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?

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