March 31, 2006

Air America Debacle Marks Anniversary; Public Yawns, Media Fawns
— Ace

The Daily News headlines its kissy-ass story:

After 2 years, Air America grows progressively upbeat

Grows? Its ratings and availability are shrinking. How is that "growing"?

And as for upbeat... well, whatever.

Radio Equalizer notes the network's ratings continue to be in the toilet. And that it only remains in operation because of cash infusions from wealthy liberal benefactors, like George Soros.

This presents an interesting question which has always been vague: If campaign finance laws say you can't make donations exceeding a certain amount on behalf of a candidate or party, isn't it, you know, kind of illegal or something to donate to a "media company" which is not a company in the sense it actually turns a profit or ever has any hope of paying your loans back? Isn't that just laundering campaign donations through a front?

I remember this being discussed when the McCain-Feingold bill was being debated. A guy from the NRA (I think) said that if the only way to get an opinion out is via the "media exception," the NRA would just start publishing its own free magazines and newsletters, and producing and disseminating "documentaries," and maybe even start a cable channel. As a "media organization," they could then support whatever candidate with as much speech as they liked, just like the New York Times.

That's a sham, in the sense that it seeks to disguise the actual intent of the operation. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing; if you can circumvent a bad law by adhering to its letter but not its spirit, that's a good thing. But I think a judge would probably rule such an effort a subterfuge and call it a disguised campaign donation.

But no one will ever look into Air America. George Soros, being a good leftist, is permitted to subvert campaign finance laws in a way the NRA never would be allowed.

Posted by: Ace at 08:37 AM | Comments (25)
Post contains 334 words, total size 2 kb.

1 The NRA should toe the line and start their own media outlet. It's a win/win proposition. If the feds try to shut it down, they point the finger at Air America and drag them down as well. If the feds turn a blind eye, it becomes one more usefull tool of the conservative agenda.

Posted by: natesnake at March 31, 2006 08:54 AM (8dA+A)

2 Actually, natesnake, that was my first thought also! I almost hope they (the NRA) do start their own newspaper/media outlet and that they do get challenged. Maybe it's time for this stupid bill to go up to the SCOTUS again now that we have an additional Constitutionalist on the panel.

Posted by: rabidfox at March 31, 2006 09:06 AM (4N4Vs)

3 The NRA is way ahead of you. Check out this. George Soro's worst nightmare: a reporter with a gun.

Posted by: Abdul at March 31, 2006 09:27 AM (qYvzW)

4 I think the better solution is to just get rid of all these campaign finance laws. I don't think there should be any limit on donations or speech for political purpose. Outspending your opponent is not going to guarantee you a victory.

Posted by: Defense Guy at March 31, 2006 09:28 AM (jPCiN)

5 Ace raises a point that some whiny libs raised about *gasp* Fox news or Rush or someother rightish news outlet. I think it was Garafolo bitching about it on some interview about Air America.

These laws are stupid and ignore the market for ideas/entertainment. Were purchasers of Farenheit 911 donating political contributions to a Kerry effort, buying entertainment or just watching a movie?

Posted by: joeindc44 at March 31, 2006 09:39 AM (K0x/A)

6 I love Air America!

All this time I've been trying to come up with ways to get wealthy liberals to burn their money. And then they do it for me! And Al Gore wants to start a TV channel! Woo-hoo! Thanks Al!

Posted by: Anonymous Geek at March 31, 2006 09:45 AM (q/kmn)

7 Defense Guy, I think that depends on the race. Here in WV, Don Blankenship CEO of Massy Coal was able to unseat Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw. He poured $2 Mil of his private cash into the race. Thank God he did it. McGraw was a blight on economic prosperity in the state. He sided with plantifs against corporations 97% during his reign.

Now I'm not a statistician, but 50/50 would be optimistic, and 60/40 could be fair, but 97/3 is blatently screwed.

Posted by: natesnake at March 31, 2006 09:47 AM (8dA+A)

8 Didn't their New York City flagship station dump Air America?

Posted by: Canelone at March 31, 2006 09:48 AM (1Vbso)

9 natesnake

Now I'm not a statistician, but 50/50 would be optimistic, and 60/40 could be fair, but 97/3 is blatently screwed.

OK, good point.

