The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 August 2005

New York Times Issues Correction

One Down, One To Go

New York Times Corrects Franken Misquote

Looks like the New York Times can be more accurate, when pressed.

Today's edition corrects one of two errors in Friday's story discovered by Michelle Malkin, the Radio Equalizer and several other bloggers:

An article yesterday about state and city investigations of a loan made by a Bronx social service agency to the liberal radio network Air America quoted incorrectly from comments made on the air by Al Franken, the host of an Air America program.

Referring to Evan M. Cohen, a former official of the network whom Mr. Franken accused of having engineered the loan, from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, Mr. Franken said: "I don't know why they did it, and I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations, which I imagine it was. I think he was robbing Peter to pay Paul." (He did not say: "I don't know why he did it. I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations. I think he was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.") (
Go to Article)

No word on why Michelle Malkin's key discovery, that the city Department of Investigation did not provide the Times with a Franken transcript as claimed, has still gone uncorrected.

That's especially odd, since the DOI was said to be asking for one.

To the Radio Equalizer, that was key: readers weren't likely to dispute a transcript supplied by investigators. But the DOI didn't supply one and the Franken quote was way off.

It sure would be better to have the story right the first time, but hey, we'll have to take what we can get.

Meanwhile, Powerline published a letter today from David Mandel to the Times, asking all the right questions. Among them:

Sir: I write concerning "Bronx Boys Club Finances Investigated," Metro Section, August 12, 2005, B3.

1. There is nothing in the story to explain the huge delay in publishing this story. The case has been simmering for months. There is no date assigned to Air America's promise to repay these funds, although the piece itself refers to an agreement for repayment.

Why doesn't the story follow this? If the agreement was in writing why no mention of this, why no date, why no copy of it? Who were the people who made the agreement? Have any payments been made pursuant to it? The piece is mute on these important questions.

And this:

6. Why the dismissive wave of the NYTimes hand at the Internet and conservative websites. Yes, Michelle Malkin, Radio Equalizer, Hugh Hewitt and a bunch of others have carried the story for weeks and weeks. Their accounts are not contradicted by the NYTimes.

It is easy to see that Progressive websites refused to touch the story with a ten foot pole -- no enemies on the Left, wouldn't you say? Why was the NYTimes so stubbornly silent? Was the NYTimes hoping the scandal, amply documented, would go away if not acknowledged by it? Now if Rush had been involved...But let's not dwell on the obvious.

7. Last week a copy of an internal memo at Air America surfaced to show that Air America's payroll processor, the largest and most responsible in the world, had failed to make direct deposit to staffers on payday.

The suggestion that ADP was to blame, not that Air America had not met payroll requirements for ADP to make direct deposits, is loony. How come the NYTimes reporter couldn't find this out?

Click the above link to see the rest of this brilliant letter.

Here's one sent to the Radio Equalizer:

Mr. Calame:

So, 14 days after the subject story broke on the Internet the Tired Lady finally gets around to printing a rehash of the information that was largely available at least 10 days ago.

Your story contains a lengthy quote from Al Franken about the loans, with nothing more than a rehash of press release from AA's management. Mr. Franken may be lots of things, the CEO or CFO aren't among them.

He's "talent", not management and it's outrageous of both AA and your editors to place him in the position of speaking for the company.

Your story, given you've had two full weeks to investigate since it first hit the Internet and months since it first became public knowledge through a Bronx weekly, was not Pulitzer material, even for a newspaper that employed Walter Duranty.

