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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Baloney and Spew

Television serves as a veritable wasteland when it comes to keeping tabs on fossil fuel depletion issues. The other conventional broadcast medium, radio, gives mixed results on the issues. The mix boils down to Air America, Pacifica, etc. providing the goods while the right side of the dial tunes completely out.

I don't watch much TV but do keep the radio on in the background, so I can tell you that a network such as AAR seems to mention energy or oil, at least incidentally, at the rate of once every hour. Based on my own sampling, the right wing talkers never mention the topic ... but now they have started droning on and on about Air America on the hour every hour.

Why? Basically the "gotcha" issue involves early fraud by the initial startup player in the network, Evan Cohen. I have not seen the film, but the guy evidently gets slammed hard in the HBO documentary Left of the Dial which focusses on the birthing of AAR. Bad vibes with the staff left the new owners to boot his butt out long ago. However, the repercussions have just started hitting the right-wing blovatars (see Brian Baloney, stage right). Maloney and others spin it as stealing $500K from a minority summer boys&girls camp and Alzheimers patients. (The underlying fever-current involves fear that the liberal network has gained traction and innovation in the Limbaugh-ruled world of talk-radio. Not too puzzling that the right wing talkers lack anything by way of innovations such as show-based message boards, blog comment sections, streaming radio, Democracy Now! podcasts, archives, and satellite radio that the fledgling upstarts have pioneered. Transient bursts of outrage remains the right radio's only outlet. So in fear of their flabbiness getting out-muscled they must counter-attack.) As I write this, the local AssMissile radio show has just started to launch into it.

I donated to the AirAmerica/Gloria Wise free summer camp earlier this year via PayPal thanks to mentions by AAR's Morning Sedition. I felt good about it then, I still do.

I also donated to the Andy Stephenson fund (he of Black Box voting fraud fame) after AAR's Mike Malloy mentioned several times that he needed money for pancreatic cancer treatment. Even though I knew that pancreatic cancer leads to a death sentence, I felt good about giving and I still do today.

Well, Stephenson died July 7.

Sadly, rumors of fraud circulated his illness. One nut speculated on a diary that he faked his illness and even now continues bizarre conspiracies on a single-note web site.

The whole brouhaha over AAR will eventually come down to conspiracies. I see no difference between what they did to Andy Stephenson and Maloney's "investigation" of AAR.
The backlash falls into a couple of general categories. One group appears ideological in nature: Conservatives are attacking Stephenson because he's a progressive activist. "The right wing just went crazy," says Air America's Malloy. "This is one of the sickest things I've ever seen."


Mark Riley of AAR's Morning Sedition has a long history as a community voice in NYC. He provides the link to the flagship station's WLIB roots on AAR. He pushed the Air America Camp because he likely wanted to give back to the community. He and his cohost Marc Maron, told people on-air several weeks ago that donors could request a refund. I do not intend to ask for my money back.

Maloney, shame on you.

It takes a nation of millions of us AAR listeners to make a difference.

We will do it.




Yesterday, Spew Spewitt ranted up and down over this on his radio show; vile coming out of every pore. He raised lots of conspiracies concerning AAR funding.

I base all I know on trust.

I donated to Camp Air America based on AAR's Mark Riley mentioning the charity quite a bit earlier this year.

So the winger outrage has got all the stink of the alleged fraud surrounding Andy Stephenson's phony "illness". Well, he did end up dying of pancreatic cancer. I donated to Andy, writing out a check in his name and mailing it, full well knowing that that type of cancer meant a death sentence and that I would not get my money back. I only knew of Stephenson via AAR's Mike Malloy. Mike Malloy said to donate because Andy deserved a chance to live.

Spewitt deserves only shame.




So where did the $8.8 billion dollars in Iraq go and will we get our money back?

Update: Maha Daily Kos has a diary thread on the topic. Key point: fraudster Evan Cohen is a Guam Republican, and I believe he faked his miraculous recovery from brain cancer. And she has a full recap on her own MahaBlog.

47 Comments:

Professor Blogger SW said...

Yeah, the bottom line is that Air America, along with MicroSoft, and a lot of other corporate marks got scammed by this Republican con man. I think it is sort of comical that these right wing blogs or talk radio think that they can say or do anything that we would give a flying fuck about.

7:22 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Comical yes, but these clowns did get the Swift Boat vets, RatherGate and some other dubious claims become the conventional wisdom.

I never did much enjoy watching Dan Rather, but I do enjoy AAR and I don't want to see it get shut down. Kind of selfish I suppose.

8:01 PM  
Professor Blogger Island Republican said...

