The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

21 August 2005

AAR Scandal Update: Progressive Interview

Progressive: What Scandal?

Franken: 'I'm Not That Left-wing'




When it comes to fighting for "social justice", liberals sure can be selective.

Take this interview with Al Franken in the new issue of The Progressive, "a leading voice for peace and social justice since 1909".

Air America scandal, what's that? Every question is served Larry King-softball style.

Maybe Franken really is a funny guy after all, claiming here he's actually not especially liberal!

With unpleasant realities like $875,000 in taxpayer funds intended for an inner-city community center allegedly diverted to Air America Radio, The Progressive casts aside social justice for friendly, partisan cover.

For the Radio Equalizer, it brings to mind a similar incident that occurred over a decade ago in Santa Cruz, California.

There, Resource Center For Nonviolence head Doug Rand pleaded no contest to charges of throwing a brick through his neighbor's window.

The justification? Loud rock music next door.

Local lefties swept it under the rug, while conservatives began to call it the "Resource Center For Selective Nonviolence", a more apt description.

After Rand's passing, "peace" activists pushed for a public statue in his honor.

Perhaps one for Franken should go right next to Rand's, with others added later dedicated to intellectual dishonesty, in the name of the Greater Good.

In the "progressive" mindset, it's okay to dismiss sleazy, dishonest behavior for a comrade, if it supports the cause.

A softball interview sampling:


Q: How is Air America doing? In the beginning, the press was all about how it had gotten off to a rough start, but now it seems to be doing better.

Franken: Yeah, we shot ourselves in the foot right out of the gate. The guy who ran it at first misled pretty much everybody about how much capital we had.

He said we had enough to go three years without making money, and we had enough to go three weeks.

So in week four, we learned that we bounced a check or two, and that we’d lose our stations in Los Angeles and Chicago, which were our second and third largest markets.


It was horrible, and everybody was counting us out, and you can imagine how attractive our network would be to radio stations when it looked like we were going under.

So there was really no growth for quite a bit after that, and what we had to do was prove that we were viable. And we did that by getting good ratings and showing that we’re fulfilling a need in a business sense—that we’re bringing in an audience.



Yes, Franken apparently believes one city's good ratings translates to national success. Note he sticks to blaming it all on Evan Cohen.


Q: Did you have a difficult time attracting talent in the beginning?

Franken: Well, we didn’t really have a problem attracting talent, because there is no talent to some degree. [Laughs.]

The right wing has had a radio apparatus for years and years, so they’ve had minor leagues—they’ve had local rightwing guys who’ve become national rightwing guys, and who build slowly, and that’s how it goes. We haven’t had that. It isn’t like we have a farm team.



Al, there are a few local liberal hosts out there and frankly, they do a better job.

You won out because of your marquee value. If there isn't much of a farm team, it's because so many lefty hosts have tried and failed to build an audience.


Q: You do have some experienced radio veterans.

Franken: Yeah, but you need an experienced radio veteran who is a liberal advocate. And there just hadn’t been any radio that did that. And so they weren’t trained—they had developed all these bad habits of being objective and balanced and stuff like that. [Laughs.]

It’s hard to get that out of a person. I mean, obviously, I value objectivity and actually caring about facts, and we do that on the show.



Objective hosts on the left? Has Franken ever heard Bernie Ward or Ray Taliafero on KGO/San Francisco? There are a number of other examples.


Q
: Do you see Air America as looking to attract more mainstream Democrats, or moving more toward the left? Obviously, further to the left, you’ve got many people working in community radio.

Franken: Yeah, I’m not that leftwing, which is the odd thing about this: My views on most things would jibe with most Americans’. On most issues, most Americans are certainly left of this Administration.

Not necessarily left, but more common-sensical. Given a chance, they’d spend less on the military, they wouldn’t make more nuclear weapons, they would want to increase environmental regulation rather than reduce it, they would want to spend more on education and health care, they would enforce corporate-responsibility laws and make corporations pay their taxes, all those kinds of things. Crazy talk. [Laughs.]



Franken must be hoping to inspire the next "Day by Day" cartoon.

In addition: another softball interview on C-SPAN this morning: this time it's our friend Sheldon Drobny! Full analysis here, later.


