For weeks, my staff here at The Factor has worked incredibly hard on the charity story vis-a-vis the 9/11 families, and now that hard work seems to have paid off. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
At a press conference this afternoon, the American Red Cross announced it will change its policy. Instead of donating just 25 percent of the money Americans gave to its Liberty Fund to help the grieving families, the Red Cross will now give all the money to those affected by the terrorism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAROLD DECKER, RED CROSS INTERIM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: The people of this country have given to the Red Cross certainly their hard-earned dollars, their trust, and very clear direction for our relief effort.
Today, we are making a course correction for the Red Cross Liberty Disaster Fund. A hundred percent of that fund and our efforts will be devoted to support those who are affected by the terrible tragedies that occurred on September 11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: So $543 million will eventually be available to help the 9/11 families and others who have been adversely affected by the attack, and more than 15,000 children will be financially taken care of by the Red Cross. This, of course, is a huge victory for the families and for Americans who donated their hard-earned money to help them.
Now I hope the United Way and 158 other charities involved in this effort will light a fire under themselves and get busy. Families need to be contacted, and the donated money has to be organized and responsibly dispersed.
Some people are giving me credit for all this, but it's really you, the viewers of The Factor, who have done it. I can sit here and spout all day long, but unless you call and demand action, nothing will get done. And you made your opinion known loud and clear to the Red Cross, as you just heard.
My next question is: What about all these programs and TV people who were critical of The Factor's efforts in this investigation? What do George Clooney and his apologists have to say now? We're ready to listen.
That's not gloating. That's holding people responsible for their actions. If all those Hollywood stars had put pressure on the charities, this issue would have moved ahead much faster. If the elite media had cared, that would have moved things along as well. Only "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal" showed concern on the national level.
Now how about the politicians? There are a couple of congressmen writing legislation, but the big guns have been silent. New York Governor Pataki sat by and did absolutely nothing about the situation.
At least Mayor Giuliani stepped up and acted quickly with the Twin Towers Fund after "The Wall Street Journal" exposed the lethargy there.
And where is Senator Hillary Clinton? Is she clueless, or does she not care?
In the end, I'm very pleased that the Red Cross has changed its policy because new hope has now been brought to the families.
Our job here is to watch the powerful and hold them accountable. In this case, The Factor did its job.
And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
If you ask us for something, we try and make it happen. And so it is with The O'Reilly Factor varsity jacket seen here, being modeled by the enchanting Edie Donahue -- she made me say that, but she is pretty enchanting, isn't right? -- of Fox and Friend.
The Factor Jacket was requested for the winter by at least two people. Vamp it up, E.D.! We're paying you a fortune for doing this. It will keep you warm and toasty and very stylish. But move the teleprompter up, please. One note. E.D. Donahey does not come with the jacket. That would be ridiculous. Check out the website for details. (Look for the Fox News store button on the home page for foxnews.com.)
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