The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

27 February 2006

George Soros, Democracy Alliance, Air America Radio, FOX News


Curious Lack Of Response To Air America Bailout Report

With a rundown of the
opposition's response, it's always fun to follow up after one of our investigative reports. Will they fire back, or pretend it doesn't exist, hoping the story goes away?

With one botched exception, the left mostly kept its collective mouth shut this time regarding our piece on the impending George Soros/Democracy Alliance $8 million election year bailout of Air America Radio.

With a well-established track record of corporate silence regarding the investigative series undertaken last year by Michelle Malkin and myself, perhaps leftists have wisely learned to steer clear of playing defense for Air America.

Tracking every word that emerges from FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly's mouth, Media Matters never gives up an opportunity to take a shot.

Discussed on the O'Reilly Factor last Wednesday, if our report was in any way inaccurate, one could readily expect to hear about it at David Brock's anti-FOX site.

And yet, nothing.

At the partisan, widely-read DailyKos site, where they also never fail to attack an opponent, same thing: nada.

Among the larger leftist media criticism sites, only the rabidly FOX-hating News Hounds tackled the story, but confused the billionaire Soros-backed Democracy Alliance with the decidedly low-rent, Massachusetts-based Alliance For Democracy. Later issuing a retraction, the site's attempt to accuse O'Reilly of sloppiness clearly backfired.

Repeating an increasingly common leftist tactic, NewsHounds chose personal insults over a well-reasoned response:

During a four minute waste of good airtime O'Reilly, who hates Al Franken with a passion, rehashed a story that has been thrown onto the conservative dung heap by a blogger named Brian Maloney, a Boston O'Reilly wannabe who spends his time trying (unsuccessfully) to bring down Air America Radio in the hopes that someone, anyone will pay attention to him.

Even if the attacks were true, what does it have to do with Soro's political contributions? Either there's information that refutes our reporting, or you have nothing. "Dung heap" does nothing to advance one's argument.

Meanwhile, Tom Blumer at Bizzyblog and Newsbusters expands upon our previous reasoning:

At the very end of this post on January 27, I asked this question about Air America Radio (AAR), which at the time was surviving by the good graces of one rich guy's wallet:

Are Al Franken’s ridiculously outsized earnings (including a LOT of money up-front) from a network that is funded by one guy a “clever” way of circumventing campaign-finance law and underwriting a possible Franken run for the US Senate in Minnesota?

My question only concerned Franken. But now that The Democracy Alliance (no working web site; an April 2005 article about the organization's plans is here), a far-left liberal group that includes billionaire George Soros, Peter "the Progressive" (Insurance) Lewis, and Rob "Meathead" Reiner as prominent members, has, according to Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney, promised to underwrite up to $8 million of Air America Radio's future losses, the scope of the question has expanded, and others are asking it, including Bill O'Reilly at Fox News.

In an interview on O'Reilly's TV show (transcript here), Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who specializes in campaign finance law, called AAR's financial maneuvers "money laundering."

By the way
, Meathead's in big trouble, here's the story from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Director Rob Reiner has taken a leave as chairman of a state children's commission amid concerns that it may have improperly spent public funds to promote the universal preschool campaign he is heading.

In a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday, Reiner said he would step down from the First 5 California Children and Families Commission until after the June election on Proposition 82 "to avoid any political distractions."

At issue is $23 million that First 5 spent on television and other ads promoting the value of preschool and parent education between November and January, when the initiative qualified for the ballot. The proposition would tax the state's wealthiest wage earners to provide a free year of preschool to all California 4-year-olds.

Thanks for your continued Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order! In the spotlight: Robert Ferrigno's exciting new thriller Prayers for the Assassin: A Novel. Read the transcript of Hugh Hewitt's interview with Ferrigno here.

Franken/Soros images: Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer


  • Quite simply, Air America has the mainstream media on its side. Their silence on this issue reveals a lot.

    Imagine if this story were with Republicans; we'd be hearing more about the so-called "culture of corruption"; Matt and Katie on the Today show would be hyperventilating; the story would be all over the place .

    The MSM will not say anything until a lot of noise is made, and they have no other choice but to report it!

    Stay on this, Brian! This is a super story! Great job!

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 27 February, 2006 08:31  

  • hahahahahaha. This is pure hilarity. Who the fuck do you think you are? CNN? The AP? You're not a journalist. No one gives a shit about your 'reports'. No one takes you seriously. When are you gonna get that through your head? AAR, MM, the mainstream press, and even Daily Kos do not care. It is so pathetic yet so hilarious that you think they should repond to you. You are so down the chain of command in the right-wing propaganda machine, it's not even funny.

    Seriously, just stick with pandering to the FoxNews viewer and praying that Mr. Falafel ocassionally has you on his show (but watch out for his sexual advances). That's the best you're gonna get and you should be happy with it.

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 27 February, 2006 10:07  

  • Ihillary and Brian---
    LOVE the new graphic for laundering money!!

    By Blogger FYIFYI, at 27 February, 2006 10:57  

  • Brian,

    I believe that your reprting here is probably accurate. I also believe: "So what?"

    A private startup company (less than 2 yrs old) is getting a private investment. Happens every day. The MSM isn't covering it because it isn't news.

