More on The United Way

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.  We'd like to welcome our new viewers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on AT&T Cable.  We hope you like The Factor.  And we'd also like to thank you for again making The Factor the most watched cable news program in the world.  For most of the month of November, we were a dominant number one.  And everybody here realizes that the power of the program lies with you, the viewer.  We are very grateful for your loyalty.

I hope you saw last night's Factor as something very extraordinary happened.  That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.  As you may know, we have been investigating the United Way September 11 Fund, which controls more than $300 million that you donated to help the 9/11 families.

The Fund's CEO, Joshua Gotbaum, appeared on The Factor and dropped a bombshell.  There are now two September 11 Funds.  One to help the families and another to help organizations that the United Way likes.


O'REILLY:  How many September 11 Funds do you have?  How many?


O'REILLY:  There are two.  All right, it's the first I'm hearing about this.  There's the September 11 Telethon Fund.  Is that right?

GOTBAUM:  Right, that's right.

O'REILLY:  And then, there's the September 11 what fund?

GOTBAUM:  There is the general September 11 Fund.


O'REILLY:  But on the United Way website, we could only find one September 11 Fund mentioned until late this afternoon, when magically, mention of a second fund popped up.

Now the importance of the story is not that the United Way is screwing up.  It is.  But that it's allowed to continue to operate without an oversight.  Why are your charitable donations not worth the time and interest of the authorities?  There's obviously chaos and possibly fraud in all of this.

With Congress set to take off Christmas, it looks like the 160 charities involved with the terror attack will continue to operate without challenge.  This is truly a scandal.  And outside of us, very few in the media give a damn.

The New York Islanders hockey team, for example, recently collected $170,000 from their own players, their salary, they donated today's salary in order to help the 9/11 families.  But the Islanders have to sit on the money because they don't know where to send it.

Now I put them in touch with some grassroots charities I trust, but the State of New York should be doing this, not some media guy.  It is a cliche, but actions speak louder than words.  All those politicians and celebrities you saw on TV sympathizing with the attack victims certainly were very convincing.  When it gets down to the hard part, when it gets down to actually helping people, most of those people simply have not stepped up.  And that is a depressing disgrace.

Once again, Talking Points is asking Governor Pataki of New York and members of Congress to begin overseeing this charity business.  And Points continues to encourage celebrities to use their clout to pressure the charities to get organized.

If the powerful people in America really want to help all of those affected by the terror attack, they could.  But at this point, most of the powerful sit on the sidelines.  And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." 

The celebrity press continues to strike back at your humble correspondent.  People magazine scorched my book, The No Spin Zone.  The reviewer, Kyle Smith, actually reviewed me rather than the book.

Said Smith, "Archie Bunker in a chalk-striped suit?  No, Archie was funny.  O'Reilly is the Eeyore of politics, breathlessly elevating fringe groups like the North American Man-Boy Love Association into national calamities.  It's a worldview that was silly on September 10, and it's even sillier now."

Of course Mr. Smith has a perfect right to pan the book.  But what's ridiculous about his review is that it's so condescending.  In the real world, Mr. Smith, Americans are concerned about NAMBLA hiding behind the First Amendment, OK?  That's an important issue to a lot of people.

The bottom line here is that many of these media pinheads simply are furious that The No Spin Zone is the best-selling book in America and The Factor is the most-watched cable news program.  And they vent their fury whenever possible.

Nothing like an objective review.  Review the book, not me, all right?  We all know that I'm -- all right, whatever.

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