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WASHINGTON, D.C. On Tuesday night, under unusually muggy and decidedly pollen-filled skies, news and opinion magazine The Week gathered 190 members of the media, politicians, and advertisers for a cocktail reception, awards dinner, and panel discussion at the St. Regis Hotel. The magazine's sixth annual Opinion Awards again recognized excellence in opinion journalism in three categories.
Hosted by The Week’s editor in chief, William Falk, the ceremony presented glass plaques to Columnist of the Year David Brooks of The New York Times, Blogger of the Year Nate Silver of Fivethirtyeight.com, and Cartoonist of the Year Mike Luckovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Candidates were evaluated by senior editors at The Week and a panel of 25 judges that included journalists, academics, and authors.
At 6:30 p.m., the evening kicked off with cocktails on the spacious Astor Terrace. On the edges of the space, the magazine’s marketing department placed six six-foot signs depicting sponsor Chevron’s current print campaign. The Week marketing director Alain Begun said the energy company’s participation is an important reason the yearly event continues. “We’re happy that for a fourth year in a row Chevron is a sponsor,” said Begun. “In terms of exposure, we get a great turnout every year in Washington. The awards are now part of our DNA.” After an hour, guests continued mingling in small groups, despite a repeated call-to-dinner chime played by a hotel employee.
For the dinner in the compact Astor Ballroom, St. Regis chefs prepared an arugula salad, followed by a main course of beef short ribs and tenderloin, whipped potatoes, and grilled squash. White House adviser David Axelrod kicked things off with opening remarks and presented the first award to Brooks. Servers delivered tiered dessert stands with mini tarts and pastries before the start of a panel discussion, led by The Week’s editor-at-large Harold Evans, who served questions to participants Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
After the panel ended at 9:30 p.m., guests mingled until 10.