Monday, November 28, 2016

MEDAL OF FREEDOM - President Obama Awards 21

"‘I am the president, he is the Boss':  Obama pays tribute to, jokes with Medal of Freedom recipients" PBS NewsHour 11/22/2016


SUMMARY:  At the White House, President Obama handed out the Medal of Freedom to twenty-one notable American figures; from Kareem Abdul Jabbar, to Bill and Melinda Gates, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Redford, and many others.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Twenty-one people received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year, from artists and entertainers, to philanthropists and scientists.

President Obama handed out the medals at the White House this afternoon.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Extraordinary Americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us towards progress.

These two have donated more money to charitable causes than anyone ever.

Many years ago, Melinda's mom told her an old saying:  To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is success.

By this and just about any other measure, few in human history have been more successful than these two impatient optimists.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Ellen DeGeneres has a way of making you laugh about some thing, rather than at someone, except when I danced on her show.  She laughed at me.



It's easy to forget now, when we have come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Now, every journalist in the room, every media knows the phrase Newt Minow coined:  the vast wasteland.

But the two words Newt prefers we remember from his speech to the nation's broadcasters are these:  public interest.  That's been the heartbeat of his life's work.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  The game of baseball has a handful of signature sounds.  You hear the crack of the bat.  You have got the crowd singing in the seventh inning stretch.  And you have got the voice of Vin Scully.

When he heard about this honor, Vin asked, with characteristic humility, “Are you sure? I'm just an old baseball announcer.”


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  And we had to inform him that, to Americans of all ages, you are an old friend.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Here's how great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was; 1967, he had spent a year dominating college basketball.  The NCAA bans the dunk.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  They didn't say it was about Kareem, but it was about Kareem.



Full ceremony (1:01:43):

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