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July 28, 2005
Air America Dodges Responsibility

Brian at Radio Equalizer, who first broke the story on Air America's grasping of funds meant for poor children and Alzheimers patients, now posts the official response from the liberal talk-radio network on the scandal:

"On MAY 24, 2004 the newly formed PIQUANT LLC acquired the principal assets of AIR AMERICA RADIO from the prior ownership entities. PIQUANT has owned and operated AIR AMERICA RADIO since that time. The company that had run AIR AMERICA RADIO till then no longer had anything to do with the network.

"PIQUANT had no involvement whatsoever with funds from GLORIA WISE BOYS &GIRLS CLUB. PIQUANT neither received nor expended any of the sums that are the subject of the City's investigation of the CLUB.

"PIQUANT is not being investigated by the City, which is investigating a transaction that took place before PIQUANT existed."

Unfortunately for Piquant, when they bought Air America, they bought its liabilities along with it. They may not have broken any laws themselves, unless they've managed to keep Evan Cohen hidden from view, which given his popularity even at AA seems highly unlikely. However, if Air America did take money from Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club illegally -- by having its chief executive officer transfer specially-earmarked funds from a non-profit on which he sat as a board member -- then Air America has to return that money.

Has it done so? One would presume that Piquant would have disclosed that in its statement if it did. Therefore, one can safely presume that Piquant hasn't returned the funds.

How long does Air America intend on keeping money from poor kids and Alzheimers patients? And exactly how does that fit in with their liberal political positions? And while we're asking, why did Air America start promoting Gloria Wise after getting this loan? I'm not an expert at FCC law, but that kind of undisclosed financial transaction sounds an awful lot like payola to me, as Michelle Malkin notes.

If Piquant thinks that it can wash its hands of the mess Evan Cohen left behind, they're very much mistaken. As long as they hang onto that money and leave the poor kids in Brooklyn holding the bag, their leftist pap about taking care of the little guy will sound even more hollow than ever.

UPDATE: Hey, Al Franken's alter ego noticed Captain's Quarters! (Yes, this is a joke ...)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 28, 2005 8:45 AM

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