The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 August 2005

Double Standards

Selective Outrage

Media, Civil Rights Movement's Common Thread

Much is being said today about the hard lesson learned in who's still running the media, at least for now: the old, elitist liberal guard.

When Air America Radio's financial scandal news broke last week, Franken & Co. were able to count on mainstream media friends to keep quiet. Now seven days and counting since the first
Radio Equalizer and Michelle Malkin stink was raised, the New York Times has still failed to mention it.

As much as bloggers and other media rebels might like to think things have changed, they just haven't. While new media rabble-rousers have found a certain degree of success, there's a long road ahead.

Recently, an excellent media bias blog that found early reader acceptance, simply stopped publishing. Curious, I contacted a key player and was told a sense of frustration had overwhelmed its contributors.

The difficulty of getting the media to note outrageous behavior by some of its own had simply become too difficult.

When Rush Limbaugh was accused of abusing prescription medication via "doctor shopping" and other charges, the media wasn't so understanding, was it? They had a great time calling him a "pill-popper" and a hypocrite, with no hesitation in reporting the story.

For Franken's outfit, a different standard applies.

Today, two top-notch columns on this by Michelle Malkin and Edward Morrissey were published.

As Morrissey (of Captain's Quarters) writes for the
Weekly Standard:

One would expect that mainstream journalists would want to take advantage of this opportunity to cover this harmonic convergence: A greedy corporation had taken a half-million dollars of city grant money from two certifiably sympathetic and traditional victim groups in order to pay off its already-wealthy employees.

Surprisingly, only three mainstream outlets did so: the Washington Times, in an editorial calling attention to the blog reports, a New York Post article doing much the same, and a New York Sun article detailing even more extensive malfeasance on the part of the CEO.

After speaking with the president of the charity's executive committee, Jeanette Graves, the Sun's David Lombino discovered that the CEO in question got the loans using rubber-stamp replicas of Ms. Graves's signature on documents never seen by her.

Malkin's syndicated column broadens it beyond mere media bias, calling attention to the lack of concern from so-called civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson:

Where are they? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the supermen of the civil-rights establishment – able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to get in front of a picket line. When victim politics calls, the demagogic duo leap into patented action: March. Boycott. Shakedown. Repeat.

But the raging reverends are nowhere to be found as a scandal involving the liberal radio network Air America and a Bronx, N.Y.-based inner city charity for poor children brews. Why the silence?

It's all about the Benjamins, as they say.

Equally disturbing is what's going on in St. Louis, where radio industry veteran Mike Anderson of STLMedia has been waging a one-man battle for three weeks against two hip-hop DJ's who urged listeners to attack the police, just after a city cop was murdered in cold blood.

This officer's message board comment paints a picture of the environment:

I think that everyone should know what was being said this morning on 100.3's morning show. They were actually discussing how to hurt officers. Callers were calling in and giving "tips" as to how to properly fight the police.

One "tip" that was discussed was that you should always fight for the officer's radio and take it so they are unable to call for help. In fact, according to 100.3, 80% of officers on the street are p$%#$s who will not do anything except talk sh-t.

In light of recent events, I find it very disheartening that a professional (at least they used to be) radio station would do this.

-- PLEASE, contact the station managers at Clear Channel Communications and voice your displeasure for having these radio DJs' giving a lesson in how to hurt/fight police officers.

-- If, for nothing else, do this for MAC. His death has been turned into a circus. Do the right thing. Please stay safe out there!

Yes, the media and "civil rights leaders" don't have a problem with this either, do they?

While the DJ's have been suspended, they haven't faced termination, thanks to selective outrage. But Anderson's stubborn determination to see justice served provides an excellent example for every discouraged Internet maverick.

I'm not sure, however, that these on-air thugs will be fired.

One to watch closely in the next week will be the fate of WMAL/Washington talk show host Michael Graham, who was yanked from the airwaves after a long campaign by the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), seemed to finally bear fruit.

Graham made comments about Islam being a religion of terror, that while bold, aren't terribly atypical.

Rather than admit censorship was the reason behind the removal, Graham's forced holiday was dismissed by many as an old-fashioned radio stunt. That was easier than the unpleasant prospect of defending a conservative talk host on free-speech grounds.

I heard from him yesterday, he tells me he has no idea when, if ever, he might return to WMAL. Currently in Hawaii at a previously-planned conference, Graham said he is at a loss to predict what might happen next.

Where's the outrage over Graham's removal due to nothing more than relatively strong opinions on issues? Isn't that his job? After all, he didn't call for any cops to be murdered.

Which is just the point: the police-bashing St. Louis DJ's have a better chance of keeping their jobs than Graham, in today's political environment.

These are tough lessons about double standards and selective outrage. We really have but one tool to fight back, the same way Mike Anderson has, with a stubborn compulsion to follow through on these issues.

The moment media mavericks (such as Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, Wizbang, Red State, Orbusmax, Instapundit, LaShawn Barber, Red State Rant, Ace Of Spades, Captain's Quarters, Politburo Diktat, Viking Pundit, Radio Blogger and many others) let Franken & Co. off the hook, he will be dancing in Air America's hallways.

Can we let that happen?

Franken/AAR graphic by
Darleen Click, City Kid$ graphic by George Adair, MSM Silence by Suzy Rice. "Mourning Over Franken" stolen from Free Republic. Your Amazon orders that originate with clicks here, help to defray the Radio Equalizer's site upgrade costs. Thanks!


  • Again, your logic is faulty.

    1) Because you and Malkin write distorted hit pieces, you expect the NY Times to run with your nonstory?

    2) Because the NY Times didn't run with your spun nonstory, you claim the media's elite?

    3) When the media ran with Whitewater, which turned out to be a noonstory, were they not elite, but all of sudden become elite because they're not going with your spun nonstory?

    I think you and Michelle take yourselves way too seriously.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 August, 2005 05:00  

  • Not too clear on the concept, are you "dick tuck"?

    By Anonymous Robert Crawford, at 03 August, 2005 07:51  

  • Brian,

    Don't be discouraged. I remeber Bigger blogs like Powerline and littlegreenfootballs pounding away on Eason Jordan for what seemed like weeks and that was even when Barney Frank, of all people, made a statement about it.

    Rush has mentioned it. That's huge. The story is linked from his website.

    If you give up then they've won.

    By Blogger Nerdwallet, at 03 August, 2005 08:17  

  • Mr Tuck:

    What exactly was distorted about Brian's or Michelle pieces?

    Why isn't the NY Times running a story?

    How does 19 CONVICTIONS, including a sitting governor, make Whitewater a non story?

    I guess you're too far into the forest to see the trees.

    By Anonymous Purple Raider, at 03 August, 2005 09:14  

  • Keep up the pressure, Brian. This felonious behavior and now the Franken-lies to cover up the issue are going to sink him.

    As far as guys like Dick Tuck, they will tuck their dicks away and slink back into their holes soon enough.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 09:36  

  • Purple Raider, HOW DARE YOU ASK these ignorant lefties to explain themselves!?? I mean, this is a "non-story" don't you GET it!?
    Rove "leaked" Plame's name, and this is another distraction from that, and the deficit, and the "quagmire" of Iraq dammit!!!
    Facts need not be discussed, whatever I FEEL about Err America is what matters!
    Thank you.

    By Blogger Ace, at 03 August, 2005 10:03  

  • This story is about to hit critical mass. Even the extremely biased and corrupt MSM will have to eventually breakdown and grudgingly report on this scandal.

    The evil on the left knows no bounds.

    All we have to do is keep this alive in the conservative blogosphere, which is the only place where you'll find those interested in the truth.

    By Anonymous Crapdog, at 03 August, 2005 11:03  

  • Dick, what about the rest of what was said in this article? Regardless of whether or not AAR is responsible for what happened to Gloria Wise investments, why haven't community leaders expressed outrage that Cohen conned a charity and the recipients of the charity are the ones who got hurt? Why hasn't the NYT (this did happen within their community) report on this and perhaps do their own investigating? And what about the part about the DJs calling for violence toward the police force and no media coverage? And how about the radio host and his indefinite suspension from radio for his comment about terrorists? Any thoughts on those things?

    The NYT hasn't reported on ANYTHING with this, spun or not. It isn't a non-story that a charity made an illegal loan or that a shyster may have rubber stamped signatures to obtain more of their money. And people should know that their tax dollars were used in the wrong way. Gloria Wise executives look really bad here. Is it a non-story that they used government funded money for anything other than what it was to be used for?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 11:10  

  • What exactly was distorted about Brian's or Michelle pieces?

    That Air America was scheduled to begin repayment of the loans prior to the city investigation. That it's common for foundations to invest their funds. That Evan Cohen was dumped by Air America over a year ago. That Maloney and Malkin spin the story to make it sound like Al Franken stole money from poor kids. It's a totally dishonest spin.

    Why isn't the NY Times running a story?

    Because it's a nonstory. When and if Cohen and others at Gloria Wise are indicted, that will be the story.

    How does 19 CONVICTIONS, including a sitting governor, make Whitewater a non story?

    Most of those "convictions" were pleaded to a parking ticket type of charge. The bottom line is that the Clintons lost money on a land deal because McDougal was a scamster.

    Neither Neil Lewis at the New York Times nor Susan Schmidt at the Washington Post ever once reported on the closing arguments at the Tucker/McDougal trials, which claimed the Clintons were victims in all of that.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 August, 2005 11:38  

  • Dick, what about the rest of what was said in this article? Regardless of whether or not AAR is responsible for what happened to Gloria Wise investments, why haven't community leaders expressed outrage that Cohen conned a charity and the recipients of the charity are the ones who got hurt?

