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Missing the Perfect Storm

The mainstream media ignores a story tailor-made for them.

12:00 AM, Aug 3, 2005 • By EDWARD MORRISSEY
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One would expect that mainstream journalists would want to take advantage of this opportunity to cover this harmonic convergence: A greedy corporation had taken a half-million dollars of city grant money from two certifiably sympathetic and traditional victim groups in order to pay off its already-wealthy employees. Surprisingly, only three mainstream outlets did so: the Washington Times, in an editorial calling attention to the blog reports, a New York Post article doing much the same, and a New York Sun article detailing even more extensive malfeasance on the part of the CEO. After speaking with the president of the charity's executive committee, Jeanette Graves, the Sun's David Lombino discovered that the CEO in question got the loans using rubber-stamp replicas of Ms. Graves's signature on documents never seen by her. A wire transfer of over $400,000 of the charity's funds went to the corporation, also without her knowledge.

In fact, the amount in question now totals $875,000, which the corporation's new ownership discovered on its own but never revealed to authorities. This company has now belatedly agreed to repay the money--but over two years, while the charity remains under funded for its tasks and suffered the loss of other government contracts due to its nonperformance on these earmarked grants. What a story! What a blockbuster!

Yet most of the mainstream media has been oddly silent. Why?

WELL, FOR ONE THING, we have thus far neglected to name the corporation involved. The company that took money from poor kids and Alzheimer's patients to pay off its high-priced employees is Air America and the CEO was its original founder, Evan Cohen. Air America broadcasts its liberal views on American politics in several cities around the country, attempting to compete with the much more robust conservative talk-radio industry and mostly failing.

The mission of the mainstream media to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, to tell truth to power, and to hold the reverse Robin Hoods accountable for their malfeasance wouldn't depend on the politics of the criminals.

Would it?

Edward Morrissey is a contributing writer to The Daily Standard and a contributor to the blog Captain's Quarters.