Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

While Alan Chartock Raises Funds, Fred Dicker & Glenn Heller Raise Questions.

This is the first of a three part series on Glenn Heller, outspoken critic of Alan Chartock and WAMC’s Northeast Radio Network. Today we focus on Heller’s message, tomorrow his medium, and the next day on the man himself.

I have an unusual audio tape. On one side is Fred Dicker’s interview with Glenn Heller on WROW yesterday, June 5. On the other side is part of WAMC‘s June Fundraiser, which also started yesterday.

I must say Heller came off well in the interview, much better than he comes off on his web site; and the interview was much more interesting than the fundraiser. Dicker didn’t just lob soft balls either. Dicker primarily questioned Heller about his latest allegations that Alan Chartock and WAMC have neither disclosed or paid taxes on the many fringe benefits that Chartock enjoys.

What are these taxable perks? According to Heller‘s article:

Mr. Chartock's taxable benefits over the past twenty-plus years include use of WAMC-owned vehicles to commute to and from work and for personal travel; use of a downtown apartment suite in a WAMC-owned building; use of WAMC-owned assets for personal purposes; and use of organization employees on company time to perform personal services and to engage in work intended for the CEO's personal gain.

After reading Heller’s article twice and listening to the interview twice, I believe that Heller proves beyond a doubt that Chartock received these benefits and that WAMC was required to report them and didn’t. The proof is in the many primary sources that Heller provides links to, as well as the testimony of Alan Chartock's former driver. One point that Dicker made and Heller has not adequately addressed though is that even though WAMC did not report these perks, Alan Chartock might have reported them on his personal tax returns. Heller admitted in the interview that he has not seen Chartock’s personal tax returns.

It does seem unlikely, however, that Chartock would have reported the perks on his returns, while WAMC would not have. Even if Chartock did report them on his personal income tax returns, as CEO of WAMC, he would still be partially responsible for their not being reported by WAMC.

One thing yesterday’s interview with Dicker does is shut the mouths of Heller’s critics who say that if his allegations are true, why is no one in the mainstream media paying any attention to them. Dicker has interviewed Heller twice now. As an editor of the New York Post, host of a radio show, and respected political commentator for decades, is not Dicker part of the mainstream media?

Dicker knows a little bit about public figures not paying taxes on perks, as he was the journalist who uncovered the fact that Hugh Carey (Hugh Who?), former governor of New York State, was flying his prodigious progeny all over the place in a state owned jet. Based on Dicker’s investigative journalism, Carey had to pay up.

Dicker believes that these allegations are serious enough and supported enough by facts, that they should at least be investigated. I agree. The question remains then, why haven’t more of the local media addressed Heller’s allegations, and why hasn’t the local media ever looked closely at Chartock’s media empire?

I will make a stab at answering that question tomorrow.

1 Comments:

  • I heard Fred Dicker's show yesterday. It is amazing that Alan Chartock has not yet gotten out in front of this story. I was hoping that by now he'd make a public statement explaining his side.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

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