    Because the kids didn't get hurt by this investment. It was scheduled to be repaid. Further, Air America promoted and raised funds for their summer camp.

    If the kids were hurt, it sure didn't have anything to do with Air America.

    BTW, did Brian contact Sharpton or Jackson to verify they weren't outraged, or doing something about things? Or did he just publish a speculation as if it were fact?

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 August, 2005 11:42  

  • Again, how is it a non-story that a charity misused government funded money? How is it a non-story that more of that money was allegedly stolen by using a rubber stamped signature and wiring of more money? And you claim that there was a repayment schedule in place. AAR's Al Franken made this claim, but it can't be substantiated by anyone from Gloria Wise, can it? Show me where in any of the reporting so far it has proved this. Perhaps it is so. But so far, it hasn't been proven yet.

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 11:42  

  • Amazing. Money is embezzled to prop-up Al Frankin and his America-hating cohorts, while the Boys and Girls club that aids underprivledged youth and the elderly goes bankrupt, and its not a scandal? This Dick guy really is pathetic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 12:23  

  • Shaun,

    What does this have to do with Air America, in the configuration it's been in over a year? What does it have to do with Al Franken?

    It's yellow journalism to spin this like it's somehow Al Franken's fault that the prior partnership which owned Air America is a scam artist. That stupid logo is dishonest, as is the spin Maloney is putting on this story.

    Personally, I hope Cohen gets indicted over this. But the story has nothing to do with Air America. They were given a loan, and are planning to pay it back on the agreed schedule, with the exception that the city told them to hold off.

    The way I see it is Maloney has been so wrong on every aspect of Air America's viability that he now needs to manufacture a scandal as a self-promoting form of repentence. Even many of his kool-aid drinking readers see how poorly his judgement has been on Air America in general.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 August, 2005 12:40  

  • My grandfather always said that if you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps the loudest is the one who got hit. Guess dick tuck got hit.

    P.S. The real Dick Tuck was quite a bit more fun.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:11  

  • And, dick, much like Watergate, it's not the crime that'll get Al Franken (I'm not too bright, and not very good, and doggone it, not very many people like me), it's the coverup.

    The change from one corporate identity to another looks more and more like shuffling the peas under the shells in a shell game. They were trying desperately to dump liabilities while clinging to assets (and paying Franken, Garofolo, Rhodes, et al) their inflated salaries.

    The question now is "What did they know, and when did they know it?" much like it was in Watergate. When did it become obvious that money had been taken illegimately from govt grant funds (that is *not* an investment under fed rules) and used for AA?

    Of course, if dick and others can convince everyone it's only about a "third-rate burglary" and not other malfeasance, I guess the bad guys will win this one.

    Welcome to the ranks of Nixon-defender types, dick. I hope you enjoy the ride. Meanwhile, Dick Tuck (the real one) is probably spinning.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:17  

  • Way to stand up Dick Tuck. Someone needs to remind Brian and his acolytes that this story is about one corrupt conman who has nothing to do with current AA execs or on-air talent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:18  

  • "scheduled for repayment" does not undo the original fraud.

    How is AA going to "repay" anything anyway? If you gotta steal from little kids to survive, the chances of those little kids ever seeing the money again range from slim to none.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:26  

  • Ah, well. It is definitely *not* about one con man. It is now obviously about a coverup of antother crime. Sound familiar, Watergate fans?

    The *NEW* has confessed to *KNOWING* a crime had been committed (by agreeing months ago to repay ill-gotten loot, which was illegally transferred, in violation of federal laws about grant money and evidently in violation of various state and federal laws about non-profit reporting) and attempted to cover it up.

    What did ME! AlFranken know, and when did ME! AlFranken know it?

    How high does the coverup go? Who okayed it? Who are the co-conspirators? What outside help did they get from the liberal political community?

    And, by the way, up until recently, your "con man" was identified as being on the boards of "several liberal non-profits." (Much like another con man on the boards of many non-profits, Jesse Jackson, maybe?)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:26  

  • Dick, you still haven't addressed the rest of the issue. I have a feeling that you won't because if you did, you'd have to admit that the NYT shouldn't be ignoring this story.
    I don't think Al Franken was in charge of any of the funds. He's a personality and doesn't deal with finances past him receiving a paycheck. I think the only fault I find with Al is that he is very quick to jump on other corporate illegalities, but has kept pretty quiet over the fact that there is something wrong going on with Gloria Wise.
    So let me ask you is it a non-story that a charity misused their government funds and that a corporation is somehow involved? And it is dishonest to say that it has NOTHING to do with Air America. Didn't they receive some of this money? Money in which they should have never accepted in the first place?
    And you are still insisting that they already had a plan in the works to pay this off, but were stopped. Can you please show me where it shows that Gloria Wise was expecting the payments, but it was stopped? You claim that Al would know nothing about this, and yet when he makes a financial claim, you decide that he knows a lot about this. Can't have it both ways.

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 13:27  

  • Oops. Dropped a word somehow. That shoudl be the *NEW CORPORATION* has now admitted to covering up a crime by it's behavior.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:28  

  • Coverup, coverup, coverup.

    I now picture dick tuck with his fingers in his ears, going, "la-la-la-la-la-la!! I can't hear you!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:29  

  • "Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist- I really believe he is Antichrist- I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave,' as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you- sit down and tell me all the news."

    It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Marya Fedorovna. With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. Anna Pavlovna had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, suffering from la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used only by the elite.

    All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered by a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:

    "If you have nothing better to do, Count [or Prince], and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible, I shall be very charmed to see you tonight between 7 and 10- Annette Scherer."

    "Heavens! what a virulent attack!" replied the prince, not in the least disconcerted by this reception. He had just entered, wearing an embroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on his breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in that refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, and with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance who had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pavlovna, kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head, and complacently seated himself on the sofa.

    "First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are. Set your friend's mind at rest," said he without altering his tone, beneath the politeness and affected sympathy of which indifference and even irony could be discerned.

    "Can one be well while suffering morally? Can one be calm in times like these if one has any feeling?" said Anna Pavlovna. "You are staying the whole evening, I hope?"

    "And the fete at the English ambassador's? Today is Wednesday. I must put in an appearance there," said the prince. "My daughter is coming for me to take me there."

    "I thought today's fete had been canceled. I confess all these festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome."

    "If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have been put off," said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force of habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.

    "Don't tease! Well, and what has been decided about Novosiltsev's dispatch? You know everything."

    "What can one say about it?" replied the prince in a cold, listless tone. "What has been decided? They have decided that Buonaparte has burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours."

    Prince Vasili always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating a stale part. Anna Pavlovna Scherer on the contrary, despite her forty years, overflowed with animation and impulsiveness. To be an enthusiast had become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though it did not suit her faded features, always played round her lips expressed, as in a spoiled child, a continual consciousness of her charming defect, which she neither wished, nor could, nor considered it necessary, to correct.

    In the midst of a conversation on political matters Anna Pavlovna burst out:

    "Oh, don't speak to me of Austria. Perhaps I don't understand things, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war. She is betraying us! Russia alone must save Europe. Our gracious sovereign recognizes his high vocation and will be true to it. That is the one thing I have faith in! Our good and wonderful sovereign has to perform the noblest role on earth, and he is so virtuous and noble that God will not forsake him. He will fulfill his vocation and crush the hydra of revolution, which has become more terrible than ever in the person of this murderer and villain! We alone must avenge the blood of the just one.... Whom, I ask you, can we rely on?... England with her commercial spirit will not and cannot understand the Emperor Alexander's loftiness of soul. She has refused to evacuate Malta. She wanted to find, and still seeks, some secret motive in our actions. What answer did Novosiltsev get? None. The English have not understood and cannot understand the self-abnegation of our Emperor who wants nothing for himself, but only desires the good of mankind. And what have they promised? Nothing! And what little they have promised they will not perform! Prussia has always declared that Buonaparte is invincible, and that all Europe is powerless before him.... And I don't believe a word that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either. This famous Prussian neutrality is just a trap. I have faith only in God and the lofty destiny of our adored monarch. He will save Europe!"

    She suddenly paused, smiling at her own impetuosity.

    "I think," said the prince with a smile, "that if you had been sent instead of our dear Wintzingerode you would have captured the King of Prussia's consent by assault. You are so eloquent. Will you give me a cup of tea?"

    "In a moment. A propos," she added, becoming calm again, "I am expecting two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, who is connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the best French families. He is one of the genuine emigres, the good ones. And also the Abbe Morio. Do you know that profound thinker? He has been received by the Emperor. Had you heard?"

    "I shall be delighted to meet them," said the prince. "But tell me," he added with studied carelessness as if it had only just occurred to him, though the question he was about to ask was the chief motive of his visit, "is it true that the Dowager Empress wants Baron Funke to be appointed first secretary at Vienna? The baron by all accounts is a poor creature."

    Prince Vasili wished to obtain this post for his son, but others were trying through the Dowager Empress Marya Fedorovna to secure it for the baron.

    Anna Pavlovna almost closed her eyes to indicate that neither she nor anyone else had a right to criticize what the Empress desired or was pleased with.

    "Baron Funke has been recommended to the Dowager Empress by her sister," was all she said, in a dry and mournful tone.

    As she named the Empress, Anna Pavlovna's face suddenly assumed an expression of profound and sincere devotion and respect mingled with sadness, and this occurred every time she mentioned her illustrious patroness. She added that Her Majesty had deigned to show Baron Funke beaucoup d'estime, and again her face clouded over with sadness.

