Sean Hannity's Freedom Concert in Tulsa last night was great success. In fact, of the eight concerts, Tulsa was the first to sell-out. Col. Olie North started the Freedom Alliance project to send children of deceased and permanently disabled Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Guardsmen and Marines to college with Freedom Alliance scholarships, and other support. To date, the project has issued $3 million dollars for scholarships and has $15 million in trust to grow to be there for the future youngest children of those whose fathers and mother will not come home. The Tulsa World, which never misses an opportunity to shame itself over the slightest sign of patriotism, gets it wrong again.
Hannity's Freedom Concerts are just one of the fundraising opportunities for Freedom Alliance. The concerts are responsible for $10 million of the $15 million held in trust. The Freedom Concerts are a project of The Freedom Alliance, founded by Colonel Oliver North. The Alliance does incur the cost of providing transportation for our troops, their families and the families of the scholarship recipients. The costs are paid out of The Alliance programming budget. Neither North or Hannity receive "a salary or stipend" for their participation. Sean and Jill Hannity have personally donated over $1 million. Yet the bitter Liberal loons drone on.
Most of you know that I have no respect for my local newspaper, the Tulsa World. If you were listening to Sean's radio show yesterday from Tulsa, you know that this utterly-liberal paper did a hit piece on Hannity and the concert, both before and after the event.
James D. Watts, Jr. (no relation to J.D. Watts, the former Congressman - that we know of) who is the "World Scene Writer," correctly titles his piece "A concert with an attitude." The concert definitely has an "attitude," of 1) support for the troops and their families, 2) a deep love for America, 3) a deep appreciation for patriotism, 4) a strong belief in America's exceptionalism and 5) and unwavering support for American sovereignty.
J. D. Watts, Jr. the writer, slammed the Lynyrd Skynyrd band for their patriotism and loving their "God and Guns." Many years ago, the Lynyrd Skynyrd band were a bit rebellious and outspoken as opponents of handguns. Today, Lynyrd Skynyrd's career is soaring, and through the band's tribulations of losing their front man Rickey Van Zandt to a plane crash many years ago, disbanding for a decade, coming back together, losing other band members to heart attack and cancer, they have emerged as passionate supporters of our troops, AND of the United States of America AND the U.S. Constitution.
The same criticism of Charlie Daniels. Many years ago Charlie sang of getting "stoned in the morning" and "drunk in the afternoon." Today Charlie Daniels is talking about the common sense way to eliminate criminals - see that video below.
Writer Watts talks about "The controversy." 1) the concert portion of the evening gets most of the time, but Sean gets "most of the attention," and 2) a "conservative blogger, Debbie Schlussel" has accused Hannity of benefiting personally from the concerts (I believe she accuses North of the same).
The president of Freedom Alliance, Thomas Kilgannon, sent a letter in March to members of Friends of Freedom Alliance, in answer to Schlussel's charges, and said Hannity "does not use any Freedom Alliance Funds or Concert funds in any way."
Kilgannon's letter went on to say that "In 2008, Freedom Alliance spent a total of $6,745,717. Of that 79 percent ($5,317,970) was spent on Program Activities, 14 percent ($945,950) was spent on Fundraising (and) 7 percent ($481,797) was spent on Management."
The organization's IRS Form 990 for 2008 states that it gave out 167 scholarships totaling $802,250, and 429 Cash Assistance grants to wounded servicemen and women, totaling $266,651.
Of those 167 scholarships, only one - worth $1,500 - went to an Oklahoma student (the grants are listed only by the name of the college, in this case, the University of Oklahoma).If this charity was Left-leaning, you can bet not a dime of Freedom Alliance proceeds would go to an Oklahoma military family...the one state with every single country voting a majority for John McCain - and the only state where Obama didn't win a single county. Hubby and I, living here in Oklahoma, bought tickets priced just under the VIP seats. We had second row, left of stage, great seats. After paying the $125 ticket price ($146 with tax), we donated separately to Freedom Alliance.
CNS quotes Freedom Alliance:
Hannity “pays for all his own transportation, hotels, and all related expenses for himself and his family and friends and staff,” and that he “does not use any Freedom Alliance Funds or [Freedom] Concert funds in any way, period.Hannity is a conservative. In New York he can register as a Conservative. His concert promotes conservative thought. Maybe Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, or Ed Schultz have personally given $1+ million for military scholarships? Just asking...
The Freedom Alliance is accused of not paying for a full-four year scholarships.
