MoveOn.org (www.moveon.org) is asking its online constituency -- and the press corps in particular --
to protest the choice of Fox News CHannel anchor Britt Hume as the recipient of this year’s National Press Foundation "Sol Taishoff Award."
The award, named after Broadcasting & Cable founder Sol Taishoff, is for “distinguished service to broadcast journalism.” It will be given out Feb. 19 at a dinner in Washington.
The site charges that Hume helped engineer the Republican attempt to counter a Democratic filibuster of Bush court nominees, then arranged for special coverage of the event with a Republican staffer.
Moveon.org cites a leaked Fox memo from a story in The Hill. Fox Spokesman Paul Schur said yesterday Fox is proud of Hume's journalistic accomplishments and the fact that he is being recognized with the award.
Schur says that what moveon.org leaves out in its attack on Hume is the quote in the Hill story from the woman who wrote the memo saying she had made a mistake, was overly excited and that that was "not how it happened."
NPF has been flooded by e-mails and calls over the past week, prompting President Bob Meyers to put a message on his answering machine directing calls about the moveon.org protest to the Web site to see what kind of organization NPF is and to call back if they still want to talk Meyers says the impact of the Web campaign was twofold.
First, he says, was the hundreds of phone call he got in support of the protest. But second was the thousands of e-mails” from at least two conservative groups backing Hume. “Neither side particularly understood what we do or what we did,” which prompted Meyers message.
Did NPF ever rethink the Hume choice: “Absolutely not, “says Meyers.
Past Taishoff award winners are a Who’s Who of broadcast journalism, including Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Sam Donaldson, John Chancellor, David Brinkley and Don Hewitt.