Denver Post: Air America "Not a Story"
The Denver Post has finally broken its silence about the developing Air America story. Only, as with the New York Times and the Swift Boat Veterans, the first mention of it is a dismissal followed by a rebuttal. Dick Kreck addresses the scandal in his radio column in today's Entertainment section.
First, the setup:
Bloggers and others are buzzing about another "story" - whether Air America benefited from loans made to its former director, Evan Cohen, by the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in New York. Conservative media, led by the shrill Michelle Malkin, are all over this story, touting it with headlines like, 'AIR AMERICA: STEALING FROM POOR KIDS?!' and wondering why the "mainstream" press isn't.
Ah yes, Michelle Malkin is "shrill". The story is a "'story'". And what's with the scare quotes around "mainstream?" The term has been around for more than a few years, shortened to "MSM" last year around this time during the campaign, when the MSM turned its back, put its fingers in its ears, and started whistling during that other non-story-story.
Maybe it's not a story because it's not a story. Piquant, the parent of Air America, responded in several statements that the disagreement over some $800,000 in loans is between Cohen and the boys and girls club, not AA. Despite its non-involvement, Piquant says it will make good on the missing funds.
Piquant would say that.
The sequence of events appears to have been as follows. Progress Media acquired a boatload of debt, allegedly to Multicultural and allegedly in the form of "loans" from Gloria Wise. Then, Progress Media sold its assets to Piquant, but not its liabilities, leaving Progress Media insolvent. Piquant, of course, is owned by some of the same people who owned Progress Media. This may constitute a fraudulent transfer.
All this is covered in a hopefully-not-too-shrill oped in this morning's New York Post.
Would the Post let the owners of a non-political business get away with this sort of thing with asking some very tough questions?
A good summation - albeit left-handed - of the investigation by the New York state attorney general's office, where the story started and how it has spread may be found at http://jaywillie.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/7/30/124315/828.
At first glance, this piece looks like a good bit of digging to find the original source. One quote. No story, right? Except, look at that date. July 30. The first New York Sun piece, with corroborating quotes from the Club's president, is two days later, and the story has had almost a month to develop and widen since this posting and its update.
So, the Denver Post refuses to cover a story about a leftist radio network's financial shennanigans, leaving it to a columnist in the Entertainment section to give readers their first exposure. After deriding those who've actually been doing the gruntwork on the story, the only rebuttal they come up with is a three-week old blog posting, which, in the blogosphere, means they had to blow the dust off of it to read it.
Yes, this story is about a radio network. But if the Post is going to cover it, they need to get people who know something about business law, business, and blogging to write the stories.
Way to be ahead of the curve.