Annals of Stupid Philanthropy, BB&T Edition

What is it with ill-advised million-dollar charitable donations by banks? First of course there was Citigroup giving $1 million to the 92nd Street Y so that Jack Grubman’s twin girls could get into the preschool there. And now, well, I’ll let Matthew Keenan tell it:

The charitable arm of BB&T Corp., a banking company, pledged $1 million to the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2005 and obtained an agreement that Ayn Rand’s novel "Atlas Shrugged" would become required reading for students. Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, say they also took grants and agreed to teach Rand.

As Daniel Davies says, “OMG CORPORATE TAKEOVER oF educations BAD MMKAY!” Actually, go read his whole post, there’s some cool substantive stuff in there as well. I just can’t see how this makes any sense from a corporate point of view. Normally a bank makes charitable donations partly in order to portray itself as warm and fuzzy; this just makes it look evil.

And I might as well slip it in here ‘cos I’ve already put up my linkblog for the day: John Rennie has a fantastic takedown over at Scientific American of Ben Stein’s execrable Expelled movie. (There is some kind of Propaganda Wars connection, but I won’t belabor the point.) Go read it: Rennie goes into a lot of detail about the atrocious intellectual dishonesty displayed by Stein in the movie. The piece should be required reading for anyone at the NYT who thinks that Stein deserves to keep his perch there.

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