The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 August 2005

Air America Scandal Sunday Highlights

Big Questions From Arizona

Why Not NY? Plus: Best Overlooked Scandal Posts

Some of the best questions yet on Air America's scandal, where $875,000 in taxpayer-funded community center grants instead went to the liberal radio network, appear in today's paper.

To which New York publication might the Radio Equalizer be referring?

Actually, none of them: it's all in today's Arizona Republic, 3000 miles away from the crime scene.

In a blunt, knock-'em-dead op-ed column by Doug MacEachern, we see what was once a given in New York City journalism, tough talk:

Like everyone else who has paid attention - this excluded the New York Times for the first 16 days after the story broke - the people who work for New York's attorney general understand the scandal that flushed hundreds of poor Bronx kids out of summer camp and back to their tenement stoops by its proper name: the Air America Radio Network Scandal.

That is because the Air America Radio Network is a corporation, and this is a corporate scandal. It is one complete with the usual cast of overpaid, self-interested, millionaire wheeler-dealers whose primary objective in business is to wall themselves off from personal responsibility for their actions.

Rather like Enron executives. Only, really, that's not quite fair.

Ken Lay and friends never tried to portray themselves as anything other than rapacious moneygrubbers. They were honest thieves. It would have been a lot worse if they pretended to be earnest defenders of the "little guy," like the unctuous hypocrites at Air America.


The transfers - you'll note we assiduously are avoiding calling them "loans" - appear to have been arranged by Evan Cohen, who at the time was propitiously (for him and Air America) the development director for Gloria Wise and a founding director of the fledgling liberal talk-show network.

Cohen no longer holds either position. No one even seems to know where to find him. For truth-seekers (which until Friday excluded the completely uninterested New York Times), that's discouraging.

For Air America and its avid supporters, though, it constitutes superb cover.

It was Cohen! We couldn't stop him! He was crazy!

Either Cohen or the 80-year-olds running the Boys and Girls Club, who Air America snidely suggests are incompetent.

Air America put up a statement on its Web site referring to "the allegations of mismanagement and corruption" at Gloria Wise. Like the financial mess has nothing to do with its beneficiaries.

Left unsaid in the Air America version of reality, though, is that with the exception of Cohen and one other principal, the current owners of Air America are largely the same people who owned the network when Cohen was leading its fund-raising charge.

Oh, they've changed the company name. They've rearranged a few deck chairs. But the legal distinctions they have erected are in place precisely to protect them from the responsibility to pay off the debts, including the Gloria Wise "loans," incurred while Cohen was working side by side with them.


After some days of dissembling about who owed what, Piquant issued a statement that it wanted to start paying back the money but that the Department of Investigation hadn't issued instructions about how the payback should occur. This was news to the investigators.

"DOI has done nothing and given no instruction preventing payment of money owed to Gloria Wise," a DOI spokesperson said on Aug. 4.

On Aug. 6, the Post reported that the network's owners made their first repayment - a year and a half, mind you, after the "loans" were made - by placing $50,000 into an escrow account controlled by an Air America lawyer.

City investigators said they had recommended to Air America that the entire amount, $875,000, be placed in an escrow account no one could touch without DOI approval.

"Air America has not followed that recommendation," a spokesperson said.

Hey, next time there's a New York City scandal involving untouchable liberal figures, maybe we'll first ring Phoenix for help.

In other updates:

Yesterday, a midwest newspaper editor wrote the Radio Equalizer:

I don't know where you got the AP story about Air America; I wish you had linked to it. I just got done 2 1/2 hours ago putting a decent-sized Midwestern daily to bed for Saturday, and I saw no such story. Alas.

All I can attest is such a story appeared on no AP budgets and didn't show up on the Nation, Washington and International wires that I monitored. Had I seen it, it would have gotten top play on our Nation/World page. Oh well.

Yes, it appears David Caruso's AP story was confined to regional wires. Somehow, a national radio network's scandal is considered of interest only to New York readers.

