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Radical Annenberg



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Over at his Politico blog, Ben Smith, argues that the non-radical nature of the national Annenberg foundation prohibits us from classing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as a holdout of educational and political radicals in Chicago. I don’t think that follows. Politically moderate, even conservative, alumni often contribute to colleges that use this money to support the work of quite radical professors. Moderate or conservative donors getting “captured” by radical beneficiaries is quite common. Charitable foundations often move far to the left of the intentions of their original donors. The community activist groups that got money from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, like ACORN and the Developing Communities Project (part of the Gamaliel Foundation), were very radical indeed, and the personal views of Walter Annenberg don’t change that fact one iota.



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