April 4, 2010

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(image and more courtesy of Salon)

The heat is on Fox News' Sean Hannity and Oliver North for their Freedom Alliance charity and most notably, Hannity's so called "Freedom Concerts." The concerts raise millions of dollars a year, but thanks to a little scrutiny from all political sides, we've learned that the Fox News' celebs aren't giving much of those millions to the people who are supposed to get it - the children of fallen soldiers. These disturbing revelations have now caught the eye of the non-partisan watchdog group called Charity Navigator, and they have downgraded their rating of Freedom Alliance to a less than impressive status:

Patriotic donors cannot say they weren't warned: The four-star rating of Freedom Alliance by Charity Navigator, an independent and nonpartisan Web site that rates charitable organizations, has dropped precipitously from four stars to two stars. The abrupt downgrade occurred within two days after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints against the Freedom Alliance with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, alleging consumer fraud and abuse of tax-exempt status.

The complaints also named Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Oliver North Jr., who run Freedom Alliance and the Freedom Concerts that have raised millions of dollars over the past decade.

The four-star rating that Freedom Alliance formerly enjoyed, according to Charity Navigator's Web site, indicates that a charity is "Exceptional" and "Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause." By contrast, a two-star rating means that a charity "Needs Improvement" and "Meets or nearly meets industry standards but underperforms most charities in its Cause. Read on...

Hannity has denied allegations that he's milking the charity for his personal, creature comforts and I'll let he and Oliver North speak for themselves. Having said that, the fact that Charity Navigator has downgraded them means they have looked at the numbers and have found cause for concern.

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