Families of Terror Victims Still Waiting for Money

Hi.  I'm Bill O'Reilly reporting tonight from Los Angeles.  Thanks for watching us.

Finally, another media outlet has picked up on the money story.  USA Today has a major piece on how the victims' families are still waiting for financial help.  And that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

For three weeks now, The Factor has been telling you that there is no coordination among the 140 agencies that are raising money for the families of the terror victims.

USA Today reports $1.4 billion has already been raised, and much of that money is in the bank drawing interest, interest that's being used by these relief organizations for whatever they want.

So far, the Red Cross and the United Way have appeared on The Factor and have promised us they will get the money to the families.  We believe them, but the process remains very slow.

Two things are needed.

First, all of the charitable organizations must be proactive, that is they must seek out the families affected and not expect those grieving people to stand in line filling out forms.  That's cruel.  Go over to their house!

It is estimated that 15,000 children are in need of financial assistance right now, assistance that has been provided by generous Americans, but much of the money remains tied up in red tape.

That brings us to our second point.  President Bush and New York Governor Pataki must get together and appoint an overseer to make sure the money gets to the families.  Mr. Bush, of course, is in China and is directing the war effort, so we understand he's preoccupied.

But Governor Pataki, on the other hand, can and should address this issue immediately.  We are requesting the governor come on The Factor on Monday to talk about this.  Of course, we'll keep you posted.

So far, the attorney general of New York, Eliot Spitzer, has not been very cooperative in providing information about the money for the families.  Attorney General Spitzer should be ashamed of himself.

Getting the money to the families is the second most important story in this war.  Defeating the terrorists, of course, is the first.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm tired of seeing self-serving politicians running around ground zero with blue helmets on.  I want these guys to start paying attention to the suffering families, and if they don't, believe me, you will know who is being callous.

Over the next few weeks, The Factor will bring you updates on the United Way, the Red Cross, and other charities.  We'll also chase down the politicians.  And we'll keep an eye on the big Paul McCartney concert this weekend in Madison Square Garden, which is supposed to raise millions more for the families.

Summing up, the situation is a mess.  Our elected officials owe it to all Americans to clean up that mess.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

And this is unbelievable.  Tonight your humble correspondent, me, will be appearing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and at the same time on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.

Talk about overexposure.  You know, I'm getting a headache seeing me, the magic of videotape.

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET.  And send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com