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WINNING WRITING: On Tuesday afternoon, “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough hushed a third-floor dining room at The Plaza hotel to present the 2011 Mirror Awards, the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s honors for the best media writing of the year.
The winners were: Columbia Journalism Review’s Joel Meares for his profile of Liz Benjamin, the Albany-based political columnist and television anchor; New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman for reporting on Fox News last fall; Ken Auletta for his New Yorker profile of Afghani media mogul Saad Mohseni; Eric Alterman for digital commentary through the Center for American Progress; Jim Hopkins for work on his Gannett blog, and Mary van de Kamp Nohl, for her reporting on the fallout from Journal Communications’ initial public offering in Milwaukee Magazine.
Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott won the award for best commentary and began his acceptance speech by painting a picture of Rep. Anthony Weiner at the podium during his press conference the day before. “Life in America now is the theater of the absurd,” Wolcott said. “Working for Vanity Fair is not so much about working for a magazine, it’s like working for a theatrical company or the last great Hollywood studio.” He also compared the magazine to a “great ocean liner” before thanking deputy editor Aimée Bell and editor in chief Graydon Carter.
To round out the honors, New York University professor Clay Shirky presented Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai with the Impact, Innovation and Influence Award, and Time Warner chief executive officer Jeff Bewkes presented Comcast ceo Brian Roberts with the Fred Dressler Achievement Award. Roberts, however, was unable to accept the award himself because he was in Lausanne, Switzerland, securing NBC’s $4.38 billion bid to carry the Olympics coverage from 2014-2020. “God help ’em,” Bewkes said on stage.
— Zeke Turner