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August 02, 2005

Al Franken responds to AAR scandal

According to the NY Sun ("Franken Unaware Of Ex-Colleague's Alleged Loans"), here's what Al is claiming:

- he doesn't know whether AAR got any money from Gloria Wise...
- he only learned the details of this in the last week...
- Piquant conducted a forensic accounting (a common term even if the NY Sun has never heard of it) of Progress Media's finances and discovered the issue. That was conducted before the NYC Department of Investigation began their probe...
- Piquant was to begin paying back the loans this month, but stopped when the DOI investigation started...

But, wait, it gets weirder:
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."

...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.

Posted in StuartSmalley at August 2, 2005 12:57 PM


Okay, if Piquant did this "forensic accounting" one would assume it was back in early '04, when they shuffled the deck, showed Cohen, Mark Walsh and that Sorenson fellow the door, and Piquant took over title to the netlet. And then did nothing until the DOI hammer fell on Gloria Wise's corrupt financial shenanigans now, a year later.

Everyone who was paying attention back then were wondering what "assets" Progressive handed over when enacting the sale to Piquant...was part of those "assets" bank accounts? Because Progressive owned no stations or anything resembling an infrastructure; they rented their NY headquarters from WLIB's owners and possessed nothing more than a much publicized pile of debts owed to some angry creditors like Arthur Liu from Multicultural Radio, who had kicked them off the air from his LA and Chicago stations for bouncing checks.

I can't believe this thing hasn't blown up in their faces yet. Spitzer is running for governor; hammering these clowns offers him all sorts of good will from anti-Franken/Rhodes right wing New Yorkers. Where's that media hound in all this?

Posted by: TC@LeatherPenguin at August 2, 2005 01:46 PM

AAR lost a station

Down to 66, had 67 yesterday.

Posted by: Randi_Sucks at August 2, 2005 06:21 PM

So "Air-head" America is going down for the third time?

Who cares--seeing that nobody notices them in the first place?

Hoist'd by their own petard, as it were!

Posted by: John C. Fredriksen, Ph. D. at August 4, 2005 02:57 PM

Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to.


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