that would have condemned Turkey for allegedly committing "genocide" against Armenians when the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating during and after World War I.
Armenian-Americans have donated between $25,000 and $30,000 to Tinker's campaign and are actively working to defeat Cohen.
Cohen has often spoken of his pride in stopping the resolution, saying that during his Congressional trip to the Middle East that he specifically asked Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, about the ramifications of passing a resolution that Turkey vowed would cause it to cut off all aid to the U.S. effort in Iraq.
"I'm proud of what I did," Cohen said. "Gen. Petraeus, when I went to Baghdad, I asked him what his position was on the Armenian resolution and he said, 'I am glad you brought that up. That would be very devastating to our troops.' The Turks are our friends in NATO, they allow 8,000 trucks a day through Turkey into Iraq to serve our troops with supplies and needs. Those trucks could be stopped and the Turks are very serious about that. They allow us to use their airbase.
"'He said, 'That would be really devastating to our mission.' While I am against the mission of the Iraq war, I am for protecting our troops. And to pass that resolution would have been irresponsible and the Congress saw that. President Carter and President Clinton both opposed it because they said we shouldn't be doing that to upset the Turks.
"Determining what happened in history when it is a foreign nation and something we had nothing to do with is not the job of the United States Congress. It's a job for historians. The bottom line is at this time in 2007 and 2008 and possibly in 2009 it is the last thing to throw in the face of one of our few allies in the Middle East."
Cohen sounded a theme heard often over the years in Memphis, accusing "outsiders" of meddling .
"He needs to go back to California, EMILY's List needs to go back to Washington and New York, and the people who are doing these ads from Washington, they need to go home too," Cohen said. "Memphians will determine this election. And all these outsiders who don't know Steve Cohen, they need to get out of here."