When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

Schlussel Throws Another Bomb

In The Wrong Right Turn on 20/03/2010 at 19:04

Debbie Schlussel

I have never been a huge Sean Hannity fan. I didn’t like his sophomoric showdown with Alec Baldwin, and he has always seemed a little sanctimonious to me. Nothing I can put my finger on, just not my thing.

However, that being said, I am dubious of Debbie Schlussel’s accusation that Hannity is involved in a scam with Oliver North’s Freedom Alliance foundation. Schlussel has accused the charity of funneling outlandish sums to Hannity’s travel and accommodation expenses in his popular Freedom Alliance summer concert series, and alleges that the charity gives little to its causes.

Schlussel has a bit of a reputation as a bomb-thrower and she is prone to attacking anyone who disagrees with her, never a good idea for anyone who wants to be taken seriously. The charity has a four-star rating with Freedom Navigator.

What disturbs me most is Schlussel’s sourcing. In her blogs over the last few days the charges seem to have substance until one digs in a little further. In yesterday’s post she cited:

In February 2009, a well-known conservative writer sent me this, about a friend at FOX News: The guy went on to tell me about Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts,” which are staged across the country with the proceeds going to children of slain soldiers. Of course, as the guy tells it, there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage. …

That is, at best, a secondhand source, at worst, hearsay. Freedom Alliance adamantly denies the allegations in a full page at American Spectator, and says that Hannity pays for his own travel and expenses. And, even if true, it is not at all out of the ordinary for charities to provide travel and accommodations for VIP fundraisers.

Schlussel claims to have accessed Freedom Alliance tax forms over the three years her investigation focused on, and alleges that they “paint a tragic story, a story of a charity that makes gazillions and spends very little for the purposes it claims, a charity that spends millions more on its small staff and crony consultants … ”

However, tax forms are not a stand-alone source for an exposé of this nature. The tax forms seem to be in line with federal guidelines that govern such charities. The foundation hardly takes in “gazillions,” and its total staff expenditures for each year do not exceed $400,000.

Possibly the worst thing Schlussel has going for her is that the only people to tout her allegations so far are liberal lapdog sites like Media Matters and Huffington Post. This is not good sledding, Deb. Secondly, by the look of it, she is connected to rival charity, Veterans Today.

If Schlussel’s allegations have any foundation in truth it will come out in a few days. Liberals love to exploit dogfights between conservatives. However, in the meantime, someone should tell Schlussel how to source and vet a story.

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  1. sorry to burst your bubble but there are millions of us conservatives who believe schussel and know hannity is a fraud. just because main stream conservative sites defend hannity doesn’t mean people on the right believe him. fox news is a fraud and oreilly beck and hannity are all about the cash flow. this story is really not surprising and i know its true. hannity is an elitist. he doesn’t even make a good conservative, thinks bush was a good president? wants mccain to win re election. hahahahaha

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