I think fraud and breaking the law (using grant money to make a loan to AAR) is wrong whether it is the right or left. AAR needs to take the high road. Of all the AAR dejay's, I think Ed Schultz appears the most straight forward and trustful. AAR needs to comment on when the "loan" was or is going to be paid back. Blaming past wrongs on the old company will not work in this situation.

The Boys and Girls Club is the one paying the highest penalty for this "loan". AAR needs to help them fix this problem.

9:04 PM  
Professor Blogger SW said...

You are being disingenuous. Breaking the law, fraud, using the grant money, is wrong. But the wrong was done by the guy making the loan, not by the folks who received it. This is guilt by association. And the scum bag who was doing the scamming was hurting all sorts of people and businesses. I'm sure that the folks at AAR will do the right thing regarding this situation and I don't expect that they have to be forced into it by a bunch of howling monkeys.

10:51 PM  
Professor Blogger Andy said...

It is interesting that this so-called scandal is over a year old, but they are only talking about it now. I suspect it is because they have seen that liberal talk radio has an audience. Clear Channel, normally a very conservative company, likes the results they are getting from Air America and AA is spreading rapidly as a result. For God's sake, we have THREE AA stations here in Texas! All this over the last four or five months.

The right wing is desparate to stop this.

11:08 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

I like bringing Ed Schultz into this. He has absolutely nothing to do with AAR, so he can very truthfully say that his management had absolutely nothing to do with the fraud. He will then chew up any people that call him up and dare argue this point.

7:11 AM  
Professor Anonymous Hollaback Guy said...

So many responses:

WHT: "Comical yes, but these clowns did get the Swift Boat vets, RatherGate and some other dubious claims become the conventional wisdom."

So "we" (the right-wing blogosphere - although I'm good friends with Captain Ed of Swifties fame, as well as Powerline) are right about the Swifties and Rather and on and on - but we're still the comical clowns? I think I see how this works...

SW: "Breaking the law, fraud, using the grant money, is wrong. But the wrong was done by the guy making the loan, not by the folks who received it."

For starters - they were one and the same. Cohen was involved in an authoritative position with both the "lenders" and the "borrowers".

"This is guilt by association."

Guilt by association happens - it's called being an "accessory" or "accomplice", or simply by benefitting knowingly from others' fraud. Did Air America know that it was receiving fraudulently-obtained money? Yes - because Evan Cohen was on both ends of the deal.

" I'm sure that the folks at AAR will do the right thing regarding this situation and I don't expect that they have to be forced into it by a bunch of howling monkeys."

Their statements indicate that they're weaselling out of it as hard as they can. And were it not for the "howler monkeys", the truth would never have gotten out. As usual.

Island Republican: "Of all the AAR dejay's, I think Ed Schultz appears the most straight forward and trustful."

Schultz doesn't work for AAR - he works for Jones Broadcasting, and broadcasts out of Fargo. Many AAR "Affiliates" carry Schultz because, frankly, he's better than whatever AAR is offering in that time slot - he replaced Lizzzzzzz Winstad in a lot of Pacific Time Zone markets, and pre-empts Randi Rhodes in much of the Central. He is a better talk show host than anyone on AAR; ironically, his act is probably a complete fake. He was a Limbaugh-style conservative until probably three years ago; he wasn't good enough to get out of Fargo as a conservative, so (the theory goes) he went where there was less competition. I know people who know Schultz; it's not out of character for him.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the best liberal host out there were a total fake?

8:50 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Hollabeck dude:
Don't you stoopid Minnesota Northern Alliance Radio wing-nuts read anything anyone writes? I clearly stated that Ed Schultz doesn't work for AAR.

And aren't you being intellectually dishonest about political conversions? Little Ensign Eddie's friends at Powerline are former leftists, just like all the neocons. And they happen to all be trying to destroy America at the moment (note: using typical AssMissile hyperbole.)

Big Eddie happened to do the reverse. He's OK as far as it goes. He does operate an outstanding web site and message board that the right wing radio clowns would not dare operate for fear of getting ridiculed to death.

And I lurve Lizz Winstead! See the bring back Unfiltered in my blogroll.

5:34 PM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Andy Stephenson. Good guy. Small world.

The federalis are more interested in shutting down b Box investigators than chasing vote fraud...

...or so it seems. maybe I'm just paranoid. That's the ticket. Hey, we're RUNNING OUT OF OIL booga booga!

5:48 PM  
Professor Anonymous Infuriatingly Smarter Than You said...

Wow, Webster. Why so much hostility? I suppose one might get a bit peevish, realizing one is on the short end of history...

"Don't you stoopid Minnesota Northern Alliance Radio wing-nuts read anything anyone writes? I clearly stated that Ed Schultz doesn't work for AAR."

Gosh. Sorry I didn't hang on your every word. Perhaps when you graduate beyond fourth-grade-level name-calling.

