Chris Wallace received the Panetta Institute Jefferson-Lincoln Award on Saturday evening “for his commitment to dedicated, responsible and bipartisan journalistic leadership.”
Honorees at the in-person event in Pebble Beach were “selected because of their proven dedication to the most important principles of our democracy: loyalty to country above party, the importance of a transparent and unbiased press, the protection of free and fair elections and the need for equal justice in applying the rule of law.”
The night’s other honorees were United States Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and James Clyburn (D-SC).
In Wallace’s acceptance remarks, he called winning the award “a pretty great honor,” and added that while he likes praise as much as anyone, he does find it “a bit sad” that he’s being honored and praised these days just for being fair. Wallace expressed a similar sentiment when we spoke with him back in April, telling us at the time that being fair “was the bare minimum requirement to keep from getting fired. Now, being fair makes you stand out. That’s a shame.”
Here’s some more of what he said on Saturday night: “Look, it’s simple, reporters don’t take sides. Reporters don’t push agendas. Reporters report the facts. And facts and the truth are non-negotiable. I like to think of my job interviewing politicians in Washington as a little bit like being the cop on the beat swinging the nightstick and trying to keep everybody honest. That’s what I was taught that journalism was when I started so long ago, and that’s what I intend to do as long as I am practicing journalism.”