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Clooney, O'Reilly spar over tsunami telethon
(CNN) -- Three years after jousting over a celebrity telethon that raised millions for 9/11 victims, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and actor George Clooney are at it again, this time over what will happen to funds pledged in a telethon for tsunami victims.
In a letter sent by e-mail Monday, Clooney lashed out at the host of "The O'Reilly Factor," saying comments he made last week on his program will lead to lower contributions in Saturday's celebrity-driven telethon.
NBC and its sister cable networks -- USA, Bravo, Trio, the Sci-Fi Channel, MSNBC and CNBC -- plan to simulcast a benefit special featuring celebrities and musical performances.
The caustic message from Clooney also challenges O'Reilly to be a presenter at the event.
"This is your chance to put your considerable money where your considerable mouth is," Clooney writes in the note sarcastically signed "Your fan."
On his show Monday night, O'Reilly responded, "That sounds good to me, but I have to see what the format is.
"Whether I can make a pitch or not depends on how organized things are," he said. "We have to be sure the situation is under control." <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue"> Does Bill think the telethon is in Fallujah?? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif</font color>
lol billie boy might not have enough coffee mugs to donate.
01-13-2005, 12:16 AM
You guys crack me up. O'Reilly held the Red Cross's feet to the fire, and pried loose millions of dollars that were donated to the 9/11 victims, that the Red Cross was trying to sqirrel away as a "war chest". Thanks to him, the Red Cross is way more transparent today in the way they account for donations. You guys have a problem with accountability?
Clooney's a pu$$y that's too chicken to appear on "The Factor". BTW, O'Reilly is going to appear on the telethon. I bet he draws more donations than Clooney.
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As it turns out, O'Reilly -- not so unusually -- had no idea what he was talking about, as became evident when later in that program, he interviewed Joshua Gotbaum, the CEO of the United Way's September 11 Fund:
O'REILLY: What say you, Mr. Gotbaum?
GOTBAUM: The telethon money was specifically reserved for victims and their families, and not one dime of that money is going to cultural institutions.
...There is the General September 11 Fund, whose doors were opened on September 11. There is a separate fund, also administered jointly by the United Way and the New York Community Trust, that was set up specifically to receive the contributions...
O'REILLY: No telethon money's going into that general fund.
GOTBAUM: The telethon money is not going into the general fund. The telethon money is reserved specifically for the victims and their families.
O'REILLY: All right. Now, is all of it going to go to the victims and their families?
GOTBAUM: One hundred percent...
O'REILLY: I'm just hearing tonight now there's two funds. I just thought there was one. Everybody else in my organization just felt there was one fund. Now you're telling me there's two. This is confusing, very confusing to people...
GOTBAUM: Well, then I think it's very important that we set the record straight.
O'Reilly immediately switched issues, and berated Mr. Gotbaum for not having yet set up a data base identifying all the victims. O'Reilly also pointed out that while Mr. Gotbaum was saying that the United Way would take no administrative costs out of the telethon money, that was misleading, since the United Way operates by giving grants to grass roots charities who actually distribute the funds to victims, and those grass roots charities may retain a small portion to cover their own administrative costs.
On both those latter points, O'Reilly raises valid issues concerning which the United Way can be validly criticized.
But after opening his program with what amounts to an accusation of fraud against the United Way, O'Reilly never once apologized for his erroneous charge.
Shouldn't he have checked with Mr. Gotbaum or another United Way official before making his charge?
Compounding the matter, O'Reilly's Talking Points memo from yesterday which makes the charge is today posted on O'Reilly's web site. Why is O'Reilly still publicizing that charge when he knows it's untrue?
No spin zone?
01-13-2005, 03:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> No spin zone?
Q <hr /></blockquote>
You are confusing the Red Cross and the United Way. The celebrity telethon that Clooney was on was sponsored by the United Way, and raised something like $337 Million. The fund was called the "September 11th. Fund'. I don't know how much was actually given to the victims.
I referred to the Red Cross in my post, not the United Way. Even Dr. Bernadine Healy, the out-going president of the American Red Cross, tried to explain to O'Reilly that the Red Cross wanted to raise $250 million to help the families of those who died in the Terrorist attacks on September 11th. Instead the public sent four times that amount. The Red Cross planned to meet the needs of those families and earmark the rest, as she put it, "For the next victims of terrorism - including those with anthrax."
In a statement two months after 9/11, the Red Cross said: [ QUOTE ]
"We deeply regret that our actions over the last eight weeks have not been as sharply focused as the American public wants or the victims of the tragedy deserve." <hr /></blockquote> So after six weeks of controversy, the Red Cross agreed to donate all of the money it had received for the "Liberty Fund" to the 9-11 families. Previously, the Red Cross was only going to give approximately 25 percent of the donations to the families ... keeping the rest for general Red Cross programs.
Hell, even the New York Times ran an editorial criticizing the Red Cross for the way they tried to handle the "Liberty Fund".
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You are confusing the Red Cross and the United Way. <hr /></blockquote> That was pretty funny. Once I started reading his article it was apparent he had no idea.
01-13-2005, 07:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> </font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
No spin zone?
Q <hr /></blockquote>
Who ae you quoting Q? There's no name associated with this piece.
01-13-2005, 11:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr>
lol billie boy might not have enough coffee mugs to donate. <hr /></blockquote>
Anybody that appears on O'Reilly gets what they deserve. If the guests on O'Reilly thinks they will get the chance to further their cause they are simply naive, untried, or just willing to do anything to get some face time on TV. O'Reilly is all about contraversy, that's what sells. He has a whole organization behind him whose duty/job is to setup the guest to look bad and at the same time make him look good. How do they accomplish this? They control the mic and the agenda. They are very good at this game. They know from the get go where they want the program to go and the guest is more like a fawn caught in the headlights of an on coming car than a guest who's side will be given some fair hearing.
I can't remember if O'Reilly is 'one of those' that concider themselves jounralists or not. He certainly is no journalist. He is just in control of his show/microphone, he knows it, and his people are good at what they do...
Like I said: If you go on O'Reilly you get what you deserve....Why does O'Reilly avoid appearing on other peoples controlled formats? He knows the power of manipulating that control, he's no dummy, his quest are the dummies.
O'Reillys show is not the only show that uses these tactics, there are many such shows. O'Reillys people are just very good at this game. Having said all this I have to admit that went his face or voice comes across my TV set I nearly break a leg getting to the remote......GEEZ...what a blow hard....
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Stars, money, and the tsunami: they are the subjects of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
As Yogi Berra (search) once said, "it is deja vu all over again." You may remember that in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, there was a celebrity-driven TV telethon that raised millions for the affected families. And now, there will be another telethon raising money for those hurt by those the tsunami.
And once again, our pal [actor] George Clooney (search) will be involved. You may also remember that Clooney strenuously objected to “The Factor” investigation that uncovered problems in distributing the 9/11 money, even though we proved our case and the Red Cross (search) revamped its entire operation because of it.
Clooney objected to many things, but one of them was my insistence that if celebrities ask for money, they have a moral obligation to see the donations go where they're supposed to go. -- Clooney disagreed.
So now we're back in the same spot. A national TV telethon will raise millions and “The Factor” will be watching to see if the money gets to the tsunami victims. If it does not, there will be trouble. And this time nobody can say they weren't warned. <hr /></blockquote>
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