Good Causes, Bad Leadership

To watch "the memo" click here .

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Good causes, bad leadership.  That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

In just a few moments, we'll have a report on the American Red Cross and how much damage has been done to it because of Red Cross blunders after 9/11.  The United Way has also taken some huge hits.  And now the Catholic Church is getting hammered.

On paper, all these organizations are good and worthy of respect.  They were set up to help people.  The Red Cross provides disaster relief, the United Way aids the poor and disadvantaged.  Catholic Charities bring hope to some of the most destitute people on earth.  Mother Teresa, of course, the role model for that.

But contrast the charity of Mother Teresa, who lived in the filthy streets of Calcutta, to the splendor the American Catholic cardinals live in, and the comfort and power of the Vatican in Rome.  Contrast the plight of mentally and physically handicapped kids to the head of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the United Way, who just used $80,000 in donations to refurbish his office.

And how many of you feel the American Red Cross did the right thing by holding back half of your donations to the 9/11 families for other projects?  It was only after being hammered by The Factor and a few other media outlets that the Red Cross put the money where it belonged.

The problem here is leadership.  Bad leadership can damage good intentions all day long.  Today, every Catholic priest in America is a suspect, and the cardinals still won't fully cooperate with the authorities in pedophilia issues.  The pope and the cardinals have finally issued statements condemning these heinous acts, but where's the change in policy?

Where is the public discussion?  There is none.  The cardinals hide in the cathedrals, even as the bishop of Palm Beach was forced to resign because of sexual indiscretions.

It's truly tragic that the church has such poor, cowardly leadership.

Same holds true for the American Red Cross and the United Way.  Some of their local chapters are magnificent, but the national leaders who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries have set a tone of inefficiency and apathy.  Can we trust these organizations any more?

You have to answer that question for yourself.

Now, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton shamed all of us by their actions, but the country did not fundamentally change because of that.  It remains a great country despite some of the failed leadership because we confronted our mistakes.

"Talking Points" hopes the Red Cross, the United Way, and the Catholic Church do the same.  We hope they make comebacks, because the world needs them.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."  The Factor takes to the road again.  This time we're going to do a program from Las Vegas on April 5th.  We'll be at the showroom at the Venetian Hotel, taping at 2:00 Vegas time.

If you would like tickets, please call (877) 881-4225.  Tickets are free, but seating is limited.  So if you're interested, there's the number again on your screen.  Viva Las Vegas.  I will not be wearing a white rhinestone jumpsuit.  That would be ridiculous.

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