Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Dinner Announcement
NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell, author and political journalist Haynes Johnson and New York Times/CBS News/PBS correspondent Terence Smith will be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the D.C. Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, on June 11, 2013.

The criterion for membership in the Hall of Fame is simply this: strong journalism over at least 25 years in Washington.

The four inductees will speak at the chapter’s annual Dateline Awards dinner in the ballroom of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

On the same evening, the D.C. Chapter’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Steve Geimann, Deputy Team Leader at the Bloomberg News Washington bureau.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, is also the host of Andrea Mitchell Reports, a daily hour of political news and newsmaker interviews on MSNBC. One of the nation’s most familiar broadcast reporters, Mitchell also has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and multiple election campaigns. As a longtime analyst of the intelligence community, Mitchell’s assignments for NBC have included exclusive reports from North Korea, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan and Haiti. She has made regular appearances on NBC News and MSNBC programs, including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Hardball,” “Morning Joe” and “Meet the Press.” Mitchell joined NBC News in 1978 as a general correspondent based in Washington.

Thomas Boswell began his career at The Washington Post in 1969 as a copy aide. Later he became a general assignment reporter for twelve years, covering such sports as baseball, golf, college basketball, tennis, boxing and local high school sports. In 1984, the Post gave Boswell a regular column. Boswell has written many books including “Game Day,” “The Heart of the Order,” “Strokes of Genius,” “Why Time Begins on Opening Day” and “How Life Imitates the World Series.” He has written for Inside Sports, Esquire, GQ and Playboy. He also makes frequent television appearances and does live chats on

Haynes Johnson is an author, commentator, journalist and professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he also is a contributing editor for American Journalism Review. Johnson came to Washington as a reporter for the Washington Star in 1957 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for his reporting on the civil rights crisis in Selma, Alabama. Joining the Washington Post in 1969, Johnson served as a national reporter, assistant managing editor and national affairs columnist. He has made many appearances on the PBS-TV programs “Washington Week in Review” and “The NewsHour.” Johnson is the author of the bestsellers “Sleepwalking Through History”, “The Bay of Pigs,” and “The Landing,” a spy thriller. Other nonfiction works include “Divided We Fall,” “Dusk at the Mountain” and “The System.”

Terence Smith spent 20 years at The New York Times including eight years in the Middle East and Far East, covering four wars, peace negotiations and events in more than 40 countries. Smith also served as Assistant Foreign Editor and Deputy Metropolitan Editor in New York. In the Times’ Washington bureau, he served as diplomatic correspondent and chief White House correspondent. In 1985, Smith joined CBS News in Washington, covering the Reagan White House and, for nine years, reporting the cover stories for CBS Sunday Morning. In 1998, Smith turned to public television and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. As senior producer and media correspondent, Smith broadcast hundreds of reports and studio discussions on media, national and international issues. Smith is now a special correspondent for The NewsHour.






















NRA versus the NPC

For more than 100 years, the National Press Club has been neutral ground: an agreeable watering hole a few blocks from the White House where presidents and potentates have held forth on issues of the day. Sometimes, they even make news.

But yesterday, the NPC got played by the NRA.

The National Rifle Association sent its hired front-man, former Congressman and Bush Administration official Asa Hutchinson into the club surrounded by a small army of security guards — armed, of course — to announce at a news conference that the solution to violence in the schools is — wait for it — more guns in the schools.

Dana Milbank reported in the Washington Post this morning that Hutchinson was protected by about 20 guards, some in uniform, some in plainclothes, all packing.

According to Milbank, the “gun lobby goons” fanned out through the Press Club. He writes: “The NRA gunmen directed some photographers not to take pictures, ordered reporters out of the lobby when NRA officials passed and inspected reporters’ briefcases before granting them access to the news conference.”

The NRA antics, Milbank commented dryly, “gave new meaning to the notion of disarming your critics.”

This sort of display of firepower is so over the top, so in-your-face, so uncalled for, it can only be a political statement. The NRA was going to brandish its second amendment rights for all to see.

The Press Club, of which I am a member, was caught with its guard down.

Bill McCarren, the Club’s executive director, said there had been advance discussions with the NRA about security and that the lobby group had insisted it would bring its own, probably about nine. More than twice that showed up.

“It was definitely unusual, not a common sight,” said Angela Greiling Keane, the Club president, being diplomatic about a paying customer who had rented the facilities for the news conference. “It’s not something we would encourage our clients to do.”

McCarren said the show of force was hardly necessary. “We had General Dempsey (Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey) here and he didn’t bring a tank.”

An NRA spokesman — even one as placid and unthreatening as Hutchinson — is of course a potential target. There are crazies on both sides of the gun debate.

But in this case, the NRA was making a political point in front of cameras and reporters. Guns are the answer, they were saying, and not just a few. Subtlety has never been their strong suit.

Later yesterday, when Hutchinson showed up to tape an interview with Margaret Warner at The PBS NewsHour, he was accompanied by one security person. “We had no idea if he was armed or not,” said a NewsHour staffer.
Of course, there were no cameras in the green room, no audience to get the point that the NRA means business.