Friday, March 19, 2010

Stay classy, Hannity

We always like to mock Sean Hannity here at TB, and why not? The man is probably the most baldfaced liar on TV and he doesn't even have the nerve to be an interesting kind of crazy like Glenn Beck. I mean all he does is work himself into outraged conniptions about minor events he exaggerated and stories he invented in a annoyed windbaggy tone. No weeping, no stunts, no chalkboard. Boring evil.

And it's worked out pretty well for Hannity, as he's knocked down a $100 million dollar contract just for his radio show alone. But that's not enough money for him apparently, and has taken to using a charity he ostensibly started to help wounded soldiers and children of wounded soldiers and decided it should effectively be run as a PR machine and goodie bag dispensery for himself, his friends and his family. It's a shocker, I mean he just looks so trustworthy.
For the last several years, Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance “charity” have conducted “Freedom Concerts” across America. They’ve told you that they are raising money to pay for the college tuition of the children of fallen soldiers and to pay severely wounded war vets.
But it’s all a huge scam.

In fact, less than 20%–and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively–of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferret the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity’s statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes. Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.
And who revealed all of this? Conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel. Et tu Brute? Media Matters, not one to give Schlussel credit, even goes so far as to say that her numbers check out and points to further work done on the Charity Navigator page. There, on the website that rates and analyzes charities to see if they're scamming people and how much of the money they get is actually spent on their supposed cause, alleges that Hannity's charity might even spend less on wounded veterans than Schlussel does. Noting that by Freedom Alliance's own tax filings they have taken in almost $50 million since 2003 and doled out only &1.8 million to the families of veterans.

I guess this is why Hannity is always railing against the government for misuse of revenue: he sees that kind of abuse first hand all the time and must have a sixth sense for when it's happening.

Well this is all just so surprising. I mean, for one, who thought Sean Hannity would be so thoroughly dishonest is his dealings? Secondly who thought that a charity he started in an attempt to get publicity for himself and puff his chest out about how he cares more about the troops than liberals, wouldn't actually be committed to the spirit of charity? On the other had he did get a lot of free promotion and content for his radio and TV shows and he did get to meet Trace Adkins and Toby Kieth a bunch of times, so defrauding the American public and wounded soldiers worked out like gangbusters. Stay classy, Sean, I know you will. Can't wait to hear about how this is all a giant liberal conspiracy against you.

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