Sean Hannity's ostensibly charitable "Freedom Concerts" are a "huge scam" that use a large portion of the ticket sales on Hannity's private-jet travel, limos, and lavish hotel bills, says prominent conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel. After an investigation, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington offers a similar account, saying the charity directs only a tiny fraction of revenue toward the target charity, Lt. Col. Oliver North's Freedom Alliance, which provides scholarships for the kids of fallen soldiers. Are the accusations "false and malicious," as Freedom Alliance says, or is Hannity helping himself before helping the troops? (Watch Sean Hannity promote his 2009 Freedom Concert)
Schlussel's done her homework: Freedom Alliance may be "technically telling the truth" about not paying for Hannity's private jets, says Rick Ungar in True/Slant, but Freedom Concerts — a profit-making venture owned by Hannity and North's agent, Duane Ward — almost certainly does. And Schlussel's right that only $4 from each $65+ ticket goes toward the charity... Well, "nothing like a little good old-fashioned American patriotism for fun and profit, yes?"
"Following the money in Hannity-Freedom Alliance scam"
This is a vicious attack on Hannity: I am hereby revoking Schlussel's conservative card over this, says Steven Crowder at Big Hollywood. Not only have her charges been refuted, but "conservative turncoats" like her are needlessly "turning the fight against their own" at the worst moment. And for what? The moral high ground? No, to curry favor with the "leftists" at Huffington Post and Daily Kos.
"Feasting on Hannity: Cannibal conservatives aren’t conservatives"
Maybe the charity is just very very inefficient: If Freedom Concerts only promises $4 a pop for Freedom Alliance, and delivers it, then they can "spend whatever they want to get Hannity there to host it," says Ed Brayton at ScienceBlogs. That said, "a legitimate non-profit should have no more than 20% overhead." Freedom Alliance's overhead "has gone as high as 95% over the last few years. That's the problem."
"Schlussel keeps up attack on Hannity"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Why baseball is America's most dangerous spectator sport
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
Subscribe to the Week