Like anybody else, conservative news personality Sean Hannity has had ups and downs in his career, but nothing could have prepared him for having an organization walk back its decision to give him an award.
The Fox News anchor had been scheduled to receive the Media Research Center's William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence at the Sept. 21 gala, however, plans changed and the organization will no longer be awarding Hannity.
The change of plans came about when a member of the late William F. Buckley's family contacted the Media Research Center to express “great dismay” at the fact Hannity would be getting an award named after Buckley, sources told CNN.
Buckley, the founder of National Review, was respected across the United States, having been called the “most important public intellectual in the United States,” CNN adds.
To his only son, Christopher Buckley, the idea that an award named after his father was going to a talk radio host, who spends most of his time insulting conservatives on Twitter and cheering for President Donald Trump, didn't sit well.
Ever since his concerns were brought up with the Media Research Center, Hannity's name has been removed from the gala website, CNN adds.
The center's founder, Brent Bozell, is also part of the Buckley family as the late Buckley is his uncle.
When contacted for further comment, center spokesperson Ryan Moy simply stated that there was “a scheduling conflict” that kept Hannity from being able to appear at the event.
Moy didn't mention Buckley's son or if his involvement had anything to do with this change of plans.
Fox News also didn't mention the younger Buckley, telling CNN simply that Hannity is unable to attend the event.
If CNN is correct, the center along with Buckley's son thought they should allow Hannity to "save face" by not announcing they had changed their minds based on Hannity's support for Trump and his habit of sharing conspiracy theories both on his show and online.
Despite this recent report, this isn't the first time the Media Research Center has been harshly criticized for choosing to grant Hannity with the William F. Buckley Award.
The New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens was one of the first to claim Hannity was unworthy. In an early July column, he wrote:
“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. And maybe Sean Spicer can receive the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent for his role in exposing 'fake news.' The floor’s the limit.
Or, in Hannity’s case, the crawl space beneath it.”
With this kind of harsh criticism getting so much attention as soon as it was announced the award was going to Hannity, it's surprising that it took this long for the Media Research Center to reconsider its offer.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.