Saturday, 10 February 2007

AIR AMERICA'S BANKRUPTCY

Ken Berwitz

You did know Air America went bankrupt, didn't you?

The media which spared no effort telling you when Air America was coming into existence, then did puff piece after puff piece on it -special thanks to the NY Times in this regard - has prominently reported that it went belly-up and was sold for next to nothing, right?

No?  Wow, how did that happen?

Here are the specifics, from Thursday's New York Post .  Yes, the Post was where you could find out about Air America's demise.  Did you expect the Times to put this kind of information where you'd ever read it?  Or Today to do a few features on what it all means?:

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February 8, 2007 -- Real estate tycoon Steve Green has won a bankruptcy fire sale to buy liberal radio network Air America for $4.25 million, but he isn't taking on any obligation to cover a bounced $360,749 paycheck to star commentator Al Franken.

Green, chairman of SL Green Realty who's bankrolled several political campaigns for his brother Mark Green, agreed to cover at least $1 million for certain creditors, such as real estate leases, and pay $3.25 million to Piquant LLC, which had kept the network on the air with loans during its seven-month bankruptcy ordeal.

The network lost money from its inception three years ago, amassing $42 million in losses since 2004. Piquant LLC bought Air America in 2004 for $750,000.

Air America had assets of $7.5 million and liabilities of $23.1 million.

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Air America has been in business for what, two years?  Based on the information above they managed to go $15.6 million dollars in the hole during that time.  But their on-air personalities, whose "talent" resulted in this monumental loss, were making money hand over fist.  Did you read the number on that last paycheck of al franken's?  Remember, the previous checks DIDN'T bounce.

And then we come to the fact that Air America "borrowed" $875,000, interest free, from a so-called charity (the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls foundation) that had no legal right to give them a penny.  Because of this arrangement, which smells slightly worse than the back of a clamhouse during a garbage strike, children and elderly did not get needed services from Gloria Wise and the "charity" was shut down.  Where did THAT money go?  How much of it went into al franken's pocket? randi rhodes?  sam seder?

I talk a lot about media bias in here.  How biased was it that media virtually locked out any mention of the Gloria Wise scandal when it happened and while it was in litigation?  How biased is it that they aren't talking about the Air America fire sale I've shown you here?

Maybe Nancy Pelosi, whom Air America loves and whom they promoted ongoingly as she became Speaker of the House, can help the kids and seniors whose funding they took.  Hell, she wouldn't know if $875,000 was missing from her petty cash drawer.  And at $22,000 an hour for use of the plane she's demanding, it's only a few trips between DC and San Francisco. 

Make a name for yourself, Nancy.  Do what you threatened to and fly (gasp!) commercial.  The kids and seniors will thank you for it!


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