Warning: Potential network collapse. Helmet required.
TomorrowÃ‚Â is the day that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been reported that Air America will file for bankruptcy.
Since we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know at the time of this writing whether or not this is true, we must first be appreciative of the positive spin from supporters of Air America at ThinkProgress.com who Ã¢â‚¬Å“brokeÃ¢â‚¬Â the story:
The right wing is sure to seize on Air AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s financial woes as a sign that progressive talk radio is unpopular. In fact, Air America succeeded at creating something that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist: the progressive talk radio format. That format is now established and strong and will continue with or without Air America.
Wow, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good. These folks should have done the spin for Ken Lay. Ã¢â‚¬Å“EnronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s downfall isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a sign that progressive business is unpopular, in reality, EnronÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s success in creating a demand for document shredders was a boon for certain businessesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â
Then, the negative spin on Air AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s troubles, from Al Franken himself:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true or not,Ã¢â‚¬Â Al Franken told Radar late Wednesday, when asked about the bankruptcy report. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We do know that there have been cash-flow problems. I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been paid in a while. Like, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no cash flowing to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
For a group that started hoping to challenge Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the rest, this could be a bit of a problem. Liberals, in spite of a giving reputation that is spun at Dave Matthews concerts and aromatherapy classes, do indeed want to be paid.
All of Air AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reported financial woes brings up the question of why billionaire leftist uber-supporter George Soros wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t crack open the checkbook to fullyÃ‚Â fund Air America. Sure, Soros is in various groups who have pledged to underwrite Air America losses, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a point when Atlas not only shrugs, but splits.
Before the 2004 election, Soros said he would give his entire $7 billion fortune if someone Ã¢â‚¬Å“guaranteedÃ¢â‚¬Â that Bush would be beaten in November.
There are no Ã¢â‚¬Å“guaranteesÃ¢â‚¬Â of anything in life, except of course death, taxes, bad sitcoms and mullet haircuts at Rosie OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢DonnellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s birthday party. There are certainly no guarantees in an election Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ at least not since Joe Kennedy died, so SorosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fortune remained intact.
That being said, Soros has given away millions and millions of dollars to organizations and disorganizations bent on sending Bush packing and defeating Republicans, and as a result is the financial darling of the Democratic National Committee and anti-Bushers. Liberals bunch up closely behind him in the wallet region Ã¢â‚¬â€ so much so that at SorosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ next colonoscopy, the doctor is likely to find a benign polyp and five Democrat activists.
Why then wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the Dems pot of gold bail out Air America?
Soros most certainly could ease their pain with one swoop of his mighty checkbook pen, and it wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even have to be a direct gift. He could buy a few 30-second ads for, say, $50 million, to skirt any potential campaign finance law violations.
MoveOn.org has a new series of ads out that bash Bush for exploiting 9/11 for political purposes. I wonder how much of their ad budget is spent on Air America. As evidenced by a potential looming bankruptcy and an unpaid Franken, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m guessing very little.
But then, this is Air AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entire problem. Advertisers, even leftist ones, want to spend their money where the most eyes and ears, the ones that matter to them, will see or hear it. In that aspect, MoveOn.org is no different than General Motors, Kelloggs and Sony. In the universe of advertisers, which is any networkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bread and butter, Air America is about as popular as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a Bar Mitzvah.
Advertisers go to where the audience that matters to them is, and that audience isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t listening to Air America. George Soros didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get that rich by being a complete moron. Even somebody whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fighting against the forces of the free market must do so in the free market.
Unless somebody like Soros steps up with a healthy donation, which is unlikely, history will record that Air AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s downfall was that it quickly became useless to even itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s allies.
Soros must know that liberals need to focus resources on what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re good at, which is Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ well, certainly not non-federally funded radio.
Due to Air America’s financial problems, Al Franken may soon be forced to broadcast from the old “one man mobile uplink portable studio” he used in his Saturday Night Live days.
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