    The prince was silent and looked indifferent. But, with the womanly and courtierlike quickness and tact habitual to her, Anna Pavlovna wished both to rebuke him (for daring to speak he had done of a man recommended to the Empress) and at the same time to console him, so she said:

    "Now about your family. Do you know that since your daughter came out everyone has been enraptured by her? They say she is amazingly beautiful."

    The prince bowed to signify his respect and gratitude.

    "I often think," she continued after a short pause, drawing nearer to the prince and smiling amiably at him as if to show that political and social topics were ended and the time had come for intimate conversation- "I often think how unfairly sometimes the joys of life are distributed. Why has fate given you two such splendid children? I don't speak of Anatole, your youngest. I don't like him," she added in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows. "Two such charming children. And really you appreciate them less than anyone, and so you don't deserve to have them."

    And she smiled her ecstatic smile.

    "I can't help it," said the prince. "Lavater would have said I lack the bump of paternity."

    "Don't joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you. Do you know I am dissatisfied with your younger son? Between ourselves" (and her face assumed its melancholy expression), "he was mentioned at Her Majesty's and you were pitied...."

    The prince answered nothing, but she looked at him significantly, awaiting a reply. He frowned.

    "What would you have me do?" he said at last. "You know I did all a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools. Hippolyte is at least a quiet fool, but Anatole is an active one. That is the only difference between them." He said this smiling in a way more natural and animated than usual, so that the wrinkles round his mouth very clearly revealed something unexpectedly coarse and unpleasant.

    "And why are children born to such men as you? If you were not a father there would be nothing I could reproach you with," said Anna Pavlovna, looking up pensively.

    "I am your faithful slave and to you alone I can confess that my children are the bane of my life. It is the cross I have to bear. That is how I explain it to myself. It can't be helped!"

    He said no more, but expressed his resignation to cruel fate by a gesture. Anna Pavlovna meditated.

    "Have you never thought of marrying your prodigal son Anatole?" she asked. "They say old maids have a mania for matchmaking, and though I don't feel that weakness in myself as yet,I know a little person who is very unhappy with her father. She is a relation of yours, Princess Mary Bolkonskaya."

    Prince Vasili did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory and perception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a movement of the head that he was considering this information.

    "Do you know," he said at last, evidently unable to check the sad current of his thoughts, "that Anatole is costing me forty thousand rubles a year? And," he went on after a pause, "what will it be in five years, if he goes on like this?" Presently he added: "That's what we fathers have to put up with.... Is this princess of yours rich?"

    "Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He is the well-known Prince Bolkonski who had to retire from the army under the late Emperor, and was nicknamed 'the King of Prussia.' He is very clever but eccentric, and a bore. The poor girl is very unhappy. She has a brother; I think you know him, he married Lise Meinen lately. He is an aide-de-camp of Kutuzov's and will be here tonight."

    "Listen, dear Annette," said the prince, suddenly taking Anna Pavlovna's hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. "Arrange that affair for me and I shall always be your most devoted slave- slafe wigh an f, as a village elder of mine writes in his reports. She is rich and of good family and that's all I want."

    And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised the maid of honor's hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and fro as he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.

    "Attendez," said Anna Pavlovna, reflecting, "I'll speak to Lise, young Bolkonski's wife, this very evening, and perhaps the thing can be arranged. It shall be on your family's behalf that I'll start my apprenticeship as old maid."

    Anna Pavlovna's drawing room was gradually filling. The highest Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged. Prince Vasili's daughter, the beautiful Helene, came to take her father to the ambassador's entertainment; she wore a ball dress and her badge as maid of honor. The youthful little Princess Bolkonskaya, known as la femme la plus seduisante de Petersbourg,* was also there. She had been married during the previous winter, and being pregnant did not go to any large gatherings, but only to small receptions. Prince Vasili's son, Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart, whom he introduced. The Abbe Morio and many others had also come.

    *The most fascinating woman in Petersburg.

    To each new arrival Anna Pavlovna said, "You have not yet seen my aunt," or "You do not know my aunt?" and very gravely conducted him or her to a little old lady, wearing large bows of ribbon in her cap, who had come sailing in from another room as soon as the guests began to arrive; and slowly turning her eyes from the visitor to her aunt, Anna Pavlovna mentioned each one's name and then left them.

    Each visitor performed the ceremony of greeting this old aunt whom not one of them knew, not one of them wanted to know, and not one of them cared about; Anna Pavlovna observed these greetings with mournful and solemn interest and silent approval. The aunt spoke to each of them in the same words, about their health and her own, and the health of Her Majesty, "who, thank God, was better today." And each visitor, though politeness prevented his showing impatience, left the old woman with a sense of relief at having performed a vexatious duty and did not return to her the whole evening.

    The young Princess Bolkonskaya had brought some work in a gold-embroidered velvet bag. Her pretty little upper lip, on which a delicate dark down was just perceptible, was too short for her teeth, but it lifted all the more sweetly, and was especially charming when she occasionally drew it down to meet the lower lip. As is always the case with a thoroughly attractive woman, her defect- the shortness of her upper lip and her half-open mouth- seemed to be her own special and peculiar form of beauty. Everyone brightened at the sight of this pretty young woman, so soon to become a mother, so full of life and health, and carrying her burden so lightly. Old men and dull dispirited young ones who looked at her, after being in her company and talking to her a little while, felt as if they too were becoming, like her, full of life and health. All who talked to her, and at each word saw her bright smile and the constant gleam of her white teeth, thought that they were in a specially amiable mood that day.

    The little princess went round the table with quick, short, swaying steps, her workbag on her arm, and gaily spreading out her dress sat down on a sofa near the silver samovar, as if all she was doing was a pleasure to herself and to all around her. "I have brought my work," said she in French, displaying her bag and addressing all present. "Mind, Annette, I hope you have not played a wicked trick on me," she added, turning to her hostess. "You wrote that it was to be quite a small reception, and just see how badly I am dressed." And she spread out her arms to show her short-waisted, lace-trimmed, dainty gray dress, girdled with a broad ribbon just below the breast.

    "Soyez tranquille, Lise, you will always be prettier than anyone else," replied Anna Pavlovna.

    "You know," said the princess in the same tone of voice and still in French, turning to a general, "my husband is deserting me? He is going to get himself killed. Tell me what this wretched war is for?" she added, addressing Prince Vasili, and without waiting for an answer she turned to speak to his daughter, the beautiful Helene.

    "What a delightful woman this little princess is!" said Prince Vasili to Anna Pavlovna.

    One of the next arrivals was a stout, heavily built young man with close-cropped hair, spectacles, the light-colored breeches fashionable at that time, a very high ruffle, and a brown dress coat. This stout young man was an illegitimate son of Count Bezukhov, a well-known grandee of Catherine's time who now lay dying in Moscow. The young man had not yet entered either the military or civil service, as he had only just returned from abroad where he had been educated, and this was his first appearance in society. Anna Pavlovna greeted him with the nod she accorded to the lowest hierarchy in her drawing room. But in spite of this lowest-grade greeting, a look of anxiety and fear, as at the sight of something too large and unsuited to the place, came over her face when she saw Pierre enter. Though he was certainly rather bigger than the other men in the room, her anxiety could only have reference to the clever though shy, but observant and natural, expression which distinguished him from everyone else in that drawing room.

    "It is very good of you, Monsieur Pierre, to come and visit a poor invalid," said Anna Pavlovna, exchanging an alarmed glance with her aunt as she conducted him to her.

    Pierre murmured something unintelligible, and continued to look round as if in search of something. On his way to the aunt he bowed to the little princess with a pleased smile, as to an intimate acquaintance.

    Anna Pavlovna's alarm was justified, for Pierre turned away from the aunt without waiting to hear her speech about Her Majesty's health. Anna Pavlovna in dismay detained him with the words: "Do you know the Abbe Morio? He is a most interesting man."

    "Yes, I have heard of his scheme for perpetual peace, and it is very interesting but hardly feasible."

    "You think so?" rejoined Anna Pavlovna in order to say something and get away to attend to her duties as hostess. But Pierre now committed a reverse act of impoliteness. First he had left a lady before she had finished speaking to him, and now he continued to speak to another who wished to get away. With his head bent, and his big feet spread apart, he began explaining his reasons for thinking the abbe's plan chimerical.

    "We will talk of it later," said Anna Pavlovna with a smile.

    And having got rid of this young man who did not know how to behave, she resumed her duties as hostess and continued to listen and watch, ready to help at any point where the conversation might happen to flag. As the foreman of a spinning mill, when he has set the hands to work, goes round and notices here a spindle that has stopped or there one that creaks or makes more noise than it should, and hastens to check the machine or set it in proper motion, so Anna Pavlovna moved about her drawing room, approaching now a silent, now a too-noisy group, and by a word or slight rearrangement kept the conversational machine in steady, proper, and regular motion. But amid these cares her anxiety about Pierre was evident. She kept an anxious watch on him when he approached the group round Mortemart to listen to what was being said there, and again when he passed to another group whose center was the abbe.

    Pierre had been educated abroad, and this reception at Anna Pavlovna's was the first he had attended in Russia. He knew that all the intellectual lights of Petersburg were gathered there and, like a child in a toyshop, did not know which way to look, afraid of missing any clever conversation that was to be heard. Seeing the self-confident and refined expression on the faces of those present he was always expecting to hear something very profound. At last he came up to Morio. Here the conversation seemed interesting and he stood waiting for an opportunity to express his own views, as young people are fond of doing.

