Air America Muddies the Waters in Missing Money Case

Air America issued a second statement today on the the shady deal where a half a million dollars that was supposed to help children got diverted to the failing radio network.

Reaction in the blogosphere is mixed. Capt. Ed sorta declares partial victory. Brian Maloney, who basically owns this story says it raises more questions than it answers, a conclusion I agree with. And via the lovely Michelle Malkin I (tried to) read a legal analysis of the case at Muchos Nachos. Nobody is completely happy with it -well except the Kos kids but they can hardly read anyway.

With all due respect to everyone working this, they all missed a major point in the release:

If the allegations of mismanagement and corruption at Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club are true, it is absolutely disgraceful.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal and the HBO Documentary, Left of the Dial, the company that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club officials gave money to, Progress Media, has been defunct since May 2004. That company was run at the time by Evan Cohen who has not had any involvement in Air America Radio since May 2004.

The current owners of Air America Radio have no obligation to Progress Media’s business activities. We are very disturbed that Air America Radio’s good name could be associated with a reduction in services for young people, which is why we agreed months ago to fully compensate the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club as a result of this transaction.The obvious questions leap off the page… If they came to this conclusion months ago, why jerk us around with the first press release? Did they repay the money? etc etc.

But I bolded something that caught my eye as someone who knows a fair amount about the radio business. They never even agreed to pay them back. They agreed to “fully compensate” them. There is a world of difference. That can, in radio terms, be an “in kind” repayment.

In other words they can offer a half a million dollars in commercials as a form of compensation. Even if they had a pledge drive to burn the half a million in air time, I doubt Air America’s 12 listeners could come up with a half million in combined donations.

What is most interesting here is the backstory. Bloggers get results. When I first got wind of this story I called Kevin and asked him to blog it because I was busy… We agreed that there was nothing we could add to the story except momentum. The proverbial blogswarm.

Air America has been forced to react. When Air America decided to issue their non-denial denial, they sent mail to Michelle Malkin and posted it on Kos. Clearly they are trying to get ahead of this thing before it gets to the MSM… a task that grows harder with each blog post.

And don’t miss the Kos kids behaving like the 3rd graders they are in the comments over at Brian’s place.

Update: Leon over at Muchos Nachos says he has a new version of the legal analysis. If the first one was too convoluted you might try the second… Personally, I think I pretty much had a handle on the legalities going in, but mostly the length of that much legal mumbo jumbo makes my eyes glaze over. 😉 YMMV

Previous Coverage

Air America’s Charity Scam Denials Don’t Ring True
Air America Steals Half Million Dollars From Bronx Kids Charity

A Match Made In Heaven
What happened to my frickin' death rays?
  • Paul,

    Sorry the analysis was so confusing. I’ve put up something that I hope is clearer here.

    Keep up the great work!

    Leon (MachoNachos)

  • If Air Deadbeat were to compensate in advertisement, how many years would that take? Their rates are ludicrously low. Might take someone like Rush or Hannity a few months, tops. Air Deadbeat? Forget it.

    Just standard Liberal “do as we say not as we do” BS.

  • bullwinkle

    They don’t want individuals to have the right to invest part of their earnings in private retirement accounts but they think it’s fine to convince a non-profit organization to invest and lose part of our earnings in their private retirement accounts? How can the Boy’s and Girl’s club benefit from in-kind advertizing if the programs they were supposed to be offering are closed? Who would donate to them with their history?

  • Well, to be fair, who donates now, other then big money folks? All the Koskids listen to Rush, Sean, Savage, etc. I do not blame them, Air Deadbeat is absolutely no fun. Bad enough reading some of the seethers on the DU an Kosbat. To hear it? Yuck.

  • Paul

    Leon, it was not that big a deal. I’m pretty sure I have a handle on the legal side anwyay, but mostly when I saw the lenght of it, my eyes glazed over. 😉

  • Paul,

    In that case I’ll change the title. A whole lot of people WERE confused, and I suppose many of them also not willing to slog through so much stuff.


  • Elderta

    Haha. You guys are a hoot!

