The lovely McLean, Virginia home of Lynne and Greg O’Brien was the setting for a NWHM event last night with special guests former ABC news anchor Sam Donaldson and Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Co-hosted by Linda and Joe Jenckes and Charlotte and Bob Kettler, the get-together was a chance for about ninety guests to get to know NWHM over a glass of wine and some hors d’oeuvres on a perfectly warm and breezy evening.
Sam Donaldson spoke briefly about witnessing the rise of women in the news media over his forty-five-year career. While the first African-American reporters were hired in the 1960s, it wasn’t until the 1970s that women were given a chance to pursue on-air reporting careers. Reporters such as Jessica Savitch, Kathleen Sullivan and Ann Compton and a tenacious Barbara Walters worked their way from “the ground up”. Donaldson spoke highly of the skill and professionalism of women such as Diane Sawyer and Cokie Roberts. He amused guests with the story that Katie Couric claims he jumped up on a desk and sang “KKKatie, Beautiful Katie” to her when she was a script girl. He praised the fact that now half of the on-air news personalities are women. In addition, he said that he tells his male journalism students that they must work twice as hard to match the quality and drive of today’s aspiring female reporters. In closing, Donaldson lent his support to the goal of building the National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Read the rest of this entry »