Sean Hannity won't receive Buckley Award from MRC

The Media Research Center has withdrawn its choice of Sean Hannity to receive the prestigious William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence at a gala on September 21.

The explanation given was "scheduling conflicts" that would prevent Hannity from attending.  But according to this report by CNN Money, the family of the late conservative intellectual strenuously objected to the choice of Hannity and requested that his name be withdrawn.

Buckley, the founder of the National Review, who died in 2008, was hailed in his day as "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States." Giving an award in his name to Hannity – a pugnacious talk radio host who has shared conspiracy theories on his popular cable news show – had caused hand wringing among some conservatives.

It also caused distress among Buckley's family – in particular his only child, best-selling author Christopher Buckley.

A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley "expressed great dismay" at the announcement that the award would go to Hannity, who has spent a great deal of time insulting conservative intellectuals on Twitter, particularly since he became a strong supporter of Donald Trump.

Buckley, sources say, called the Media Research Center and expressed his disapproval. Sources tell CNN that the MRC acquiesced and will no longer give the award to him. Hannity has since been removed from the gala website.

Sources tell CNN that the MRC leadership discussed ways to allow Hannity to save face by acting as if a scheduling conflict would prevent him from accepting the award.

"It's my understanding there was a scheduling conflict," Ryan Moy, a spokesman for the MRC, told CNN.

A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley said of the concocted scheduling excuse: "perhaps Mr. Hannity has been offered the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award on the same evening and had decided to leverage upwards."

The MRC's founder, Brent Bozell, is William F. Buckley's nephew.

I sympathize with Christopher Buckley's angst about giving the award to Hannity, but there is nothing in the criteria for the award that says you have to support conservative intellectuals or act as a public intellectual in the media to be eligible.  Hannity is what he is – a conservative entertainer who sees his job as pushing back against the attacks on President Trump from both sides of the aisle.  Judging by his huge ratings, Hannity is very successful at it.

But you have to wonder: does the family of Alfred Nobel have a veto over who gets the Nobel prizes?  Of course not.  So why should the Buckley family have such power over who gets the Buckley award?

Hannity was quoted as saying, "Awards are BS":

Fact; "Awards" are BS ways to raise $. The only "Award" I care about is serving my audience, the support of my audience, and saving the USA https://t.co/YcYJTeSUto

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 21, 2017

In this, he's probably right.  Still, MRC made a mistake in withdrawing the award, teeing up Hannity for attacks by liberals.

The Media Research Center has withdrawn its choice of Sean Hannity to receive the prestigious William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence at a gala on September 21.

The explanation given was "scheduling conflicts" that would prevent Hannity from attending.  But according to this report by CNN Money, the family of the late conservative intellectual strenuously objected to the choice of Hannity and requested that his name be withdrawn.

Buckley, the founder of the National Review, who died in 2008, was hailed in his day as "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States." Giving an award in his name to Hannity – a pugnacious talk radio host who has shared conspiracy theories on his popular cable news show – had caused hand wringing among some conservatives.

It also caused distress among Buckley's family – in particular his only child, best-selling author Christopher Buckley.

A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley "expressed great dismay" at the announcement that the award would go to Hannity, who has spent a great deal of time insulting conservative intellectuals on Twitter, particularly since he became a strong supporter of Donald Trump.

Buckley, sources say, called the Media Research Center and expressed his disapproval. Sources tell CNN that the MRC acquiesced and will no longer give the award to him. Hannity has since been removed from the gala website.

Sources tell CNN that the MRC leadership discussed ways to allow Hannity to save face by acting as if a scheduling conflict would prevent him from accepting the award.

"It's my understanding there was a scheduling conflict," Ryan Moy, a spokesman for the MRC, told CNN.

A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley said of the concocted scheduling excuse: "perhaps Mr. Hannity has been offered the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award on the same evening and had decided to leverage upwards."

The MRC's founder, Brent Bozell, is William F. Buckley's nephew.

I sympathize with Christopher Buckley's angst about giving the award to Hannity, but there is nothing in the criteria for the award that says you have to support conservative intellectuals or act as a public intellectual in the media to be eligible.  Hannity is what he is – a conservative entertainer who sees his job as pushing back against the attacks on President Trump from both sides of the aisle.  Judging by his huge ratings, Hannity is very successful at it.

But you have to wonder: does the family of Alfred Nobel have a veto over who gets the Nobel prizes?  Of course not.  So why should the Buckley family have such power over who gets the Buckley award?

Hannity was quoted as saying, "Awards are BS":

Fact; "Awards" are BS ways to raise $. The only "Award" I care about is serving my audience, the support of my audience, and saving the USA https://t.co/YcYJTeSUto

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 21, 2017

In this, he's probably right.  Still, MRC made a mistake in withdrawing the award, teeing up Hannity for attacks by liberals.

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