The stonewall of MSM silence on the Air America scandal is slowly but surely showing some signs of wear. So far on the list of media outlets to cover the story (outside of the Post, Sun and Daily News):
The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the Washington Times (numerous). Those are the ones that I can find so far. As of yesterday, a reporter for a major newspaper on the Eastern seaboard was contacting Michelle, Brian and me (and perhaps others) for interviews. Thanks largely to blogger coverage of this, Raleigh News Observer editor Melanie Sill is pushing the AP to do a story covering this.
As I pointed out here, if there's one thing the media hates worse than Republicans, it's being left behind on a story that everyone else is covering. Once the momentum builds on a media swarm, you can bet that this is gonna snowball.
August 11, 2005 -- The Bronx social-services organization that made a controversial loan to the Air America radio network has been rocked by more high-level staff departures, sources said.
Just days after the executive director abruptly resigned following Post reports that the club had provided $875,000 in bizarre loans to Air America, two other top officials at the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club have quit.
Acting executive director Lorraine Corva — who took over after Charles Rosen suddenly resigned last week — will be leaving her job on Aug. 26, sources said.
Assistant executive director Jeff Aulenback also resigned, effective immediately, sources said.
Their departures from the embattled social-services agency are tied to the ongoing fallout from the highly unusual and possibly improper loan to Air America, as well as other dubious fiscal practices, sources said.
A spokesman for the club declined to comment on why the two were leaving.
Meanwhile, Air America would have us believe that they are telling the truth, and the DOI is lying:
"The [city] Department of Investigation advised Air America to repay $875,000 into an escrow account from which no money can be disbursed without our approval," said DOI spokeswoman Emily Gest.
"Air America has not followed that recommendation."
But an Air America official told The Post yesterday that both sides had agreed to a payment plan months ago and that they were on schedule with their payments.
Huh. <sarcasm>Well, the good folks at Air America have been so forthcoming and honest throughout this whole ordeal that I guess their word is to be trusted over the DOI's word</sarcasm>. But that's not all! Gloria Wise is also entering the fray:
That was news to the Boys & Girls Club. "Air America has agreed in principle to give the money, but nothing has been finalized yet," Grossman said yesterday.
"They haven't agreed how and when to do it."
Everyone else is lying, and Air America is telling the truth! If you don't believe it, just ask them!
There's also more in here about Eliot Spitzer:
Along with the DOI,state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer also opened an investigation into the case.
A representative from Spitzer's office visited the Boys & Girls Club last week, but so far Air America has not been contacted by the AG's Office, a network official said yesterday.
Why isn't Spitzer interested in speaking with some folks from Air America? Surely the man who involved the State Athletic Commission to go after a radio station for having a slapping competition isn't having trouble finding jurisdiction in this case? Perhaps he just needs to put a little more creative effort into this investigation.
Meanwhile, Brian takes apart Franken's on-air statement on this scandal. I would, however, remain cautious about going out on a limb over what Franken says. I don't really expect that Sean Hannity would be an authority on the finances of Disney, and I am highly skeptical that Franken has a clue what he is talking about when it comes to the details of the financial arrangements involved.
Of course, if it is true that he stopped receiving a paycheck three weeks in (update: a very nice commenter confirmed that this is, in fact, an old "joke" of Franken's. We still have no idea whether it's actually true), then he probably does have a good idea that the company is struggling, financially. But as for his Mr. Subliminal remark about the funds "probably" being used for the operations of Air America, I believe that he is speaking from his nether regions. Of course, I could be wrong, time will tell.