Air America Bankruptcy: Uhh, About That...

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Sep 15, 2006 6:43 PM

Turns out, Think Progress was wrong about that story the other day of Air America's impending bankruptcy.

Here's the Think Progress retraction.

On Wednesday, ThinkProgress reported “Air America Radio will announce a major restructuring on Friday, which is expected to include a bankruptcy filing.” We made a judgment that our sources were knowledgeable and reliable. We regret the error.
We wish Air America a long and successful future.

But remember the silliest of silly headlines on the first ThinkProgress story?

Air America to Declare Bankruptcy, But Liberal Radio Remains Strong

You're telling me that abomination of a headline was an unforced error?

All right, here's the thing. ThinkProgress is a partisan, Lefty blog. Air America is an ally of the Left. All political blogs walk the line between activism and journalism, so it's not out of the question that ThinkProgress would stumble on or dig up a story detrimental to its ally and run with it based on journalistic principle (or an appetite for that juicy Drudge link).

Fine. But if you're running with the story because you're a journalist, why the hapless spin headline? You might as well just throw it out there because no one's buying the "strength of liberal radio" line.

On the other hand, it makes sense to spin the heck out of it if you were tipped off on it, as an ally not a journalist, for the sole purpose of spinning the heck out of it. But it seems that wasn't the case at all, since Franken's on the radio today refuting the story.

If you're spinning as hard as Think Progress was yesterday, it seems you'd make dang sure sure the bad news was true before you cause a big ruckus over nothing.

But I guess it's not really nothing. They're just delaying the inevitable. There's plenty of evidence to suggest they're in trouble, beyond the unsubstantiated ThinkProgress piece. Franken went after conservatives today for believing the ThinkProgress reports, but all Air America's financial woes combined with the ludicrously friendly spin of the ThinkProgress story were pretty convincing.

Nonetheless, I apologize for running with it before checking with Franken. When it really does happen, I'll check back with you.

Here's the AP story from today.

Franken paraphrase: "Sure, I'm not getting my paycheck, and there's been a series of layoffs, but we're gonna be just fine. I can't believe you conservatives would think anything was up."