The journalist many long regarded as the voice of Fox News was honored last night for lifetime achievement by the Phillips Foundation.
In accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at a standing-room-only dinner at the National Press Club, Brit Hume noted earlier remarks that this might well be the first of many such honors for the journalist whose career started with daily newspapers and ended recently at Fox.
“Tomorrow night, I’ll be getting another award from MSNBC — for the ‘worst person of the year,’” deadpanned Hume, who has been at Fox News since it was launched a decade ago by Rupert Murdoch (someone, Hume recalled, that nearly everyone he knew in the Fourth Estate considered “the anti-Christ,” but, “I spent some time with him and thought he was a great guy.”).
Turning serious, the man with the velvet voice and rapier wit referred to his earliest days in the newspaper business as a reporter with the Hartford (CT.) Times — my hometown’s “afternoon newspaper, in fact, and a publication I so enjoyed that it encouraged me to enter journalism." Hume also had warm remembrances of the Times and how the city editor would haul reporters before him who wrote opinionated pieces and tersely order them “Do it over!”
Sadly, he pointed out, the Times is now defunct, as are most afternoon papers and a increasing number of dailies. But the spirit of beginning and following a story without a slant from the beginning, Hume said, is the way he approached his new job of starting the fledgling Fox Washington bureau after leaving ABC 13 years ago.
In referring to freelance journalists such as blogger (and Phillips Fellow) Stephen Morse, Hume said that the idea of them working from their home and competing for attention online “is wonderful.” This would lead to more diverse views on news stories, and a brighter future for journalism, concluded Hume.
The award for Brit Hume was the conclusion of an event in which ten winners of journalism fellowships totaling $320,000 was announced. Topics of the work that the young journalists will pursue range from “The Assault on School Choice” to “Transnational Progressivism and the Threat to America.”
In an effort to promote the objective journalism that Brit Hume had spoken of last night, the Phillips Foundation launched its fellowship program in 1994. Since then, the Foundation has awarded 85 fellowships for journalism projects supportive of American culture and a free society.