AAR/Scandal by
Darleen Click, others by Pete at IHillary.
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28 Comments:

  • Thanks for the interesting story on Al Franken.

    A few days ago, Franken did an interview with Becky Laurie, the MN state senator and gold star mom who lost her helicopter pilot son in Iraq. It turns out that Franken's mother sold a house to Mrs. Laurie and her husband in the 60's. They all had a good cry over their shared memories.

    By Blogger WHT, at 21 August, 2005 20:23  

  • Liberals are such hypocrites. They could NEVER stand up to one-tenth of the standards they demand of others.

    By Blogger Tom C, at 21 August, 2005 20:43  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Mike McConnell, at 21 August, 2005 21:26  

  • Not that lefty? You could almost hear Al Franken crack a smile on AAR when Randi Rhodes imitated a shotgun blast in the direction of President Bush re-enacting a Godfather movie scene.

    By Blogger Mike McConnell, at 21 August, 2005 21:29  

  • No minor leagues for liberals?

    http://www.1360wptt.com/cullen/

    That's one minor leaguer.

    By Blogger Purple Raider, at 21 August, 2005 23:14  

  • With unpleasant realities like $875,000 in taxpayer funds intended for an inner-city community center allegedly diverted to Air America Radio, The Progressive casts aside social justice for friendly, partisan cover.

    I asked you at least once maybe twice before this SOFTBALL question: Are you ACCUSING Al Franken of wrongdoing? If so could you spell out what they are for the uninformed?
    All I read here is innuendo, no facts that Al Franken did ANYTHING but work for Air America.

    And now your trying to LINK PBS/NPR with the big RED SCANDAL graphic. Who’s next?

    Mick

    By Blogger mick, at 22 August, 2005 00:42  

  • And now your trying to LINK PBS/NPR with the big RED SCANDAL graphic.

    No, it's just saying (correctly) that PBS, NPR and Hot Air America - all far left networks - need taxpayer money to survive.

    Kind of funny when you think of it.

    Fido

    By Blogger Tom C, at 22 August, 2005 01:59  

  • But did Al Franken knew about this and, if so, when he knew it? That's what I would like to know. Other than that, this thing need to be investigated from top to bottom in the illicit use of federal grant monies used as a loan. The Drobnys, Cohen, et al need to answer some tough questions here.

    By Blogger Mike McConnell, at 22 August, 2005 02:02  

  • Selective? All I see here from Maloney is a lot of heat about AAR. Yet there's no mention of the GOP corruption scandal in Ohio. What scandal indeed? I guess Maloney's masters want to keep that one quiet.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 22 August, 2005 11:37  

  • Selective? All I see here from Maloney is a lot of heat about AAR. Yet there's no mention of the GOP corruption scandal in Ohio.

    Gee I wonder why an expose about a radio station would appear on a Blog called The Radio Equalizer while an issue that has nothing to do with radio doesn't.

    Odd, that.

    I do agree that I don't care one bit about Al Franken, except that he is acting as public spokesman for Air America in this matter. In that context (and only that context), his comments matter.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 22 August, 2005 12:02  

  • Living as I do in close proximity to the People's Republic of Santa Cruz, the Rand incident (which occurred two years before I moved here) is not very surprising. It is odd, however, in one respect: Santa Cruz is noted for having a very lively music scene, and it's ironic that loud music should have been his provocation, as it seems to go with the territory.

    A friend here who has lived in the area for 30+ years has stopped referring to folks in Santa Cruz as libs; she calls them Communists.

    It's stunning to think that Franken (or any lib listeners) could actually take seriously the things he said. Bernie Ward, for example, is so far from objective that he should probably be banned form the airwaves 60 days prior to an election, as he would be clearly in violation of the McCain-Feingold regs.

    As to the minor leagues, there are plenty of stations that qualify, especially those that may be affiliates of CBS, NBC, or ABC.

    But the core problem for the liberals is that they have so far lost touch with reality that they actually consider the ravings of a Bernie Ward or a Bill Press to be reasoned and objective.

    At that point, who could believe that rational discourse remains a possibility?

    By Blogger Bill, at 22 August, 2005 12:19  

  • ... they would enforce corporate-responsibility laws ...