    Anna Pavlovna's reception was in full swing. The spindles hummed steadily and ceaselessly on all sides. With the exception of the aunt, beside whom sat only one elderly lady, who with her thin careworn face was rather out of place in this brilliant society, the whole company had settled into three groups. One, chiefly masculine, had formed round the abbe. Another, of young people, was grouped round the beautiful Princess Helene, Prince Vasili's daughter, and the little Princess Bolkonskaya, very pretty and rosy, though rather too plump for her age. The third group was gathered round Mortemart and Anna Pavlovna.

    The vicomte was a nice-looking young man with soft features and polished manners, who evidently considered himself a celebrity but out of politeness modestly placed himself at the disposal of the circle in which he found himself. Anna Pavlovna was obviously serving him up as a treat to her guests. As a clever maitre d'hotel serves up as a specially choice delicacy a piece of meat that no one who had seen it in the kitchen would have cared to eat, so Anna Pavlovna served up to her guests, first the vicomte and then the abbe, as peculiarly choice morsels. The group about Mortemart immediately began discussing the murder of the Duc d'Enghien. The vicomte said that the Duc d'Enghien had perished by his own magnanimity, and that there were particular reasons for Buonaparte's hatred of him.

    "Ah, yes! Do tell us all about it, Vicomte," said Anna Pavlovna, with a pleasant feeling that there was something a la Louis XV in the sound of that sentence: "Contez nous cela, Vicomte."

    The vicomte bowed and smiled courteously in token of his willingness to comply. Anna Pavlovna arranged a group round him, inviting everyone to listen to his tale.

    "The vicomte knew the duc personally," whispered Anna Pavlovna to of the guests. "The vicomte is a wonderful raconteur," said she to another. "How evidently he belongs to the best society," said she to a third; and the vicomte was served up to the company in the choicest and most advantageous style, like a well-garnished joint of roast beef on a hot dish.

    The vicomte wished to begin his story and gave a subtle smile.

    "Come over here, Helene, dear," said Anna Pavlovna to the beautiful young princess who was sitting some way off, the center of another group.

    The princess smiled. She rose with the same unchanging smile with which she had first entered the room- the smile of a perfectly beautiful woman. With a slight rustle of her white dress trimmed with moss and ivy, with a gleam of white shoulders, glossy hair, and sparkling diamonds, she passed between the men who made way for her, not looking at any of them but smiling on all, as if graciously allowing each the privilege of admiring her beautiful figure and shapely shoulders, back, and bosom- which in the fashion of those days were very much exposed- and she seemed to bring the glamour of a ballroom with her as she moved toward Anna Pavlovna. Helene was so lovely that not only did she not show any trace of coquetry, but on the contrary she even appeared shy of her unquestionable and all too victorious beauty. She seemed to wish, but to be unable, to diminish its effect.

    "How lovely!" said everyone who saw her; and the vicomte lifted his shoulders and dropped his eyes as if startled by something extraordinary when she took her seat opposite and beamed upon him also with her unchanging smile.

    "Madame, I doubt my ability before such an audience," said he, smilingly inclining his head.

    The princess rested her bare round arm on a little table and considered a reply unnecessary. She smilingly waited. All the time the story was being told she sat upright, glancing now at her beautiful round arm, altered in shape by its pressure on the table, now at her still more beautiful bosom, on which she readjusted a diamond necklace. From time to time she smoothed the folds of her dress, and whenever the story produced an effect she glanced at Anna Pavlovna, at once adopted just the expression she saw on the maid of honor's face, and again relapsed into her radiant smile.

    The little princess had also left the tea table and followed Helene.

    "Wait a moment, I'll get my work.... Now then, what are you thinking of?" she went on, turning to Prince Hippolyte. "Fetch me my workbag."

    There was a general movement as the princess, smiling and talking merrily to everyone at once, sat down and gaily arranged herself in her seat.

    "Now I am all right," she said, and asking the vicomte to begin, she took up her work.

    Prince Hippolyte, having brought the workbag, joined the circle and moving a chair close to hers seated himself beside her.

    Le charmant Hippolyte was surprising by his extraordinary resemblance to his beautiful sister, but yet more by the fact that in spite of this resemblance he was exceedingly ugly. His features were like his sister's, but while in her case everything was lit up by a joyous, self-satisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation, and by the wonderful classic beauty of her figure, his face on the contrary was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of sullen self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak. His eyes, nose, and mouth all seemed puckered into a vacant, wearied grimace, and his arms and legs always fell into unnatural positions.

    "It's not going to be a ghost story?" said he, sitting down beside the princess and hastily adjusting his lorgnette, as if without this instrument he could not begin to speak.

    "Why no, my dear fellow," said the astonished narrator, shrugging his shoulders.

    "Because I hate ghost stories," said Prince Hippolyte in a tone which showed that he only understood the meaning of his words after he had uttered them.

    He spoke with such self-confidence that his hearers could not be sure whether what he said was very witty or very stupid. He was dressed in a dark-green dress coat, knee breeches of the color of cuisse de nymphe effrayee, as he called it, shoes, and silk stockings.

    The vicomte told his tale very neatly. It was an anecdote, then current, to the effect that the Duc d'Enghien had gone secretly to Paris to visit Mademoiselle George; that at her house he came upon Bonaparte, who also enjoyed the famous actress' favors, and that in his presence Napoleon happened to fall into one of the fainting fits to which he was subject, and was thus at the duc's mercy. The latter spared him, and this magnanimity Bonaparte subsequently repaid by death.

    The story was very pretty and interesting, especially at the point where the rivals suddenly recognized one another; and the ladies looked agitated.

    "Charming!" said Anna Pavlovna with an inquiring glance at the little princess.

    "Charming!" whispered the little princess, sticking the needle into her work as if to testify that the interest and fascination of the story prevented her from going on with it.

    The vicomte appreciated this silent praise and smiling gratefully prepared to continue, but just then Anna Pavlovna, who had kept a watchful eye on the young man who so alarmed her, noticed that he was talking too loudly and vehemently with the abbe, so she hurried to the rescue. Pierre had managed to start a conversation with the abbe about the balance of power, and the latter, evidently interested by the young man's simple-minded eagerness, was explaining his pet theory. Both were talking and listening too eagerly and too naturally, which was why Anna Pavlovna disapproved.

    "The means are... the balance of power in Europe and the rights of the people," the abbe was saying. "It is only necessary for one powerful nation like Russia- barbaric as she is said to be- to place herself disinterestedly at the head of an alliance having for its object the maintenance of the balance of power of Europe, and it would save the world!"

    "But how are you to get that balance?" Pierre was beginning.

    At that moment Anna Pavlovna came up and, looking severely at Pierre, asked the Italian how he stood Russian climate. The Italian's face instantly changed and assumed an offensively affected, sugary expression, evidently habitual to him when conversing with women.

    "I am so enchanted by the brilliancy of the wit and culture of the society, more especially of the feminine society, in which I have had the honor of being received, that I have not yet had time to think of the climate," said he.

    Not letting the abbe and Pierre escape, Anna Pavlovna, the more conveniently to keep them under observation, brought them into the larger circle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:30  

  • Just them another visitor entered the drawing room: Prince Andrew Bolkonski, the little princess' husband. He was a very handsome young man, of medium height, with firm, clearcut features. Everything about him, from his weary, bored expression to his quiet, measured step, offered a most striking contrast to his quiet, little wife. It was evident that he not only knew everyone in the drawing room, but had found them to be so tiresome that it wearied him to look at or listen to them. And among all these faces that he found so tedious, none seemed to bore him so much as that of his pretty wife. He turned away from her with a grimace that distorted his handsome face, kissed Anna Pavlovna's hand, and screwing up his eyes scanned the whole company.

    "You are off to the war, Prince?" said Anna Pavlovna.

    "General Kutuzov," said Bolkonski, speaking French and stressing the last syllable of the general's name like a Frenchman, "has been pleased to take me as an aide-de-camp...."

    "And Lise, your wife?"

    "She will go to the country."

    "Are you not ashamed to deprive us of your charming wife?"

    "Andre," said his wife, addressing her husband in the same coquettish manner in which she spoke to other men, "the vicomte has been telling us such a tale about Mademoiselle George and Buonaparte!"

    Prince Andrew screwed up his eyes and turned away. Pierre, who from the moment Prince Andrew entered the room had watched him with glad, affectionate eyes, now came up and took his arm. Before he looked round Prince Andrew frowned again, expressing his annoyance with whoever was touching his arm, but when he saw Pierre's beaming face he gave him an unexpectedly kind and pleasant smile.

    "There now!... So you, too, are in the great world?" said he to Pierre.

    "I knew you would be here," replied Pierre. "I will come to supper with you. May I?" he added in a low voice so as not to disturb the vicomte who was continuing his story.

    "No, impossible!" said Prince Andrew, laughing and pressing Pierre's hand to show that there was no need to ask the question. He wished to say something more, but at that moment Prince Vasili and his daughter got up to go and the two young men rose to let them pass.

    "You must excuse me, dear Vicomte," said Prince Vasili to the Frenchman, holding him down by the sleeve in a friendly way to prevent his rising. "This unfortunate fete at the ambassador's deprives me of a pleasure, and obliges me to interrupt you. I am very sorry to leave your enchanting party," said he, turning to Anna Pavlovna.