  • There is no follow up with the DOI or Eliot Spitzer's office about the details of the case, even though staff from the DOI have criticized the "agreement" by AA to repay the "loan".
  • Why did the DOI get involved in the first place? Who tipped them that there might be a problem? How long have they been investigating? When do they expect to have the investigation concluded? Will there be indictments? Why did Spitzer's office get involved in the last week? Are they following up on information discovered by the DOI or do they have additional information, and if so from what sources?
  • There is no discussion of the details of the "agreement", assuming there is one.
  • There's no information about the details of the transaction in question. Was the "loan" personally guaranteed by any of the Progress Media principals. Several certainly have the financial resources to provide such a guarantee. Any financial institution or reputable lender would require a guarantee, given that AA was a start up and at the time of the loan was likely either insolvent or close to insolvent.
  • Was this an interest-bearing note? Specifically how was it to be repaid? Was it secured in any fashion?
  • There is no discussion about the fact that the current parent of AA, Piquant, LLC, has essentially the same ownership (less Cohen and one other individual) as the current parent, Progress Media.
  • Nor any mention of the probability, given the previous public statements by the principals of Piquant/Progress, that the so-called asset sale of AA was nothing more than a sham purchase to rid the company of Evan Cohen and one other individual and to avoid repayment of the Gloria Wise loan.
  • Or, about why at the time of the "asset sale" of Progress to Piquant, Progress Media didn't just file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to legally buy time to reorganize their business. Given the statements made by the principals contemporaneous to the sale, that would appear to have been a more proper - and more legal - option for the parent company.
  • Nor anything indicating AAR may have significant problems repaying the "loan", given that they missed their last payroll and have attempted to put the blame on their payroll provider ADP. Where is request for information from Piquant's management for their current financial statements.
Mr. Calame, the "effort" of the Times so far isn't worthy of a high school weekly.

The Times can afford to assign reporters to investigate the adoption records of John Roberts children. I'm guessing you have reporters on the scene in Crawford, TX to record Cindy Sheehan's every thought.

Yet you can't provide any new information and your initial story does not indicate any further investigation of corporate malfeasance and greed that appears to steal from poor children, the elderly and lines the pockets of the wealthy.

The Times, a once proud paper who could rightly point to "All The News That's Fit To Print" with pride is a rotting hulk waiting for burial. The Post and Sun have both eclipsed the Times.

Rest in Peace,
Michael Becker
Phoenix, AZ

(Scandal graphic by Martin Archer, Thieves by MarchandChronicles)

The Radio Equalizer still needs your help covering expenses for a site upgrade project. Your Amazon orders that begin here help with these costs. Thanks again.


  • Brainless Baloney, the failed wingnut talk radio liar, is so desparate to get back on the radio. His obvious target is AAR and Al Franken not the crook Evan Cohen.

    It's all misdirection through breathless rumor and the frothing at the mouth wingnuts are lapping it up like the brainwashed curs they are.

    Brainfart Baloney couldn't care less about the welfare of children. He's doing the bidding of his wingnut masters for another place at the winger chow line.

    Part of his wingnut recipe - don't talk about Evan Cohen, the real crook - talk about Al Franken.

    Pressing on the MSM to make this sad story a priority is just a means to the ultimate end - shutdown AAR.

    Attacking Al Franken is vengeance for Franken having the nerve to call a spade a spade namely calling the oxycontin-addicted gasbag chickenhawk a big fat idiot and then having the gall to get on the radio every day to spread this obvious truth! The panolply of liars that Baloney aspires to join includes Hannity, Savage Weiner, O'Reilly, etc. Al Franken skewers all these prevaricators every day on his show. Can't have that can we? It is a roadblock to Baloney's true calling in life - doing missionary work in blue states by spreading winger smears and lies on the public airwaves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 12:22  

  • Gee, Brian, my fax must be on the fritz, I didn't get my copy of the VRWC talking points this morning!

    Do be a nice guy and e-mail it to me!

    /Sarcasm mode off

    By Anonymous Purple Raider, at 13 August, 2005 13:01  

  • Brian,

    Excellent job.

    Your Wingnut Master,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 13:23  

  • This needs to be repeated.

    Air America is the station of choice for bitter, white, spoiled, elitist liberals who hate America, our military, and work to undermine our war effort.

    Their awful ratings reflect the harsh reality that they are a degenerate minority.

    Let them swim in money stolen from babes as they try to cash in another election with the fool's gold of fake polls.

    Arbitron Ratings and election results are real. Polls taken by a liberal media that oversample Democrats, undersample Republicans, and poll 'national adults'(55% of whom will not vote in 2006) instead of 'likely voters', are about as real as Kerry's chances of ever being President.

    Enjoy reality, you liberal losers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 14:23  

  • Anonymous #1: You are soooo not happy this story is finally getting traction. It's absolutely rich. You are a great writer, and you are doing very well in getting your message of hate out. Welcome to irrelevance (again).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 16:08  

  • Minneapolis regained the AAR Morning Sedition radio crew from 6-9. Almost all AAR except for a local substituting for Springer, and Ed Schultz for Randi Rhodes (who you can catch in the middle of the night).

    Now, more Cindy Sheehan, more of the time!

