Last night on his Fox News show, Bill O’Reilly bashed the Hope for Haiti Now global benefit, which aired live on Jan. 22. The telethon has so far raised $61 million in donations from the general public for Haiti relief efforts. O’Reilly said that he had concerns about how the money was going to be distributed, and the fact that the telethon “could not or would not supply us a spokesperson” to go on his show was “not a good sign”:
O’REILLY: Factor Follow-up segment tonight, getting charity to Haiti. As you may know, a TV telethon last Friday raised nearly $60 million to help the folks at Factor, but now comes the hard part: getting the money to the people who are suffering. Now, we tried to get someone attached to the telethon to speak with us tonight. We were not successful, and that is not a good sign. [...]
I want to be very careful in this discussion. I want Americans to be charitable to the Haitian people. I think they need it. I, myself, have given money to that island nation for a long time. We called up the telethon, which was based out of MTV, and said, Look, we just need somebody to just run through the process where the money goes, how it’s distributed, what the time frame is, all of that. We’ve got DVD albums in play. We’ve got all kinds of stuff coming in.
They could not or would not supply us a spokesperson tonight. And that just worries me.
As Crooks and Liars points out, O’Reilly griping that the Hope for Haiti organizers are ignoring him rings hollow, considering that Fox News was one of the few networks to not air the benefit concert; both CNN and MSNBC did. Ironically, today on Fox News, Neil Cavuto did a whole segment praising the benefit, saying that it made him wonder whether “the best way to raise aid for all the disaster victims is from celebrity-hosted television shows and not from the government trying to get it from taxpayers.” Too bad his network didn’t agree.