    His daughter, Princess Helene, passed between the chairs, lightly holding up the folds of her dress, and the smile shone still more radiantly on her beautiful face. Pierre gazed at her with rapturous, almost frightened, eyes as she passed him.

    "Very lovely," said Prince Andrew.

    "Very," said Pierre.

    In passing Prince Vasili seized Pierre's hand and said to Anna Pavlovna: "Educate this bear for me! He has been staying with me a whole month and this is the first time I have seen him in society. Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the society of clever women."

    Anna Pavlovna smiled and promised to take Pierre in hand. She knew his father to be a connection of Prince Vasili's. The elderly lady who had been sitting with the old aunt rose hurriedly and overtook Prince Vasili in the anteroom. All the affectation of interest she had assumed had left her kindly and tearworn face and it now expressed only anxiety and fear.

    "How about my son Boris, Prince?" said she, hurrying after him into the anteroom. "I can't remain any longer in Petersburg. Tell me what news I may take back to my poor boy."

    Although Prince Vasili listened reluctantly and not very politely to the elderly lady, even betraying some impatience, she gave him an ingratiating and appealing smile, and took his hand that he might not go away.

    "What would it cost you to say a word to the Emperor, and then he would be transferred to the Guards at once?" said she.

    "Believe me, Princess, I am ready to do all I can," answered Prince Vasili, "but it is difficult for me to ask the Emperor. I should advise you to appeal to Rumyantsev through Prince Golitsyn. That would be the best way."

    The elderly lady was a Princess Drubetskaya, belonging to one of the best families in Russia, but she was poor, and having long been out of society had lost her former influential connections. She had now come to Petersburg to procure an appointment in the Guards for her only son. It was, in fact, solely to meet Prince Vasili that she had obtained an invitation to Anna Pavlovna's reception and had sat listening to the vicomte's story. Prince Vasili's words frightened her, an embittered look clouded her once handsome face, but only for a moment; then she smiled again and dutched Prince Vasili's arm more tightly.

    "Listen to me, Prince," said she. "I have never yet asked you for anything and I never will again, nor have I ever reminded you of my father's friendship for you; but now I entreat you for God's sake to do this for my son- and I shall always regard you as a benefactor," she added hurriedly. "No, don't be angry, but promise! I have asked Golitsyn and he has refused. Be the kindhearted man you always were," she said, trying to smile though tears were in her eyes.

    "Papa, we shall be late," said Princess Helene, turning her beautiful head and looking over her classically molded shoulder as she stood waiting by the door.

    Influence in society, however, is a capital which has to be economized if it is to last. Prince Vasili knew this, and having once realized that if he asked on behalf of all who begged of him, he would soon be unable to ask for himself, he became chary of using his influence. But in Princess Drubetskaya's case he felt, after her second appeal, something like qualms of conscience. She had reminded him of what was quite true; he had been indebted to her father for the first steps in his career. Moreover, he could see by her manners that she was one of those women- mostly mothers- who, having once made up their minds, will not rest until they have gained their end, and are prepared if necessary to go on insisting day after day and hour after hour, and even to make scenes. This last consideration moved him.

    "My dear Anna Mikhaylovna," said he with his usual familiarity and weariness of tone, "it is almost impossible for me to do what you ask; but to prove my devotion to you and how I respect your father's memory, I will do the impossible- your son shall be transferred to the Guards. Here is my hand on it. Are you satisfied?"

    "My dear benefactor! This is what I expected from you- I knew your kindness!" He turned to go.

    "Wait- just a word! When he has been transferred to the Guards..." she faltered. "You are on good terms with Michael Ilarionovich Kutuzov... recommend Boris to him as adjutant! Then I shall be at rest, and then..."

    Prince Vasili smiled.

    "No, I won't promise that. You don't know how Kutuzov is pestered since his appointment as Commander in Chief. He told me himself that all the Moscow ladies have conspired to give him all their sons as adjutants."

    "No, but do promise! I won't let you go! My dear benefactor..."

    "Papa," said his beautiful daughter in the same tone as before, "we shall be late."

    "Well, au revoir! Good-by! You hear her?"

    "Then tomorrow you will speak to the Emperor?"

    "Certainly; but about Kutuzov, I don't promise."

    "Do promise, do promise, Vasili!" cried Anna Mikhaylovna as he went, with the smile of a coquettish girl, which at one time probably came naturally to her, but was now very ill-suited to her careworn face.

    Apparently she had forgotten her age and by force of habit employed all the old feminine arts. But as soon as the prince had gone her face resumed its former cold, artificial expression. She returned to the group where the vicomte was still talking, and again pretended to listen, while waiting till it would be time to leave. Her task was accomplished.

    "And what do you think of this latest comedy, the coronation at Milan?" asked Anna Pavlovna, "and of the comedy of the people of Genoa and Lucca laying their petitions before Monsieur Buonaparte, and Monsieur Buonaparte sitting on a throne and granting the petitions of the nations? Adorable! It is enough to make one's head whirl! It is as if the whole world had gone crazy."

    Prince Andrew looked Anna Pavlovna straight in the face with a sarcastic smile.

    "'Dieu me la donne, gare a qui la touche!'* They say he was very fine when he said that," he remarked, repeating the words in Italian: "'Dio mi l'ha dato. Guai a chi la tocchi!'"

    *God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware!

    "I hope this will prove the last drop that will make the glass run over," Anna Pavlovna continued. "The sovereigns will not be able to endure this man who is a menace to everything."

    "The sovereigns? I do not speak of Russia," said the vicomte, polite but hopeless: "The sovereigns, madame... What have they done for Louis XVII, for the Queen, or for Madame Elizabeth? Nothing!" and he became more animated. "And believe me, they are reaping the reward of their betrayal of the Bourbon cause. The sovereigns! Why, they are sending ambassadors to compliment the usurper."

    And sighing disdainfully, he again changed his position.

    Prince Hippolyte, who had been gazing at the vicomte for some time through his lorgnette, suddenly turned completely round toward the little princess, and having asked for a needle began tracing the Conde coat of arms on the table. He explained this to her with as much gravity as if she had asked him to do it.

    "Baton de gueules, engrele de gueules d' azur- maison Conde," said he.

    The princess listened, smiling.

    "If Buonaparte remains on the throne of France a year longer," the vicomte continued, with the air of a man who, in a matter with which he is better acquainted than anyone else, does not listen to others but follows the current of his own thoughts, "things will have gone too far. By intrigues, violence, exile, and executions, French society- I mean good French society- will have been forever destroyed, and then..."

    He shrugged his shoulders and spread out his hands. Pierre wished to make a remark, for the conversation interested him, but Anna Pavlovna, who had him under observation, interrupted:

    "The Emperor Alexander," said she, with the melancholy which always accompanied any reference of hers to the Imperial family, "has declared that he will leave it to the French people themselves to choose their own form of government; and I believe that once free from the usurper, the whole nation will certainly throw itself into the arms of its rightful king," she concluded, trying to be amiable to the royalist emigrant.

    "That is doubtful," said Prince Andrew. "Monsieur le Vicomte quite rightly supposes that matters have already gone too far. I think it will be difficult to return to the old regime."

    "From what I have heard," said Pierre, blushing and breaking into the conversation, "almost all the aristocracy has already gone over to Bonaparte's side."

    "It is the Buonapartists who say that," replied the vicomte without looking at Pierre. "At the present time it is difficult to know the real state of French public opinion.

    "Bonaparte has said so," remarked Prince Andrew with a sarcastic smile.

    It was evident that he did not like the vicomte and was aiming his remarks at him, though without looking at him.

    "'I showed them the path to glory, but they did not follow it,'" Prince Andrew continued after a short silence, again quoting Napoleon's words. "'I opened my antechambers and they crowded in.' I do not know how far he was justified in saying so."

    "Not in the least," replied the vicomte. "After the murder of the duc even the most partial ceased to regard him as a hero. If to some people," he went on, turning to Anna Pavlovna, "he ever was a hero, after the murder of the duc there was one martyr more in heaven and one hero less on earth."

    Before Anna Pavlovna and the others had time to smile their appreciation of the vicomte's epigram, Pierre again broke into the conversation, and though Anna Pavlovna felt sure he would say something inappropriate, she was unable to stop him.

    "The execution of the Duc d'Enghien," declared Monsieur Pierre, "was a political necessity, and it seems to me that Napoleon showed greatness of soul by not fearing to take on himself the whole responsibility of that deed."

    "Dieu! Mon Dieu!" muttered Anna Pavlovna in a terrified whisper.

    "What, Monsieur Pierre... Do you consider that assassination shows greatness of soul?" said the little princess, smiling and drawing her work nearer to her.

    "Oh! Oh!" exclaimed several voices.

    "Capital!" said Prince Hippolyte in English, and began slapping his knee with the palm of his hand.

    The vicomte merely shrugged his shoulders. Pierre looked solemnly at his audience over his spectacles and continued.

    "I say so," he continued desperately, "because the Bourbons fled from the Revolution leaving the people to anarchy, and Napoleon alone understood the Revolution and quelled it, and so for the general good, he could not stop short for the sake of one man's life."

    "Won't you come over to the other table?" suggested Anna Pavlovna.

    But Pierre continued his speech without heeding her.

    "No," cried he, becoming more and more eager, "Napoleon is great because he rose superior to the Revolution, suppressed its abuses, preserved all that was good in it- equality of citizenship and freedom of speech and of the press- and only for that reason did he obtain power."

    "Yes, if having obtained power, without availing himself of it to commit murder he had restored it to the rightful king, I should have called him a great man," remarked the vicomte.