  • AnonymousDrivel

    From the last paragraph of Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club’s “Who We Are” summary:

    Proven fundraising abilities promise an even more active future for the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. The generous support of benefactors including the Charles Hayden Foundation, Con Edison, the Butler Foundation, Metropolitan Life, Pinkerton Foundation, Calder Foundation, and New York Community Trust has helped the club continue to grow in recent years. Most recently, the $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will allow the club to begin a multi-year mentoring program for more than 200 youth by the start of 2003.

    Now, since there is some wonder about public monies being “laundered” (via charity) to finance Air America Radio (aka but not dba Piquant LLC), does the U.S. DOJ have some extra incentive to research this? Was the questionable funding restricted to local funds, or has this now reached the federal level? Would this story draw interest from higher powers? Isn’t the DOJ pretty good at tracking money trails, and in view of this, might they do some digging?

    This could get ugly.

  • elderta

    And does ‘compensate’ mean money only? Or does it also mean the free advertising that Morning Sedition pushed about the camp before it went under? My my, for folks who really don’t care that much about AAR, you folks really do care that much, don’t ya?

  • Now, this is actually funny watching the back-peddling! Thank you Al for your continued flubbing on Err America.


  • bullwinkle

    elderta, you just don’t get it. We couldn’t care less about Air America or either of their listeners, but we do care that they stole $500,000 from kids. People like you defending them only prove that what we say is true, liberals are dishonest, always have been, always will be. Your claims to have compassion are nothing but lies, or possibly your definition of compassion is screwing kids out of funding.

  • Bravo, bullwinkle, well said!

  • I’ve done a little further digging, and it seems like it’s meet the New Owners of Air America, same as the old owners of Air America. What a bunch of slimeballs, those guys at Piquant LLC, claiming that they had nothing to do with this, when Piquant LLC was specifically created to avoid the creditors of Progress Media (one of whom was Gloria Wise).


    Leon (MachoNachos)

  • Does this have legs? I think so.

  • It’s just a Right Wing deflection from RoveGate 😉

  • Shilling for the camp was the compensation…and I’ll bet they were charging an ad rate that would make sense if they had as many listeners as, say, WABC, but would be considered ludicrously overpriced when measured against their phone booth fitting listener base.

  • Graham

    What a sad joke you guys are!! A group of neocons who have a president that lied us into a war and is the very definition of deception trying to pick apart a straight forward public statement which is not only more than we have heard from the neocons but quite honest.

  • joe

    Graham, someone should write software to generate random liberal boilerplate. It would make as much sense as your remark:

    What a sad joke you guys are!! A group of {neocons/fascists/theocrats} who have a president that {lied us into a war/is a moron/is a cowboy/looks like a chimp/says “nucular”} and is {the very definition of deception/in Halliburton’s pocket/wants to personally eradicate all rainforests} trying to pick apart a {straight forward public statement/completely aboveboard Democratic press release/totally unbiased GreenPeace report} which is not only more than we have heard from the {neocons/fascists/theocrats} but quite {honest/selfless/heroic}.

  • Gee, Graham, can you deflect a little more off the subject? Or do you support what Air Deadbeat has done?

  • AnonymousDrivel

    RE: William Teach’s post (July 29, 2005 07:07 PM)

    Graham is deflecting the deflectors deflecting the deflection. Everything’s turning up Rove. Oops, you predicted that already.

  • Inside Dope

    I applaud the digging you guys have done so far. But the real story is much much bigger than just what you’re onto. It can be found not by digging deeper but laterally. Piquant and PM share many of the same names but their executive and shareholder structures are very different. However, one thing both entities share is their deal with their flagship station and a relationship to a group which supported the the gov of NYS. Notice the timing of his recent announcement and the bubbling of this story. Find the connection between the flagship and the FOP and you have founr the treasure trove that will sink more than that pathetic excuse of a mouthpiece- you will sink the 2008 national fortunes of a certain female New York transplant from Arkansas.

  • Dan

    (Copyrighted material deleted)

  • Dave


    Sorry, dude. That was tried once before. Think of something new – like maybe developing a clue.

