July 27, 2005

Did the Liberal Talk Network Really Steal from Kids and Seniors?

In my posts about the state of talk radio (here, here, and here), I’ve concentrated on audiences and trends at stations with noticeable audiences (and yes, at this point, they are predominantly center-right and conservative).

That has meant that I have rarely mentioned Air America, simply because (depending on who you talk to) it needs time to build its audiences and markets from scratch, or it doesn’t have a prayer of ever generating enough of an audience to matter. As a non-expert observer, I’ve chosen to stay in the wait-and-see camp.

But the legal repercussions implied in Brian Maloney’s national breakout blogpost (which Michelle Malkin, the bad guys’ worst nightmare, has also jumped on), about alleged misuse of government grants and alleged unpaid loans to Air America from a New York City Boys and Girls Club that have led to a narrowly-averted financial crisis at the esteemed not-for-profit, makes me wonder if the liberal network will even be around six months from now (note, I’m not predicting, I’m wondering).

Read Brian’s whole jaw-dropping piece and ask yourself:

  • How has it stayed almost completely out of the New York papers and shielded from national visibility for the 3-plus four weeks it has been known?
  • How invisible would this have been if some conservative host or radio network had shady transactions like this (excuse me, allegedly shady transactions) that almost ended programs for kids and seniors (again, alleged)?

Stay with Brian (The Radio Equalizer) and Michelle on this. There is almost certainly more to come.

UPDATE: It is totally unfair to expect me to resist noting this–Paul Hackett appeared on Air America’s (in your dreams) “Majority Report” on Tuesday (HT OH02 Blog).

UPDATE 2: The Captain weighs in, and Michelle has meaningful additions at her original post.

UPDATE 3, August 1: A blogswarm has ensued in the past four-plus days, with investigators and opinion-staters on the left and right going at it with gusto. In essence, it looks like Air American corporately “reorganized” in a way that gave it the ability, by forming a new company, to leave its obligation to the Gloria Wise Center behind if it wishes, AND if it doesn’t succumb to pressure to do the right thing and repay what it morally (but not necessarily legally) owes. Since my “wonder if it survives another six months” question is out there, let me make a couple of things clear:

  • “Wonder” does not mean the same thing as “predict.”
  • From experience with moribund enterprises, first as an auditor and then as a consultant (who fortunately never failed to get paid), I can tell you that these outfits, especially ones that pull reorganization and new-entity tricks as Air America appears to have, can survive for many years without giving up the ghost, even though they are for all practical purposes business zombies.
  • How long corporate zombiehood can continue will heavily depend on two things:
      – How aggressive regulatory, law enforcement and/or creditors are in looking out for the interests of taxpayers, victims, and their own interests, respectively.
        – How much money any investor groups are willing to throw into the enterprise (or sinkhole, as the case may be), and for how long.

    UPDATE 4: You just knew someone would do this–The Air America Telethon (HT PoliPundit).

    UPDATE 5: The Captain (and others) note that the amounts involved tote up to about $800,000 now, according to today’s New York Sun. Meanwhile, in “totally unrelated” news, a New York Times search (requires registration) on “Air America” (in quotes) as of 10PM on August 1 yields no article more recent than June 15, six weeks before the AAR scandal broke locally.



    1. Air America steals money from kids and old folks
      (note: edited original poster’s attribution to Al Franken, which was not fair)

      Re: Post title; Hey, the lefties do this all the time so why can’t I?

      Trackback by Mark in Mexico — July 27, 2005 @ 11:54 am

    2. Michelle Malkin, the bad guys’ worst nightmare

      Ha ha! Are you talking about the same Michelle Malkin who endorses the internment of Japanese Americans? far from being our side’s worst enemy, Ms. Malikn is one of your side’s bigger jokes.

      Comment by Jason "Bad Guy" Sonenshein — July 27, 2005 @ 9:36 pm

    3. There was a case for internment, and “your side’s” alltime hero carried it out. So if she’s a joke, so is FDR. Deal? I didn’t think so.

      Michelle points out that the reasoning at the time was not totally out of line. She has an open mind and doesn’t play favorites, and as such is on nobody’s “side” except that of the truth.

      The post is about AAR. If you have something to say about the situation reported, you’re more than welcome to say it. Off-topic items henceforth won’t be let through.

      Comment by TBlumer — July 27, 2005 @ 9:45 pm

    4. I saw the HBO film about Air America and that Cohen guy seemed pretty sleazy. I’m not sure I’d put something like this past him. In response to Mark’s comment, I haven’t seen any evidence that Mr. Franken had anything to do with this.

      And, to answer your question about President Roosevelt, yes, deal. President Roosevelt was bad for civil liberties, instituted the first peacetime draft in American history, and attacked the independence of the judiciary. About the only good thing I have to say about Roosevelt’s domestic agenda is that Huey Long’s probably would have been worse.

      Comment by Jason Sonenshein — July 27, 2005 @ 10:46 pm

    5. You make a good point. As the Grand Commisar and benevolent dictator at this site, I have removed the Franken reference from Comment 1.

      Comment by TBlumer — July 27, 2005 @ 10:56 pm

    6. [...] that stinks. Michelle Malkin with LOTS more detail Isn’t it rich? – Outrage, anyone? BizzyBlog – Wonders if the liberal network will even be around six months from now. ItsAPundit Interested-Partici [...]

      Pingback by FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Air America: Follow and Give Back the Money — July 29, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

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