Arianna Huffington and Joan Didion Pulled in Almost $100K for College Newspaper

arianna 2 Arianna Huffington and Joan Didion Pulled in Almost $100K for College NewspaperArianna Huffington and Joan Didion helped The Columbia Spectator raise $95,921 at their annual Blue Pencil dinner, according to a Spec alumni newsletter.

They say it’s a record-breaking sum, and it sounds like a lot of dough for a volunteer-labor college paper. (Also, which jerk donated $1?) Granted, the total includes $45,000 in gifts from former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and Navigant manager Ernest Brod, both Spec alums, for technology and much-needed digitization projects.

Ms. Huffington and Ms. Didion (who presented an award named for her daughter) are big ticket names, but at only $250 a plate, it’s safe to say some alumni purse strings were loosened over the course of the evening. What did keynote speaker Arianna Huffington say that was so persuasive?

The Cambridge debating union alum told the crowd “she doesn’t think people will pay for news ‘except financial news, like the Wall Street Journal, and for some reason, weird porn.’”

May we all have Blue Pencil patrons, then.

kstoeffel@observer.com :: @kstoeffel