--- Michelle Malkin adds a Rocky Mountain News editorial that I missed.

Overlooked posts of the week:

--- From the right, Red State Rant captured an Alzheimer's ad on Air America's site earlier in the week and ran it on his site.

Since Air America's financial diversion from Gloria Wise resulted in the shutdown of programs for the elderly, including Alzheimer's patients, Lance thought the ad was especially ironic.

After his post appeared, the organization behind the ad complained and he pulled the post, out of respect for the nonprofit.

I asked Lance to bring it back, however, because it's important for readers to see how especially shameless Air America Radio has been throughout this whole ordeal.

Go to Red State Rant to view it.

On the left
, the Northwest Progressive Institute had me laughing with this delight: "Why Brian Maloney Won't Shut Up". Here's a taste:

Brian Maloney is profiting from all the attention conservatives are giving him for attacking Air America Radio. Money, attention, power.

That's why Brian Maloney won't shut up. He's enjoying and profiting from this.
Brian has no interest in truth, justice, or fairness...even if he and others claim they do, they don't. They want to see Air America shut down. It's a threat to them. They hate the fact that it even exists.

The Republican Noise Machine is filled with liars and people who blow stories out of proportion. Just read David Brock's books and you'll get an idea of what we're talking about.

We'll have more to say after we get a clearer understanding from Piquant.
We have faith in Piquant and Air America and believe their intentions to make up for what Evan and Charles did are genuine, even if they don't have to.

Brian can keep blathering on, but he is not going to succeed in shutting down the Air America Radio network.

Funny they should mention Brock's book, I saw a stack of them yesterday at the Ocean State Job Lot for $2.99.

Watch for a fresh update later.

AAR/ Franken by Darleen Click, City Kid$ by George Adair, Rat in The City by Pete at IHillary. Thanks for your Amazon orders, they're helping with expenses for my upcoming site upgrade project. Order a book, tick off David Brock's friends!


  • I wish more people would put up ads linking to non-profits on their web sites. It's such an easy thing to do and convenient if you want to donate a bit here and there.

    By Blogger WHT, at 14 August, 2005 17:06  

  • "Since Air America's financial diversion from Gloria Wise resulted in the shutdown of programs for the elderly, including Alzheimer's patients, Lance thought the ad was especially ironic."

    Another unsubstantiated charge from Lien Baloney. Have you no shame?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 August, 2005 18:02  

  • Brian only puts up ads that make him chump change. Please use his Amazon links to buy my book. You can preorder my upcoming book, "The Truth (with jokes)".

    By Anonymous Al Franken, at 14 August, 2005 18:20  

  • The Republican Noise Machine is filled with liars and people who blow stories out of proportion . Just read David Brock's books and you'll get an idea of what we're talking about.

    By Blogger Nerdwallet, at 14 August, 2005 18:21  

  • David Brock is my good friend. You can hear him on my show every Wednesday.

    By Anonymous Al Franken, at 14 August, 2005 18:29  

  • The noisey cacophony from the left makes one really think "The Heat Is On". I predict a new dance craze for the libs...The Duck and Cover. it's on Barbra Streisand's new cd. No one can go lower than Franken, so, the Limbo is out. Will there be a Fresh Air America?

    By Anonymous Duane, at 14 August, 2005 21:03  

  • Al Franken,

    Can't wait to read your book - it's so great Lian Maloney is helping you get the word out.

    I wonder how many of the Maloney's reader's have donated to the Boys and Girls Club since they are so VERY concerned about an inner city Boys and Girls Club? The Gloria Wise organization must be just raking it in with all these unselfish Maloney's blog readers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 August, 2005 21:43  

  • I wonder how many of the Maloney's reader's have donated to the Boys and Girls Club since they are so VERY concerned about an inner city Boys and Girls Club?

    No thanks, I prefer to give to my local church were I can attend weekly and measure the progress of my giving in the lives of my community. Besides, why would I send money to Gloria Wise of all places, who would with hold money from innocent kids and "loan" my money to Air America?

