Scott Pelley Receives Texas Medal of Arts Award; Defends Media Against Trump

By A.J. Katz 

This past Wednesday, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley was honored at the Texas Medal of Arts Awards for his work in journalism. The San Antonio native and Texas Tech grad received the award from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a ceremony which took place at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin.

“I never could have imagined this moment,” said Pelley. “No professor of journalism at Texas Tech could have imagined this moment. I’m filled with gratitude because this recognition is from the people who know me best, who have seen my limited successes, and my failures and have decided to give me the benefit of the doubt.”

A portion of Pelley’s acceptance speech focused on the state of the news media and its strained relationship with the new administration.

“I have to admit, I am a little disoriented,” Pelley said. “When I left New York, the President of the United States had declared us the enemy of the American people. By the time I got home to Texas, I had been mistaken for an artist.”

“This does raise the question, ‘how far does it go?’ Is the next enemy of the American people a choreographer, painter, filmmaker, poet a songwriter?,” Pelley continued. “What is the ‘media’ Mr. Trump speaks of? ‘The Media’ is the conversation of 300 million people who have the right to speak and the right to be heard.”

The Texas Medal of Arts Awards celebrates the Lonestar State’s legends from the arts, and is the state’s most prestigious arts gala. Other honorees at the biennial event included Kris Kristofferson, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, ballet dancer Lauren Anderson, and more. Country music icon Kenny Rogers, a Houston native, received The Texas Medal of Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Previous honorees include TV newsers such as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer. Guess we know what state CBS News heads to when in search of its next newsman.