Liberals Not Happy With Air America Scandal Reporting
A "Fake Story", What Took Lefties So Long?
If you've at all followed previous sticky liberal flaps, the routine should by now be clear:
First, it's silence, then quiet consultation, followed by a "collective" response, repeated verbatim across the Internet and mainstream media.
On Air America's taxpayer funding diversion scandal, it was inevitable liberals would snap out of their stunned silence and fight back.
Don't forget, Air America has been the realization of an ages-old lefty dream, to take on Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. They're not going to let $480,000 in taxpayer funds meant for a community center, going instead to the network, get in the way.
The only question was how long it would take.
Answer: about four days. That must have been some pow-wow. How do we spin a way out of this mammoth mess?
When it came to how they would respond, there was never any question: with all of the usual tactics, name calling, trickery and nastiness.
What they're saying this weekend reveals much about the state of "progressive" politics.
Step one is to kill the messenger, that happens to be me this time.
It's a "fake story", Brian Maloney is "sweaty", "baloney", plus all of the usual radical-right labeling highlight (lowlight?) what we've so far seen. I'm noticing the same attack pattern across sites, with cut-and-pasted copy.
Emanating first from the Daily Kos, the nation's largest liberal blog site, it then spreads to smaller sites. I'm accused outright of making up a story:
It's fun to check in with Memeorandum now and then to see what the righties are linking to. Yesterday they were swarming like flies to a carcass to a story that appears to be phony.
I say "appears"; maybe it isn't. It's hard to tell, for reasons that I hope become apparent as you read this post. The point of this post is not to prove or disprove certain allegations, but to illustrate how, shall we say, uncritical reading and writing can create a lot of smoke without there necessarily being a fire.
The "appears" and "maybe" elements are just a way of hedging on Kos writer Maha's part. From here, it devolves into a lengthy "examination" of how conservatives have sloppily gone bonkers over a single report in a Bronx community newspaper.
I just can't figure out Maha's (Barbara O'Brien) logic, since the quote from Air America's second statement is included, indicating that the company agreed "months ago" to repay the money.
What's "made up" about that? Air America knows it has a problem, but liberals can't accept reality.
More devastating for the left's case is this third statement, made by the company to Brit Hume of FOX News:
An Air America spokesman says, "We're committed to paying this money and the terms are being worked out... We are awaiting direction from the investigation into how to proceed."
Hold on a second! Didn't the company agree months ago to repay it? But nothing happened until we brought it to light?
So they're now saying they haven't yet repaid a dime? If we hadn't gotten on their case, would it have ever happened?
Didn't they say they weren't being investigated, just a few days ago? They seem to at least be in contact with New York Department of Investigation (DOI) personnel.
The company's inconsistent statements will be the subject of the Radio Equalizer's next piece, watch for it this weekend.
The left's biggest problem is the company's own actions, where each successive statement makes the previous one look misleading.
How can they honestly say there's nothing going on here, when Air America sure makes it look like that's the case?
Some conservatives are howling this weekend over Maha's initial inability to find the Bronx News story via Google. Is that my fault?
Here's a third link, as this article makes its way around the liberal blogosphere. In each case, the emphasis is on this as "fake news".
Then, things get nastier. At this liberal site, featuring a dead panda, it's name calling and what may be an anti-Irish slur.
Here, it's "baloney and spew" and apparently, I'm supposed to be ashamed of myself for reasons that aren't very clear. Northwest Progressive also gets in the act, but doesn't put too much thought into the matter.
The Politburo Diktat, an exceptionally interesting site, is already all over this, especially Barbara O'Brien's (Mahablog, Maha's diary at Daily Kos, both linked above) Google search troubles.
Are other conservatives ready for battle? Liberals aren't going to let Franken & Co. go down the drain without a fight.
Update: The Larsonian adds a interesting point. Scott at Powerline adds muscle to the fight today. Captain Ed doesn't mess around, either, thanks Captain's Quarters! Viking Pundit, Wizbang (making a major point I'll be exploring in-depth today), Eclipse Ramblings, Medary and many others are on this today. Thanks!
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