Tags: 'No | Spin | Zone': | O'Reilly | Tackles | Jesse | Jackson

'No Spin Zone': O'Reilly Tackles Jesse Jackson

Monday, 14 January 2002 12:00 AM

For years and years, Jesse Jackson has not only gotten a pass from the mainstream media, he's been all but deified by them.

This in spite of the Rev. Jackson's propensity to pop up wherever there's an opportunity for him to capitalize on some well-publicized tragedy, disaster or anything else he can transform into a publicity platform for himself. The phoniness of his publicity stunts, though obvious, is studiously ignored by his legion of supporters in the liberal media.

Most shocking has been the mainstream media's refusal to investigate or criticize Jackson's attempts to shake down corporations with the threat of organizing boycotts or other measures of intimidation should his victims refuse to knuckle under and cough up substantial sums for his Operation PUSH or other Jackson organizations.

Moreover, despite the millions of dollars that have flowed into his front groups, nobody, including the Internal Revenue Service, has seen fit to take a look at how all that money has been spent.

And then Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly arrived on the scene, took a careful look at the record and let loose a blast that has exposed Jackson's shoddy modus operandi.

O'Reilly zeroed in on Jackson's lavish treatment of his mistress Karen Stanford, which involved using money from his Citizenship Education Fund (CEF). The case confirmed rumors O'Reilly had been hearing for a long time.

"Back in 1999 my staff and I kept hearing that the reverend might be using tax-exempt funds to pay off personal obligations," O'Reilly writes in "

"If true, that was one heck of a story, and we're in the news business, right? To find out the truth, I assigned producer Heath Kern to look into the situation."

They began by trying to check the tax returns of Jackson's CEF and his so-called People United to Save Humanity (PUSH), both tax-exempt organizations whose books should be open to the public.

They got a runaround from Jackson's staff. Kern was told the returns were "none of your business."

That, O'Reilly notes, was "Not a good answer to aggressive journalists."

It took more than a year of nagging, but the state of Illinois finally came up with the CEF tax returns for 1998 and 1999. And O'Reilly found a bombshell buried in the returns.

"It all began with the neatly typed word 'None.' That was the word on the line where Jackson's people were supposed to list any staffers paid more than $50,000 a year."

That turned out to be untrue. Karen Stanford, then executive director of CEF, had been paid somewhere between $64,000 and $120,000 in 1999. Four other people were paid in excess of $50,000 that year.

O'Reilly's probe turned up the shocking fact that CEF had taken in a whopping $12 million over the 1998-99 period "but spent less than 1 percent of the money on actual education."

O'Reilly's investigation also revealed that CEF has paid Stanford a hefty $35,000 to move her out of Washington after she gave two days' notice she was quitting CEF at about the time she became pregnant with Jackson's baby.

Among the other disclosures resulting from O'Reilly's sleuthing: Jackson was paid $120,000 a year by his tax-exempt groups and "racked up an incredible $614,000 in travel expenses in just the year 2000 out of a total of $1.3 million in travel expenses by his whole staff."

One of the more intriguing disclosures was that the Democrat party had reimbursed him $450,000 for travel expenses apparently racked up on its behalf. Whatever happened to that "wall of separation" between church and state the liberals in the party are always ranting about?

It's a continuing story, with lots more to come. Once O'Reilly, a talented investigative journalist, gets his teeth into a scandal, he doesn't let up until all the dirty laundry has been hung out to dry.

Jesse Jackson has met his match.

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For years and years, Jesse Jackson has not only gotten a pass from the mainstream media, he's been all but deified by them. This in spite of the Rev. Jackson's propensity to pop up wherever there's an opportunity for him to capitalize on some well-publicized tragedy,...
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2002-00-14
Monday, 14 January 2002 12:00 AM
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