Fox News Channel star anchor Sean Hannity will no longer receive the conservative Media Research Center's William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence at its September 21 gala, sources familiar with the situation tell CNN.
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.
Apparently there were a lot of behind the scenes attempts at damage control over this, with both sides suggesting that there was a "scheduling conflict."
However Christopher Buckley responded to that by saying, "perhaps Mr. Hannity has been offered the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award on the same evening and had decided to leverage upwards."
Oh yeah, THAT'S going to leave a mark.
I am old enough to remember watching William F. Buckley sparring with liberals and fellow conservatives on TV.
Even back then I totally disagreed with his politics, but I never once thought of the guy as ignorant or lacking in intelligence. Far from it in fact.
To have given a knuckle dragger like Sean Hannity an award named after him would have been an insult to the memory of a such an eloquent, if often acerbic, conservative giant.