The 9/11 Quilt
Kevin Held raised almost three quarters of a million dollars to construct a vast 9/11 memorial quilt capable of covering 25 football fields, possibly as an early TSA test to see if shouting "terrorism" really could let you get away with anything. Even if it wasn't a scam, it was the worst charity of all time: His plan was to raise money to make blankets that were no use to the people who might need them. If charities get tax breaks, he should have had to pay the government extra.
Matt Rourke / AP file via MSNBC
Left: The real heroes. Right: The opposite.
He raised $713,000 to make a quilt, then moved into a $660,000 house and didn't make a quilt. Then he moved out of the house when the Associated Press noticed. He claimed the quilt hadn't been completed due to "tough economic times," which included charging the charity $37,000 rent on office space in the house he had bought, paying himself $175,000 and his own family $74,000 and spending $170,000 on travel expenses. This guy's "tough economic times" sound an awful lot like anyone else's "winning the lottery." Bedding hasn't been so horrifically misused since smallpox.
9/11 Wine for $9.11
Lieb Cellars are selling "September Mission" wine for $9.11 a bottle, because a novelty drink price point is the most tasteful place to commemorate tragedy, and a "9/11 Memorial" wine for $19.11 a bottle, because even getting the date right is less important to them than making an extra 10 dollars. Either that or this doubles as a tribute to the Italo-Turkish War.
We shall never forget Tripolitania, Fezzan or Cyrenaica!
The problem is that no one orders wine to commemorate mass murder outside of a hollowed-out volcano lair. In fact, if someone does gaze across the romantic candlelight to toast you with terrorist-attack wine, well done on dating the baroness, but you've already been poisoned. The New York Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services found out this was being sold in restaurants and called Anthony Bourdain to do something about it. These people responded to 9/11 itself, but this wine was such a travesty that they needed external help. The way 6 to 10 percent of sales go to charity only reminded people that about 92 percent doesn't, and that shouting "charity!" doesn't actually undo disrespect. Bourdain responded in his trademark calm and reasonable manner:
He went on to inquire, "Holy F***! What kind of piece of shit would create such a product?" describing it as "exploitative" and "vomit-inducing." When Anthony Bourdain is calling you the asshole, and he's right, you've invented more new kinds of assholery than Sodom's first proctologist.