Thank you, Eddie. And good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank you for this invitation to spend some time with you this morning. I must applaud Eddie and the foundation for extending the invitation several weeks ago. Your timing was impeccable. So I might consider to borrow your crystal ball in the future.
But it is good to have the opportunity within a few short days after the President announced his vision and his plan to create a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security to spend some time with this organization. So I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to your group at such an important time for our country.
The nine months since the terrorist attacks have been a great time to be an American, in spite of the horror and the tragedy associated with the attacks. We have learned so much about what this country and its people are all about. And most of what we have learned, we have learned through you.
Through your unblinking eyes and ears, the entire human drama was brought into our living rooms -- the heartbreaking losses, the heroic responses, the heartfelt prayers and words of comfort from a concerned nation. Many of your stations offered 24-hour coverage in the days following the attacks. And in doing so, you accepted the reality of lost ad revenues at a time when advertising was already scarce. No matter the cost, you continued to get the news out.
At the same time, through your efforts, broadcasters helped this country raise in excess of $1 billion for the victims of 9/11 and related causes -- an extraordinary contribution in and of itself. And you still found time to record and air PSAs answering the questions all Americans had: How can we help?
You've even won over some old critics. Apparently, an FCC chairman about four decades ago in a speech to your group -- a fellow by the name of Newton Minow -- was very, very critical of the media. But recently he was reported to have said, and I quote, "Television deserves a round of gratitude from the American people for the way they have handled this crisis. They deserve the highest praise."
But most importantly, as Americans understand it, you did your job, keeping all of us informed and aware.
Now I think broadcasters have a new challenge, reporting on homeland security. In many ways -- many, many ways -- this is a much more difficult story to report. It doesn't have very good sound or visuals. It's complicated. There are a lot of gray …