The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 August 2005

Nonprofit Demands Repayment

Where's Our Money?

Club: Full AAR Repayment Overdue


Watching Air America Radio thoroughly destroy its credibility is like last night's burning Airbus jet in Toronto: it's hard to take your eyes away from a full-fledged disaster.

At least everybody escaped from the plane's wreckage, who knows what will ultimately happen at Air America's headquarters?

The network's claim that all that's stopping it from repaying nearly $900,000 (boy, does that number continue to grow) it owes the Bronx-based Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club is an official direction from New York's Department Of Investigation (DOI), is blown to bits by a fresh New York Post report.

According to what's left of the Boys and Girls Club chapter, Air America is late in repaying all of the money:

"Air America reached a legal agreement to have that loan repaid in full," beginning this summer, said Martta Rose, a spokeswoman for the Bronx-based Boys & Girls Club, which is the subject of a probe by the city Department of Investigation.

Air America had earlier said it put on hold plans to pay back the money because Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club was shut down by the city.

"We're waiting for direction from the investigators on how to proceed," a network official said.

It's increasingly apparent we simply can't believe a word Air America says about the situation. Each vague statement from AAR or Franken seems to conflict with the last and it's always up to the media to uncover key details.

See my previous article, written before Franken spoke, mucking it up even more.

If we don't discover it, Air America sure isn't going to disclose it. Is that a good way to operate, waiting each day to see what bloggers and New York City newspapers discover next?

Why not come clean about everything, simply take an honest approach? Is it because they'd be giving prosecutors crucial ammunition?

With four confusing company statements, counting Franken's and now the club's contention the money is overdue, it's hard to believe anything they say.

Sure, there are two sides to every story. But the club's official statements can easily be backed up with the agreement reached earlier this year by the two parties. If it says repayment in full was due by the summer, then AAR will look like liars.

If it's Gloria Wise doing the misleading, then Air America should come forward with their copy, outlining repayment terms. Or do they have reason to be afraid of that?

Remember this, from yesterday's New York Sun story?

Mr. Franken said he did not know if money from Gloria Wise had been absorbed by the network and used to finance its operations. He said Piquant's payments to Gloria Wise were scheduled to begin this month but were prevented from going through while the city investigation continued.

A spokesman for the Department of Investigation, Keith Schwam, said that if Air America discovered the transfers before the city probe began, "They neglected to tell anyone at DOI or in the city about it."


Would you consider this mounting evidence that Air America has been misleading the Department of Investigation? Not revealing important facts to investigators is not very smart, or honest, is it?

Clearly, some kind of arrangement has been made to repay Gloria Wise, but the money hasn't been returned.

At what point do we see real damage done from the horrendous way this is being handled by Air America? It's unclear.

Today, a small station in Lake Tahoe, CA yanked Air America's programming, but it's not clear why. Shouldn't the lack of ratings alone be enough? Hat tip: Free Republic's Kristinn Taylor.

Update: Macho Nachos has new information up now. Leon's been doing a great job covering the legal angles.

I'll be providing updates on this subject Thursday at 6.35am PDT, on KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco, as well as other shows later in the day. Check back for specific details on those.

Franken/AAR graphic by Darleen Click, City Kid$ by George Adair, MSM Silence by Suzy Rice.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here (regardless what you ultimately order), help to defray my upcoming major site upgrade costs. Thanks! To the right, find new direct links to two great books by Neil Boortz and Michelle Malkin.

43 Comments:

  • Hi, I'm from Err America and the check is in the mail.

    Yeah...that's the ticket.

    By Anonymous Crapdog, at 03 August, 2005 16:18  

  • Hi, we at Err America are proud to say we're growing stronger everday.

    Why, we're even if 67 markets...what?...KTHO in Lake Tahoe in Lake Tahoe just dropped us?

    Like I said we're in 66 markets...what?...another station bailed?

    Like I said we're now in....

    By Anonymous Crapdog, at 03 August, 2005 16:22  

  • With four confusing company statements, counting Franken's and now the club's contention the money is overdue, it's hard to believe anything they say.

    I can't see how you can consider a statement by Gloria Wise one of "four company statements".

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 16:30  

  • Sure, there are two sides to every story. But the club's official statements can easily be backed up with the agreement reached earlier this year by the two parties. If it says repayment in full was due by the summer, then AAR will look like liars.

    Is that what Gloria Wise said?

    The quote you provided say;

    Air America reached a legal agreement to have that loan repaid in full," beginning this summer, said Martta Rose, a spokeswoman for the Bronx-based Boys & Girls Club, which is the subject of a probe by the city Department of Investigation.

    Not payment in full by this summer. Starting this summer.