    By Blogger Nerdwallet, at 14 August, 2005 22:04  

  • I was standing in front of a mirror naked last night, and I've got some questions.

    By Anonymous Al Franken, at 14 August, 2005 22:46  

  • Let me get this straight. AlFranKKKen's next book will be "The Truth: A Big, Fat Joke" by AlFranKKKen with admitted liar David Brock. What's the matter, can't FranKKKen think up enough lies on his own?

    Doggone it. He isn't good engogh, he isn't smart enough, and non-liars just don't want to be associated with him. Must be a tough life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 02:20  

  • Air America doubles ratings in Anchorage, according to Radio & Records.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 10:38  

  • Air America could really boost it's ratings if they could find a judge to rule it constitutional for school kids to have to listen to their broadcast in lieu of social studies class.

    What is really funny is that these people want to put people like them into power to use your tax dollars as idiotically as they have with their own company!!

    no thanks, we already have enough stupid tax and spend politicians on the right :)

    By Blogger Nerdwallet, at 15 August, 2005 10:59  

  • "Air America doubles ratings in Anchorage, according to Radio & Records."

    Congrats to AAR and their 28 new listeners!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 11:46  

  • Franken's Monday show has just started DO NOT LISTEN TO IT!!!

    XM Satellite Radio ch. 167

    Akron, OH - WARF-AM 1350 AM

    Ann Arbor, MI - WLBY-AM 1290 AM

    Asheville, NC - WPEK-AM 880 AM

    Atlanta, GA - WWAA-AM 1690 AM

    Binghamton, NY - WYOS-AM 1360 AM

    Boston, MA - WXKS-AM 1430 AM

    Boston, MA - WKOX-AM 1200 AM

    Brattleboro, VT - WKVT-AM 1490 AM

    Burlington, VT - WTWK-AM 1070 AM

    Chapel Hill, NC - WCHL-AM 1360 AM

    Charleston, SC - WLTQ-AM 730 AM

    Cincinnati, OH - WCKY-AM 1530 AM

    Cleveland, OH - WTAM-AM 1100 AM

    Columbia, SC - WOIC-AM 1230 AM

    Columbus, OH - WTPG-AM 1230 AM

    Detroit, MI - WDTW-AM 1310 AM

    Huntington, WV - WRVC-AM 930 AM

    Ithaca, NY - WNYY-AM 1470-AM

    Key West, FL - WKIZ-AM 1500 AM

    Miami, FL - WINZ-AM 940 AM

    New Haven, CT - WAVZ-AM 1300 AM

    New York, NY - WLIB 1190 AM

    Petoskey, MI - WWKK-AM 750 AM

    Philadelphia, PA - WHAT-AM 1340 AM

    Portland, ME - WLVP-AM 870 AM

    Providence, RI - WHJJ-AM 920 AM

    Rochester, NY - WROC-AM 950 AM

    Sarasota-Bradenton, FL - WSRQ-AM 1450 AM

    Springfield, MA - WHMP-AM 1400 AM

    Washington, DC - WWRC-AM 1260 AM

    West Palm Beach, FL - WJNO-AM 1290 AM

    Austin, TX - KOKE-AM 1600 AM

    Baton Rouge, LA - WYNK-AM 1380 AM

    Brainerd, MN - WWWI-AM 1270 AM

    Chicago, IL - WCPT-AM 850 AM

    Corpus Christi, TX - KCCT-AM 1150 AM

    Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX - KXEB-AM 910 AM

    Davenport, IA - WKBF-AM 1270 AM

    Lafayette, LA - KEUN-AM 1490 AM

    Madison, WI - WXXM-FM 92.1 FM

    Memphis, TN - WWTQ-AM 680 AM

    Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN - KTNF-AM 950 AM

    New Orleans, LA - WSMB-AM 1350 AM

    San Antonio, TX - KKTX-FM 103.1 FM

    San Antonio, TX - KRPT-FM 92.5 FM

    Albuquerque, NM - KABQ-AM 1350 AM

    Denver, CO - KKZN-AM 760 AM

    Missoula, MT - KKNS-FM 105.9 FM

    Phoenix, AZ - KXXT-AM 1010 AM

    Santa Fe, NM - KVSF-AM 1400 AM

    Albany, OR - KTHH-AM 990 AM