    "He could not do that. The people only gave him power that he might rid them of the Bourbons and because they saw that he was a great man. The Revolution was a grand thing!" continued Monsieur Pierre, betraying by this desperate and provocative proposition his extreme youth and his wish to express all that was in his mind.

    "What? Revolution and regicide a grand thing?... Well, after that... But won't you come to this other table?" repeated Anna Pavlovna.

    "Rousseau's Contrat social," said the vicomte with a tolerant smile.

    "I am not speaking of regicide, I am speaking about ideas."

    "Yes: ideas of robbery, murder, and regicide," again interjected an ironical voice.

    "Those were extremes, no doubt, but they are not what is most important. What is important are the rights of man, emancipation from prejudices, and equality of citizenship, and all these ideas Napoleon has retained in full force."

    "Liberty and equality," said the vicomte contemptuously, as if at last deciding seriously to prove to this youth how foolish his words were, "high-sounding words which have long been discredited. Who does not love liberty and equality? Even our Saviour preached liberty and equality. Have people since the Revolution become happier? On the contrary. We wanted liberty, but Buonaparte has destroyed it."

    Prince Andrew kept looking with an amused smile from Pierre to the vicomte and from the vicomte to their hostess. In the first moment of Pierre's outburst Anna Pavlovna, despite her social experience, was horror-struck. But when she saw that Pierre's sacrilegious words had not exasperated the vicomte, and had convinced herself that it was impossible to stop him, she rallied her forces and joined the vicomte in a vigorous attack on the orator.

    "But, my dear Monsieur Pierre," said she, "how do you explain the fact of a great man executing a duc- or even an ordinary man who- is innocent and untried?"

    "I should like," said the vicomte, "to ask how monsieur explains the 18th Brumaire; was not that an imposture? It was a swindle, and not at all like the conduct of a great man!"

    "And the prisoners he killed in Africa? That was horrible!" said the little princess, shrugging her shoulders.

    "He's a low fellow, say what you will," remarked Prince Hippolyte.

    Pierre, not knowing whom to answer, looked at them all and smiled. His smile was unlike the half-smile of other people. When he smiled, his grave, even rather gloomy, look was instantaneously replaced by another- a childlike, kindly, even rather silly look, which seemed to ask forgiveness.

    The vicomte who was meeting him for the first time saw clearly that this young Jacobin was not so terrible as his words suggested. All were silent.

    "How do you expect him to answer you all at once?" said Prince Andrew. "Besides, in the actions of a statesman one has to distinguish between his acts as a private person, as a general, and as an emperor. So it seems to me."

    "Yes, yes, of course!" Pierre chimed in, pleased at the arrival of this reinforcement.

    "One must admit," continued Prince Andrew, "that Napoleon as a man was great on the bridge of Arcola, and in the hospital at Jaffa where he gave his hand to the plague-stricken; but... but there are other acts which it is difficult to justify."

    Prince Andrew, who had evidently wished to tone down the awkwardness of Pierre's remarks, rose and made a sign to his wife that it was time to go.

    Suddenly Prince Hippolyte started up making signs to everyone to attend, and asking them all to be seated began:

    "I was told a charming Moscow story today and must treat you to it. Excuse me, Vicomte- I must tell it in Russian or the point will be lost...." And Prince Hippolyte began to tell his story in such Russian as a Frenchman would speak after spending about a year in Russia. Everyone waited, so emphatically and eagerly did he demand their attention to his story.

    "There is in Moscow a lady, une dame, and she is very stingy. She must have two footmen behind her carriage, and very big ones. That was her taste. And she had a lady's maid, also big. She said..."

    Here Prince Hippolyte paused, evidently collecting his ideas with difficulty.

    "She said... Oh yes! She said, 'Girl,' to the maid, 'put on a livery, get up behind the carriage, and come with me while I make some calls.'"

    Here Prince Hippolyte spluttered and burst out laughing long before his audience, which produced an effect unfavorable to the narrator. Several persons, among them the elderly lady and Anna Pavlovna, did however smile.

    "She went. Suddenly there was a great wind. The girl lost her hat and her long hair came down...." Here he could contain himself no longer and went on, between gasps of laughter: "And the whole world knew...."

    And so the anecdote ended. Though it was unintelligible why he had told it, or why it had to be told in Russian, still Anna Pavlovna and the others appreciated Prince Hippolyte's social tact in so agreeably ending Pierre's unpleasant and unamiable outburst. After the anecdote the conversation broke up into insignificant small talk about the last and next balls, about theatricals, and who would meet whom, and when and where.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:34  

  • Having thanked Anna Pavlovna for her charming soiree, the guests began to take their leave.

    Pierre was ungainly. Stout, about the average height, broad, with huge red hands; he did not know, as the saying is, to enter a drawing room and still less how to leave one; that is, how to say something particularly agreeable before going away. Besides this he was absent-minded. When he rose to go, he took up instead of his own, the general's three-cornered hat, and held it, pulling at the plume, till the general asked him to restore it. All his absent-mindedness and inability to enter a room and converse in it was, however, redeemed by his kindly, simple, and modest expression. Anna Pavlovna turned toward him and, with a Christian mildness that expressed forgiveness of his indiscretion, nodded and said: "I hope to see you again, but I also hope you will change your opinions, my dear Monsieur Pierre."

    When she said this, he did not reply and only bowed, but again everybody saw his smile, which said nothing, unless perhaps, "Opinions are opinions, but you see what a capital, good-natured fellow I am." And everyone, including Anna Pavlovna, felt this.

    Prince Andrew had gone out into the hall, and, turning his shoulders to the footman who was helping him on with his cloak, listened indifferently to his wife's chatter with Prince Hippolyte who had also come into the hall. Prince Hippolyte stood close to the pretty, pregnant princess, and stared fixedly at her through his eyeglass.

    "Go in, Annette, or you will catch cold," said the little princess, taking leave of Anna Pavlovna. "It is settled," she added in a low voice.

    Anna Pavlovna had already managed to speak to Lise about the match she contemplated between Anatole and the little princess' sister-in-law.

    "I rely on you, my dear," said Anna Pavlovna, also in a low tone. "Write to her and let me know how her father looks at the matter. Au revoir!"- and she left the hall.

    Prince Hippolyte approached the little princess and, bending his face close to her, began to whisper something.

    Two footmen, the princess' and his own, stood holding a shawl and a cloak, waiting for the conversation to finish. They listened to the French sentences which to them were meaningless, with an air of understanding but not wishing to appear to do so. The princess as usual spoke smilingly and listened with a laugh.

    "I am very glad I did not go to the ambassador's," said Prince Hippolyte "-so dull-. It has been a delightful evening, has it not? Delightful!"

    "They say the ball will be very good," replied the princess, drawing up her downy little lip. "All the pretty women in society will be there."

    "Not all, for you will not be there; not all," said Prince Hippolyte smiling joyfully; and snatching the shawl from the footman, whom he even pushed aside, he began wrapping it round the princess. Either from awkwardness or intentionally (no one could have said which) after the shawl had been adjusted he kept his arm around her for a long time, as though embracing her.

    Still smiling, she gracefully moved away, turning and glancing at her husband. Prince Andrew's eyes were closed, so weary and sleepy did he seem.

    "Are you ready?" he asked his wife, looking past her.

    Prince Hippolyte hurriedly put on his cloak, which in the latest fashion reached to his very heels, and, stumbling in it, ran out into the porch following the princess, whom a footman was helping into the carriage.

    "Princesse, au revoir," cried he, stumbling with his tongue as well as with his feet.

    The princess, picking up her dress, was taking her seat in the dark carriage, her husband was adjusting his saber; Prince Hippolyte, under pretense of helping, was in everyone's way.

    "Allow me, sir," said Prince Andrew in Russian in a cold, disagreeable tone to Prince Hippolyte who was blocking his path.

    "I am expecting you, Pierre," said the same voice, but gently and affectionately.

    The postilion started, the carriage wheels rattled. Prince Hippolyte laughed spasmodically as he stood in the porch waiting for the vicomte whom he had promised to take home.

    "Well, mon cher," said the vicomte, having seated himself beside Hippolyte in the carriage, "your little princess is very nice, very nice indeed, quite French," and he kissed the tips of his fingers. Hippolyte burst out laughing.

    "Do you know, you are a terrible chap for all your innocent airs," continued the vicomte. "I pity the poor husband, that little officer who gives himself the airs of a monarch."

    Hippolyte spluttered again, and amid his laughter said, "And you were saying that the Russian ladies are not equal to the French? One has to know how to deal with them."

    Pierre reaching the house first went into Prince Andrew's study like one quite at home, and from habit immediately lay down on the sofa, took from the shelf the first book that came to his hand (it was Caesar's Commentaries), and resting on his elbow, began reading it in the middle.

    "What have you done to Mlle Scherer? She will be quite ill now," said Prince Andrew, as he entered the study, rubbing his small white hands.

    Pierre turned his whole body, making the sofa creak. He lifted his eager face to Prince Andrew, smiled, and waved his hand.

    "That abbe is very interesting but he does not see the thing in the right light.... In my opinion perpetual peace is possible but- I do not know how to express it... not by a balance of political power...."

    It was evident that Prince Andrew was not interested in such abstract conversation.

    "One can't everywhere say all one thinks, mon cher. Well, have you at last decided on anything? Are you going to be a guardsman or a diplomatist?" asked Prince Andrew after a momentary silence.

    Pierre sat up on the sofa, with his legs tucked under him.

    "Really, I don't yet know. I don't like either the one or the other."