    By Anonymous Mitchell, at 03 August, 2005 16:33  

  • Funny, but Franken's last book title is becoming quite prophetic, isn't it? Al's a lying liar and, at some point, the MSM can no longer protect him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 16:34  

  • Gosh, I sure hope that after all his dilligent coverage of this non-story, Brian Maloney gets his long-defunct career back on track.

    By Anonymous malrex, at 03 August, 2005 16:44  

  • We are witnessing a new defense tactic. Let's call it the Franken Fraud Flip-Flam Defense.

    It works like this: Tell everybody you have no idea where the money is or even if a single dollar was used to fund your organization, but then admit there is a repayment schedule.

    I like it. Err Amerika is "innocent", but they are willing to payback all the money.

    Anybody see a problem with this logic?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 16:51  

  • Now I'm confused. Someone here identified as RD has made a case that repying the money now would only further compound any trouble AAR has gotten themselves into. But Brian seems to think, DOI be damned, AAR should be paying that money back right now bacause htat's what the Gloria Wise spokesperson said.

    Who to believe?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 16:53  

  • I get the feeling the reason Piquant is hemming and hawing and isn't cutting some kind of check is they are so cash-strapped that they just can't do it...which is how Progressive imploded back in April '04

    By Blogger TC, at 03 August, 2005 16:54  

  • Cut to the chase, Al:

    If Air America didn't receive a penny of this money, why would YOU or your parent company commit to repayment? HUH?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:01  

  • If Air America didn't receive a penny of this money, why would YOU or your parent company commit to repayment? HUH?

    Uh, because perhaps Evan Cohen embezzled it and AAR never saw a dime of it but is legally on the hook for it?

    Maybe?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:07  

  • If Cohen embezzled the money, and Piqout is not responsible and Airhead America is not responible, then send the investigators after Cohen and not pay a dime. They CAN'T be on the hook for it if Cohen walked away with it!

    Again, if Piqout and AA didn't see a dime, they have NOTHING TO PAY! Why are they PAYING IT?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:12  

  • Mitchell

    This witch hunt isn't going to go anywhere if you keep being level headed and keep worrying about facts.

    And while I'm at it stop being so darn logical.

    Now hit yourself in the head with a hammer and join the fun.

    Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:14  

  • My guess is that they (AA) don't have the money to pay back the nebulous and fraudulent loan. Actually according to Michelle Malkin http://jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin080305.php3 the stench of this scandal may involve other infamous black dumocrats, Jackson and Sharpton. As Michelle writes there favorite color of these rascist is green.

    By Anonymous docdave, at 03 August, 2005 17:14  

  • Again, if Piqout and AA didn't see a dime, they have NOTHING TO PAY! Why are they PAYING IT?

    Perhaps because it was stolen in their name and they're interested in doing the right thing?

    Maybe?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:22  

  • How many more excuses are you gonna make?

    If it was stolen, even in THEIR NAME, they are NOT responsible for "doing the right thing".

    I guess if somebody steals your credit card, rings up about $50,000 on it....I guess YOU will just pay it? HUH? Of course not.

    "Doing the right thing" does not mean paying a bill YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR. Cooperate with investigators, open your books, show them you never got the money...and send them after Cohen!

    Unless...those books SHOW you ARE responsible.

    Here we are again....if you are innocent and never saw a dime from the parent company, WHY ARE YOU PAYING THE BILL?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:27  

  • Keep it up, Brian.

    By Blogger Josef, at 03 August, 2005 17:34  

  • Unless...those books SHOW you ARE responsible.

    Maybe they will show that AAR is liable for the money. I imagine that will be determined.

    Here we are again....if you are innocent and never saw a dime from the parent company, WHY ARE YOU PAYING THE BILL?

    BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING!

    Are you comparing paying a fraudulant charge to a credit card company with compensating a non profit organization that has been bilked of hundreds of thousands of dollars?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 17:35  

  • The staff pukes stole the money!

    Who knew?

    By Blogger WHT, at 03 August, 2005 20:07  

  • Now I'm confused. Someone here identified as RD has made a case that repying the money now would only further compound any trouble AAR has gotten themselves into.

    I made the case that AAR would be circumventing their obligations to other parties injured on this matter if they tried to make arrangements to repay Gloria Wise directly - and circumvent the authorities - when it's clear that in a fraud case, the criminal justice system and other parties (government, other charities) have a stake in the resolution of the case. (Among other things, it's obstruction of justice.) That was my point.

    I never said that AAR shouldn't set aside money immediately. They will likely need it - more money than they originally owed in fact - in order to indemnify the parties they have harmed, pay any applicable fines & legal fees, and so forth.

