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Bridget Johnson


August 8, 2013 - 12:26 pm

The White House just announced 16 recipients who will mark the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including former President Bill Clinton, feminist Gloria Steinem and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude,” Obama said in a statement.

More than 500 medals have been awarded since President Kennedy established the honor.

This year’s medals will go to (descriptions by the White House):

Ernie Banks

Known to many as “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.  During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.

Ben Bradlee

Ben Bradlee is one of the most respected newsmen of his generation.  During his tenure as executive editor of The Washington Post, Mr. Bradlee oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal, successfully challenged the Federal Government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, and guided the newspaper through some of its most challenging moments.  He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Bill Clinton

President Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States.  Before taking office, he served as Governor and Attorney General of the State of Arkansas.  Following his second term, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.  He also formed the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund with President George W. Bush in 2010.

Daniel Inouye (posthumous)

Daniel Inouye was a lifelong public servant.  As a young man, he fought in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for which he received the Medal of Honor.  He was later elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.  Senator Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology.  After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Dr. Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist.  Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years.  An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.  Prior to serving in Congress, Senator Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975.  He currently serves as President of the Lugar Center.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men.  Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Mario Molina

Mario Molina is a visionary chemist and environmental scientist.  Born in Mexico, Dr. Molina came to America to pursue his graduate degree.  He later earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chlorofluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer.  Dr. Molina is a professor at the University of California, San Diego; Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment; and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Sally Ride (posthumous)

Sally Ride was the first American female astronaut to travel to space.  As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.  Dr. Ride also served in several administrations as an advisor on space exploration.

Bayard Rustin (posthumous)

Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all.  An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad.  As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval is a celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer.  Born outside Havana, he became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer.  He defected to the United States in 1990 and later became an American citizen.  He has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith was head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961 to 1997.  In those 36 years, he earned 2 national championships, was named National Coach of the Year multiple times, and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history.  Ninety-six percent of his players graduated from college.  Mr. Smith has also remained a dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality.  She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights.  Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.

Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian

C.T. Vivian is a distinguished minister, author, and organizer.  A leader in the Civil Rights Movement and friend to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across our country.  Dr. Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal.  In 2012, he returned to serve as interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Patricia Wald

Patricia Wald is one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation.  After graduating as 1 of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, she became the first woman appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as Chief Judge from 1986-1991.  She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.  Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists.  She is best known for creating The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years. Ms. Winfrey has long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women.  She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Seriously, consider this. If you or I did half the stuff that Bill Clinton has done (perjury, sexual assault, probable rape, sleazy financial deals, adultery, etc.) we would be in prison.

Makes one proud to be an American, doesn't it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Is Ambassador Stevens on that list?"

-Hillary Clinton
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama has made teh Medal of Freedom as prestigious as the Nobel Peace Prize.

Is there a single Conservative on that list?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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This article is precisely the trouble with PJMedia. It is fluff. To be concerned about it is fluff. PJMedia does NOT attempt to get underneath the issues, to state plainly true conservative principles which are traditionalist and decentralist. Currently there are only a handful of sites which actually delve down into the depths, including...

View From the Right []
Market Ticker from Karl Denninger []
Sultan Knish []
Ann Barnhardt []
Stuff Black People Don't Like []
Vox Populi []

There are a few others, but you need to discover them for yourself.

Please wake up... you are living in a leftist tyranny, and there are no conventional options left. If you don't realize this, you exist in a dreamworld.

You must accept, believe, and fully embrace the following if you ever hope to do anything other than read and comment on tepid blogs like PJMedia...

Equality is theft.
Religion is politics.
Reality is racist.

Good luck.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another fraud president farce and belittlement of the nation!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This kind of reminds me of how some schools no longer give an award for achievement because it made non achievers feel bad about themselves. So the 'Medal of Freedom' is now a participation award?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Like the Nobel Peace Prize in modern times, this cast, who range from left-liberal to left-liberal, is merely being recognized for thinking the same PC way the presenter is. Nothing more.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After being handed out to every washed up entertainer, crony, hack, enabler, and sycophant this award has been seriously devalued.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now that "The Love Boat", "Fantasy Island", and ""Hollywood Squares" have been cancelled, you have to have something to give to these people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"times" to correct "time".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The list reflects people who have been successful in their lines of work but only a handful whose work promoted human freedom; way too much celebrity on the list. Ah well, these are the time in which we live.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A Medal of Freedom to Bill Clinton, Steinem, Oprah?

Geez -- is there an autocrat, harpy, or ignoramus he missed? "Tell me who your friend are..."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gloria Steinem, one of the deep thinkers supporting which advocates legal recognition for all relationships regardless of number, gender, kinship. "Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others."

They also propose the following welfare benefits scheme: "Access for all, regardless of marital or citizenship status, to vital government support programs including but not limited to health care, housing, Social Security and pension plans, disaster recovery assistance, unemployment insurance and welfare assistance."

Medal of "freedom?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Steinem treated dissenters at her meetings like a true fascist:
"Shut the f___ up! We are not interested in what you have to say!"
The Lenin Prize or the Robespierre Certificate of Recognition would be more appropriate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States". This abomination should be abolished. I don't care who is president, it smacks of an "honours list".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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