    "But you must decide on something! Your father expects it."

    Pierre at the age of ten had been sent abroad with an abbe as tutor, and had remained away till he was twenty. When he returned to Moscow his father dismissed the abbe and said to the young man, "Now go to Petersburg, look round, and choose your profession. I will agree to anything. Here is a letter to Prince Vasili, and here is money. Write to me all about it, and I will help you in everything." Pierre had already been choosing a career for three months, and had not decided on anything. It was about this choice that Prince Andrew was speaking. Pierre rubbed his forehead.

    "But he must be a Freemason," said he, referring to the abbe whom he had met that evening.

    "That is all nonsense." Prince Andrew again interrupted him, "let us talk business. Have you been to the Horse Guards?"

    "No, I have not; but this is what I have been thinking and wanted to tell you. There is a war now against Napoleon. If it were a war for freedom I could understand it and should be the first to enter the army; but to help England and Austria against the greatest man in the world is not right."

    Prince Andrew only shrugged his shoulders at Pierre's childish words. He put on the air of one who finds it impossible to reply to such nonsense, but it would in fact have been difficult to give any other answer than the one Prince Andrew gave to this naive question.

    "If no one fought except on his own conviction, there would be no wars," he said.

    "And that would be splendid," said Pierre.

    Prince Andrew smiled ironically.

    "Very likely it would be splendid, but it will never come about..."

    "Well, why are you going to the war?" asked Pierre.

    "What for? I don't know. I must. Besides that I am going..." He paused. "I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit me!"

    The rustle of a woman's dress was heard in the next room. Prince Andrew shook himself as if waking up, and his face assumed the look it had had in Anna Pavlovna's drawing room. Pierre removed his feet from the sofa. The princess came in. She had changed her gown for a house dress as fresh and elegant as the other. Prince Andrew rose and politely placed a chair for her.

    "How is it," she began, as usual in French, settling down briskly and fussily in the easy chair, "how is it Annette never got married? How stupid you men all are not to have married her! Excuse me for saying so, but you have no sense about women. What an argumentative fellow you are, Monsieur Pierre!"

    "And I am still arguing with your husband. I can't understand why he wants to go to the war," replied Pierre, addressing the princess with none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their intercourse with young women.

    The princess started. Evidently Pierre's words touched her to the quick.

    "Ah, that is just what I tell him!" said she. "I don't understand it; I don't in the least understand why men can't live without wars. How is it that we women don't want anything of the kind, don't need it? Now you shall judge between us. I always tell him: Here he is Uncle's aide-de-camp, a most brilliant position. He is so well known, so much appreciated by everyone. The other day at the Apraksins' I heard a lady asking, 'Is that the famous Prince Andrew?' I did indeed." She laughed. "He is so well received everywhere. He might easily become aide-de-camp to the Emperor. You know the Emperor spoke to him most graciously. Annette and I were speaking of how to arrange it. What do you think?"

    Pierre looked at his friend and, noticing that he did not like the conversation, gave no reply.

    "When are you starting?" he asked.

    "Oh, don't speak of his going, don't! I won't hear it spoken of," said the princess in the same petulantly playful tone in which she had spoken to Hippolyte in the drawing room and which was so plainly ill-suited to the family circle of which Pierre was almost a member. "Today when I remembered that all these delightful associations must be broken off... and then you know, Andre..." (she looked significantly at her husband) "I'm afraid, I'm afraid!" she whispered, and a shudder ran down her back.

    Her husband looked at her as if surprised to notice that someone besides Pierre and himself was in the room, and addressed her in a tone of frigid politeness.

    "What is it you are afraid of, Lise? I don't understand," said he.

    "There, what egotists men all are: all, all egotists! Just for a whim of his own, goodness only knows why, he leaves me and locks me up alone in the country."

    "With my father and sister, remember," said Prince Andrew gently.

    "Alone all the same, without my friends.... And he expects me not to be afraid."

    Her tone was now querulous and her lip drawn up, giving her not a joyful, but an animal, squirrel-like expression. She paused as if she felt it indecorous to speak of her pregnancy before Pierre, though the gist of the matter lay in that.

    "I still can't understand what you are afraid of," said Prince Andrew slowly, not taking his eyes off his wife.

    The princess blushed, and raised her arms with a gesture of despair.

    "No, Andrew, I must say you have changed. Oh, how you have..."

    "Your doctor tells you to go to bed earlier," said Prince Andrew. "You had better go."

    The princess said nothing, but suddenly her short downy lip quivered. Prince Andrew rose, shrugged his shoulders, and walked about the room.

    Pierre looked over his spectacles with naive surprise, now at him and now at her, moved as if about to rise too, but changed his mind.

    "Why should I mind Monsieur Pierre being here?" exclaimed the little princess suddenly, her pretty face all at once distorted by a tearful grimace. "I have long wanted to ask you, Andrew, why you have changed so to me? What have I done to you? You are going to the war and have no pity for me. Why is it?"

    "Lise!" was all Prince Andrew said. But that one word expressed an entreaty, a threat, and above all conviction that she would herself regret her words. But she went on hurriedly:

    "You treat me like an invalid or a child. I see it all! Did you behave like that six months ago?"

    "Lise, I beg you to desist," said Prince Andrew still more emphatically.

    Pierre, who had been growing more and more agitated as he listened to all this, rose and approached the princess. He seemed unable to bear the sight of tears and was ready to cry himself.

    "Calm yourself, Princess! It seems so to you because... I assure you I myself have experienced... and so... because... No, excuse me! An outsider is out of place here... No, don't distress yourself... Good-by!"

    Prince Andrew caught him by the hand.

    "No, wait, Pierre! The princess is too kind to wish to deprive me of the pleasure of spending the evening with you."

    "No, he thinks only of himself," muttered the princess without restraining her angry tears.

    "Lise!" said Prince Andrew dryly, raising his voice to the pitch which indicates that patience is exhausted.

    Suddenly the angry, squirrel-like expression of the princess' pretty face changed into a winning and piteous look of fear. Her beautiful eyes glanced askance at her husband's face, and her own assumed the timid, deprecating expression of a dog when it rapidly but feebly wags its drooping tail.

    "Mon Dieu, mon Dieu!" she muttered, and lifting her dress with one hand she went up to her husband and kissed him on the forehead.

    "Good night, Lise," said he, rising and courteously kissing her hand as he would have done to a stranger.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 13:37  

  • Looks like someone is trying to shut down the dialogue in here. Does Anonymous from 1:30, 1:34 and 1:37 have a point to make or are you just trying to take up room and get noticed?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 13:46  

  • namecalling is not dialogue.

    if you can't figure out the reason for the post, you might want to go and get yourself and edukation. think, for once, instead of repeating the rhetoric of pundits like malkin.

    there were no laws broken here. this is a nonstory. leaking the name of a cia agent for political revenge, however, is treason. that is a story, especially since it IS a crime committed by top admin officials.

    the camp for kids that air america runs is sooooooooooooo evil, isn't it? those bastard children should find their own ways to have fun!

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

  • Have you been namecalling? Have I been namecalling?

    And how can you say that no crime has been committed? You really can't be serious!

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 14:08  

  • no crime by aar

    read your comments- there is namecalling there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 14:11  

  • My friend Alan Skorski has a book due out this fall, "Pants on Fire: How Al Franken Lies, Smears, and Deceives" (WND Books) you can get more information from his blog at:

    By Anonymous happy guy, at 03 August, 2005 14:13  

  • oh, world net daily books! fun! because they are a REAL CREDIBLE source of info. did you know that 40+ people who were long dead were brought back to life with PRAYER last year???

    what a farce. you people are cracked out on fantasy.

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

  • I have re-read my comments and don't see where I have used any namecalling. Perhaps you would be so kind as to point out where I have.

    Has a crime been committed anywhere in all of this? I'm not talking specifically AAR. Has a crime been committed?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 14:16  

  • I see. When Err Amerika is found to be soaking the government (via poor kids and the elderly) for almost a million buck, just say "IT'S A LIE" and run away.

    When the "IT'S A LIE" defense proves to be a failure, splatter up a few meaningless book chapters to muddy the conversation or divert attention from the felonious activity.

    Nice to see the Democrats are using a playbook....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 14:18  

  • As I point out on the previous thread, Gloria Wise working out a secret deal with AAR is not an acceptable remedy. In fact, it makes Gloria Wise a co-conspirator in the obstruction of justice that occurred.

    Why? Because, at that point, additional damage had been done to others besides Gloria Wise, and at this point the authorities had an interest in seeking [criminal] justice. Working out a deal with GW alone while bypassing the authorities is an obstruction of justice.

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 14:20  

  • The funny thing about this all is that the right is overlooking the fact that this idiot was FIRED by Air America. Since then, AAR woes have disappeared. No more financial mismanagement, no more basement ratings, many more stations added...

    Does the right feel threatened by Air America? I mean, you've done nothing but attack it from the very beginning. Why do you care? Don't you believe in free speech? Afraid that the liberals are going to come back and dominate America like they did for most of the 20th century?

    By Blogger Daedalus, at 03 August, 2005 14:26  

  • Daedalus, why don't you care that Gloria Wise had some shady dealings and needs to be dealt with? I think many are upset that AAR's name has been attached to this and so rather than looking at what was wrong with this whole picture, they want it to just go away....a non-story as some keep putting it. How is a charity misusing government funded money and ruining their charity not something that taxpayers should be upset over?

