The conferral of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards is hopping from the Playboy Mansion to Washington.
“I couldn’t think of a better location to celebrate the First Amendment and those that fight to protect it,” explains Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises, a major Democratic Party supporter and anti-censorship advocate.
And, as the times would have it, Edward Snowden is involved.
The younger Hefner is Playboy’s former chief executive and chairwoman and has also been involved with liberal causes as a major fundraiser for Democrats.
She established the awards in 1979 in conjunction with Playboy magazine’s 25th anniversary to salute those who have protected and enhanced free speech.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, is among those expected to attend the awards reception on Tuesday at the Newseum.
The 2014 honorees are:
— Glenn Greenwald (Journalism), a political journalist and author, who published a series of reports detailing National Security Agency surveillance programs, based on classified documents leaked by Snowden, a former national security contractor for NSA who left the U.S. for Russia under indictment for espionage.
— Norman Dorsen (Lifetime Achievement Award), Muneer Awad (Government), former executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter.
— Mary Beth Tinker and Mike Hiestand (Education), for organizing the Tinker Tour, a national free-speech and free-press tour to promote the First Amendment through the stories of young people.
— Thomas Healy (Book Publishing), author of, “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind — and Changed the History of Free Speech in America.”
— Christopher Finan (Law), president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
The initial report indicated that this was the first time the awards were given in Washington. A spokeswoman says the ceremony also was held in Washington in 2008.