The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 February 2006

Bill O'Reilly, FOX News, Air America, Democracy Alliance, George Soros


O'Reilly, Campaign Finance Expert Analyze Soros/Lewis Story

Is George Soros
accustomed to seeing his election-year political plans exposed in advance?

To the Blogospheric Age, let's welcome our billionaire currency-raiding friend! As liberals might say, it's "cosmic payback" for his nasty central bank-busting habit.

Whatever the ultimate impact, our report on the likely $8 million Air America Radio bailout demonstrates how the campaign activities of Soros, insurance magnate Peter Lewis, former Clinton Administration Press Secretary Mike McCurry and actor Rob Reiner will be carefully scrutinized this year.

Between blogs, cable news and talk radio, all the bases are covered.

Analyzing our Soros/ Lewis Democracy Alliance coverage last night was Bill O'Reilly, with special guest Cleta Mitchell, a campaign finance law expert based in Washington.

Taking an interesting approach to the Radio Equalizer's reporting, they explored whether overpaying Al Franken by a factor of 10 or 20 constitutes an illegal campaign contribution, since he's a likely 2008 US Senate candidate in Minnesota.

Mitchell went as far as to call it money laundering.

From blogger Fraters Libertas, the Radio Equalizer had previously heard this theory.

While Expose The Left has the O'Reilly Factor segment video clip here, we gave Johnny Dollar a lousy buck to cook up this full transcript (excerpted here):

In the Factor investigation segment tonight, we've been looking at the far-left Air America radio network, along with blogger Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer.

The Factor's compiled information that Air America is losing so much money it can only survive by accepting donation. A source tells us that a man named Rob Glaser, the founder and CEO of RealNetworks, has been paying many of Air America's bills. And those bills are huge. This year alone Al Franken will make almost two-and-a-half million dollars. He and his staff account for more than 50% of Air America's entire payroll.

But apparently even Glaser can't afford to keep up with the bills. And now an outfit called Democracy Alliance, financed in part by left-wing billionaires George Soros and Peter Lewis, is reportedly going to funnel eight million bucks to Air America. That bailout will keep the network on the air through election day, and that's what could be the problem. Franken is set to run for the Senate in Minnesota, and if he uses money from his big salary in the race, some believe that might be a campaign violation. We're not sure because this is very complicated.

But joining us now from Washington, Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who specializes in campaign finance law. All right, let's deal with this Democracy Alliance first, Ms Mitchell. This is a bunch of guys--Soros, Lewis, Rob Reiner, Rob Stein, Andrew Rappaport, all rich far-left guys. Now they have, and we have the data, told Air America they're going to give them eight million dollars to keep them afloat until November, so they can hammer home liberal candidates. Is that a violation?

CLETA MITCHELL: Well it could be. Now what they're claiming, I'm sure, is that they're a media entity and therefore entitled to the media exemption. But don't you love the fact that these laws, like these campaign finance laws, liberals love to pass, then the liberals and their wealthy donors spend all their time figuring out how to circumvent them? But the original campaign finance laws passed in the early '70s are really an anachronism, because at the time they were passed there were three networks and no internet.

Meanwhile, Air America
ignored repeated requests for comment on our story by entertainment industry trade publication All Access. Here's how they ultimately covered it:

Report: Group To Provide Millions In Funding To Air America Radio

A report at the RADIO EQUALIZER blog says that AIR AMERICA RADIO is getting up to $8 million in funding from the DEMOCRACY ALLIANCE, a coalition of prominent Democratic Party activists and supporters including billionaire financier GEORGE SOROS, actor/director/activist ROB REINER, former CLINTON WHITE HOUSE Press Secretary MIKE MCCURRY, and the founders, former Chief of Staff to the Commerce Secretary ROB STEIN, investor ANDREW RAPPAPORT, and NEW DEMOCRATIC NETWORK founder SIMON ROSENBERG.

