An Air America Cover-Up?

| Thu Aug. 4, 2005 4:11 PM EDT

Supposedly there's some sort of potential scandal in the making that concerns Air America and shady financing. I haven't followed the story because, frankly, I don't care. If wrongdoing took place, then let the wrong-doers hang. We'll find out when the investigation wraps up, won't we? Nevertheless, Hugh Hewitt wants to make a point about media bias:

We know a lot about the medications Rush Limbaugh has taken.

We know a great deal about Bill O'Reilly's troubles.

But thus far we don't know much about how Al Franken got paid the big bucks last year, when all of the mainstream media seemed to be cheering his debut.

Well gee whiz folks. The media was all over a celebrity drug scandal, all over a celebrity sex scandal, but just hasn't perked its ears at a scandal involving complex financial transactions and potentially shady-record keeping. If you can think of any reasons why this might be the case, do let Hugh Hewitt know about your very interesting theory.

Okay, that's a bit glib. If Air America really did steal money from poor kids, or whatever they supposedly did, the media should follow up. On the other hand, Hewitt's being naïve as usual: the media's always slow to investigate this sort of scandal. According to a Lexis-Nexis search, the New York Times didn't start running stories about Tom Noe's coin scandal in Ohio until May 21, 2005—about a month after the Toledo Blade first broke the story. All in all, the Times has only run one piece on the subject that exceeded 500 words, apart from a Paul Krugman op-ed. And by any standard, Coingate matters far more than Al Franken. Some sort of liberal bias might be factoring into the Times' silence on Air America, but my money's on rather different, and far more deeply-entrenched, factors at work here.

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