    Oh no he didn't!

    By Blogger gultig, at 22 August, 2005 12:28  

  • Gee I wonder why an expose about a radio station would appear on a Blog called The Radio Equalizer while an issue that has nothing to do with radio doesn't.

    Odd, that.


    I was just trying to do Maloney a favor. Sliming AAR is all he has got and that ain't much! I thought Maloney might like the opportunity to change the subject... you know... to issues that have more legs. No matter. You people can stay in your slimey little bubble.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 22 August, 2005 12:30  

  • I was just trying to do Maloney a favor. Sliming AAR is all he has got and that ain't much!

    And missing the point seems to be a congenital problem with liberals.

    First, the blog is called The Radio Equalizer, and the context of the AAR scandal is perfectly in keeping with things on which Brian might be expected to comment.

    Second, the "scandal" in Ohio a) has nothing to do with radio, and b) isn't much of a scandal, as Taft has acknowledged his wrongs, unlike Franken and his accomplices.

    As to your closing rejoinder, that is also a hallmark of liberal commentary: attacking on a personal level because you have nothing of substance to offer.

    By Blogger Bill, at 22 August, 2005 12:46  

  • Don't you need SPONSORS to generate $$ and stay on the air? Last I checked, AAR had few, and if "Wendy the Hypno-therapist" and David "Try my 8 lb. OREK" the vacuum cleaner salesman drop off the short list, they will be down to free liberal-event promotion ads. But then again, that would be good.

    By Blogger Don, at 22 August, 2005 12:59  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Don, at 22 August, 2005 12:59  

  • And missing the point seems to be a congenital problem with liberals.
    ...
    As to your closing rejoinder, that is also a hallmark of liberal commentary: attacking on a personal level because you have nothing of substance to offer.


    Hypocrite.
    All this slime thrown at Franken & co. and you act all holier-than-thou.

    Look, let's stop pretending that Maloney is conducting anything other than a slime campaign against Franken and AAR.

    That's the point!

    But you'll no doubt continue to swallow Maloney's BS.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 22 August, 2005 13:10  

  • Just a point of order - "Radio Equalizer" was Brian Maloney's nickname when on the radio and he apparently reused when starting this blog. On the home page of this blog it says it is a blog about
    "Talk radio, TV and politics coverage"
    so I don't think Brian's intent is for this Blog to be entirely about Radio Talkshows.

    By Blogger Robert, at 22 August, 2005 13:35  

  • Hey Lokki,

    You said: I do agree that I don't care one bit about Al Franken, except that he is acting as public spokesman for Air America in this matter. In that context (and only that context), his comments matter.

    Can you point out where Franken is acting as you say “PUBLIC SPOKESMAN FOR AIR AMERICA”. Where EXACTLY would that be I wonder.

    You guys float this stuff and expect everyone to say well I saw it on this blog so it must be true.

    Mick

    By Blogger mick, at 22 August, 2005 13:55  

  • For everyone paying attention to the scandal: Grassfire.Net's got a petition you can sign demanding that the MSM start covering the Air America scandal for real. Here's the URL:

    http://www.grassfire.net/400/petition.asp?PID=9347323

    If you want to sign on, do it as quickly as possible, because they may be sending it in next week, and every signature counts. I've already added mine.

    Good luck, and here's to hoping that fair and honest media coverage will triumph!

    By Blogger Avi Green, at 22 August, 2005 14:14  

  • To: Lokki and Bill:

    Lokki said: Gee I wonder why an expose about a radio station would appear on a Blog called The Radio Equalizer while an issue that has nothing to do with radio doesn't.

    Bill said: First, the blog is called The Radio Equalizer, and the context of the AAR scandal is perfectly in keeping with things on which Brian might be expected to comment.

    First do you two know each other? You’re sure talking from the same TALKING POINTS. On the other hand it does save a post.

    I talked about this a few days ago. But you all just seem to be interested in slamming people not reading. Guess it needs repeating.

