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Craig's wise words about Haiti's crisis

The late-night television focus recently has been on Conan and Jay. But the best after hours program is CBS' Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Here's a guy with superb comic timing and the proverbial rapier wit. He doesn't suffer fools gladly or actually at all; he's flat out said he won't book folks who have nothing to offer to a conversation. He is, however, more than happy to play the fool himself. He's also a damn good writer. And who can resist a late-night host who's eager and willing to discuss Flaubert and deconstructionism on his program.

Most importantly, Craig has a real heart and conscience. The latest example came in his opening last night (or early this morning for you folks in the Eastern time zone).

Below is a clip of Craig calling out Rush Limbaugh for making one of the most idiotic comments of all time: "We already donated to Haiti. It's called U.S. income tax. The Obama Administration is using this to burnish their credibility with the Black community in this country. It's made to order for them."

Then Craig put that incredibly inane comment in perfect perspective: "That's a dumb thing to say. That's a dumb, mean thing to say."

To cap it off, Craig challenged Limbaugh to donate $1 million to the Red Cross "and we'll say no more about it."

This is why I love Craig. He speaks from his heart, and he obviously has a big one. You might remember when Britney Spears was publicly falling apart, Craig refused to use the pop star's sad situation for comedy gain, noting that he's battled his own persona demons.

Personally, I think Limbaugh speaks from his bank account, saying outrageous things to get attention (which on one level I regret I'm giving him) to get ratings which he parlays into bigger contracts. I sincerely hope it's mostly an act, as it saddens me to think any person could be so cold as to not feel awful about the amount of suffering in Haiti right now.

And both Limbaugh and Craig have the right to think and say what they wish. I do hope, however, that there are more of us in this country and worldwide who see human tragedy not as political or personal fodder, but as a way to be better people ourselves.

So I'll issue a modified Craig-to-Rush challenge to all y'all. If you can give anything to help out those suffering in Haiti, either via the Red Cross or perhaps your church or local service group that's contributing aid to the island nation, please do so.

Tax benefit: Finally, because this is a tax blog, I must offer some tax words that are more valuable than Limbaugh's regarding our tax laws.

Your goodwill regarding the Haiti earthquake catastrophe or any other disaster situation might provide you a tax break. That, of course, is not the reason to help others in need. But ignoring any tax break for your donation is silly, too.

So if you do itemize or think you might do so on your 2010 return, give to a qualified charity, get a receipt for your gift and claim it when you file next year. 

Craig's got company: Last night's Late Late show intro is just one example of people's jaws dropping at Limbaugh's latest utterings.

Politico.com reports that critics from both the left and right are denouncing the remarks of the radio show host, as well as equally idiotic comments by Pat Robertson, as insensitive to the Haitian disaster and attempts to score political points off human tragedy.

Thank you. I'm feeling a tiny bit better about my species now.

Video alert: I'm not sure if this video will be accessible for long, as it's from YouTube and not Craig's official program Web site. I'll keep checking the CBS site in the hopes this will show up there; if it does, I'll relink. But as long as it plays, either embedded here on the ol' blog or at the YouTube page, please give it a listen.

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I am still trying to figure out how at a time in this country that our unemployment is at an all time high, people are losing their homes and kids all over this country are starving our government and celebrities can send billions of dollars to other countries and talk about taxing us, we're broke remember.


Please note that stupid comments regarding Haiti are just as apt to come from the left as the right. See Danny Glover.

Tom George

For the record, I just happened to hear Limbiugh's comment and it was taken completely out of context by the mainstram media and people like Craig. Limbaugh made it clear that if you wanted to donate to the cause, do it through a charitable organization.

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