Bob Woodward’s Charity

Friday, May 28th, 2004

The Washington City Paper reports that when superstar reporter Bob Woodward was asked on a recent edition of celebrity Jeopardy what charity he was playing for, he answered, “Sidwell Friends,” where his daughter goes to high school.

For those of you outside the Beltway, Sidwell is the creme de la creme of Washington high society private schools. Nearly every heute-teute liberal politician and media figure sends his/her kids there (most while insisting at the same time that the miserable D.C. public schools are good enough for D.C. residents). Sidwell has a $30 million endowment, and annual tuition for middle and high school students stands at $22,415.

Woodward won $20,000 for his favorite charity.

ADDENDUM: Er, just to clarify — I’m not calling Woodward a hyopcrite. Nor am I making this an “issue.” I just find it amusing and rather typical of Washington insider-dom that when asked to name his favorite “charity,” Woodward chose an elite, expensive school for the children of Washington’s rich and famous.

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19 Responses to “Bob Woodward’s Charity”

  1. #1 |  Brian Hawkins | 

    C’mon Radley. Save the hypocricy talk for the people who have actual power over our lives.

    I’m pretty sure that almost any school is more worthy of support than about a thousand other “charities” that are out there. Would you rather help educate a few kids (who cares if their parents are loaded?) or save the Siberian Dung Beetle?

    Woodward picked a cause close to his heart. I don’t blame him a bit.

  2. #2 |  Bronwyn | 

    When I contribute to my high school (boarding), the cream of the crop Deerfield Academy, I don’t even call it charity if I earmark it for the scholarships fund. It’s just making a contribution to an already substantial endowment.

    Charity, my ass.

    I was a beneficiary of that endowment (and ARAMCOs guilt payments), considering I was not the child of Fifth Avenue types and was being sent 10k miles from home. . . and the ABC students were supported even more. Only a solid endowment, made so by the contributions of patrons and alumni, made it possible for me to attend one of the best schools in the country. I would never ever call that charity, though.

    Maybe we’re dickering over semantics, but Woodward would have made a better showing if he’d (imho) sponsored an actual charity and left his daughter’s school endowment to the care of people who are actually involved in the school.

    Oh well, he didn’t ask me.

  3. #3 |  Say Anything | 

    Bob Woodward: Charitable Guy

    Bob Woodward recently appeared on a celebrity edition of Jeopardy. During these events the celebrities choose a charity to which their winnings from the show will be donated. Bob Woodward chose as his charity his daughter’s high school, Sidwell Friends…

  4. #4 |  Rocketman | 

    The article said Peggy Noonan came in third, not bad. I wonder who else was involved and how they did.

  5. #5 |  MattG | 

    I don’t really blame Woodward too much, either. It’s sort of a choady thing to do, but it’s tough to give to a charity and have it mean something. Like you give it to the YMCA, and they just weaken communities by taking over roles parents should be filling (serving kids breakfast, watching them 6 hours a day). And then they claim they’re “strengthening” communities, and that (now that the parents have abdicated their caregiving roles to a charity group) claim they need even more money to keep doing what they’re doing.

    Non-profits suck! There’s a reason people don’t pay for their services — they’re not worth it.

    Rant over.

  6. #6 |  Random Libertarian |

  7. #7 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    I actually caught some of that show, and the third contestant (and winner) was Tucker Carlson.

  8. #8 |  msc | 

    Didn’t Al Franken win?

    the horror

  9. #9 |  Joe Sims | 

    Hey, look on the bright side: at least he didn’t have them donate the money to some vanity charity named after him (which I believe another contestant actually did do)…

  10. #10 |  Michael Tinkler | 

    Umm – anyone want to be investigative? Find out if he gave the money to the endowment or gave it to the annual campaign in lieu of tuition for this year?

  11. #11 |  Kevin B. O'Reilly | 

    Many ritzy private prep schools have scholarship funds to provide financial assistance to students whose parents can’t afford the entire tuition. I’m hoping that’s where Woodward’s winnings went.

    I think giving a great private school more money that it can use to educate students who’d otherwise be trapped in government schools is a fine idea.

  12. #12 |  Amy Phillips | 

    I too give money to my private high school, Choate Rosemary Hall. It’s not much, because my education there taught me enough about the world to make me want to go into nonprofit work, but I feel like it’s an important thing to do. However, like the poster above, I don’t consider it “charity” the way I do my donations to other causes, tax-deductable or not. It’s a way of saying thanks for all they gave me, not a real charitable act. I think, given that Woodward has plenty of money to give to the school, he should have chosen a real charity for his Jeopardy spot.

  13. #13 |  mark s. | 

    Wow, is this ever a non-issue. I don’t care if he spent the money to buy his own books in an effort to raise his rank on the NYT bestseller list.

  14. #14 |  Bronwyn | 


    Beat Choate!
    :-D Choate Day memories. Although I think you guys call it Deerfield Day, right?

    What year did you graduate?
    (I was class of ’95)

  15. #15 |  Jon H | 

    Rocketman: “The article said Peggy Noonan came in third, not bad. I wonder who else was involved and how they did”

    Yeah, but she cheated. She got answers from angelic dolphins.

  16. #16 |  Jon H | 

    “Would you rather help educate a few kids (who cares if their parents are loaded?) or save the Siberian Dung Beetle?”

    Well, it depends. Is the Siberian Dung Beetle a pivotal species in its ecosystem, without which Siberian forests will die out over millions of square miles?

  17. #17 |  Rocketman | 

    Jon H,

    Dang! I’m sorry I missed it. I wonder who played and how they did? For my money Michael Medved would “run the house”. Oh well.(sorry Jon your angelic dolphin reference is totally lost on me)

  18. #18 |  Jon H | 

    Rocketman writes: “Oh well.(sorry Jon your angelic dolphin reference is totally lost on me)”

    It was a reference to the heaven-sent dolphins which, she once wrote, saved Elian Gonzales.

  19. #19 |  anne sandlin | 

    i think bob woodward has been making a living off of nixon for years…this
    grou[ from george town and the rest of the left new media keeps pushing everything he writes…i am 72 years old and find it so annoying that they think d.c. new york and maybe some of hollywood are the only places in this country,,,,sincerely