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September 22, 2005
Air America: Blanche DuBois Returns

tote-bag.gifBrian Maloney extends the excellent blog-coverage that he and Michelle Malkin have provided on the Air America financial scandal. Today he looks at the desperation strategy that Air America has adopted -- begging for cash from its listeners:

Resembling an online PBS or NPR pledge drive, the site offered paltry "benefits" for cash "gifts" to the liberal talk network. Is Air America unintentionally a not-for-profit enterprise?

For $50, they'll send three "official" bumper stickers, while $100 gets a "stylish" tote bag thrown in. The sucker who has everything might choose the $250 version, including the above and an on-air thanks from one of Air America's talk hosts.

Tote BagAnother option: send "any amount", for which they'll be "grateful". Only you can prevent the next Boys & Girls Club financial raid. Send a buck, save midnight basketball in the Bronx.

In fact, they're selling NPR-class 'memberships' at AAR. What do you get as an AAR member?

* We'll send you a monthly Associates insider email with the backstage news from our shows and our headquarters.

* When we take Air America Radio on the road, we'll invite you to meet our hosts and progressive leaders in your community.

* And for gifts of $50 and up, we've got FREE STUFF to send you. See the items on the right-hand side of this page.

In other words, members get e-mail spam, advertisements for Air America events (for which they will get charged a fee), and $50 bumper stickers -- the kind that most radio stations give away for free. And, as Brian reminds us, unlike NPR, Air America is a for-profit corporation -- which means that none of those membership fees can be considered tax-deductible donations. And I love the notion that by sending AAR $50, listeners get "FREE STUFF!" Only a liberal hack would buy that argument. It's the same argument that they swallow when arguing that government should provide services for "free".

bumper-sticker.gifIf con men want to find the easy marks in town, just look for the cars sporting the bumper sticker that boasts, "I'm building Air America Radio".

This recalls to mind the famous last words of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, who told people on her way to the nuthouse that, "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers." Most corporations inherently understand that their customers expect more for their "kindness" than a bumper sticker, tote bag, or the novelty of hearing their name on a talk-radio station -- especially when the first two come free at radio promotions and the third anytime simply by calling the station and joining the debate. On the other hand, given the nature of Air America's listenership, perhaps they have their market pegged correctly. Let's see how many cars wind up proclaiming their owners' gullibility in the few weeks remaining in Air America's lifespan.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 22, 2005 7:59 AM

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