I hope the American people are watching and listening. There is a Kabuki Dance being performed in the wake of 911 that portends an evil as the terrorist attack itself. They are tied together and are providing an ugly picture of two American institutions.
First up, our entertainers. In the aftermath of 911 George Clooney, Tom Hanks and some others decided to put on an extravaganza to solicit money for the victims of the 911 disaster.
A good number of their peers assembled in New York and LA and presented a telethon that was carried on all the major broadcast channels as well as the major cable channels.
All during the event they sat at the phone bank accepting the accolades of the American people and taking in their pledges. Their efforts exceeded their wildest dreams and over $200 Million was collected for the victims of 911. Great, wonderful.
All patted themselves on the back and went back to their gazillion dollar houses, kissed their husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, kids and/or significant others.
The victims sit in their homes concerned with their future and the future of their children. Their husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and kids never to be held again.
Here we are a month, six weeks later and the victims are still wondering what their future holds.
The second part of this tragedy. The United Way, the recipient of the funds generated by this star-studded telethon, has managed to hand out something like $47 million, I think. But has it gone to the victims? No. It has gone to other charities to be disbursed.
I don't have a breakdown but it went to things like The Legal Aid Society, who it turns out is representing 8 people detained for questioning in the 911 attack and are being held on INS violations.
It was said when we were being asked for these funds that ALL money collected would go to the victims. Well it turns out that the United Way says the money will ALL be distributed... to other charities who will have to take out their administrative costs, you know pay for their electric, phones and faxes. So they estimate that 77% will actually get to the survivors and victims. Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.
Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channels, The O'Reilly Factor started wondering where all this money was going and found out that it was basically going nowhere. It was sitting around collecting interest for the charities and the victims were being ignored.
Well, Bill found himself in a firestorm when he opined that the Hollywood Stars had some responsibility to at least question where the money they raised was going. Whoa! After refusing to provide a statement of concern and being called on it by O'Reilly, the stars came unglued.
George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Faith Hill have all accused him of being everything from a muck raker to a ratings chaser, (I don't think the cable channels have sweeps do they?) to a (Ital) gasp(/ital) entertainer! I find that an amusing irony.
Now while it is true that these stars donated their "valuable" time, it wasn't all altruistic on their part. First of all their time is only valuable to them and then only when they provide their public with what they want. The second thing is they all received a great amount of publicity, FREE publicity, for their work.
The trouble with the vast number of these stars is, they are liberals. I mention this because their attitude toward and attacks on O'Reilly are classic liberalism. Liberals concern themselves with the perception not the outcome.
Our beautiful people went out and sang their songs and made their pitch and went home. They had assuaged their feelings and their egos and went away telling themselves what great people they are, helping those poor folks in NYC. The truth is they, like everyone else in America are fully aware of how little some of their cherished activities now appear when view in the cold light of the events of 911.
Lets cut to the chase here, as they say in tinsel town. These people, these icons of American Entertainment by asking us to donate, have a responsibility to see that that money gets to the intended recipients. And it is not like they have to dirty their hands by giving out the money themselves. All they have to do is go on TV and ask the charities, "Show me the money!" That's it!
© 2001 John Galt