    But Brian seems to think, DOI be damned, AAR should be paying that money back right now bacause htat's what the Gloria Wise spokesperson said. Who to believe?

    Does he? I saw this point made in an earlier thread, but couldn't find the quote where Brian says this. It would be helpful if you could quote the clip here; will look at at. Thanks

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 20:59  

  • Certainly a lot of breathless spin here for people who admit to not having all the facts. And you're complaining that the MSM isn't sinking to this level?

    By Anonymous James, at 03 August, 2005 21:28  

  • I never said that AAR shouldn't set aside money immediately.

    You never said they should.

    The basis of this post is that AAR should be paying Gloria Wise immediately and that they are already delinquint. Not setting money aside.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 22:14  

  • Clearly, some kind of arrangement has been made to repay Gloria Wise, but the money hasn't been returned.

    Well Brian seems to be convinced there was a deal to repay Gloria Wise.

    In this post he questions AAR's credibility because they stated the DOI is holding up repayment. The implication being that there should be ongoing repayment happening.

    He also, as has been noted above, misstates what Gloria Wise said. They said repayment was to begin this summer. He morphed that into repayment was to be complete this summer. His implication is clearly that AAR should be repaying the money and is not.

    Or maybe he's just full of hot air?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 22:23  

  • [Brian] With (1) four confusing company statements, counting Franken's and (2) now the club's contention the money is overdue, it's hard to believe anything they say.

    [Mitchell] I can't see how you can consider a statement by Gloria Wise one of "four company statements".

    I think you read the statement wrong - reread and you'll see. (Doh!) The statment can be read two ways but only one way w/o the contradiction you identify.

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 22:24  

  • Howdy Brian - you may want to look at this. IMO it's a detail relevant to your post:

    [Mitchell quotes Brian] If it says repayment in full was due by the summer, then AAR will look like liars.

    [Mitchell] Is that what Gloria Wise said? The quote you provided say: "Air America reached a legal agreement to have that loan repaid in full," beginning this summer, said Martta Rose...

    Mitchell: FWIW I agree with your reading of it. In fact I think GW's statement is ambiguous on two counts:
    1. Doesn't stipulate who pays the loan. Uses the passive voice.
    2. Can be read the way we or Brian do without contradiction.

    IMO the word "beginning" is odd no matter how it's read, but less so the way you & I read it Mitchell :)

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 22:25  

  • Are there 4 company statements including Franken's comments?

    I know of two official statements and Franken's comments.

    4th?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 22:41  

  • Holy Cow, just read the sentence in context.

    From the Post article:

    ...yesterday demanded that the left-wing network start repaying the money.
    "Air America reached a legal agreement to have that loan repaid in full," beginning this summer, said Martta Rose, a spokeswoman for the Bronx-based Boys & Girls Club.

    start repaying the money ...
    ... beginning this summer. Get it?

    ------------------

    In the same Post article TOM TOPOUSIS writes:

    "Cohen had no trouble lining up loudmouth broadcasters like Al Franken ..."

    Nothing like throwing in a dumbass comment to blow any chance this story would seem like anything more than a politically motivated hatchet job.

    Good work TOM.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 23:19  

  • "See my previous article, written before Franken spoke, mucking it up even more."

    It's too bad your article, written before Franken spoke, mucked it up so badly. Brian, my friend, get yourself an editor, won't you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2005 23:44  

  • [Anon] Are there 4 company statements including Franken's comments? I know of two official statements and Franken's comments. 4th?

    Good point. Regardless of how I think it reads ;) do you suppose Brian intended to include GW in the list? Depends on whether GW's statement was confusing or suspicious itself. (A good one to ask Brian ;)

    By Blogger RD, at 03 August, 2005 23:54  

  • I think those charities are really the swift boat vets out to cause more trouble!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 06:20  

  • Where is Dan Rather when you need him? That bloodhound could find memos proving Karl Rove is at the bottom of this......

    By Blogger cheapthroat, at 04 August, 2005 07:30  

  • I think those charities are really the swift boat vets out to cause more trouble!!!!

    By Blogger cheapthroat, at 04 August, 2005 07:38  

  • Well, its funny to see the left's defense tactics.
    1. Its a "witch hunt"/"non-story"
    -Hard to square with the fact that GW has not made any "loans" like this in the past, and the DOI is investigating. I guess if you HOPE it goes away, maybe it will
    2. Or those on the left are saying "they argreed to repay, no big deal" Really? If you substituted EIB/Rush or Fox/O'Reilly with AA/Franken would you be so passive? Honestly? That sentiment is also very difficult to reconcile with the facts: a non-profit organization receiving government funding - which comes with very specific guidelines - "loaned" a business money. And had no 'loans' of the type in the prior 2 years. Its quite obvious AA has/had serious financial difficulites (because they are getting demolished in the ratings) and needed funding, and probably sought to get it by any means necessary. Ignoring all this, the left has zero credibility on this, none.

