Freedom Concerts expenses
After numerous articles on NewsBusters falsely claiming that the allegations against the Freedom Concerts have been refuted, Charity Navigator has downgraded its rating of Freedom Alliance from four stars to two stars.
The question is really simple. How much of the Freedom Concerts revenue actually goes to charity? Now its in the hands of the FTC and the IRS. But I wonder, after falsely reporting the allegations were refuted or shown bogus on David Frum's site, why would NewsBusters ignore that fact the charity has been downgraded by Charity Navigator, and any mention of Charity Navigator have been quietly removed from the charity's web site? How much more diligent would NewsBusters be if this charity and concert series was hawked by an MSNBC personality? How wise is it to ignore or misrepresent the controversy when the allegations come from a conservative, and the truth of the matter will, with no doubt,be made public? This presents a clear difference between conservatism and celebrity infatuation.http://www.debbieschlussel.com/20046/responding-to-schlussel-expose-char...
*Update April 16, 2010
Poor judgment? What was Sean Hannity thinking when he decided to use his Fox News show, to raise money for a Cincinnati TEA party group?
Cincinnati Tea Party organizers expect a sold-out crowd - 13,000 people - Thursday at their Tax Day rally, where Sean Hannity will tape a show and sign his new book.
On the bill for the four-hour Freedom Rings in Cincinnati event: Syndicated columnist Robert Murphy, PJTV economist and comedian Sonja Schmidt, "Liberal Fascism" author Jonah Goldberg, WLW's Bill Cunningham and Chris Littleton, president of the Cincinnati Tea Part...
...Tickets are required and sell for $5 at www.cincinnatiteaparty.org or 1-877-228-7849. Only leftovers, if any, will be sold at the door. And if you want a chance to be on TV, seats around the Hannity set cost $20. The arena seats 13,000.
The tickets will offset the cost of the event, Binik-Thomas said. “Assuming an overage, which I doubt, it will go to the Cincinnati Tea Party for future events,” he said.
According to The LA Times, Fox News officials were extremely angry over using Hannity's Fox show in the manner and "plans to do an extensive post-mortem about the incident with Finley and Hannity's staff."
Today, according to the AP, the Cinncinatti Tea Party is offering refunds to the nearly 10,000 people who turned out for the event:
Debbie Schlussel posted this take on events:
Yes, Sean Hannity is radioactive....
...And because of that, everything Sean Hannity does–where there is money involved–is under rightfully under suspicion. Because of Hannity’s involvement and charging for tickets, everything is stuck under a dark shadow of doubt. That’s why Roger Ailes made him cancel.
Now, I don't know about all that, but this strikes me as a lapse in judgment. I honestly don't think Hannity thought he was doing anything wrong in blurring his two roles. I think his judgment is bad, and a he's a poor businessman. In his mind, whats the harm if Fox's investment in his show and production costs, are used against Fox's wishes and for a cause they didn't intend to promote?
That's just another reason the expenses to these Freedom Concerts should be scrutinized. If officials at Fox News didn't put the breaks on his Tea Party appearance for money, Hannity would have seen no conflict with his deed and Rupert Murdoch's contention that Fox News should not be supporting any party. Yet we are supposed to accept that in his judgment, the Freedom Concert expenses are reasonable and legitimate?
Updates will be posted here.