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Red Cross and 9/11

It's been six months since September 11th, which means that we are seeing a spate of memorials and tributes. It also means that those of us who gave to the Red Cross in the days following the attacks are receiving our first wave of junk mail. I received a solicitation letter two days ago, and a "Red Cross Newsletter" (i.e. another solicitation letter) yesterday.

I usually throw away solicitation letters unopened, but despite recent controversies I still consider the Red Cross to be one of the Good Guys, so I opened the letter I received Monday. Inside was the standard "We need your help!!" plea and SASE, along with an article clipped from a newspaper. The article basically talked about how heroic the Red Cross was, and how lamentable it was that they were perpetually strapped for cash.

About a third of the way through the article I began to wonder where this story had first appeared, and then noticed that it was lacking a byline. In fact, the more I examined the "clipping," the more it became clear that this was not a clipping at all, but just another piece of propaganda printed onto newsprint. They even went so far as to print a portion of a bogus furniture sale ad on the reverse side to further the illusion that it had but cut from an actual paper.

I may give to Red Cross in the future, but it's hard to get enthusiastic about a charity that feels the need to deceive it's contributors.

Posted on March 13, 2002 to