Air America And The Race Hustlers
Where are they?
Jesse Jackson and
Al Sharpton are the supermen of the civil rights
establishment—able to leap tall buildings in a single
bound to get in front of a picket line. When
victim politics calls, the demagogic duo leap into
patented action: March.
But the raging reverends are
nowhere to be found as a
scandal involving the liberal radio network Air
America and a Bronx, N.Y.-based inner city charity for
poor children brews. Why the silence?
It`s all about the
Benjamins, as they say.
First, a summary of the financial
fiasco that the liberal media won`t touch: The New York
City Department of Investigation has been
probing allegations that officials of the nonprofit
Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club and one of its affiliates,
Pathways for Youth, approved "significant
inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that
were submitted to various city agencies." The
charities receive large portions of their budgets from
local, state and federal government grants. At the
center of the controversy is Evan Montvel Cohen, the
disgraced former chairman of Air America, who was in
charge of the liberal radio network at the same time he
was serving as Gloria Wise`s director of development.
The New York Sun`s David
reported this week that Cohen received more than
$800,000 in loans for himself and Air America during his
tenure, according to Gloria Wise executive committee
President Jeannette Graves. Graves alleges that Cohen
funneled $613,000 to himself and Air America without her
authorization or knowledge. Other loans were approved by
the Gloria Wise executive committee when Cohen claimed
he needed money to cover medical expenses for himself
and his father. As a result of an ongoing investigation,
the city canceled its contracts with both Gloria Wise
and Pathways in June—causing a near-shutdown of services
to poor minority kids, Alzheimer`s patients, and other
underprivileged clients until other nonprofit agencies
were brought in to take over the old management.
Air America`s ever-evolving
statements about the controversy have raised more
questions than they`ve answered. After radio industry
blogger Brian Maloney (radioequalizer.blogspot.com)
called attention to the probe last week, the liberal
radio network initially
shrugged off corporate responsibility by asserting
that its current management, Piquant LLC,
"had no involvement whatsoever" with the funds
and was "not being investigated." A follow-up
statement then revealed that Air America
"agreed months ago to fully compensate" Gloria
Wise for the loan (despite having "no involvement"
with it). Yesterday, Air America host
Al Franken acknowledged that
Piquant had conducted an internal probe of the matter
before the city got involved—and, according to the city,
failed to tell authorities about it.
If a conservative radio network had
been entangled in a scam to steal from black children to
line the pockets of wealthy white con artists, Jesse
Jackson and Al Sharpton would already be staging
hunger strikes in protest. But both have hefty
political and financial stakes in Air America`s
success—and the big mouths aren`t about to badmouth
Air America`s flagship New York
City station is housed on Park Avenue at WLIB-AM, owned
by Inner City Broadcasting. The company
shunted aside its black-themed talk format at WLIB
to accommodate Air America. In return, Air America made
room for a few minority radio hosts and also entered
into lucrative lease management agreements with Inner
City Broadcasting, which owns and operates 17 radio
stations in five markets.
The co-founder of Inner City
Broadcasting is New York media mogul Percy Sutton, best
known as Malcolm X`s lawyer and former Manhattan borough
council president. Sutton helped bail Sharpton out after
ordered to pay former Dutchess County prosecutor
Steven Pagones over the Tawana Brawley
race hoax. Sutton also raised and donated money for
Sharpton`s 2004 presidential bid. Sharpton still
broadcasts a Sunday radio show on WLIB. Sutton and
Jackson are longtime friends and partners. Sutton served
as Jackson`s 1988 presidential campaign finance
chairman. Jackson has lobbied on Sutton`s behalf. Sutton
sits on Jackson`s Citizenship Education Fund. As
original investors, Jackson and his wife reportedly hold
more than 23,000 shares in Inner City Broadcasting.
Now you know why there will be no
boycotts at Air America headquarters over the possible
bilking of poor Bronx children. Race hustlers care about
only one color: green.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
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