    By Blogger Justin, at 27 February, 2006 11:04  

  • i agree with Justin on this one. yes they got money. but that isn't anything illegal. it isn't weird. its not the first time its happened. it simply is not news. i wouldn't expect the MSM to cover a story about it, and you can't hold it against them if they don't.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 27 February, 2006 11:23  


    Brian's Lies Watch - Day 7, Post 7

    It's been 7 posts and 7 days now since Brian lied in his story about the media attachment to Rush Limbaugh's latest/greatest Lie!

    New readers, old reader-liars - do you really want to line up and agree with a liar?

    Check for yourself (those of you who DON'T wish to ignore the truth) - the post at issue: "Flash: Rush Errs" on this site.

    Don't trust this man, or his "reporting"

    By Blogger TJ, at 27 February, 2006 12:11  



    {You are} pure hilarity. Who the fuck do you think you are? CNN? The AP? You're not a journalist. No one gives a shit about your 'reports'. No one takes you seriously. When are you gonna get that through your head?

    By Blogger Lokki, at 27 February, 2006 14:10  

  • Were you trying to be funny or clever.

    1. I never claimed to be a journalist.
    2. I don't do 'reports'.
    3. I already have that in my head.

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 27 February, 2006 16:52  

  • Justin and Liberal Outlaw,

    I think the key thing to understand about the bailout is that it is almost definitely being done even though AAR appears to have no viable plans to stem its ongoing losses.

    That is hugely different than investors putting money into a turnaround, where the company has specific plans to show a profit and pay back the investors.

    If AAR were serious about stemming the tide of red ink, it would pay its people what the market for a radio network with that audience will bear, which is a lot less than what Al Franken et al get paid, and which it clearly has no intention of reducing. It would also try to move from a model where they are, as I last understood it, paying radio stations to carry them. I also get the sense that they are not trying to aggressively sell ads any more, as there aren't enough buyers.

    Contrary reliable information is always welcome, but that's how I see it.

    Tom Blumer

    By Blogger BizzyBlog, at 27 February, 2006 17:37  

  • Hi Bizzy BLog! You have a very nice blog... nice to see you here too.

    By Blogger FYIFYI, at 27 February, 2006 17:47  

  • BizzyBlog,

    Interesting post. My main caution would be the term "bailout" as opposed to "investment." Brian has never provided any evidence that AAR is on the verge of financial collapse, despite repeated requests that he do so. I would imagine it is in the red, although that is true of most large-scale startups of a similar age (less than 2 years). But to suggest this is a bailout is to accept conjecture rather than facts in evidence. Perhaps it's growth capital, as AAR keeps adding affiliates.
    As for advertising, I can only speak for the Boston affiliate, which has been adding new advertisers. Boston also will begin broadcasting on a stronger signal next year, due to new tower construction.
    Again, this pending $8m is interesting, but no more newsworthy than any other infusion of venture capital.

    By Blogger Justin, at 27 February, 2006 19:27  

  • More lies

    By Blogger Frank Church, at 27 February, 2006 22:44  

  • NewsBusters is a new project of the Media Research Center (MRC), the official public relations arm of the right-wing propaganda machine. A co-production of the MRC's Brent Bozell and the team behind RatherBiased, NewsBusters describes their mission as providing, "...immediate exposure of liberal media bias, insightful analysis, constructive criticism and timely corrections to news media reporting."

    The Arbitrends for Los Angeles came out today, and Richard Mellon Scaife will probably want his money back - his messengers have lost listeners by the boatload. These are month-to-month extrapolated ratings (not rolling three-month average) for listeners 12+.

    Limbaugh drew a 4.1 last month. This month he dropped to a 3.3.*
    Sean Hannity was at a 2.7 last month. He's now at a 1.8.*
    Laura Ingraham: 1.1 to 0.8.
    Dennis Prager/Michael Medved: 1.2 to a 0.7.*
    Hugh Hewitt: 1.3 to 0.7.

    *These are 10am-3pm ratings. Limbaugh is on 9am-noon. Bill O'Reilly's on 9 to 11am on the same station Hannity's on (from noon to 3).

    How did KTLK, the Air America station do? Overall, 0.5 to 0.9, making it the only talk station in L.A. to score an increase. Stephanie Miller (mornings): 0.7 to 1.0. Franken (9 to noon) and Ed Schultz (noon to 3): 0.7 to 1.0. Randi Rhodes (3 to 7pm): again, 0.7 to 1.0.

    KTLK's 7pm to midnight surged from a 0.2 to a 1.0. Not to diminish Seder, Garofalo and Malloy, but KTLK still runs Clippers basketball thanks to an old contract, and they've been on a tear. The fact that this station pulls these kinds of numbers with a HORRENDOUS signal is a small miracle.

    By the way, don't write this off as being liberal ol' Hollywood. The GOP stronghold of Orange County is included in this, too.

    Mark Maron starts tomorrow night on KTLK in the 10-12 PM time slot. Wake up sheeple, he is going to clean up.

    By Blogger WHT, at 27 February, 2006 23:44  

  • By the way, we've decided to take a trick from the Dems playbook, and have stopped going to movies. Why subsidize an industry devoted to pressing the hard left Democratic agenda?

    Pass it on.....

    By Blogger B.Samuel Davis, at 03 March, 2006 10:49  

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