In the midst of war, and anthrax and threats, we have some good news for you. And that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
Some of the families awaiting money from relief agencies have finally gotten it. The Factor has interviewed a number of people who have lost loved ones in the terror attack. And some of them said they have received no help from the 140 agencies that raise hundreds of millions of dollars supposedly to aid them.
Well today, Susan Ferugio (ph) told us a check for $18,000 was on its way to her, Jimmy Alario has been given close to $17,000 and Kurt Foster, more than $19,000. That money all courtesy of the Red Cross, which has a number for the families to call if they are having trouble getting those donations.
Here it is on the screen, 866-GET-INFO; 866-GET-INFO. That's the Red Cross line.
Now the United Way has also contacted those folks.
And our pal Howard Lutnik, the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald now says he'll provide generous financial packages to the 700 families who have lost loved ones in his firm. It's too bad we had to rough up Mr. Lutnik, but if he does provide the money now, we will tell you about it.
All of this is very encouraging, of course, but it took a very heavy hammer from The Factor to jar the money loose, and that should not have been necessary. All charities exist because of the public trust. They should all be honest and open. If they're having problems, they should own up to those problems.
I promised Factor viewers that I would make sure the families got the money American's have generously donated to them. And that will happen. So we'll continue to watch things very closely, because there's still hundreds of millions of dollars floating around, that have not find their way to the families.
Finally, Talking Points" would like to thank and congratulate the hundreds of Factor viewers who sent us money to help the families. We sent those checks back to you, because there's plenty of money available right now, it's just getting it to the people. And since the cash flow has started, further donations are not needed at this point.
Leandro Rizutto, who runs the Conair Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut sent us $30,000 for the families. That's very impressive, and we applaud everybody at Conair. Mr. Rizutto and others demonstrate what America is really all about.
Again, it brings me no joy to hammer people in charities, but sometimes that is the only way that we can get things done. Red Cross and the United Way are beginning to make things happen. We are very happy to have been of some help here. And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Guess who's on the cover of Parade magazine this Sunday? Uh-oh, yes, it's me. There's a big excerpt from my book, The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America.
How this all happened is a mystery to me and ridiculous to many of my detractors, but there it is. Take it or leave it.
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