    By Blogger WHT, at 13 August, 2005 16:32  

  • You've caught them cold, Brian - don't EVER relent!

    By Blogger Peter Porcupine, at 13 August, 2005 17:20  

  • I like variety on the airwaves. Every point of view that has an appreciable following should be exposed.

    This is a fascinating story. A major politically oriented radio network borrows almost a million dollars from a children's charity to fund operations and payroll, and somehow forgets to pay it back?

    And for some odd reason a lot of people don't want the situation to be investigated? Why not, if nothing else to clear Air America's reputation? Why not demand the whole thing be aired out and cleared up?

    Or are you afraid there is something unsavory here? Something that might even repel ideologically sympathetic big money donors?

    By Blogger al fin, at 13 August, 2005 18:58  

  • Hi, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a
    equity home line site.

    It pretty much covers equity home line related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you have the time :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 19:24  

  • maybe Ex editor Kinsely and ombudsman Mr. Cala can form new therapy Group. Any sugestions for names for the group?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 19:31  

  • Blogs Give You News You Can't Find Anywhere Else
    One reason I turn to the blogosphere for news is that you find gems that you can't unearth anywhere else.
    Hey, you have a swell blog here! I will certainly pay another visit to your blog ! I have a cholesterol articles site. It well-nigh handles a good deal that relates to cholesterol articles topics. If you give the opportunity, please come and check it out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 August, 2005 19:42  

  • Hmmm...time to blow away the spam comments? (Forgive me, Mr. Cholesterol and Mr. Home Equity.)

    Awesome posts Brian! Especially moved by this + last one.

    By Blogger RD, at 13 August, 2005 21:06  

  • I know I am going to invite some fire here...

    But why do all these liberal cowards who post as anonymous accuse you of hate? All you have done is reveal that Air America pilfered funds from a charity to stay in operation!

    Where is George Soros, why didn't he cover that loan?

    Please e-mail me a link to your site so I can put it up.

    Regards from Roseville, CA

    By Blogger Roseville Conservative, at 14 August, 2005 01:20  

  • Brian,

    you are hilarious! this is the best parody site on the web. I love how you get into the minutia (sp?) of how the AP and NY times covered Al Franken's off hand comments- and slyly imply that there must be some type of conspiracy- over nothing- awesomely hilarious.

    Where did you get the picture of that loser on the front page and how did you come up withthe character "Brian"?

    I do improv comedy in columbus ohio and am writing a script for a sketch show- can I send it to you?

    By Anonymous ARI "G", at 14 August, 2005 02:12  

  • Ari G: The New York Times took what Al Franken said on the air and changed the "who" and the "what" as follows:

    . changed "they" (AAR) to "he" (Cohen)
    . changed "robbing" to "borrowing from"
    . struck "...I imagine it [the money] was [used for operations]" from Franken's quote

    In a nutshell, they changed the perp from AAR to Cohen, the crime from theft to loan, and the likely beneficiary from AAR operations to someone else.

    Thus the NYT obfuscated the perpetrator, the crime, the beneficiary, and even Al Franken's own opinion. How do YOU read this?

    By Blogger RD, at 14 August, 2005 03:57  

  • Judging from the pained and mentally challenged comments from air america defenders you have struck a nerve, Brian. They seem to be trying to use humor and wit to parry your very clear expose', but instead they come across as embittered and bewildered.

    You have accidentally exposed the entire Bush Derangement Syndrome in microcosm here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 August, 2005 05:59  

  • I've no use for the Times either, but the letter published above that suggests the Times is ready for burial is way off base. As long as we consider that a "story" isn't a story until it runs in the Times, we will be conceding that it is still the nation's "Newspaper of Record." We need to get behind the idea that if the story makes the NYPost and Fox, then its really irrelevant whether the Times runs it or not.

    Oh yeah, and the first commenter here can FOAD.

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

  • Keep up the good work, Brian -- you've obviously struck a nerve with these bitter, tormented liberals.

    By Anonymous Tom, at 15 August, 2005 11:05  

  • To be fair minded I try to listen to Franken. its sad to listen while a comedian trys to be serious as he attempts to be funny. to find the humerous side of every issue. sorry Al, its time to grow up. Some things are just too serious to be funny and I feel really bad for you as a person that you need so much attention. time to "face the music "

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 August, 2005 13:33  

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