Major Air America Scandal

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by -Cp, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    Gee - what a shock:

    Federal Funds Diverted To Air America
    Major Air America Scandal
    Media Assists With Cover-Up, Programs Nearly Shut


    What happens when mainstream media folk, after years of seething over conservative talk radio's success, discover its alternative got diverted federal funds, earmarked instead for inner-city youth and seniors?

    The answer, with one key exception: they pretend it didn't happen.

    Yes, only because of a New York Daily News tidbit do we know how Bronx-based Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club nearly shut down major programs recently, because almost $500,000 in federal grant money was instead diverted to Air America's liberal radio network.

    It's taken a mad scramble by area politicians, including Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx) to replace the funds in time to keep a number of Bronx-centered programs for disadvantaged youth and seniors from shutting down.

    What's the connection between Air America and Gloria Wise? How has this stayed out of the papers for the last month, even when community activists have been aware of the Air America connection since early July?

    And how has Air America managed to avoid even the slightest bit of public scrutiny over the matter?

    It begins with former Air America CEO Evan Cohen, who resigned last year from the network after some of its more infamous early debacles. Cohen also served on Gloria Wise's board and convinced club leader and community activist Charles Rosen, to "invest" at least $480,000 in the upstart political talk network.

    The money, intended as a loan to be repaid with interest, was agreed to by Rosen after being sold on the idea of making extra money on the investment. Part of the deal included promotional consideration of Gloria Wise's activities on Air America's programs.

    Did that ever occur? Has Air America paid back any of the money to date?

    There are many more questions than answers at this point, but New York City's Department Of Investigations is leading the effort to find out where the money went. Will indictments follow?

    So far, the activity programs have been saved as other non-profit agencies scramble to pick up the slack, while city, state and federal investigators look at Gloria Wise's records.

    Cohen may be long-gone from Air America, but who else still at the network might have knowledge of this "investment"?

    Has there been a media cover-up? In the Radio Equalizer's view, yes.

    Why? Because Bronx activists and community journalists have known about the Air America connection for some time, while major publications have been ignoring the story.

    Radio trade publications, even after the New York Daily News story, failed to mention the scandal, without exception, on Tuesday.

    On July 5, for example, a community newspaper called the Gotham Gazette published a story by Michael Horowitz that laid out the evolving scandal in detail. Why wasn't this on the AP wire straightaway?

    Horowitz's story named Air America and Cohen, as well as providing specific information about why the money was loaned and its origin. Why did major publications ignore it?

    A June 28 Daily News story on the scandal left Air America out of the picture, but did mention Cohen. Of course, what reader woud be able to make the connection to his time at Air America?

    Both Daily News stories have appeared in the Boroughs section of the paper, which is sliced out of the national edition the rest of us see on newsstands.

    What does Air America have to say about this? So far, nothing, look for yourself here. They have plenty to say about Karl Rove, though, they want him "fired". And Mike Malloy is ranting about the "Bush Crime Family".

    Can it really be dismissed by the network as something to be blamed only on the long-departed Cohen?

    Again, was any of the money repaid to Gloria Wise and do any current Air America staffers or managers have knowledge of this diverted federal money? If it was repaid, why the governmental investigation? It seems they are attempting to account for the missing funds now.

    Are the network's hosts, such as Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, willing to apologize for the severe damage done to community programs for inner-city youth and seniors, as a result of this sleazy scandal?

    Thanks to tipster "FYI" who alerted me to this story. Can we really let Air America get away without answering tough questions about their clearly substantial involvement in this scandal?

    http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/
     
  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Ok, this really is lower than I thought they'd go. Their hate-filled, Bush bashing, low rated radio show was so important to them that it was necessary to steal money from the children of the very people they claim to represent just to keep it alive despite being the lowest rated network in the country? This is reprehensible!
     
  3. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    "Sorry kids, you'll have to hit the streets, but if you can steal a radio you can listen to Janine Garofalo's political opinions."

    They should pull the plug on that thing permanently.
     

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