    By Blogger Ace, at 04 August, 2005 10:29  

  • [Anonymous] Now I'm confused. Someone here identified as RD has made a case that repying the money now would only further compound any trouble AAR has gotten themselves into. But Brian seems to think, DOI be damned, AAR should be paying that money back right now bacause htat's what the Gloria Wise spokesperson said.

    [me] I never said that AAR shouldn't set aside money immediately.

    [Anonymous] You never said they should.

    What are you saying or asking? Let's go back:

    You started out saying you were confused; then you mischaracterized the point(s) I'd made (which explains your confusion IMO); then you asserted that Brian has written that GW should be repaid all of those funds immediately, and that on this question, the word of the GW spokesperson ought to be taken as more authoritative and credible than that of the authorties. (If I've mischaracterized your assertions about Brian then you need to clarify them.)

    Then I said I'd heard assertions like yours before on another thread, and AT THE TIME had reread Brian's posts in order to find that text, but did not find it. So I offered to look at the text YOU were referring to - providing you could supply it of course.

    So where is it? I was fully expecting to see it posted, but instead we got treated to something quite different from you. What gives?

    I also addressed your mischaracterization of my point so that others would not be misled if they read your comments.

    In the meantime, Brian, I and others agree that AAR's behavior has delayed, and is still delaying, fraudulently obtained funds from being transferred outside of their control. That, IMO, should be one of the overriding goals shared by anyone with a sense of common decency. Don't you?

    By Blogger RD, at 04 August, 2005 13:16  

  • Short and sweet-AARadio will beg LimoLibs like George Soros to bail them out, pay back the money and make it all go away. Then AARadio will go back to bashing Conservative Enron types. Without a molecule of shame.

    By Blogger Doug, at 04 August, 2005 14:28  

  • In the meantime, Brian, I and others agree that AAR's behavior has delayed, and is still delaying, fraudulently obtained funds from being transferred outside of their control.

    How exactly is AAR's behavior still at the present time delaying the transfer of funds? Could you explain that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 15:01  

  • Anonymous said...
    How exactly is AAR's behavior still at the present time delaying the transfer of funds? Could you explain that?

    Yeah, from today's story:
    "DOI has done nothing and given no instruction preventing payment of money owed to Gloria Wise [Boys & Girls Club]. Any statements to the contrary are inaccurate," said DOI spokesman Keith Schwam.

    Looks like another hole in your not so good liberal defense, huh?

    By Blogger Ace, at 04 August, 2005 15:49  

  • Yeah, from today's story:
    "DOI has done nothing and given no instruction preventing payment of money owed to Gloria Wise [Boys & Girls Club]. Any statements to the contrary are inaccurate," said DOI spokesman Keith Schwam.


    What story is that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 15:56  

  • Its in Today's New York Post (let me guess you don't believe it)

    By Blogger Ace, at 04 August, 2005 16:04  

  • from the Post article:
    "Air America reached a legal agreement to have that loan repaid in full," beginning this summer, said Martta Rose, a spokeswoman for the Bronx-based Boys & Girls Club, which is the subject of a probe by the city Department of Investigation.

    It depends on what the definition of 'is', er, 'Air America' is. Piquant LLC has stated that they had decided months ago to do the repayment. They didn't say when they'd start.

    Air America had earlier said it put on hold plans to pay back the money because Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club was shut down by the city.

    Which doesn't appear to be the case. They city may have yanked some contracts for services provided, the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club is still on the web, and still answers the phone (albeit on Monday... I didn't check on Sunday).

    By Blogger eLarson, at 04 August, 2005 16:14  

  • Its in Today's New York Post (let me guess you don't believe it)

    Boy. You don't let up do you?

    No I honestly didn't know what story it was from.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 16:20  

  • Ok. So according to that NY Post article it doesn't seem like AAR is suspected of any wrong doing? Am I mistaken here? AAR has maintained that it is not the subject of the investigation. So maybe there is no there there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2005 16:40  

  • Of course Air America has to cheat: they don't have any listeners, so how else are they going to pay the bills?

    In the Philadelphia market, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are on WPHT-AM, a 50,000 watt blowtorch. Air America is on WHAT-AM, a black-oriented, low-power station that doesn't even reach the suburbs clearly.

    By Blogger Vermillion & Pico: Our Political Website, at 14 August, 2005 09:47  

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