The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

15 September 2006

Think Progress, Air America Bankruptcy Report


Think Progress Strangely Silent

*** 8pm: See Updates Below ***

Days after their "exclusive" report, supposedly backed by "three independent sources" claiming that Air America Radio would file for bankruptcy today, a liberal website is now strangely silent regarding its increasingly- suspect coverage. In fact, the site was down for most of the morning.

Meanwhile, the AP has a fresh story this morning which again has the network refuting the bankruptcy report.

With the magic bankruptcy filing day now upon us, will the Center For American Progress- backed Think Progress website retract this story if it doesn't pan out by the end of the day?

We mention this because we are frequently held to a far higher standard, including instances where our consistently correct reporting is discredited by others who don't bother to determine the real truth. They just assume that what we say is wrong.

From MediaBuyerPlanner, here's an example from just this week. While the Radio Equalizer isn't named, reports that originated here are cited: has reported (via RadioInk) that Air America Radio is expected to announce a bankruptcy filing tomorrow.

But according to an Air America spokesperson, "No decision has been taken to make any filing of any kind. We are not sure of the source of these rumors."

Jerry Springer is reportedly out at the network, and sources say five Air America employees were laid off yesterday and were told there would be no severance without capital infusion or bankruptcy.

This isn't the first time Air America has been rumored to be facing financial difficulties. In March, rumors spread that it would lose its N.Y.C. flagship, WLIB/New York, and was facing financial challenges.

Those rumors were false.

Huh? They lost the flagship on September 1. And the financial difficulties are well known by now.

Yesterday, this site theorized that a faction trying to take control of the network may have been talking down the network's value by "leaking" news of a phony bankruptcy filing. Even though such a plan is still at least within the realm of possibility in the coming weeks, it doesn't appear there's any sort of "restructuring" announcement planned for today.

Can the Center For American Progress admit that it's been had by fellow "progressives"? Will they realize it's a case of liberals eating their own? Or, will this be swept under the rug?

Just imagine if the Radio Equalizer were to put out a false report of this magnitude: would the left back off, even for a moment?

And if they can't get this one right, why should we believe what the Center For American Progress has to say about global warming?

The lessons here are many:

Conservatives were too quick to believe a liberal website's report without verifying it. Did anybody think to check with yours truly first? Even Rush Limbaugh immediately got on board. But he usually ignores most right- leaning bloggers, with only rare exceptions.

Matt Drudge, who also refuses to link to anything written by conservative bloggers, jumped on this unverified report before just about anybody.

So did almost every mainstream media outlet in the country. If it comes from a liberal blogger, it must be news, right?

What's especially funny is that the Radio Equalizer is usually tagged as partisan (we admit to being conservative) but Think Progress is apparently made up of solid, independent journalists? For over a year, yours truly and Michelle Malkin have provided scoop after scoop on the liberal talk radio network's many scandals and pitfalls. And it took major prodding to get the mainstream media to cover any of it.

We've always gone after the truth, however, no matter what it was. And in this case, we discounted the bankruptcy report because our sources indicated that the network was instead up for sale and we were provided evidence that isn't being disputed by the network.

For that, we got a rare link from! How weird is that?

If Air America Radio announces a major restructuring before 5pm that includes a bankruptcy filing, then we will obviously back off of this call for a retraction. But the company has already said the report is false. The only hope that remains for Think Progress now is Air America's history of misleading the press.

Otherwise, withdrawing this fishy story is no less than what would have been expected of us in the same circumstances.

UPDATE: Will Think Progress be off the hook? A staff meeting was held earlier today, we're waiting to find out what was announced, if anything. If it does turn out to be a bankruptcy filing announcement, then that means that the company will have lied to the AP and every other major news organization in the country.

ALSO: In the full version of this morning's AP report, Jamie Horn says "no decision" has been made on the bankruptcy filing. Other stories, however, point to a "denial" or "dismissal" of the rumors. Maybe we're all being had by Air America, both on the left and right. Maybe it depends on who these people are talking to at any given moment.

UPDATE: We're hearing that Franken told listeners about an hour ago that there would be no bankruptcy whatsoever. If so, then Think Progress needs to run a retraction. At the same time, Air America probably isn't going to win any awards for professional PR anytime soon.

UPDATE: Think Progress has retracted the story.

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order!

Images: Pete at IHillary and David A Lunde

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  • Al Franken with his sleep inducing voice: The Radio Tranquilizer

    AAR may not necessarily be declaring bankruptcy but it's not exactly flourishing either. Hannity may bolt ABC for another syndicator (per
    Brian's InsideRadio report) and I think SH's contract is about $15 million a year...and he DOES get his paychecks, unlike Al's alleged
    $2/mil a yr

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 15 September, 2006 14:04  

  • I doubt Al does A.A for the money. franken has plenty of $$$, he has been writing for years, I believe he is on A.a because he is a patriot and hates the radical sect of the repubican party as much as 70% of America does. Good for him. Boring, yes, honest and genuine, yes.
    As far as Hannity, he sounds like someone a community college drop out. Amazing he even has a career, he knows politics, like I know rocket science

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 15 September, 2006 14:13  

  • Yeah. And not to mention that 81.546% of America hates the radical sect of the democratic party!!!1

    By Blogger Grandes Cigarro, at 15 September, 2006 14:32  

  • Think Progress has now retracted the story.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 15 September, 2006 20:30  

  • Janeane Garafalo has it right. If AAR were to declare bankruptcy, all they would have to do is follow Ford Motor Co.'s lead ... and layoff 35,000 workers.

    Janeane is a Goddess.

    Peaches. Hit 'em hard next week Seder, I'll be podcasting.

    By Blogger @whut, at 15 September, 2006 21:20  

  • Brian, you'll notice that somebody was a little skeptical;
    Air America: Bankruptcy, If It Happens, Won’t Necessarily Mean Disappearance.

    I wish others would have been. I've seen way too many companies limp along for months and years in virtual bankruptcy before they file, or sometimes just disappear.


    By Blogger BizzyBlog, at 15 September, 2006 23:58  

  • Al Franken: Skidmark or Tootsie Roll?

    Ok; I know, that's immature..but you have to admit - it's funny.

    If Air America finally craps out and Mark Levin or Hugh Hewitt aren't on the air, you can always listen to great free public domain Librivox audio books. You can get them at Check it out!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 September, 2006 01:37  

  • Drudge actually does link to many 'conservative' bloggers, such as Whether he links to their 'stories' or not I have no idea, but he hardly has it in for them. Lucianne told me Drudge is responsible for most of her considerable traffic.

    By Blogger Jeff Faria, at 16 September, 2006 11:02  

  • I wasn't aware that 70% of America hates John McCain...

    By Blogger bigtimeproducer, at 16 September, 2006 12:41  

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