Update on the Red Cross & Terror Donations

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.  First of all, congratulations to the Arizona Diamondbacks and to the New York Yankees for the best World Series I've ever seen.  I was in Phoenix on Saturday -- a great stadium, great crowd, the score was 15-2 Arizona.  But last night's game was another classic and in my opinion both teams, and America itself won.  Thanks again guys for a great series. 

Talking Points memo this evening is an update with what the Red Cross is doing with the money you donated to help the grieving families after 9/11.  First of all, by law, once you donate to an American charity, that entity can do whatever they want with your money -- even if they tell you it's on a very specific thing.  They don't have to come through on the promise -- that law needs to be changed.  We'll have a report on that in just a few moments. 

Here is the deal on the Red Cross, and it continues to be very disturbing.  So far, an astounding $547 million has been assigned to the Liberty Fund run by the Red Cross.  That money came directly from you donating to those concerts and telethons and direct mail appeals.  But only $100 million of the $547 million is committed recently to the grieving families.  Less than 20 percent of the money donated that found its way to the Red Cross will go to help the families.  The rest will go toward blood storage, military family needs, and day-to-day expenses, as well as a general fund for other disaster relief and on and on. 

At the request of The Factor and other organizations, none of the money will go to community outreach programs, which are sometimes touchy-feely symposiums that make many Americans wince.  But some of the donations will go to print up brochures, for example, touting safety procedures for school kids.  $1.5 million is earmarked for that.  Talking points is still very uncomfortable with the way the Red Cross is handling the money, because I believe it all should go to the families.  I would not object to a trust fund situation administered by the charities, but I continue to feel that Americans were misled by the pitch. 

The entire question of charity accountability goes back to our investigation of Jesse Jackson and his non-profits.  Jackson figured out that the rules were few and the money was huge and he has taken full advantage of that.  Congress needs to change the non-profit laws and fast with 160 charities handling $1.5 billion without oversight -- bad things are going to happen. 

This week two congressional committees will hold hearings on the problem and we'll keep you posted. 

Also, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell join us tomorrow to talk about celebrity responsibility.  We'll stay on the story because things really do need to change.  And that's the memo. 

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."  According to The New York Daily News, there was a nasty blowup backstage at the Madison Square Garden concert to benefit the grieving families, after Hillary Clinton got booed lustily by the crowd, Bill Clinton began yelling at VH1 chief John Sykes, the producer of the concert.  Eyewitnesses say Hillary was very upset when she left the stage after getting the razzberry.

Eyewitnesses say Hillary was very upset when she left the stage after getting the raspberry. What Mr. Sykes could do about it...I don't know.

But Mr. Clinton was teed off, some say to a ridiculous extent.  Or he could have been chivalrous.

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