tv RTCA Introduction and Awards CSPAN November 17, 2018 11:34pm-12:13am EST
annual dinner. nbc news received the -- award for excellence in journalism and c-span's -- received the jeri thompson memorial awards. we will hearards, from the featured speaker, arizona senator jeff flake. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> ♪ o say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched,
were so gallantly streaming? and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? ♪ [applause] announcer: ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 correspondents dinner chairman, craig caplan.
[applause] craig: good evening, everyone. please join me in thanking her for that performance again. welcome to the 74th annual rtca dinner. we have a great evening planned for you, our new home for this year's dinner. tonight, we will hear from our dinner host, and our keynote speaker, arizona senator jeff flake. we want to honor radio and television journalists among us tonight for their excellence in reporting and photojournalism.
we will wrap up the evening up here on the stage. this dinner has been a year in the making, and there are many, many people to thank, starting with those sitting here at the head table. the majority of them are your executive committee members. they work with the house and senate gallery staff to maintain and expand your access to lawmakers. let me now introduce them. starting to my right, director of the house radio and television correspondents gallery, the washington bureau chief for gray television, communications director and
senior advisor to house democratic leader nancy pelosi, the nbc news capitol hill producer and off air reporter, and the communications director for house speaker paul ryan. enrique santos, our master of ceremonies tonight. and on my left, from abc, chair of the executive committee and next year's dinner chair. senator jeff flake of arizona and his wife cheryl flake. paul orgel from c-span, vice chair of the executive committee and the 2019 chair of the association. abigail robertson, capitol hill correspondent for christian broadcasting network.
paul, capitol hill journalist sinclair broadcasting group. and mike, director of the senate radio and television correspondents gallery. [applause] thank you all for being here tonight and for your support. each year we have olga and mike at the head table, but it is their staff that deserves to be recognized tonight. on the senate side, joining them of the following. [applause] the house staff joining them. thank you. thanks for everything you do advocating for coverage on capitol hill. we appreciate your hard work. also, thank you to bruce collins, c-span's vice president
and general counsel, who is also joining us here tonight. for all your legal counsel and advice, to the rtca over the years, and especially with credentialing and its rules during my time as the association's chairman. i would also like to thank our incredible event planners, especially phillip, patricia and kay for all their hard work putting together tonight's event. also to our dinner sponsors, c-span and i heart media for their very generous support. [applause] finally, thank you to my c-span family of over 20 years, and to all my colleagues who worked there for the opportunity of a lifetime to cover congress. [applause]
craig: and thanks to my own family, my beautiful wife harriet as well as our caring parents judy and jerry caplan who are joining us here tonight. and our two wonderful daughters shauna and rachel for all their love, support, and patience with me in planning tonight's event. finally, thank you to my c-span please join me in applauding all of their efforts. [applause] it's been a tradition for the dinner chair to offer a toast to congress. so please raise your glass with me. so here's mine. to the outgoing congress and the incoming one, on behalf of the nearly 4,000 radio and television journalists and 455
news organizations credentialed to cover capitol hill, continue, continue to work with us to maintain access to you, the lawmakers, in an effort to keep our government accountable to the public. cheers. all: cheers. craig: now i have the honor of introducing our dinner host for the evening. he's a reserve city of miami police officer and the chairman and cco of i-heart latino and syndicated morning radio show host, enrique santos. [applause] enrique: thank you. thank you, mr. caplan. thank you very much. good evening, everybody. i just flew in from florida. miami-dade county, the 305 to be exact. yes. it worked out great because on the flight up it allowed me some
extra time to finish voting. [laughter] enrique: that's the one advantage i think that we have in florida. we not only have early voting. we have absentee voting. we have apparently now extended voting. we have a reputation for being late to everything. except one person. she is on time for everything. i ran into bill nelson when i landed at ronald reagan this afternoon. i got to thank him for his service. he says that the recount is going well and that we should know the results of florida before 2019. we actually took a picture at the airport. i want to share that picture with you here. i think we were photo bombed by comedian, actress, melissa mccarthy. can we zoom-in there? is that melissa mccarthy? it looks like her, yes? i'm honored to be here this evening. my grandparents along with their children which are now obviously
my parents fled to cuban dictatorship regime over 50 years ago. you know they never had the chance to -- they never had the chance to voice their thoughts, much less vote, in their country of origin, against this backdrop, especially here tonight, my standing here before all of you who value free press so dearly and who have made it your mission to investigate and report the truth, no matter how difficult or inconvenient it may be at times, it's so real to them. for me it is more than an honor. it comes with a great sense of responsibility. every morning millions of people from all walks of life wake up to my voice, doctors, lawyers, housekeepers, waiters, like the ones serving us here this evening, soccer moms, students, documented and undocumented people as well. i have a great impact, an impact
