Air America: Stealing From Poor Kids?!
Air America is being investigated in New York for diverting federal/local funds--possibly "hundreds of thousands of dollars"--meant for inner-city kids and senior into the station's coffers.
Um, why isn't the New York Times, which has spilled tons of adulatory ink on the liberal radio network, covering this scandal on its front page?
Radio blogger Brian Maloney has the lowdown. Read the whole thing. He sniffed out the story when he spotted this tidbit buried in the NY Daily News about Air America being targeted in a NYC Department of Investigation probe of kids' and seniors' programs being ripped off in the Bronx:...
A test for hypocrisy is to envision the other side of the aisle doing this, and the amount of holy hell that would be raised (or not) by the opposite side.
Well, here we have an instance where Air America, which has become a financial failure (and which dismissed that failure by claiming they could just get a check from Barbara Streisand), receiving money from a local not-for-profit in New York that was earmarked by the city of New York for assisting children and senior citizens. Worse, that money was diverted by Evan Cohen, who was simultaneously Air America's co-chairman and founder, and also the director of development at Gloria Wise, the not-for-profit who was supposed to be using that money to help children and the elderly, and not bailing out Air America.
And we only hear about this from The Gotham Gazette, a tiny little local paper in New York, as well as buried in The New York Daily News, which doesn't even mention Air America's involvement until the second-to-last paragraph. From the New York Times we hear--nothing. Not even the sound of crickets.
Now, imagine a world where Rush Limbaugh was running into financial trouble, and was having problems keeping his EIB network afloat. Suppose Rush Limbaugh also served as the director of development of a not-for-profit in Florida which took money from the State of Florida to help (say) rescue Manatees. And suppose Rush diverted half a million dollars that was given by the state to fund a children's learning center so they could learn more about the Manatees, and used that money instead to keep his radio show afloat--after assuring folks that there were no financial problems.
Tell me how many microseconds after this news broke would we hear about it on CNN, Fox News, and in the Los Angeles Times?
And if you answered "well, they wouldn't run a story like that; just look at how disinterested they were in Air America", then you are either a naive fool or an idiot--after all, it wasn't that many microseconds after the news of Rush's drug problems came out that we got a blow-by-blow of the news in the major media. And while drug problems are salacious, especially when associated with a conservative personality, embezzlement is a far bigger story than pain-killer addiction.
Here's an even more interesting question for you: why hasn't the Right been reporting on this? Where are the headline stories in Fox News and the unarguably right-wing Washington Times? Both of these mouthpieces of the Right have noted this story only in passing, with buried editorials - and sometimes only passing mentions in other editorials.
So, one has to wonder, why? Could it be, the story just isn't that interesting? Digging into it, we find that Air America didn't "divert" funds at all. The director of a city-funded charity in NYC made a loan to Air America. Making the loan was arguably improper, but accepting it has not been claimed to be even by the investigators. According to Fox News' one indirect reference to the story (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,164165,00.html) Air America is cooperating fully with the investigation. No hint there that they're suspected of impropriety.
So it looks as though Air America isn't big news because the news just isn't big.
Then again, if one can believe anything that Bill O'Reilly writes, the whole "liberal media" schtick is passe, if indeed it was ever true. In a recent column (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163815,00.html) O'Reilly crows that the major media outlets are now under conservative control. This has been old news to liberal and moderate media watchers for a long time now, but it's nice to see the word finally filtering over to the right. I know conservative means "slow to change" but this has been a long time coming.
So, all of this looks to me like a tempest in a conservative teapot. If you want to know why the Air America story isn't big news it seems that you ought to put out the question in your own house first.