Not that I'm holding my breath.

"And aren't you being intellectually dishonest about political conversions? Little Ensign Eddie's friends at Powerline are former leftists, just like all the neocons."

As, by the way, am I. You say that like it's a bad thing. You grow up, you learn to think, you become a conservative - or you fail at all three.

" And they happen to all be trying to destroy America at the moment (note: using typical AssMissile hyperbole.)"

AssMissile? Hm. Cicero weeps.

"Big Eddie happened to do the reverse."

Allegedly.

"He's OK as far as it goes. He does operate an outstanding web site and message board that the right wing radio clowns would not dare operate for fear of getting ridiculed to death."

Oh, you kool-aid-besotted little fellow; we all operate websites (known as blogs; perhaps you've heard of them). Message boards are for hives.

"And I lurve Lizz Winstead! See the bring back Unfiltered in my blogroll."

The dreariest harridan ever to pollute the state of a "comedy" club.

6:11 PM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

"We all operate blogs..."

yes `we` do. I didn't catch yours?

7:48 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

The guy that is smarter than everyone is a fellow named Mitch Hedberg. Oops, I mean Mitch Berg (I had him temporarily confused with the much more funny, but unfortunately recently deceased comic from the Twin Cities).

He thinks his radio blog site actually has commenter "activity". Very deluded these local right-wing radio talks show hosts are with their Spanky and Alfafa tree-fort operations.

8:01 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

And MG, you were asking, but since I doubt he will be back, infuriatingly smart guy's blog is here:
http://www.shotinthedark.info/archives/006190.html

8:06 PM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

WHT: aha then.

---

Mitch,

I read faster then some people breathe, and took the liberty of scanning your active blog posts, including your "denouement" of WHT in your recent post. But why stop at Air America (will they ever match the peerless standards of Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh?)

Explain me this -

"It took sixty years to bring the boys home from the quagmire in Germany:
...
If only we'd taken Howard Dean and John Kerry's advice, and turned World War II over to the "Moderate Germanic" troops they called for..."


If you're going to argue by anachronism, gotta be sneakier than that. The flawed thinking exhibited in two sentences encapsulates an argument for not reading your blog, left or right.

- A Socialist Democrat took us to war in World War II
- Dean was against the Iraq war from the beginning.
- John Kerry effectively was pro-war, pro stay the course through the November election. Don't know, don't care what he thinks now.
- Many of politicians, both sides of the aisle, think we are losing the war in Iraq, at present.
- There hasn't been any shooting in Germany since the forties.
- Germany was never a quagmire. The industrial cities were slagged from the air. We have no basis for slagging Iraq, given the President's stated goals.

Anyways. I started conservative, ended up mélange left with some capitalist tendencies. I read critical thinkers on the right like Pat Buchanan (even though I despise his religious driven social positions.)

Your arguments are not original.

---

Sorry, WHT, for using this space to vent at feckless.

10:41 PM  
Professor Anonymous mitch berg said...

"I read faster then some people breathe,"

Most people breathe 6 times per minute. It's quite possible that among your set, reading 7+ words per minute is an achievement. In the interest of welcoming all comers, I say "you are very special. Good job!"

"But why stop at Air America (will they ever match the peerless standards of Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh?)"

Why, yes indeed they have!

Catherine Lanpher, co-host of the "Drug-Free" Al Franken Show, has been known to tip more than a few.

http://www.shotinthedark.info/archives/001399.html

Drug-free! Air America is DRUG FREE!

Let's go to a different "active post"; it doesn't matter if Progress sold out to Piquant, because Cohen never took Gloria Wise's money with him when he left the building; it's still "invested" at AAR.

Your arguments re Germany are literally (largely) correct, and given that my original point was ham-fistedly (what fun!) satirical, really not the point.

5:51 AM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Mitch, briefly,

"I read faster then some people breathe,"

Not to be analyzed empirically, works on a differant level, but knock yourself out.

As for Rush L., versus the DWI you referenced, well, both are bad, and with Rush, you add years and years of hypocrisy. Lefties aren't the drug puritans last time I checked.

"Your arguments re Germany are literally (largely) correct, and given that my original point was ham-fistedly (what fun!) satirical, really not the point."

There is no way to distinguish from your posts when you are trying to be funny and when you are serious.

9:02 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

I think he's always trying to be funny and succeeds most of the time, because "The Patriot" radio station premise is a howler to begin with.

AAR has a recurring skit featuring Mark "The Shark" Maron where he suddenly transforms into a right-wing gasbag ("The Shark"), rails for a few minutes, and then wakes up, thinking only that he had passed out briefly.

Most aren't that bad but how could they work at a radio station that features Michael Savage? Or for embarassment, Michael Reagan.

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