    By the way, if we were to let you go, it would be without the ‘Red’ counties. You would get to keep the inner cities, we would keep most of the rest.

    But it’s not that way. We’re all in it together, like it or not.

  • joe


    Do you feel better after that cut-and-paste?

    How many blogs have you pasted that in?

    Anything to say on THIS topic?

  • Wonder what a half-million dollars worth of Air America tee-shirts would weigh.

    Maybe you can do a caption contest on what they might say….

  • Robert

    Hey Dan, you forgot one thing we got the Guns. 🙂 You are anti-war. Guess what, we win again!

    (Former California Resident who moved to Arizona 8 months ago)

  • bullwinkle

    Let’s see….we get 90% of the oil and they have 95% of the drive-by-shootings, we have 98% of the brain cells, they have to split the other 2 with France, we have 90 % of the farm land, they have 90% of the pollution, they have 90% of the what they call progressives (parasites) and we can deport the ones living in our part to their part. I’m in!

  • Dan,
    Greetings from Staten Island! You go right ahead with your little plan. But this is how it’ll play out in that big bad “blue state” New York: We’ll blow the Verrazzano and mount machine guns on the Ferries to make sure no cargo ship passes, effectively closing NY Harbor, and watch our red county kin shut down I-95 north of the NYC line. Then we’ll all sit back and watch Brooklyn and Mahattan burn, since most of the cops and firefighters live out here. Or everyone starves; either way it’ll only take about a month before the stae officially becomes “red.”

  • bullwinkle

    TC, don’t blow up the bridges before we get those poor kids out, when they no longer have any grant money the liberals will see no value in them other than food. Then when there is a half-million grant for programs for them there will be a program for them. Liberals are interested in children’s issues only as long as the issue is that the children have some money set aside for liberals to steal.

  • Dan

    (Copyrighted material deleted)

  • joe

    Dan, methinks you may need a suppository to kill that bug that’s up your ass.

  • bullwinkle

    It’s your money, not the government’s money. How soon can we get together? LMAO A liberal threatening to kick someone’s ass, has there ever beena more asinine statement, ever?

  • Dan, copyright lawyers on lines three through seventeen.

  • bullwinkle

    You gotta give him credit, at least he’s honest enough to admit that liberals think they own the country and their “compassion” and share the wealth programs don’t extend to anyone who disagrees with them. If he had made it to the moonbat meeting where they explained that it’s hard to claim to be tolerant while threatening to open a can of whupass on anyone that that doesn’t see things his way he might even be a leader of a Moonbats local office. He also ignores the fact that it’s the evil corporations and evil rich people that vote republican that pay the taxes in those blue states that enable them to pay out more than they take in. He must be silly enough to think that the tax money is coming from the downtrodden poor, you know the ones, the ones that hate capitalism and prove it by not earning enough to pay any taxes. People like him….

  • sgo

    Well well well, It’s so nice to wake up and find the RightWing with their Depends in a bunch.

    Putting aside all the snarky playground remarks and 3rd grade putdowns your side is so so good at, I get your point.

    You are saying that you are upset because you claim $500,000 was taken from kids. Ok … I see your point.

    However, there is an ongoing investigation and maybe we should see where it leads and not prejudge the investigation based on media reports… I know I’ve heard that somewhere before… now where was that…?

    I have 3 consistency questions for you guys.

    Who is responsible for the $8.8bn unaccounted for by the CPA? Does $8.8 Billion unaccounted for not bother you? What about the Iraqi children? Are they not worthy of your concern?

  • bullwinkle

    It’ll be more worthy of my concern when I read about it someplace other than al Jazeera or al Jazeera in English, aka The Guardian.

  • bullwinkle

    Hey liberal avenger, you read those comments and the parts that jumped out at you were conservatives with their panties in a wad? LMAO, so Dan and asswhupping comments are normal? You need help, soon, if possible.

  • AnonymousDrivel

    RE: Dan’s post (July 30, 2005 09:45 AM)

    All you need is a bit more profanity and you’d have proved your intensely insightful Red versus Blue monologue. Why the reticence?

