Stephanopoulos Emcees Event for Children's Defense Fund, Hillary's Old Advocacy Group
From time to time, network news personalities betray their ideological sympathies by lending their fame and glamour to public events for liberal causes. On Tuesday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and his wife Alexandra Wentworth are hosting a Washington awards dinner for the Children's Defense Fund, the liberal group which his boss Hillary Clinton used to serve as chair of the Board of Directors before becoming First Lady. CDF was an aggressive left-wing force opposed to welfare reform, even during the Clinton years. From the press release:
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Children's Defense Fund will host its 2006 Annual Beat the Odds Awards Dinner to honor five Washington, D.C. area high school seniors who have overcome tremendous adversity to demonstrate academic excellence and give back to their communities. Comedian Alexandra Wentworth and ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos will emcee the event at the Capital Hilton Hotel and actress Renee Zellweger will serve as award presenter. The event is sponsored by the Freddie Mac Foundation.
Children's Defense Fund Founder and President Marian Wright Edelman created the Beat the Odds Awards program in 1990 to affirm the success of young people who have overcome major obstacles in their lives to become leaders in their schools and mentors to those in need in the community, while developing academic skills necessary to pursue a college education. In the past, recipients have gone on to become professionals in their chosen fields, advocates on behalf of children and champions of perseverance and social justice.
This is not exactly a new trend. From the very aged December 1989 edition of MediaWatch:
PARTY POLITICS. The liberal Children's Defense Fund, the major interest group behind the fashionably federalized Act for Better Child Care (ABC) bill calling for subsidies and regulation of day care, raised $400,000 at an enormously successful fundraiser November 30. Among the media bigwigs who graced the $300-a-ticket bash for babysitting regulations: from CBS, 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley and Sunday Morning host Charles Kuralt; Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham; MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer; Today co-host Jane Pauley; and National Public Radio's Susan Stamberg.
Dan Rather had also agreed to attend, but couldn't make the festivities thanks to the summit in Malta. "Journalists rarely get a chance to express approval of good things," said former U.S. News & World Report Editor Roger Rosenblatt. "It's an opportunity to put our voices behind a good cause."
An old review of their favorable media coverage is here.
UPDATE: The Washington Post's "Reliable Source" gossip column added that Stephanopoulos was a donor as well as a host of the CDF program: "This year's winners...each got a laptop, a shopping spree and a scholarship (which we're told was doubled in size this year, to $10,000, through a quiet gift from the night's emcees, George Stephanopolous and Ali Wentworth)."