WSJ‘s Brody Mullins and WaPo‘s Tim Farnam accepted the National Press Foundation’s Dirksen award Tuesday night at the Washington Hilton along with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and CNN’s Dana Bash, who also won awards. The WSJ award-winning story involved congressional travel overseas. Farnam was formerly with WSJ.
In their acceptance speech, Mullins and Farnam took hard, humorous jabs at members of D.C.’s media, including a right hook to WaPo‘s Marcus Brauchli (pictured at left) that some considered a low blow. There was also that cutting remark about Human Events Senior Editor Emily Miller. (Formerly with Politics Daily; once flacked for indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas). In 2006, Mullins won his first Dirksen award for his piece, “Behind Unraveling Of DeLay’s Team, A Jilted Fiancee,” which discussed another ex-DeLay flack, Michael Scanlon, who was formerly engaged to Miller (pictured below).
A speech excerpt:
Brody: Tim and I want to thank the National Press Foundation for this honor. And we’d like to thank the Mayor, who was here with us earlier. For providing us transportation in a beautiful black Navigator. I can’t believe – on such short notice – that he was able to find one that — complied — with our requirement for a grey interior. As Cissy said, this is the second time I’ve stood on this stage and it’s remarkable to see how much has changed in just four short years in the media establishment here. For example — Four years ago, Marcus Brauchli was overseeing the decline of one of the most prestigious newspapers in America. Today, Marcus is overseeing the decline of one of the most prestigious newspapers in America.
Farnam: Four years ago, Mike Allen was staying up all night so he could email inside scoop to his closest friends. I’m sorry “Friend/Sources.”
Brody: Four years ago, the bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal was … Jerry Seib.
Farnam: Four years ago, the Washington press corps was a self-absorbed, insecure bunch who only cared about hobnobbing with the political elite. And that was before Emily Miller got her press pass. Four years ago, the newly elected Chairman of the Oversight Committee was busy with a high-profile investigation into allegedly improper emails sent by Republican staffers.
(When we requested comment, Miller asked only, “Who’s Farnam?” “After being told he is a Washington Post reporter, Miller said ‘I’m surprised that the Washington Post‘s editors would allow him to defame a fellow reporter.”)
More Mullins and Farnam as well as the C-SPAN video…
Farnam: To win this award, Brody and I investigated how members of Congress travel overseas. What we found would shock you. On taxpayer funded trips, lawmakers were *eating fancy meals and drinking fine wine for free *rubbing shoulders with influential leaders and dignitaries at exclusive events *and receiving all sorts of other gifts– and cash – available to them only because they held public office.
Brody: So to be recognized for our work while *eating a fancy meal and drinking fine wine for free *rubbing shoulders with influential leaders and dignitaries at this exclusive event *wearing fancy tuxedos paid for with expense accounts *and walking away with free gifts – and cash…Seems a fitting reward for a job well done.
Watch the C-SPAN video here.