Woodward's Foundation Not So Generous

Monday, 16 Jun 2008 12:47 PM

By Jim, Meyers

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Bob Woodward earns up to $50,000 for a speaking engagement and has said he gives all his lecture money to charity — the foundation run by the Watergate journalist and his wife, the Woodward Walsh Foundation.

But the foundation “doesn’t seem to do much genuine charitable work,” according to an article by Ken Silverstein in Harper’s Magazine.

Woodward has given dozens of speeches over the past five years, including lectures to insurance groups, banking and financial organizations, healthcare gatherings and real estate conventions.

As a result, his foundation’s assets have grown from less than $350,000 in 2000 to about $1.8 million last year.

But last year his foundation dished out just $17,555 in grants, according to Silverstein, and in recent years more than half the foundation’s donations went to Sidwell Friends, an expensive private school in Washington, D.C., “that caters to the children of the local elite (like Woodward’s children),” Silverstein writes.

He has also given money to Citizens for Georgetown Trees, which “prettifies” Woodward’s neighborhood, a nursery school, and a private daycare facility.

Silverstein concludes: “If it’s your own personal charity, and you get a tax break, and most of the contributions go to elite causes of direct interest to the donor — this looks to be the same sort of double-dealing and hypocrisy that Bob Woodward, at least the old Bob Woodward, would have been all over as a reporter if a political figure were involved.”

Woodward’s charitable givings would come as no surprise to Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer, who writes in his new book, "Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less materialistic and Envious . . . and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals," that liberals like Woodward are likely to give a much smaller portion of their earnings to the needy than are so-called “heartless” conservatives.

[Editor's Note: Get Peter Schweizer's book FREE. Go here now.]

Democratic politicians including John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore, and liberal activists such as Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Arianna Huffington and Ralph Nader, have over the years given a smaller portion of their wealth to the needy than conservatives Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, Schweizer chronicles in his book.

Says Schweizer: “Claiming sympathy for the poor while actually doing very little for them is a widespread phenomenon on the left. That is because liberals confuse activism with genuine action.”

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