We analyze the specific needs of each applicant in granting scholarships and consider many factors including whether the student is receiving other aid and what need the student has demonstrated. Our scholarships are renewable for four years of undergraduate study if the recipient maintains a 2.0 grade point average. The scholarships typically run up to $6,000 per year so some students cumulatively receive as much as $24,000 toward their college experience. We are fortunate to assist these students who could not otherwise afford college without the scholarships.Tulsa World writer James D. Watts, Jr's article was typical Liberal drivel. We had a great event come to Tulsa and he did his best to discredit it. Once again, Mr. Watts, if you have participated in helping children of Military deceased or permanently injured get to college, just tell us about it. Why would you report what a blogger said when there are facts to dispute it? Oh yes...because you are a Liberal. We won't hold our breaths waiting for a Liberal event to support the troops or express any kind of patriotism.
Today, the day after the concert, a photo of Hannity and Charlie Daniels is published in The World with the title: "Freedom Concert: Republicans Gather." Darn right most of us were Republicans - but probably not all. Daylight will never dawn on a headline declaring Democrats gathered for a patriotic salute to the troops and the exceptionalism of America. Not going to happen. The photo accompanied Randy Krehbiel's piece claiming that the show "lured: Hannity fans. "Lured?" What an ugly and dishonest word. Is there an ounce of decency or honesty anywhere in the World offices?
On stage last night were two Obama supporters: Oklahoma Sooner coach, Barry Switzer - sounding like a true conservative, supported Democrat candidate for Governor, Jari Askins. J.C. Watts, former OU quarterback, who led the Sooners to two National Championships and went on to be a Republican Congressman astonishingly also voted for Obama. From listening to Hannity's interviews with Watts, he was overwhelmed at the thought that a Black man might be president. From interviews, I doubt he will vote for Obama in 2012. No matter how he votes, Sean Hannity is huge fan of pastor J.C. Watts.
As I search the web for Liberal or Democrat charities supporting the military, I come up with zero. In the first place, Liberals believe government should take care of our charitable needs, and when Liberals do donate it is overwhelmingly for environmental, abortion and family planning, AIDs, animal protection, and civil rights disguised as "population planning." Yes, Hollywood shows up in places where there are foreign wars going on. They entertain the troops - an important mission. I just don't think they raise much money for the needs of the families of our military. I will gladly correct this if someone can point me to proof that Liberals raise money for Military families.
Christian singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith spoke and sang. He told a couple of stories about George W. Bush. Smith sang at the 2000 inaugural, and was a visitor in the Oval Office. He started his program with the audience singing America the Beautiful. Michael introduced his wife, along with Jill Hannity. Sean said his "family" was there, and his son went on stage with him to pass the wussy footballs to Dad, and he threw a few himself. He is a sweet little replica of Sean. I'll only post a photo to show you the resemblance, even without seeing his face.
Three recipients of scholarships were introduced, along with the Gold Star parents of a soldier who lost his life in Fallujah, Iraq. I can't remember the name, I believe the last name was "Vincent." I hate it when I can't remember things like that.
There were so many highlights of the night. One was an awesome drum solo by Charlie Daniels' drummer, Pat McDonald - about a 5 minute solo. The second video below is of a similar McDonald's solo at California's Alameda Country Fair.
The evening was definitely a concert. None of the acts cheated the ticket holders. The reverb shook the floor from the time the first instrument was plucked. I could feel at the crown of my head - the entire night. This was my first time to see Lynyrd Skynyrd live. Rickey Medlocke didn't disappoint. See the photo above - see Medlocke's foot at about Van Zandt's waist - not bad for a 60-year-old. Van Zandt's voice was in fine form. Charlie Daniels will turn 74 in October and his voice is still extraordinarily strong. Olie talked about the troops, the many embeds he has had with them, and the times he has been asked by a dying Soldier, Sailor or Marine to "take care of my family."
A blog of the Tulsa World "lured" an abundance of pissy comments. On intimation is that not all that many attended the even at Tulsa's new Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center. I don't know how many were there but the room was full, with the exception of the seats directly behind the stage. The BOK holds about 17,000 for basketball games.
I get all of my news from the InterWeb. Hubby reads the Tulsa World for local sports and coming events. He never reads the editorials. Tulsa is a very conservative, extraordinarily beautiful city, which we consider a Nation's best-kept secret - yet we are plagued with this scummy newspaper.
Many thanks to Tulsa's KRMG radio, morning talker Joe Kelly and "most popular sports guy and charitable fund-raiser around," Rick Corey, for sponsoring this wonderful event. KRMG in Tulsa is the radio home of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz and Michael Savage. Laura Ingraham would be on KRMG if there was a daytime slot to fit into. I suggest Neal and his Liberal newser (Cox Radio Washington correspondent) Jaimie Dupree move on along and let Laura move in. My apologies to photographers everywhere. These are poor specimens except for the one I borrowed (see below) but remember the lights were strobing and the floor trembling and every opportunity for a great shot was interrupted by the onstage videographer stepping right in my viewfinder.