on their mood for that day. but what i'm most proud of is that i get to give my audience something that my parents never had in their country. i give my audience a voice. this capacity to articulate opinions and ideas, the principle that is so inherent to us here in the united states, so presumed that it is easy to take it for granted. the fact is, that so many others around the world, as we know risk and lose everything, some pay with their lives, just for the opportunity to exercise this precious freedom we enjoy every day in this great country. the work that we do, regardless of whether our role is that of a journalist, a political commentator, or host is critical. although difficult and at times inconvenient, this work is what ensures the fabric of our democracy. it upholds the tenets of the first amendment. without it, regardless of what political party may be in control of our government, this critical aspect of our democracy
would be at risk. the fact is, freedom of speech grants all american citizens the liberty to criticize the government and speak their minds without fear of being censored or prosecuted. as a radio show host, speaking my mind and asking my fellow citizens to speak their minds is the i and the heart of what i do. i want to tell you a quick story. one of my first visits here to d.c. was for a hispanic heritage celebration at the white house a couple of elections ago. despite the fact that i didn't vote for the president who was currently in office, at that time, it was during that visit that i realized just how beautiful and truly awesome our country is. my brother, a now retired u.s. army veteran, was deployed in iraq, and even though i didn't vote for the sitting president, i was standing in the east room of the white house, having a cocktail and celebrating my heritage. jose, the white house staff member who was bar tending was
also an immigrant. he is an immigrant, coincidentally from cuba. i quickly realized how truly lucky i was, how lucky i was for this country to have welcomed my parents and grandparents so that i may enjoy freedom. i was experiencing freedom and a right that so many others, including many of my own family members, unfortunately never enjoyed in their own birth country. i've since returned to the white house, and when i have been there, i look forward to seeing jose again. he has great stories about the different families he has so proudly served in the white house throughout the years. he lights up when he sees me right away and starts talking in spanish. very quietly as if we're doing something wrong. us cubans speak very loudly. he's a great guy. i'm not sure if he's still there working at the white house. if he is, if there's any white house staffers here, if you see jose, if you see him at the bar
or serving anyone in the white house, please tell him i say hello. thank you. thank you once again, sir. thank you all for inviting me to host tonight. and thank you for daring -- thank you all, the applause is really for all of you. [applause] the applause for all of you. thank you for inviting me tonight and thank you for daring to lead, to lead and for being the voice of the people each and every single one of you here, be it radio, be it written press, be it television, you are the backbone of what a true democracy is, and most importantly, folks, let us always remember that the press is not only the press is not the enemy of the people. [cheers and applause] i see jim acosta here. we appreciate your work. i admire you. thank you for what you do. no credentials can take away the passion, your heart, the vision, and your search for truth. we appreciate you, sir.
let's get down to business. here to present our first award, last year's recipient, the cnn senior congressional correspondent. [applause] >> hello. thank you for having me. it is great to be here with so many colleagues. let's hope no news breaks tonight. if it does, it will be somebody else's problem. the award recognizes excellence in washington-based political reporting. it honors the memory of a cbs producer, a treasured friend, journalist, known for her
tenacity, detailed memory, and relentless pursuit of answers from politicians, much like this year's winners. the judges for this year's awards noted this team dug deeply into an issue reverberating across america and showed that congress is not immune to the problem of sexual harassment. the work revealed that reporting on the hill challenge congress to fix a broken system, something congressional reporting should always strive to do. [video clip] >> i want to turn to that. it is a conversation we had been having this week. the house and senate approved mandatory training for all staffers. many say this step does not go far enough and point to a reporting process within
congress that is stacked against the accuser. so what happens if you are sexually harassed on capitol hill and you want to report it? i want to walk you through the process. it is very convoluted. if you are a victim, you have 180 days, six months to bring a claim to the office of compliance. this assumes that you are aware that it even exists. according to a survey, only one in 10 women staffers know that it is they are. once processed, 30 days of mandatory counseling, then 15 days to decide whether to bring those claims to mediation. if you don't want to go to mediation, then you are out of options. if you do go forward, then you are bound by confidentiality and it's clear during this time there is no investigation or attempts to change the workplace environment. when mediation begins, the congressman's office gets involved to protect the office
they are paid with taxpayer and the institution. money. you, the victim, may or may not have a lawyer in this phase. if you do not reach a settlement, there is a mandatory, 30-day cooling off period before victim can file a lawsuit or request a hearing. you have to wait one month before you can take anyone to court. that's right. if a settlement is reached then you have to sign a nondisclosure agreement to prevent you from reporting the act to the ethics committees. it prevents you from talking to your coworkers, friends, family, styles. -- or your spouse. you can't even tell your therapist. the settlements are paid for with taxpayer money. i talked with someone earlier this week about that. >> if you are somebody who works on capitol hill and are a victim of sexual harassment or abuse, you go to this office. the taxpayers pay the lawyers that fight your claim. and if you settle with that member the
