Washington – In a White House ceremony Monday morning, Brian Lamb received the Medal of Freedom from President Bush for starting C-SPAN nearly three decades ago, offering the public a nonstop, nonpartisan televised look at how government is publicly conducted in Washington, D.C.
“An informed citizenry has been the strength of America since the days of the New England town hall. C-SPAN has revived the town-hall spirit for a modern, continental nation. For his enormous achievement and his personal modesty, for his high standards, and his contribution to our democracy, America is grateful to Mr. Brian Lamb,” Bush said.
Lamb and seven others received the highest civil honor that the president may award. First Lady Laura Bush attended the East Room event along with family and friends of the award winners. C-SPAN covered the event live.
Lamb’s wife Victoria and niece Deborah Lamb were in attendance. Also present was C-SPAN’s first executive committee chairman Bob Rosencrans, who gave Lamb a $25,000 check to begin operations in 1979.
In his remarks, Bush praised Lamb not only as a pioneer television executive but also as a journalist whose mastery of the low-key interview style yielded results rarely found elsewhere in television.
“He’s conducted some of the most fascinating interviews we have ever heard. As one C-SPAN watcher said, when you listen to Brian ‘You feel like he’s just like you, only smarter.’”
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