- The Washington Times - Friday, July 21, 2017

Fox News’ Sean Hannity went on a tweetstorm against CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday after CNN published a report claiming the conservative Media Research Center revoked Mr. Hannity’s William F. Buckley Award because the Buckley family disapproved of the choice.

Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the situation,” CNN reported Friday that National Review founder William F. Buckley’s surviving son, Christopher Buckley, protested the Media Research Center’s (MRC) decision to honor Mr. Hannity with the Media Excellence award during its Sept. 21 gala.

“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 reported.

A Fox News spokesperson, however, said Mr. Hannity was unable to attend the event. On Twitter, Mr. Hannity said he turned down the award due to a scheduling conflict that wouldn’t have allowed him to accept it in person.

“Hey Fake News Jake, I was offered an award, I was unable to attend, and I respectfully turned it down,” he wrote. “If @NRO [National Review] ‘Never Trumpers’ or WFB’s son were upset about me receiving the award, they never told me. Now I’m really glad I said ‘No thanks.’”

Mr. Hannity ignored Mr. Tapper’s request to give a reason for being unable to attend the gala, and instead chose to attack “awards” in general.

“Fact; ‘Awards’ are BS ways to raise $. The only ‘Award’ I care about is serving my audience, the support of my audience, and saving the USA,” Mr. Hannity wrote.

“I never spoke to Chris a single time. I was going to humbly accept it, but I ran into a conflict and declined. @NRO is NEVER TRUMP!,” he added.

He also tweeted thanks to conservative radio host Mark Levin, who responded to CNN’s report by calling Mr. Tapper a “putz.”

“Well, as a Buckley Award winner myself, I hereby award Jake Tapper the Putz Award,” Mr. Levin wrote on Facebook. “I assume he will accept it. Oh, and Chris Buckley voted for Obama at least once.I doubt his dad would’ve been proud of that.”

Mr. Tapper snarked that losing an award must be a tough pill to swallow.

“I didn’t personally attack you in the piece and I’m not going to start here,” he tweeted to Mr. Hannity. “Am sure having award taken away is painful. Best wishes, Jake.”

MRC president Brent Bozell, nephew of the late Buckley, said the organization decided not to present the award this year after Mr. Hannity declined.

“MRC awarded Hannity the Buckley award. Hannity subsequently told us he couldn’t make it. We chose not to hand out the award this year,” Mr. Bozell tweeted.

The CNN report claimed MRC leadership had discussed ways to save the Fox News host any embarrassment by “acting as if a scheduling conflict would prevent him from accepting the award.”

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