Start with the obligatory, all charity money is good money. It’s trite and true and almost prevents you from making fun of Oprah and Barbra Streisand and George Clooney reprising their 9/11: A Tribute to American Heroes and the 2010 Hope for Haiti telethon roles in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.
Clooney might be overcompensating because last week all his pals gave a million to Harvey while he and his perfectly socially crafted wife donated a million to the SPLC which helps finger Christian Conservative sites for Google and GoDaddy alt-right take down notices. Not that that wasn’t beloved in his own social circle, but it did little to help people drowning in Texas.
Clooney got old pal Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Beyonce, and even Streisand to come out from her Malibu compound for a evening of televised fundraising on September 12th. All the networks will carry the Harvey relief “Hand in Hand” telethon because you kind of have to. The shame would be tremendous. Also, you can only run so much CSI. This being Texas themed, a bunch of country music artists will perform while the Hollywood people plug their ears and recite Obama’s first inaugural speech loud enough to drown out the twang.
The show will be produced by Justin Bieber’s manager and promoter, Scooter Braun, who, say what you will, made a financial mountain out of the tiniest molehill. When Streisand hits the big notes on People Who Need People set to a backdrop of Texans helping each other recover from the flood, expect the money to come pouring in. And people in South Florida drowning from Irma asking if maybe everybody can come back for another show the following week.
Ultimately, you need rich and famous people to raise money. It’s how these things go. Love them or hate them, nobody else is going to pull in a hundred million in a telethon for the United Way. For one night, you can smile back at Clooney and Julia Roberts tired playful banter, pretend Jamie Foxx is talented, and wish you could meet Oprah in person. Also, donate directly to the Red Cross. As a practical matter, it’s likely to be more effective than your Hand in Hand contribution.
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