February 8, 2006

‘Air America Radio’ Asks for Donations

Posted by Eric Jaffa
Wednesday September 28th 2005, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

Air America Radio
starting asking for donations about a week ago.

People who donate will receive an email with news about the liberal radio network about once a month. They can also receive bumper stickers and tote bags.

While the headquarters asking for donations from the general public is new, their affiliates have been doing it for some time.

Air Ameirca Minnesota, which plays some of the shows of “Air America Radio” including Al Franken’s and Janeane Garofalo’s, has been asking for donations since around the time they started (the Minnesota station started as the same time as Air America itself, March 31, 2004.)

Air America CEO Danny Goldberg defends the headquarters’ asking for donations:

Many of our listeners also listen to NPR stations and Pacifica and are used to supporting radio programming they like. I got the idea from the Nation Magazine’s program “The Nation Associates” which helps them fund investigative journalism. Like Air America Radio, The Nation is a for-profit company.

But the conservative propagandists have tried to make it seem like there is something unseemly because Air America Radio is both commercial—and a radio network, as O’Reilly said last night, “I have never seen a commercial enterprise ask their listeners for money—ever” This is also false. The modern model of the broadcasting business involves numerous revenue streams. If anything, Air America has been late in fully building such an infrastructure which the “Associates” is a part of.

For example, Rush Limbaugh’s Web-site offers his fans the “Limbaugh Letter” for $34.95 a year and a totally separate service called Rush 24/7 which includes access to archived programs at the cost of $49.95 a year. The Limbaugh site also features the “EIB Store” which sells such items as $19.95 polo shirt which amusingly says, “My Mullah went to G’itmo and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”

Personally, I made my first donation to Air America Minnesota a long time ago, and I recently donated to Air America Radio at the main website.

I don’t care if they should be able to support themselves entirely from ads. We don’t live in an ideal world.

AAR is a service I use often and I want to help them expand.

The Air America Associates Program.

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