Michael Getler, the ombudsman for PBS, called on Thursday a decision by “PBS NewsHour” managing editor Judy Woodruff to donate to the Clinton Foundation “a mistake”:
Woodruff has had a distinguished, 45-year journalistic career, holding down important positions with CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS. She has always struck me as straight and professional in her approach to the news and, having watched her now for several years, I couldn’t tell you how she’d vote. But there are lots of ways to contribute to Haitian earthquake relief. So the choice of the Clinton Foundation, even in a small amount and with the best of intentions, was a mistake in my book.
As Getler explains, Woodruff recently discussed on air a donation of $250 to the Haiti Relief Fund, a charitable initiative founded by the Clinton Foundation in 2010 when the country was reeling from a massive earthquake. She addressed the contribution at the end of the “PBS Newshour” broadcast on May 15.
Woodruff’s donation to the Clinton Foundation came under scrutiny after revelations that ABC Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos contributed $75,000 to the foundation to fight AIDS and deforestation. His contribution rankled many media observers who suggested it compromised Stephanopoulos’ ability to report on the Clintons.
After Stephanopoulos’ donations came to light, Politico reported that several media organizations also contributed to the foundation.