The organization was founded to help develop institutions for promoting liberal policies, including media. RADIO EQUALIZER BRIAN MALONEY characterizes the funding as an "emergency bailout" to keep the network operating as midterm elections draw closer; read the full report by clicking here.

MALONEY's report is scheduled to be discussed on AAR arch-rival BILL O'REILLY's FOX NEWS CHANNEL TV show WEDNESDAY night, and MALONEY is scheduled for appearances on the show next week with further developments.

Instead of researching this further
, which Air America story was the mainstream media covering (dozens of newspaper websites so far)? This Billboard/ Reuters report:

NEW YORK (Billboard) - R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, Bright Eyes, Rufus Wainwright, Fischerspooner, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Devendra Banhart and Peaches have signed on for "Bring 'Em Home Now," a March 20 concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

The event is tied to the third anniversary of the United States' invasion of Iraq and will feature a speech by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan.

Proceeds will benefit Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Janeane Garofalo's Air America Radio show "The Majority Report" will broadcast live from the show and feature interviews with the performers.

Can't wait.

It's not clear why the comment section and links to individual posts aren't working today. An emailer wonders why this usually seems to happen just after our work is featured on the FOX News Channel.

Have no idea, but after what happened to Michelle Malkin today, all bets are off.

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.


  • Leaving a test comment here. Sorry about today's site outage.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 23 February, 2006 14:52  

  • A few points:

    1. "overpaying Al Franken by a factor of 10 or 20..."
    If he makes $2.5m (as you reported), he isn't being overpaid by anything close to 10x or 20x, unless you honestly believe he deserves less than minimum wage.

    2. The idea that his salary is in violation of campaign finance laws is ludicrous so long as he isn't a declared candidate (which he isn't. This is a giant red herring.

    3. I find the possible $8m investment interesting, but don't find it terribly surprising. Given some of the potential backers (like Patricof and Rappaport), this may end up being an equity investment. This company is just about 2 yrs old, so it could use some old-fashioned venture capital. Interesting, but not unusual (btw: private companies rarely discuss their investments/investors before deals are signed).

    By Blogger Justin, at 23 February, 2006 14:55  

  • just to be clear, my math was in reference to "factor of 10 or 20". I misspoke in saying 10x-20x. my guess is that brian did as well, in using the word "factor"

    By Blogger Justin, at 23 February, 2006 14:57  

  • Brian's Lies Watch - Day 4, Post 3

    It's been 3 posts and 4 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 23 February, 2006 15:31  

  • O'Reilly: "This far-left outfit comes in - Democracy Alliance - I don't even know what that is - they don't even have a phone number or address."

    since it would be too hard to o'reilly to do any actual reporting -- or google searches -- here is a favor from me to him:
    PO Box 540115 (all mail)
    760 Main Street
    Waltham, MA 02454-0115
    Phone: 781-894-1179
    Fax: 781-894-0279

    By Blogger Justin, at 23 February, 2006 15:56  

  • Justin, it is the Democracy Alliance, not the group that you have posted.Very different orgs.

    --glad the site is up and running again Brian. Congrats on great reporting. How come Air America won't speak about this $$$, you would think that they would be proud of it.

    By Blogger FYIFYI, at 23 February, 2006 16:26  

  • I stand corrected. Thank you FYI. As I wrote before, however, AAR isn't going to comment on an investment that hasn't even occured yet. You'd be hard-pressed to find any private company that would do so (since 1999, at least).

    By Blogger Justin, at 23 February, 2006 17:45  

  • tj: "It's been 3 posts and 4 days now since Brian lied in his story about the media attachment to Rush Limbaugh's latest/greatest Lie!"

    Let me save you a lot of time and make you stop looking silly with your dippy Brian's Lies Watch. There was no lie by Brian.

    An error by Rush Limbaugh was reported by the Associated Press, for goodness sakes. It's a classic case case of liberal media bias.