taxpayers pay that settlement and that you are not allowed to speak publicly about it. is that right? >> you got it right. >> who wrote the rules to protect lawmakers and put taxpayers on the hook quick. you get it. congress. so with this ethics committee which members could be held accountable. i have found the office of compliance to be very difficult to deal with. one of our top researchers have called and they would not even transfer all information to members of congress. what needs to change here? >> this is progress. it was created 1995 and until that time there was no workplace protections for congressional staff. none. [applause] enrique: the 2017 award winner is the nbc news capitol hill
bureau team. accepting the award is the nbc news capitol hill correspondent and the nbc news capitol hill reporter. [applause] >> congrats. >> thank you all so much. we are just so incredibly honored. thank you to the radio and television correspondents'association for this award and all of your hard work. we cannot tell you how touched we are for such a groundbreaking in tenacious female journalist, especially for covering this topic. we want to thank the gallery for your work every single day at the capitol. first and foremost, we want to
emphasize the work you see of your tonight is a team effort. they were all committed to this story for months and made invaluable contributions across all platforms. we were backed up by the full weight of nbc news. the news division president gave us a story and had our backs from the very beginning. the news leadership team were available around the clock with guidance and encouragement. the producers at nbc nightly news and the today show and nbc.com, they devoted airtime. our crews that worked with us day in and day out with her interviews, we could not have done any of this without you. thank you to msnbc president, including the executive producer of that segment you just saw outlining that process.
[applause] we also want to give a special thanks to the person who helped with the herculean task to call every single congressional office if they have ever settled a complaint. it put pressure on these offices to release data about complaints that had been kept secret, literally for decades. and to the women who told their stories and trusted we would protect them, thank you for your courage. it will help the future generations of women. [applause] and also since she is here tonight, thank you to my mom, who has always been in my corner. thanks, mom. [applause] reporting on sexual harassment is an incredibly delicate
assignment and deeply personal. four members of congress resigned after allegations of sexual harassment. the house and the senate both passed bills to change that incredibly arcane process that we just walked through and used taxpayer money to cover cost of settlement, but the work is not finished. that bill has not passed because of disagreements between the two chambers, particularly over critical question whether members should have to cover the cost of those settlements out of their own pockets, instead of the taxpayers. there is still a lot to do, but the fact that we are here recognized by all of you is a good sign. more than 100 women have been elected to congress for the first time in our country's history. [applause] i will say fixing this problem probably got a hell of a lot easier, and now i will turn it over to my colleague who drove this story the entire way.
[applause] >> thank you. thanks to my nbc news team. you guys are incredible. i am so honored to be a part of it. i want to thank you, all the women and the men, who decided to come forward with their stories. without their strength and courage, we would have nothing to report. and without those hill staffers and members of congress who are dedicated to changing the workplace, we would have had a lot fewer stories. so because of the risks our sources took to the reputation and future employment or personal safety, things are changing. so this award is a recognition not only of the words written and the packages produced, but a testament to their courage and their strength in coming forward. as reporters we honor the
groundbreaking work of "the new york times" reporters on sexual harassment in hollywood. their stories led to our stories. and as a mother, everybody who risks something coming forward has made it easier for all of our kids to speak out, especially when it is most difficult. and finally, a toast to the first amendment. because of it, truth prevails in the end. thank you so much. [applause] >> to the first amendment. i need to see glasses. cheers. >> great job.
>> give it up one more time for nbc news capitol hill girl -- capitol hill bureau. great work. our next award for the evening is the jeri thompson award. award, whichpson recognizes extraordinary careers in photojournalism production, focusing on the quality and , andessness, mentor ship commitment to quality. the award honors the memory of jeri thompson, a longtime videographer for cnn. generousown for his friendship, willingness to help others, and consistently pushing above and beyond expectations. here to present the jeri thompson award, the 2011 chairman of the rtc a cnn senior andojournalist, jy michael cnn's chief political correspondent. [applause]
>> the jeri thompson award was created in 2012 to recognize photojournalist and technicians in our industry that embodied the standards and quality of jeri thompson and his 27 year career of photojournalism excellence. >> the idea recipient is selfless and eager teacher and mentor. someone who reaches above and beyond expectations. a model employee, and most important, always a friend to all. these were the qualities those of us who were lucky to work with gerry thompson remember that he exhibited daily, along with a demeanor.
