A Feb. 20 Newsmax article announced that Newsmax's Ronald Kessler "was given the first Robert Novak Journalist of the Year Award on Friday at the 37th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)."
Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose foundation runs CPAC, presented the award to Kessler at CPAC’s Ronald Reagan Banquet, where former Congressman J.C. Watts, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and others spoke to more than 2,000 attendees.
"Ron was recognized this year because of the quality of his writing, reporting and the hard work he puts in to covering Washington," said Keene. "He is always there, always fair and is one reporter who adheres to standards that are all too frequently violated or ignored by his colleagues."
Kessler won the award based on voting by the 96 co-sponsors of CPAC.
It's unclear whether Kessler's award has anything to do with the fact that Kessler has repeatedly quoted Keene in his articles. For instance:
- CPAC's David Keene: We Will Win Again
- David Keene Endorses Romney
- Keene: Obama Will Overreach
- ACU's David Keene Says Press Favors McCain
- McCain is Finished, Head of Conservative Union Says
Why wouldn't Keene want to honor Kessler? He's practically Keene's PR agent.
for his part, Kessler made some dubious claims in his acceptance speech, asserting that "really is fair and balanced." As we detailed the last time Kessler made this claim, that is utterly false.
Kessler also suggested that Newsmax is fair and balanced as well because "runs stores [sic] that are critical of Republicans as well as Democrats." That may be true, though Newsmax's criticism of Republicans usually centers on them being not conservative enough. More often than not, Newsmax is eager to defend Republicans while ignoring relevant facts, as it recently did for Mike Huckabee.