The New York Sun has Franken Unaware Of Ex-Colleague’s Alleged Loans.
The comedian Al Franken, Air America Radio’s most prominent host, said yesterday that he did not know whether the hundreds of thousands of dollars apparently lent to the radio network by a Bronx social-service organization had indeed been relayed to Air America by Evan Montvel Cohen. Mr. Cohen simultaneously served as director of the liberal network and development director of the nonprofit Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club.
Mr. Franken said he has learned details of the story only in the last week. He said Piquant LLC, current owner and operator of the radio network, found a record of the transfers while conducting a “forensic” investigation into the finances of the previous owner, Progress Media, which was run by Mr. Cohen. That internal probe was conducted before the city agency became involved, Mr. Franken said. Efforts by The New York Sun to reach Mr. Cohen for comment in recent days have been unsuccessful.
A Piquant spokesman said yesterday that Gloria Wise would be compensated regardless of the amount of money it transferred. Mr. Franken said he did not know if money from Gloria Wise had been absorbed by the network and used to finance its operations. He said Piquant’s payments to Gloria Wise were scheduled to begin this month but were prevented from going through while the city investigation continued.
Right and it seems that Al Franken is good at passing the buck. This from the Department of Investigation.
A spokesman for the Department of Investigation, Keith Schwam, said that if Air America discovered the transfers before the city probe began, “They neglected to tell anyone at DOI or in the city about it.”
Ok, so Franken wants to blame Cohen, whose wherabouts are unknown, and complained of brain cancer. This isn’t a radio enterprise but a ship of FOOLS.
Mr. Franken said that around the time of Air America’s launch in March 2004, Mr. Cohen said the radio network could survive for three years without making a profit.” It turned out to be three weeks,” Mr. Franken said. “We were all shocked.” Mr. Franken said his most “charitable” interpretation of the Gloria Wise transfers to Air America was that Mr. Cohen had a “dream and tried to keep it going.”
Members of the Gloria Wise executive committee described to the Sun transfers from the club to Mr. Cohen and to Air America that totaled $875,000. They said Sunday that one reason Mr. Cohen cited when asking for personal loans was that he needed money for chemotherapy because he suffered from brain cancer.
Mr. Franken said he did not know whether his former colleague had the disease, but he recalled that Mr. Cohen, a native of Guam who is 39, referred repeatedly to it. For example, Mr. Franken said, he’d complain to Mr. Cohen that studio equipment wasn’t working, “and he’d say, ‘You know, I have brain cancer.'”
“Brain cancer,” Mr. Franken said, “seemed to be his answer to everything.” Mr. Franken said he didn’t know Mr. Cohen’s current whereabouts.
Franken would be probably better off if he saves his comments for the New York and federal investigations which are proceeding.
Next, undoubtedly the ACLU will come to Air America’s rescue and they will all plead the 5th.
Or……blame it on the missing guy with brain cancer.
Michelle Malkin has AIR ENRON: AL FRANKEN SPEAKS.
So: by Franken’s own admission, Air America’s current owners have known for months that their network received a large cash infusion from Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, a non-profit organization funded primarily by government grants. Presumably, they also knew that Gloria Wise’s director of development at the time the money was transferred was also Air America’s chairman at the time–a glaring conflict of interest. According to Franken, the owners still don’t know whether that cash was ultimately placed in Air America’s coffers or diverted somewhere else. (Franken seems to be hinting that the money was embezzled by Cohen.) Yet even as the radio network’s hosts railed on about Enron, it didn’t occur to any of Air America’s accountants, managers, or investors to mention the sketchy Gloria Wise transaction to law enforcement officials until after the city launched its investigation.
Despite the near-total MSM blackout, this story just keeps getting more and more interesting
Gerard Van der Leun calls its Air Scamerica.
N.Z. Bear has coverage
Silflay Hraka has “Non-Scandals” and Comparative Advantage in Politics
New York Post has a brief follow-up here.
Wizband also has Air America Scandal: Bubbling up to the MSM