The Radio Television Digital News Foundation held court last night at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington D.C.. Journalists from around the country attended the black-tie affair to celebrate the 2011 First Amendment Award recipients: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Hearst’s David Barrett and Raycom’s Susana Schuler, and pay tribute to the tenth anniversary of September 11th. The program also honored nine reporters who displayed special poise and bravery during the 9/11 attacks. ABC’s Martha Raddatz, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Warren Levinson of AP Radio, CBS’s Byron Pitts, CBS Radio’s Charlie Kaye, Jeanne Meserve of CNN, Rick Leventhal of Fox News, NBC’s Rehema Ellis and NPR’s Melissa Block all received special recognition for their dedication to journalism during the national crisis.
Guests at the event were treated to a luxe, three-course meal including scallop appetizer, tender beef entree and tasty chocolate pastry dessert. And though the dinner was delightful, the highlight of the night was certainly the presentation of the Leonard Zeidenberg Award to Wolf Blitzer. The award was presented by Turner Broadcasting Chairman and CEO Phil Kent who gushed, “I love this guy” before playing a hilarious video tribute to the Wolf-man (below and worth the watch).
*Interesting side note: Blitzer takes off on a whirlwind tour with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week. Among their destinations: Egypt and Tunisia.