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Feed the hype

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It has been awhile since Oklahoma City-based charity Feed the Children received positive news. And last week, the news got worse.

Still reeling from scandals " including last year, when FTC founder Larry Jones was fired amidst bribery and kickback allegations " the well-known organization had a chance to refurbish its tarnished image by helping the needy in earthquake ravaged Haiti. Soon after last month's deadly quake, FTC sprang into action, setting up new fund-raising efforts and television commercials to bring aid to the island nation.

But a CBS News investigation found the organization was not quite living up to its claims. Here's a sample of what CBS found: "In online e-mail messages and on its Web site "¦ the charity claimed it set up a base and was running a huge camp 'providing medical relief for 12,000 people,'" the article reported. Well, that sounds like a good effort. But CBS wasn't quite done with that thought: "CBS News decided to send a camera to the camp in Carrefour, west of Port-au-Prince, to see for ourselves. We found the camp was set up by local monks and nuns, not Feed the Children."

The news report also found that FTC claimed it was named by the United Nations to distribute food and milk to the camp. Turns out, that's not quite true either. How did FTC respond when CBS thrust a camera in the organization's face? The reporter said the U.N. claimed it did not ask FTC to be in charge of the camp.

"I can't comment. I have no direct conversation with them, so I'd have to look at that." That came from FTC spokesman Tony Sellars. Yes, the same Tony Sellars many longtime Oklahoma City residents may remember as a metro-area sportscaster for CBS affiliate KWTV, among other stations.

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