    Here's why:
    1. Did the Associated Press report Bryant Gumbel's recent "racial component" remarks?
    2. Did they report that Air America's Randi Rhodes was cited by the Anti-Defamation League for hateful remarks?
    3. Have they cited the errors of Al Franken (; Michael Moore (

    The fact that the Associated Press even felt that this little Rush error was newsworthy and reported it is the story.

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 23 February, 2006 20:29  

  • Hahaha - franken finally joins in with the liars...

    Again, I'd say nice try, but I'd be lying.

    Brian DID LIE, and you know it. He reported the story as if the media pounced on Limbaugh for mistaking the race of the man about whom he spoke.

    That is a lie.

    They pounced on Limbaugh (and rightly so) for MAKING UP a racial issue, and then lying in his "apology" about it.

    Limbaugh lied, and Brian lied about limbaugh's lie.

    And you can't change those facts.

    By Blogger TJ, at 23 February, 2006 20:40  

  • frankenlies said - "The fact that the Associated Press even felt that this little Rush error was newsworthy and reported it is the story."

    See, frankenlies, you had to LIE to defend Brian, and attack the associated press.

    You're LYING to cover-up a LIE.

    It's a sad state of affairs when you (and I mean you and Brian, frankenlies) believe people are so stupid they cannot see through your BS.

    But, alas, you do make this fun.

    By Blogger TJ, at 23 February, 2006 21:00  

  • TJ: "You're LYING to cover-up a LIE.

    1. You don't even write what my so-called "lie" is. That's about as low as you can blow when you do that. You've totally and completely discredited yourself by doing that.

    2. Did you even read the AP article?? The story was titled, "Limbaugh makes error about Brown's race" (emphasis mine). (This was the title at dozens of AP news outlets: Google News

    That was the story: Limbaugh made an error.

    Got it?

    By Blogger frankenlies, at 23 February, 2006 22:02  

  • Will another billion dollars be enough to pull the Moonie-funded Washington Times through another year?

    The crazed zealot Sun Myun Moon always has lots of money to fund all these wacko right-winger publications.

    You've got your Moonies. Have fun.

    Oh, and PEACHES !!!!!!

    By Blogger @whut, at 23 February, 2006 22:11  

  • TJ, don't bother with these morons. They don't get it.

    Why else would he say it? He was trying to start something racial. He was stupid enough to think he wouldn't get caught. A normal person would first check to see if Sherrod Brown was black, then if thats true, claim there was a racial compenent. But not Limbaugh. He claims there is a racial component without even checking. Why? Because he wanted there to be a racial component. Its not like Rusty just said "Sherrod Brown is black" and left it at that. He knew what he was doing. The "racial component" lie was a planned fabrication.

    Think about it, cons. What if he had told the truth?
    And don't forget, Sherrod Brown is white. There's a racial component here, too.

    That obviously makes no sense at all. He wanted to desperately make it racial, so he lied about Brown's race.

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 23 February, 2006 22:47  

  • whether he knew Brown's race or not is immaterial...(not arguing with you, Phil, just eliminating any ammo from the liars)

    The issue is that Rush MADE UP the race issue, then abandoned it when he was caught (whether caught lying about Brown's race, or caught being wrong about Brown's race is immaterial).

    He lied about the "racial element". Period.

    Maloney knows it, "frankenlies" knows it, and every new reader to this site should know that Maloney lied about it, too.

    Maloney's a liar - don't trust anything from this man.

    By Blogger TJ, at 23 February, 2006 23:58  

  • Tell you liars what (Brian included) - answer a direct question honestly:

    Did Rush Limbaugh lie when he said "there's a racial element here, too"?

    By Blogger TJ, at 24 February, 2006 00:09  

  • Brian I am a Democrat and a Liberal however I thought that you were totally screwed over by KIRO. I would have respected their position maybe if they told the truth. We need extremes of both sides on the air so we can have a thorough discussion of the topics of the day. I loved listening to your show because it kept my wits sharp.

    By Blogger Mike Barer, at 24 February, 2006 01:32  

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