    Also, what do you think about Progress Media apparently reorganizing with some of the same players to create Piquant LLC to skip out on paying debts? It raised enough attention that the NY DOI has decided to investigate. And please, don’t hold back.

  • Hey, Dan: you might suggest anger management therapy for the person that you stole that from. And for yourself, since you reposted it.

  • Paul

    Dan, copyright lawyers on lines three through seventeen.

    Posted by: McGehee at July 30, 2005 11:16 AM


  • sgo wrote: However, there is an ongoing investigation and maybe we should see where it leads and not prejudge the investigation based on media reports… I know I’ve heard that somewhere before… now where was that…?

    You didn’t hear it in any publication that is beating up on Karl Rove.

    What about the Iraqi children? Are they not worthy of your concern?

    I am very concerned about the Iraqi children that are blown up by “insurgents.”

  • AnonymousDrivel

    RE: sgo’s post (July 30, 2005 11:26 AM)

    I have 3 consistency questions for you guys.

    Who is responsible for the $8.8bn unaccounted for by the CPA? Does $8.8 Billion unaccounted for not bother you? What about the Iraqi children? Are they not worthy of your concern?

    I’ll count to three before I pull the pin from the Holy Hand Grenade. One… two… FOUR!

    That’s “three” sir.


    But seriously, yes, I’m concerned about that CPA money. So I have three questions: Are you blogging on it? What do you know about it so far? 😉

  • fatman

    Uh, Dan:

    I always thought it was “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.” Or am I missing something in the translation, Comrade?

  • TomB

    Who is responsible for the $8.8bn unaccounted for by the CPA? Does $8.8 Billion unaccounted for not bother you? What about the Iraqi children? Are they not worthy of your concern?

    Since your trying to change the subject here (and not having a lot of success, by the way), I’ll play along.

    So Liberal Avenger, does the term “Oil for Food” ring a bell? How many of those Iraqi children your so damned concerned with died while the UN, France, Russia, and Germany pocketed tens of BILLIONS?

    Go peddle your hypocrisy somewhere else.

  • sgo

    Since your trying to change the subject here (and not having a lot of success, by the way), I’ll play along.

    Since you’ll play along, it must be working in some way…

    And I’m sorry … I made an error … it was 4 questions not 3, I can see how that makes all the questions moot … darn clever little monkeys…

    does the term “Oil for Food” ring a bell?

    Yes, but I’m not sure how that relates to the 8.8 billion missing from the CPA. My references to the Iraqi children were in reference to 8.8bn. and the problems regarding Iraqi money not spent to fix electricity and water and things like that as the CPA was in charge of those things.

    I beleive that the “Oil for Food” scandel is a seperate issue regarding the diversion of other funds by other people. And I think you forgot that US companies were involved also in “Oil ofr Food”… like BayOil…who I beleive have been indicted by the US Department of Justice

    If you would like to tie the two together, please do I’m interested to hear how they relate.

  • sgo

    And just one more thing.

    Stop Calling me “The Liberal Avenger” – I am not he – I am sgo …

    I assume you got the misconception from the link I *had* in my sig.

    Sorry for any confussion you may have caused.

  • bullwinkle

    I’ll stop calling you Liberal Avenger, if it’s not you, you’re known by the company you keep, as soon as you learn how to spell scandal. I’ll be more interested in the alleged $8.8B becomes a story in a reliable news source, al Jazeera and The Guardian ain’t gonna cut it.

  • AnonymousDrivel

    RE: sgo’s post (July 31, 2005 07:59 PM)

    AD from previous post: So I have three questions: Are you blogging on it? What do you know about it [“$8.8bn unaccounted for by the CPA”] so far? 😉

    I was just having fun and mootness never entered my mind. I present the questions again. Sources would be nice.

    Regarding OFF and its relativity, see Daily Kos’ “purge” missed a few barking moonbats where JmaR (aka Dan) and I discuss this. It is not a new debate but is worth reviewing periodically. I make no attempt to correlate the proven scandal (but not completed OFF investigation) with the CPA funding story, whatever its source. What I do is add data with some logic further debunking the “we-invaded-Iraq-for-oil” meme. There is no discussion of CPA funding and/or misdirection.