Scott Hennen Cuts Out the Banks

Scott Hennen has apparently had a drastic change of heart.  The free-market conservative spin-meister of North Dakota’s airwaves has gone Socialist.

, Scott Hennen has launched a campaign he proudly calls the “Founding Fathers” campaign — an attempt to get 1,600 hard-working North Dakotans to donate $1000 each to his radio station.  Hmmmm… sounds rather like, gasp, public broadcasting.

Before we get to Scotty’s latest hair-brained scheme, a brief aside on the founding fathers.

I wonder whether Scott Hennen and his ilk have any idea who the founding fathers actually are.  Conservatives like Scott wrap themselves in the flag and carry copies of the US Constitution in their pockets.  They rail against regulation of Wall Street and the big corporations as if they are somehow antithetical to our American ethos.  But their ideology has little basis in fact.

, the fourth President of these United States, a founding father, is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  He is also known for The Federalist Papers, writing, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”  Madison has it exactly right.  If we’re to allow everything to be on the honor system, banks to regulate themselves, mining and oil companies to set their own safety and environmental regulations, we’re left with a system in which the powerful run right over those without a voice.  Madison goes on to say, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed…”  Conservatives like Scott don’t want the government to have any control over the governed.  Just build roads and maintain the military.

Enough with the history lesson.  Let’s talk about Scotty’s latest scam.  He’s asking his partisan, hate-monger followers to fund his radio station in lieu of a bank loan.


He said he has plenty of investment offers from more traditional sources like banks and capital firms, but opted for a more populist route to raise $1.6 million after sensing his audience “has a desire to be part of something bigger.” He also said the new arrangement will ensure the station’s long-term health by keeping it debt-free.

These lies make this writer want to throw up.  First, I seriously doubt Scott has banks and capital firms lined up to finance his latest venture.  Scott’s health is failing, , and apparent just from looking at his gaunt visage.  The odds that any bank will see a full return on their investment are very slim.  If they don’t know that, they haven’t done their homework.

Second, it’s an awfully non-profit thing to do to ask your listeners to fund your radio station through donations, like Prairie Public, just so you can keep your station debt free.  And to add further insult to injury, Scott’s station is a for-profit operation.  He’s asking his supporters to GIVE HIM free money, and when he turns a profit, he keeps it all to himself.

Hennen co-owned this station once before, with a group of investors — an alliance which ended with Scott’s ouster in .  On that,

Hennen says he extended the company too quickly and will move more cautiously this time. He struck a deal to buy back the station in April.

So, to make sure I have this straight, you spent like a trophy wife on your honeymoon the first time, and now you’re asking your supporters to trust you to be more thrifty this time?  And what do we get for our money, Scott?

Members won’t be owners of the company, but they’ll get input on the station’s weekend programming, behind-the-scenes updates, $1,000 in advertising credit to use as they see fit, and an American Flag in a case handcrafted by Iraq war veteran Rusty Ouart

So, what you’re saying is, I get nothing for my money???  You’re going to take my money to run your business and redistribute the profits right into your bank account?  I’m aghast, Scott.  It sounds like a filthy, Socialist charity.  I thought you conservatives only believed in giving to your church.

Hennen said they’ll also act as “citizen journalists,” feeding the station stories and keeping an eye on issues that matter to them.

I stand corrected, I’ll get the privilege of paying Scott my hard-earned money, he gets to keep the profits and the ownership, I get to voice my opinion on weekend programming and advertise on a station with no local 福汇 talent and programming nobody listens to, and a wooden flag case.  Oh, and I get to spend more of the hours I don’t have (thank you, corporate America) hunting down news stories and working for Scott with no compensation.

Yeah, Scott.  The more I hear it, the more I like it.

I’ll give it a year or two before he’s broke again.  He might be able to find more investors to keep the station out of the hands of some dirty liberal who might be interested (and there have been a few), but in the end, it will always end the same way.  In bankruptcy court.   Let the investor beware.