    Eugene, OR - KOPT-AM 1600 AM

    Fresno, CA - KFPT-AM 790 AM

    Los Angeles, CA - KTLK-AM 1150 AM

    Portland, OR - KPOJ-AM 620 AM

    Reno, NV - KJFK-AM 1230 AM

    Riverside, CA - KCAA-AM 1050 AM

    Sacramento, CA - KSAC-AM 1240 AM

    San Diego, CA - KLSD-AM 1360 AM

    San Francisco, CA - KQKE-AM 960 AM

    San Luis Obispo, CA - KYNS-AM 1340 AM

    Santa Barbara, CA - KIST-AM 1340 AM

    Santa Cruz - Monterey, CA - KOMY-AM 1340 AM

    Seattle, WA - KPTK-AM 1090 AM

    Spokane, WA - KPTQ-AM 1280 AM

    Victor Valley, CA - KSZL-AM 1230 AM

    Anchorage, AK - KUDO-AM 1080 AM

    Honolulu, HI - KUMU-AM 1500 AM

    Kihei, HI - KAOI-AM 1110 AM

    Lihue, HI - KQNG-AM 570 AM

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 12:09  

  • All my radios have a V chip, similar to TV sets. It prevents Air America from being received.
    Is Air America doing their programming LIVE from Crawford, TX?
    I mean, isn't she the biggest story of the century?

    By Anonymous Duane, at 15 August, 2005 12:57  

  • The AR story is inaccurate when it claims JKen Lay never presented himself as more than an unbridled capitalist. He was a top philanthropist in Texas and an influential -- albeit informal --advisor to then-Gov. Bush.
    Also, to compare AA to Enron is absurd, given the differential in scope. It's like comparing a plane crash to a car crash.

    By Anonymous Justin, at 15 August, 2005 16:27  

  • Oops sorry, you listed the West Palm Beach station as carrying Al Franken. It actually carries Rush Limbaugh. AAR lists it because it's the station that spawned Randy Rhodes...and still broadcasts her.

    By Blogger Ralph Earl, at 15 August, 2005 16:41  

  • I received this information and your Blog link from Melanie Morgan I'll post this information on my Blog I Was A Liberal

    Air America there is nothing American about it. Should be Air Anti-American.

    "Al Gore announced he is starting his own TV cable network.
    He's billing it as the first network for 18 to 34-year-olds.
    Apparently al has never heard of MTV." -Jay Leno

    By Blogger RJay, at 15 August, 2005 17:22  

  • Watch for a fresh update later

    You’re kidding right. . . there can’t be a fresh update when there is no story to update.


    By Anonymous mickh, at 15 August, 2005 18:05  

  • What is everyones thoughts on the crawford texas thing going on? It seems to be growing ( the mother of the soldier who died in Iraq) On Sunday, the washington post gave it a big write up and attributed it to aar. I think that it is terrible all our people being killed in Iraq, but is this the correct way to make change?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 18:18  

  • All my radios have a V chip, similar to TV sets. It prevents Air America from being received.

    I put one in my teeth, so that my fillings don't pick up AAR.

    These voices ... I can't stop them ... please stop them.

    By Blogger WHT, at 15 August, 2005 19:43  

  • On Sunday, the washington post gave it a big write up and attributed it to aar.

    That statement rings true, IMO. I remember a few months ago when Sheehan started making phone calls to the Mike Malloy show.

    Now Malloy is no shrinking violet, but even he seemed awed by what she intended to do when she called a few weeks ago.

    It's all there in the archives at

    By Blogger WHT, at 15 August, 2005 19:48  

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