Debbie Schlussel, a conservative blogger, claims she has been investigating the concerts for a year and calls them a “huge scam.” Hannity, a political commentator on Fox News, is expected to be honored this evening, March 19, at the Talker's Magazine convention for outstanding community service, but Schlussel is raining on his parade.
She claims that most of the money goes to expenses and to Hannity and his entourage, which spend the money on travel, transportation and expensive rooms. “Less than 20 percent” of the money has gone to the charity of note - children of fallen soldiers - in years past, and less than 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, the last two years.
“The tax forms available to the public for the Freedom Alliance–for the years 2006-2008–paint a tragic story, a story of a charity that makes gazillions and spends very little for the purposes it claims,” Schlussel writes. She notes that $200 was given to a soldier from a poor neighborhood who lost three limbs. “Freedom Alliance gave this brave soldier roughly $67 per limb,” Schlussel writes. “That’s sickening.”
Schlussel claims she has been trying to get Hannity to address the issue but he has been reluctant to comment, and she claims she was not granted an interview with the president of the charity foundation, Freedom Alliance. Its founder, Oliver North, allegedly has addressed Schlussel's concerns with Hannity.
Artists scheduled for this year's Freedom Concerts include Charlie Daniels, Michael W. Smith and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with Gold Circle seating going for $125, Silver Circle seating at $100 and lower-end tickets at $75. Cities include Jackson, Orlando, Las Vegas, Dallas and San Diego.
Click here to read Debbie Schlussel’s blog entry about Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts.