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Leap of interfaith

Media | Religious left group honors ABC's anchorman

Issue: "House hunting," May 11, 2002

Who is the religious left's favorite person this year? Peter Jennings. The liberal Interfaith Alliance plans to honor the ABC anchorman on June 12 with the "Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award" in a ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

In the publicity surrounding the award ceremony, Mr. Cronkite took a shot at religious conservatives, saying that the Interfaith Alliance is "dedicated to protecting America's basic freedoms of speech, press, and religion from the fringe groups who cloak in religious garb their challenge to these principles."

The group is honoring Mr. Jennings for having "embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity, and cooperation" in his coverage surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks. The alliance will also honor Forrest "Frosty" Troy, editor of the biweekly newspaper the Oklahoma Observer, who in less civil and cooperative moments has joked in speeches that his dream in life is to give President Bush an SAT test. He said of Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating: "The little jerk. It takes him 90 minutes to watch 60 Minutes."

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The awards are selected by a committee of mainly leftist celebrities including PBS star Bill Moyers, Joan Brown Campbell of the National Council of Churches (who last month dined with that great respecter of free speech and religion, Fidel Castro, in Havana), former Carter official Andrew Young, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and former President Gerald Ford.

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