    Someone asked me a few articles earlier in the comments if I am this hard on all corporate illegalities. My answer is yes. How about you? Do you feel that a corporation, whether it is a private business or a public charity, who does wrong should be exposed and brought to the public? At the very least we have a charity and a con artist who have taken public money. Why isn't that being reported by the NYT? Where is the outrage?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 14:32  

  • Why? Because, at that point, additional damage had been done to others besides Gloria Wise, and at this point the authorities had an interest in seeking [criminal] justice. Working out a deal with GW alone while bypassing the authorities is an obstruction of justice.


    Is it clear that the plans to repay the money to Gloria Wise were formulated at a time when the parties new that something illegal had taken place? I'm just not sure that has been shown. Is it possible that they all realized that Cohen had abused his position but that what had transpired was not necessarily criminal activity?

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 14:35  

  • I didn't say there should be no punishment. I just said the right should stop spinning it so it looks like Air America was the one that committed the crime. Criminals should be punished, no matter what side they are on.

    By Blogger Daedalus, at 03 August, 2005 14:43  

  • Yes, but Gloria Wise was never supposed to loan public money in the first place. It doesn't matter at this point for them if it gets paid back. (although I'm sure that taxpayers would like to see that their money went toward a similar charity at some point) I don't know if there will be any jail time for this, but I imagine the executives of that club who okay'd it in the first place will be charged with something and will not be allowed to manage charities ever again. I don't know if AAR has any legal liability here, but they definitely have a moral one. (does anyone know if it is illegal in New York for a company to take a loan from a publicly funded charity?) Cohen will hopefully be thrown in jail for a very long time.
    I also read on Captain's Quarters where a lawyer from NY gave a little insight into NY law. It sounds like GW financial disclosures could get them into very hot water if they didn't disclose that they loaned out the money back when it first happened.

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 14:51  

  • Okay, Daedalus. Do you believe that it is wrong of NYT to not be reporting on this? It happened in their state. One of the purposes of a newspaper is to inform taxpayers of whether or not their money is being misused.
    Part of what Brian said in this article is that the silence of the big newspapers is deafening. Why is that?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 14:54  

  • Just thought I'd mention that I found it especially cute how, on, Malkin's column--which was stuffed full of phrases like "race hustling," "poor Bronx children," "shutdown in services to poor minority kids," and various other terms that were meant to give the impression that she REALLY CARED about civil rights issues--was immediately followed by an ad for her book "In Defense of Internment: Making The Case For Racial Profiling." The summary of the book includes the sentence "She also defends racial, ethnic, religious, and nationality profiling as effective security measures in today's War on Terror."

    Who's hustling who here? If anyone in this fracas is trying to hustle people of color, I'd say it's Malkin--with her dishonest and distorted attempts to use "civil rights" to sway the opinions of the very people she'd gladly incarcerate--and Sir Baloney, 200%.

    This is a lame-duck story, folks. The fact that Air America ever got on the air just drives y'all batty, and your constant attacks upon it are the proof.

    By Anonymous malrex, at 03 August, 2005 14:58  

  • Yes, but Gloria Wise was never supposed to loan public money in the first place. It doesn't matter at this point for them if it gets paid back.

    Agreed. That much is obvious. From what I understand the investigation has to do with filing false documentation. Who filed false documentation. If it was Cohen falsifying documents to cover the fact that he was taking public money to lend to AAR then abviously he knew he was committing a crime. But that doesn't prove that AAR officials knew that the money that they recieved came from public sources. If they didn't know the money came from diverted grant funds then perhaps there was no reason for them to not seek to pay back Gloria Wise. Admittedly I'm a bit unclear as to what prompted AAR to conduct an internal audit. ALthough the time frame is fairly short. From the time that Piquant took over until the investigation started (do we know when) is basically a year. Not uncommon for financial irregularities to come to light over the course of a business year. What non-illegal circumstance there could have been for this i don't know. Just thinking outload. But is it possible that AAR went to the DOI once they fully understood what had happened? Hard to believe they would not have put this iut in the press by now though.

    Who got the DOI involved? That's a big question.

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 15:07  

  • Mitchell, I agree with you. It is going to be interesting to watch this whole thing unfold. However, if it weren't for the blogs, we wouldn't have anywhere to go to find out how it ends. If the newspapers think that by ignoring this story they are doing any favors, they would be wrong. The allegations are out there now and without the findings being reported on, everyone will go home with their preconceived ideas.

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 15:20  

  • Where is Eliot Spitzer in all this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 15:24  

  • However, if it weren't for the blogs, we wouldn't have anywhere to go to find out how it ends.


    It will be clear where it ends when the investigation is complete. How are blogs going to give us an ending before there is one? If the DOI announces charges against anyone related to this, and I fail to see how that will not happen, you can bet your ass it will be all over the covers of the NY papers the next edition.

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 15:39  

  • How will we know what the end result is if the newspapers aren't reporting it?
    I hope that you are right that it will be all over the papers if there are charges made. However, the NYT has never been shy in the past about bringing to light that embezzlement and misuse of money by a corporation (whether it is a charity one or otherwise). What is preventing it this time? I think it is the media bias because there is a liberal company connected somehow. They had no problems bringing to light Rush's deal before there were any charges made. Why is that?

    By Anonymous Shaun, at 03 August, 2005 16:08  

  • I don't want to get into a position of defending the NY Times. But it ain't the bastion of liberalism that it might once have been. It was one of the biggest cheerleaders for war in the run up to our invasion of Iraq you might recall. Malkin has been laying it on them pretty thick. "Spilled tons of adulatory ink on AAR" was the phrase I think she used. I read the Times pretty regularly and I don't recall a single story about AAR let alone tons that were adulatory. Anyway. I think it might be the lack of facts. And who says they are not checking it out? Just because they didn't jump right on it with half assed pseudo-facts doesn't mean they won't pick up on it eventually. I've gotta say right now it's more of a NY Post cover story than a Times story. In fact I'm actually surprised it's not all over the Post everyday. Maybe there's something to that?

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 16:24  

  • Does anyone seriously believe that the NYT wouldn't be covering this story if it was Rush Limbaugh who had received funding under circumstances such as these? To call this a nonstory is to be willfully naive at best.

    By Anonymous Cal H, at 03 August, 2005 20:39  

  • [I said] Why? Because, at that point, additional damage had been done to others besides Gloria Wise, and at this point the authorities had an interest in seeking [criminal] justice. Working out a deal with GW alone while bypassing the authorities is an obstruction of justice.

    [Mitchell] RD, Is it clear that the [alleged] plans to repay the money to Gloria Wise were formulated at a time when the parties [said they k]new that something illegal had taken place? >I'm just not sure that has been shown.

    Mitchell, it's not even clear that Air America DID work out a deal with Gloria Wise. Why should this hypothetical construction of yours be the "means test" for obstruction of justice? Consider -

    First: Has it been credibly confirmed that this alleged "plan" ever existed? Has anyone on GW's side credibly confirmed it?

    Second: Why does an AAR principal have to know FOR SURE that something illegal happened before it's incumbent upon them to contact the authorities? Is it really up to Air America (or us) to decide what is or isn't worthy of prosecution?

    This is a point you've used to try & undercut our discussion before, on the grounds that it's too soon to "convict" Air America of deliberate conspiracy in Cohen's original dealings. Good point. But at the same time it supports the case on their subsequent obstruction of justice.

    Third: has anyone credibly explained why AAR established, during a "forensic investigation", that Mr. Cohen accepted "loans" from a charity on behalf of Air America - whether gov't money was involved or not - yet did not consider it ROUTINE (let alone justified by their findings) to contact the authorities?

    By default, forensic fraud investigations imply the responsibility to contact law enforcement if they uncover wrongdoing - whether or not gov't funds are known to be involved. If what AAR has claimed is correct, then they uncovered enough evidence to point the finger at Mr. Cohen. Yet at the same time you suggest they had no reason to suspect that a crime was involved? If theirs was a professional forensic investigation, then what is their excuse? If not - and their excuse is that they were "amateurs" - then why did they characterize it as a "forensic investigation"? If they didn't conduct a bona fide investigation, then why did they claim to be so certain it was Mr. Cohen who was the bad guy, and not someone else? If they had insufficient forensic evidence to assert it was Mr. Cohen, then why didn't they contact the authorities for guidance in the matter? And if they did have such evidence, then why did they protect Mr. Cohen by failing to alert the authorities? Either way, they failed to contact the authorities when the very circumstances they point to obligated them to do so. That is why I say they obstructed justice.

    Fourth: Is is plausible that, supposedly having contacted GW to discuss "repayment" of close to a million dollars like you suggest, that AAR would NOT have known the theft had impacted funds for gov't programs? Though this is not required for the obstruction of justice charge, it's another clue that AAR's statements are not credible.

    Mitchell, I think you're still pinning your hopes on ignorance as a plausible excuse.

    Is it possible that they all realized that Cohen had abused his position but that what had transpired was not necessarily criminal activity?

    I hope you don't still believe that this line of deluded argument is plausible, even for an "amateur".

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 20:41  

  • Mitchell, it's not even clear that Air America DID work out a deal with Gloria Wise.

    Apparently Gloria Wises spokesperson believes so. Why would AAR go public with such an easily identifiable lie?

    There are an awful lot of things we don't know in this case. Yet many here seem to think it's cut and dry.

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 22:09  

  • I've been looking at a picture of Al Franken and now it hurts when I pee... The MSM will not report on the trauma Al Franken has caused me and my family. Please... if not for me. Do it for my children.

    By Anonymous Stu Padasso, at 04 August, 2005 01:40  

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