Posted by: Defense Guy at March 31, 2006 09:52 AM (jPCiN)

10 Liberals want campaign finance reform for a good reason. They have no money to give. They blew it all on weed, Patchouli, and busted-ass VW vans.

That breed is not know for their sound financial decisions.

Posted by: natesnake at March 31, 2006 10:05 AM (8dA+A)

11 Anon. Geek is correct. Let them continue to pour time, money, and "talent" into the sink hole that is Air America. That means those resources can't be used elsewhere, and by duplicating NPR, they would still be a waste even with decent ratings.

Carry on, lads - one more big push over the top.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at March 31, 2006 10:16 AM (O9Cc8)

12 Air America kicks all your Rush fellating, Hannity licking, Chimp sycophantic asses!

Posted by: Mike at March 31, 2006 10:30 AM (Hn8NG)

13 Was that the real Mike? It's become impossible to tell.

Posted by: Jordan at March 31, 2006 10:32 AM (pLJN7)

14 I just enjoy watching them spend money on a failing venture in the name of indoctrinating people. It's like they are trying to reeducate the masses Marx-style, but don't have the power to force people into it at gunpoint.

Doesn't work so well when people are free, does it moonbats?

Posted by: Canelone at March 31, 2006 12:03 PM (1Vbso)

15 I'm looking for a VW van...

Maybe some leftist hippie with one with a trashed clutch will sell me one. I can change the clutch in an older VW bus in 45 minutes flat.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at March 31, 2006 01:49 PM (WjdPM)

16 I hope they are around for a long time to come, with lots of cash infusions. You know what they say about a fool and his money.

Posted by: Amphipolis at March 31, 2006 02:29 PM (wbBFo)

17 Mike,

I'm starting to think that you may be a character written by Ace himself to give us something to play with.

What do you mean, Air America kicks the asses of people who don't even listen to him? Do you mean to say he kicks Rush's ass? It just doesn't make any sense!

Give us an argument! Throw us a bone! I'm dyin' over here!

Posted by: Steve O at March 31, 2006 04:40 PM (R0Csm)

18 Don't forget the angle of the out-sized (10x industry standards) compensation paid to Big Al, and his huge staff (again, 10x the industry norm).

Air America won't go down until Al finishes his Senate run, which is being funded by Soros, but dressed up to look self-financed.

But win or lose, I wouldn't want to be a creditor on the day after the election.

Posted by: Steve O at March 31, 2006 04:45 PM (R0Csm)

19 Avenger-
I know a guy that has a VW bus that rolled and burned, possibly in the '60's or '70.

I don't suppose that helps.

Posted by: chris at March 31, 2006 05:02 PM (ze3EB)

20 AIRHEADS AMERICA like GEORGE SOROS and the hollywood idiots lots of AIRHEADS

Posted by: spurwing plover at March 31, 2006 05:32 PM (6rkkO)

21 Air America kicks all your Rush fellating, Hannity licking, Chimp sycophantic asses!

Mike, get a life.....

Posted by: at March 31, 2006 06:05 PM (56ssE)

22 Air America kicks all your Rush fellating, Hannity licking, Chimp sycophantic asses!

Mike, get a life...

Posted by: wiserbud at March 31, 2006 06:13 PM (56ssE)

23 Air America kicks all your Rush fellating, Hannity licking, Chimp sycophantic asses!

Listening to Randi Rhodes for more than three minutes makes me feel like I have been beat about the head with a lead pipe, maybe that is what he means.

Posted by: B Moe at April 01, 2006 02:32 AM (PJXZ6)

24 Listening to Randi Rhodes for more than three minutes makes me feel like I have been beat about the head with a lead pipe

In the 1980s, Pat Robertson had, as a regular co-host on the 700 Club, a young lady named Danuta Soderman. She eventually left Robertson's empire and her subsequent journeys, both geographical and theological, have brought her to where I live, Eugene Oregon, where she has the 3-6 pm slot on the local Err American affilate. You think Randi Rhodes is an angry moonbat? Whew lawdy mama! Think of Randi, but without the ability to put together some sort of coherent argument, and you have Danuta.

Posted by: OregonMuse at April 01, 2006 07:50 AM (we8HZ)

25 Hey, if I get to listen to Randi Rhodes devolve from "kinda whacko" to "stark-raving moonbat" without having to pay XM or Sirius, count me in.

Posted by: TC@LeatherPenguin at April 01, 2006 04:57 PM (kd/kM)

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