Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stealing Candy From Babies - The Air America Story

It is time for Doc Farmer to weigh in on the Great Air America MSM Cover-up. First, I want to thank Doc for mentioning this humble blogger in his article. It was Captain Ed over at Captian's Quarters that has been on this story like white on rice from the very begining. He was follwed, very quickly, by Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt, along with a whole host of bloggers, including me. Do be sure to check out their blogs, as well as this one for more information as it becomes available. Here is what Doc has to say. Go get them, Doc. - Sailor

Stealing Candy From Babies - The Air America Story
Written by Doc Farmer
Thursday, August 11, 2005

I don't listen to Air America. Why? Well, because they don't broadcast where I live, that's why. If they did, I might—If Rush Limbaugh were dead, Sean Hannity were in a coma, and G. Gordon Liddy was out of the country toppling some unauthorized dictatorship, that is.

That said, I've got no problem with folks tuning in to Air America. After all, this is a free country, and people have the right to watch, listen, or read whatever they wish. If lib/dem/soc/commies want to listen to Al Franken (who is, apparently, the 37th highest-ranking person to be screwing up America, if Bernard Goldberg is to be believed) I say more power to 'em! If they want to listen to NPR or watch PBS, that's okay too. Plenty of room out here for all kinds of viewpoints and opinions.

Now, Air America started out with a lot of pomp and fanfare from the mainstream (see also: lib/dem/soc/commie) press. Air America was awash with cash, they proclaimed, and ready to take on Limbaugh, Boortz, O'Reilly, and a plethora of what they perceive to be evil right-wingers. Except that they weren't really awash in cash - apparently, they barely had enough to keep their toes damp. A couple of stations dropped here, a few missed bills there,
and Air America was having a bit of a struggle. Nothing wrong with that at all, though. Almost EVERY new enterprise or network is going to have teething problems, cash-flow hiccups, and the like.

I'm sure that even the mighty Excellence in Broadcasting network didn't start off with 600 stations and 20 million listeners. It took time. And talent. And hard work. And more talent. And coming up with a format that would actually keep current listeners and attract new ones. Which is why EIB, after just over 17 years of operation, ended up with around 600 stations and 20 million listeners.

I worked in radio many years ago, so I know a little bit about its operation. Yes, I was a DJ, but I didn't play records backwards or say ''Yo, Yo, YO!'' a lot. The first lesson of radio, for you who are interested in getting into the broadcasting game, is that radio is
a BUSINESS. It exists to make money for the station owners. If your show attracts listeners, you can charge businesses more to advertise. Simple profit motive.

But what when the motives move from profit to larceny?

I'm betting you probably haven't heard this story yet, unless you're a fan of Michelle Malkin or a member of the dreaded pajamahadin (the denizens of the blogosphere). Apparently, the former chairman of Air America, one Evan Montvel Cohen, decided to take out a ''loan'' from another concern he was connected to - Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, where he served as development director. Well, he seemed to be a financial director too, because he directed over $875,000 of money from the charity to Air America. $875,000 of charity money. $875,000 of TAXPAYER money. Yup. Y'see, Mr. Cohen took public funding given to the Boys & Girls Club,
a non-profit organization, and shunted it over to a private concern.

There are words for this kind of activity. Financial malfeasance. Fraud. Grand theft. All of which come with some rather hefty financial fines, as well as an all-expense paid trip to Riker's Island.

Yet, this is probably the first you've heard about this. CNN hasn't covered it - admittedly, they've been awfully busy trying to clean up Robert Novak's ''male bovine excrement'' statement from a week ago. Sadly, they've yet to clean up James Carville's ACTUAL male bovine excrement, which spews from his gaping maw every time he jacks his jaw. I don't believe the not-so-big-three (ABC, NBC, CBS for those of you who have cable) have covered this either. Nor have I seen any mention of it from the New York Times - well, all their good reporters are out trying to unseal adoption records right now, so I guess that explains it.

This is the same media that touted
Air America those short months ago. Now, thanks to lackluster ratings, the media's new darling has been shown to have a case of colic. The media mother (and in this case, I use ''mother'' in the hyphenated sense) doesn't seem to hear the screams, though, and keeps praising their little darling while it sets fire to the curtains.

One must wonder if the pajamahadin will do to this story what they did with Dan Rather's forged documents. Sailor in the Desert, one of my favorite bloggers, has already helped spread the news, and I am sure he (along with many in the blogosphere) will keep pushing the point until the media has no choice but to actually do their jobs.

For those of you with the viewpoint of ''So what?'' I would ask you to indulge me for a moment. I listen to Sean Hannity every day. By podcast, because I don't get him on local radio either. Nevertheless, every year he has a
''Freedom Concert'' to raise money for the families of deceased Marines. A very worthy cause, to be sure. Now, I've never met Mr. Hannity but I'm willing to extend to him the benefit of the doubt, and assume him to be an honest and honorable man. Let's say, however, that Mr. Hannity were to pull nearly $1 million from that charity, and use the money to pay his staff or cover his studio rental costs or purchase those passionate purple plutonium-powered socks he has been dreaming of. There would be a hue and cry raised, and rightly so. Folks would be demanding that he give the money back. Folks would be demanding that he be fired from Fox News. Folks would be demanding that he be tried and jailed.

Folks like me.

And, more importantly, folks like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, etc.

Now, change the name from Sean Hannity to Air America. Can you hear the echoing silence coming from the
so-called mainstream media?

I wish I could say that this is a prime example of media bias. It is, but saying it does no good, because there are a plethora of prime examples of media bias. We see them every single day. Despite that, the blinkered philistines of mainstream media still blindly proclaim their independence, their fairness, their balance, as they march headlong toward the cliff.

Keep walking, I say.

About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in the Midwest. Doc receives e-mail at

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