Media

After fierce criticism, Sean Hannity will no longer receive ‘William F. Buckley award’

Fox News host Sean Hannity will no longer be receiving Media Research Center's Award for Media Excellence, reports say. After sharp criticism from those in the conservative movement, including those in the Buckley family, MRC reversed its decision and removed Hannity's name from its website as the award's recipient. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Fox News host Sean Hannity will no longer receive the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence handed out by Media Research Center at its annual gala in September, according to a CNN report on Friday.

Earlier this month, Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog organization whose mission is "to create a media culture in America where truth and liberty flourish," announced Hannity would be receiving this year's prestigious award given to intellectual media leaders in the conservative movement.

Hannity has earned criticism in recent months for becoming increasingly combative on social media toward anyone who questions President Donald Trump, who he devoutly supported during the 2016 presidential election.

But after sharp criticism from those in the conservative movement, including those in the Buckley family, MRC reversed its decision and removed Hannity's name from its website as the award's recipient.

Buckley's only child, best-selling author Christopher Buckley, was extremely concerned with the decision, and according to the report, he "expressed great dismay" that the award bearing his father's name would go to controversial radio and television host Hannity.

William F. Buckley, who passed away in 2008, was a strong conservative advocate, with a long history of activism for the cause. He founded National Review magazine in 1955 and is considered the "intellectual cornerstone of the conservative movement," according to MRC's website.

Sources said the MRC leadership wanted to give Hannity the opportunity to use the excuse of a "scheduling conflict" to save him from any embarrassment stemming from the decision.

"It's my understanding there was a scheduling conflict," MRC spokesman Ryan Moy told CNN. Fox News reportedly gave the same reason, explaining Hannity was unable to attend and accept the award in person.

Hannity addressed the report on Twitter, insisting it was fake news.

"Hey Fake News Jake, I was offered an award, I was unable to attend, and I respectfully turned it down," he said Friday morning, followed by several jabs directly at National Review and Christopher Buckley, who Hannity said was "no [William F. Buckley.]"

 

Hannity was presumably referring to National Review's well-known cruise vacations, where National Review readers and fans pay for the opportunity to go on a cruise with prominent conservative stars, including National Review writers, who, of course, are allowed to go on the cruise for free. Some conservatives were quick to point out that one such beneficiary of this arrangement has been Hannity.

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