Earlier this summer Sean Hannity was chosen to receive a William F. Buckley award for media excellence. Stop laughing…he really was. But someone came to their senses, and now the award has been rescinded. Ok, now you can laugh.
William F. Buckley, who died in 2008, was the founder of the National Review. At one point, Buckley was considered “arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States.”
So, when it was announced this summer that Fox’s wing-nut Sean Hannity had been chosen by the Media Research Center to receive the prestigious Buckley award for excellence in media, many people freaked out. Conservative journalists were particularly upset about the announcement….the sane ones, anyway.
The Hannity pick also greatly disturbed Buckley’s family. Best selling author and Buckley’s only son Christopher Buckley, took the Hannity pick as an offense to his family and to his father’s legacy.
“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.”
CNN also reports that, after the award was rescinded, the MRC tried to find a way for Hannity to save face. So they agreed to let Hannity say that it was he who couldn’t accept the award because of a “scheduling conflict.” And Hannity said just 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.”
Conservative New York Times writer Bret Stephens wrote an article after the MRC initially announced the Hannity award. And he strongly argued that the Hannity pick was evidence of an overall trend towards anti-intellectualism within the conservative movement.
“If we have reached the point where rank-and-file conservatives see nothing amiss with giving Hannity an award named for Buckley, then surely there’s a Milton Friedman Prize awaiting Steve Bannon for his insights on free trade. The floor’s the limit. Or, in Hannity’s case, the crawl space beneath it.”