At Least Michael Brown And Harriet Miers Aren’t Getting One

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

Well, when George Tenet got one of these things, the whole concept of the "Medal of Freedom" became a sad joke.  Apparently, anyone can get one of these.

That said, and working from the pretense that Medal Of Freedom Awards are still a worthy honor, let me comment on some the recently-announced recipients who will recieve their awards next Wednesday:

* Muhammad Ali. The three-time heavyweight boxing champion, who lives in Berrien Springs, Mich., successfully defended the title 19 times and was a gold medalist at the 1960 Olympic Games.   COMMENTHe actually deserves this for his principled stands against the Vietnam War as well as his work toward poverty.  Still, the White House is going to put the Medal of Freedom around a Muslim’s neck?  I wonder how tightly.

* Carol Burnett. The actress and comedian debuted on Broadway in 1959 and starred for more than a decade on "The Carol Burnett Show."   COMMENT:  Hey, I like her just as much as the next person, but does she deserve it?  Let’s hope she doesn’t do that overdone "Tarzan" yell.

* Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn. They designed the software code used to transmit data over the Internet.   COMMENT:  Fine, but I think we should email it to them.  They’ll probably erase it, thinking it is spam.

* Robert Conquest. The historian is known for his work on Soviet history, politics, and foreign policy. More than 35 years after its publication, his book, "The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties," remains one of the most influential studies of Soviet history.   COMMENT:  A historian named "Conquest"?  I think this is a fake person.

* Aretha Franklin. The singer has nearly two dozen No. 1 singles and has won numerous awards. The Detroit native was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.   COMMENT:  Again . . . why?  Yeah, she’s talented, but what did she ever do for the cause of Freedom?

* Alan Greenspan. He has been chairman of the Federal Reserve for the past 18 years.  COMMENT:  Fine.

* Andy Griffith. The actor first achieved national acclaim in the 1950s for his standup comedy routines. He went on to star in television shows such as "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock" and numerous Broadway productions and films.   COMMENT:  You’re kidding, right?

* Paul Harvey. The radio personality’s broadcasts started airing nationally in 1951.  COMMENT:  You’re really kidding, right?

* Sonny Montgomery. A veterans’ supporter during his 30 years as a member of the House of Representatives. The Montgomery GI Bill helped make education affordable for millions of veterans.   COMMENT:  Fine.  Never heard of him, but he it sounds worthy.

* Gen. Richard Myers. He recently retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   COMMENT:  Another Bush loyalist/warmonger gets awarded for beating the Administration drum.  History will not be kind to him, so he better enjoy the awards ceremony.

* Frank Robinson. The current manager of the Washington Nationals, Robinson won most valuable player awards in both the American and National leagues. He broke the color barrier for managers, becoming the first black manager in Major League Baseball in 1975.   COMMENT: Okay.  He broke a color barrier.  Throw one at him, too.

* Jack Nicklaus. The golfer won 18 major tournaments as a professional and more than 70 PGA Tour events.   COMMENT:  He broke a color barrier too, as the first extremely white golfer.

* Paul Rusesabagina. The hotelier’s life was the subject of the movie "Hotel Rwanda," which depicted his courage and compassion in sheltering people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.   COMMENT:  Kudos.  He deserves it.  Although if I were Jack Nichlaus, I would be embarrassed for myself to be standing next to this guy.