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August 23, 2005
Air America: Post Finally Reports On Financing Issues ... Somewhere Else

Now we know why the Washington Post has still failed to file a single report on the ongoing scandal at Air America, where $875,000 of grant money earmarked for poor kids and Alzheimers patients wound up funding the liberal radio netlet. Aside from running the single AP overview of the New York City investigation into AAR's connection to the fraud, the Post has ignored the story. Apparently, their silence comes from a commitment of resources to another financial issue involving a political group, one that promises to shake the earth with this revelation (second item):

The Christian Coalition is having a spat with a vendor over unpaid bills. That could be a bad sign for an advocacy group that was once one of the most potent and well-funded forces in conservative politics.

Mailing giant Pitney Bowes is suing the Christian Coalition to recover unpaid postage fees. The firm, which provides postage meters and other services, says that from September 1999 to June 2003, the organization ran up $13,643.44 in charges that it now refuses to pay. When political organizations stop or miss payments for utilitarian necessities such as rent and mail vendors, it sometimes is an indication of deeper trouble with their finances.

A lawyer for the Christian Coalition, Brad Weiss, dismissed such speculation. "It is not unusual for many organizations, both profit and nonprofit, to have disputes with suppliers," he said, adding: "I have no idea what would make this noteworthy."

Wow -- the Christian Coalition finds itself in court over $14,000 in dispute over unpaid bills! I agree with the Post and Jo Becker and Brian Faler that such developments can indicate serious financial difficulties for non-profits. That makes the Post's interest in reporting this to its readers perfectly understandable.

Maybe their readers would also find this interesting:

* The New York Department of Investigation finds itself looking into the illegal transfer of $875K from Gloria Wise to Air America. They want AAR parent Piquant Media to pay it back, but so far Piquant is either unable or unwilling to do it.

* Air America owes $225K in legal fees to Multicultural Radio and has yet to repay it.

* Multicultural Radio is suing Piquant and AAR for over $1 million in unpaid airtime fees.

* One of their former hosts and programmers, Lizz Winstead, is suing Air America for $290K in back pay.

It seems to me that all of these bills that AAR either refuses to pay or has no funds with which to pay them make this story around 200 times more fascinating than the Christian Coalition story. The Washington Post wouldn't delegate its resources based on the political orientation of CC and AAR, would they?

Would they?

You bet they would -- at 200-1.

UPDATE: If you want to know when if the Post finally covers this story, be sure to check at Postwatch. Chris' site provides a full-time blog on bias at the Washington Post and has adopted this particular crusade since the first days of the scandal eruption at Air America.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 23, 2005 12:02 PM

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