this year's recipient of the 2018 jeri thompson award embodies all of those qualities. for those of you who work on capitol hill every day, he is always smiling, he is always wearing shoes. he loved talking about the new york giants. please join me in congratulating garney gary of c-span. [applause] saye walks up, i want to message toensus a read as he comes up. that means she had the honor of working with him early in her career. she said he was a pleasure to work with, a great treasure and coworker. they have the opportunity to travel and do many shoots together. his wonderfulber laugh and smile. she is very happy he's receiving this award in honor of her husband. [applause]
>> you've got to understand garney is a character. the best way to talk about garney gary is to say how much it has been fun and exciting to know him for 36 years and to work with him everyday. [laughter] >> what? what? >> garney is on camera, video, and lighting. he has covered six presidents. he must have covered at least a thousand congressional hearings. he has done it all. it is great he is getting this award. >> my experience with him a special. it was back to the mid-1990's when garney was working on the c-span bus. his gifts, in terms of being an ambassador for c-span, really sets him apart in many ways. when garney talks to someone, he goes right up to them and puts
his hand on their shoulder and looks them in the eye and he put someone at ease and gives him a great smile. it's a great way for people to learn who we are at c-span because there is nobody better than garney to talk about what we do. >> recently, we lost one of our nicest people who ever worked at c-span. i watched garney during that process. he made a habit of going out to lynwood's house, checking in to see if he could be of any help to him. i think that exemplified more than anything why an award like this would be given to garney. >> i used to work with jeri thompson at cnn. very professional, very helpful, just like garney. always pulling people to the site and giving them information that would help them in their career. it's only fitting he receives this award. he helped me when i first started. i think that garney is perfect
for this award. >> we will keep watch on him so this doesn't get to his head or his ego. but it is a thrill for me to know that people outside of c-span think the world of garney. [applause] >> this is so awesome. this is a blessing. i'm so happy to be here. you know i have a couple of remarks that i want to say. i am so honored to be here to accept the jeri thompson award. i am blessed. i am happy. and i am overwhelmed by this amazing recognition. thank you so very much. jeri thompson's award is very special to me because i knew jeri.
i knew jeri was the kind of guy who, when he walks into a briefing or a press conference, your new jeri was in the room. he was a quiet guy. but i knew his partner more than i knew jeri. but every time jeri and tony came into the room, they would always acknowledge me and they would always show professionalism and friendship throughout the holding. -- throughout the whole day. i would like to thank my c-span family. [cheers and applause] the field department, the orange group, the weekend crew, and all the technicians that i work with everyday.
the master control operators, the producers, the engineers, and even the interns. i really enjoy what i do. and i enjoyed talking to the interns. showing the interns the ropes and teaching them what c-span is all about, it's our job. it's our job to show them what broadcasting is like. and i always reinforce to them it's a wonderful field. i would like to give special thanks to the awesome, outstanding, wonderful brian lamb. [applause]
jerry murphy, kathy cahill, roxanne kerr, jana faye, bruce collins, and the chief engineer, richard gleason. see, these are people that was there when i walked in the door. that was 1982. i started c-span is a 24-year-old kid straight out of roosevelt, new york. i was covering congressional hearings and press conferences. it was awesome. but i remember this one day. we were doing a hearing in the mansfield room in the capital building. i was sitting up and i was on my knees and wrapping some cables and this big guy comes into the
room. he had white hair. and i was, like, whoa, that's tip o'neill! the reason why i got excited about that was because my father, he used to talk about him. he used to love tip o'neill. and that is exactly how i feel now. i'm excited. i'm blessed. i'm pumped because i am in a room with the best professional, video photographers, reporters, you are the best in the world. and i'm a part of that and i want to thank you for that. [applause] so i would like to thank the radio television correspondents
association for giving me this blessing. and i also want to thank my mother here, catherine gary, 87 years old. [applause] and my sister natalie is here. today is natalie's birthday. [applause] happy birthday, natalie. last, but certainly not least, our youth, the young students, the people that we see growing up on the streets. we have to help them. we have to direct them. and that is one thing that c-span has taught me, to share what you do, be proud of what you do. i am so happy to be here.
i am so happy. so happy to be here. thank you so much. [applause] >> beautiful words. thank you so much. i want to correct a mistake i made with my accent, my heavy >> beautiful words. thank you so much. i want to correct a mistake i made with my accent, my heavy latino accent. i would like to call donna bash
back up here. i want to apologize. when you do morning radio, you watch on mute, so you see everything subtitled. i always thought it was donna. thank you. sorry for messing up your name. great work, thank you. we are going to shut up for a while so everyone can enjoy some dinner. all drinks are on will. he is paying. we will resume in about 30 minutes over dinner. please enjoy the i heart radio jazz playlist. thank you. ♪ which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
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