    You are so wrong. This is a political Blog and you don’t need to take my word for it just look below at a few of the past posts I found in the archives.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    22.6.05
    Romney Looks For 2008 Strategy
    Fore-get The Budget!
    Romney Looks To Boost Image, Dems Play Cape Golf
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    18.6.05
    Updates On Recent Key Stories
    Bill, Ted and Tucker
    A Scoff, A Smile, An Invisible Man
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    17.6.05
    Corrie Parents Fundraising For Palestinians
    Agenda Becomes Clear
    No Doubt Where Rachel Corrie's Parents Stand Now
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    10.6.05
    Yellowknife Councillor Backs Off 'Heterosexual Day' Plan
    PC Hypocrites Win Again
    Canadian City Scraps 'Heterosexual Day' Proposal
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    6.6.05
    Cozy Media-Politics Ties
    Hacks Play Switcheroo Game
    Proper To Trade Between Politics And Journalism?
    (Plus: Election Contest Decision Liveblogging Below)
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    30.5.05
    Zimbabwean Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating
    Mugabe On The Rampage
    Attacks Urban Poor, New Racist Socialism Push

    Need more proof? This is as much a POLITICAL Blog as it is a RADIO Blog. You act like there is something wrong with that.

    And BTW Lokki, are you the “PUBLIC SPOKESMAN FOR THE RADIO EQUALIZER” as you said Al Franken was for AIR AMERICA?

    Mick

    By Blogger mick, at 22 August, 2005 14:23  

  • First do you two know each other? You’re sure talking from the same TALKING POINTS. On the other hand it does save a post.

    First, no, I do not know him. Second, are you sure you read what I wrote?

    Also, I wasn't criticizing the content, Lokki was. I consider it to be appropriate coverage.

    Finally, all those quotes were needless, and in my case, misdirected as well. The point of my post was a criticism of Lokki -- not of the AAR coverage.

    By Blogger Bill, at 22 August, 2005 16:40  

  • Phil:

    Hypocrite.

    Incapable of making a point without making an attack? You illustrate exactly what I was saying.

    By Blogger Bill, at 22 August, 2005 16:42  

  • Accusation of the accuser does not prove the innocence of the accused.

    To translate - you can attack me all you want, but that won't change the facts of what has happened with Air America and its financial and legal problems (we can certainly leave ethics out of any discussion regarding liberals).

    As for Mr. Franken acting as public spokesperson for Air America - lack of that official title does not remove the fact that he has spoken publicly about Air America in the context of a representative of Air America. In my business, when a representative of an organization publicly speaks in his role as a member of that organization, he speaks for that organization.... and is expected to know what he's talking about

    Or - is Mr. Franken just an uninformed commentator, as I've so often suspected ?

    Which is it?
    Is he informed, or uninformed
    Pick one....

    By Blogger Lokki, at 22 August, 2005 17:25  

  • Whoa --- Al Franken thinks more Americans want higher taxes, more government regulations, DMV-style health care, a weakened national defense, and more money thrown down the bottomless pit of government welfare programs?

    Note to Franken, those are the positions your party has been running and losing on for the last ten years or more.

    By Blogger V the K, at 22 August, 2005 18:57  

  • Uh huh. OK Al,whatever.

    Q: Do you see Air America as looking to attract more mainstream Democrats, or moving more toward the left? Obviously, further to the left, you’ve got many people working in community radio.

    Franken: Yeah, I’m not that leftwing, which is the odd thing about this: My views on most things would jibe with most Americans’. On most issues, most Americans are certainly left of this Administration.

    Not necessarily left, but more common-sensical. Given a chance, they’d spend less on the military, they wouldn’t make more nuclear weapons, they would want to increase environmental regulation rather than reduce it, they would want to spend more on education and health care, they would enforce corporate-responsibility laws and make corporations pay their taxes, all those kinds of things. Crazy talk. [Laughs.]

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=17169_Daily_Kos_Top_Secret_Plan#comments

    Get a life Al, the 70's are over.

    By Blogger Mr. X, at 23 August, 2005 00:00  


  • Incapable of making a point without making an attack? You illustrate exactly what I was saying.


    Your hypocrisy is breath-taking. Why don't you hold Maloney to this standard? Or yourself for that matter? (But I guess then Maloney would have to find another job.)

    Do you have the honesty to do that?
    Or are you just another idealogue who is only interested in blindly following along with Maloney's smear campaign?

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 23 August, 2005 00:02  

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