In the waning weeks of the Trump administration, the nation’s attention was fixated on the “big picture,” thanks to the legacy media. In their minds, the key narratives to be propagated involved supporting congressional “certification” of Joe Biden, dissemination of puff pieces on potential Biden political appointees, and a tamping down on and ridiculing of any and all reports of election fraud in 2020. But there were other stories that seeped out from time to time, including President Trump’s efforts to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom (PMoF) to several retired athletes, including Annika Sorenstam and Bill Belichick. Therein lies the tale of – and perfect anecdote for – our highly politicized times.
The PMoF is awarded:
… to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Recipients of the award are selected by the president of the United States, with the assistance of the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board, an advisory group created in 1957. Although the majority of honorees are U.S. citizens, individuals from other countries are also eligible.
The PMoF is the highest award made to civilians in the United States. It is the civilian equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is awarded to military members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. Past PMoF award recipients have included Billie Jean King, Sidney Poitier, Desmond Tutu, Barbara Streisand, Alan Page, Tiger Woods, Bob Cousy, and Dan Gable. For comparison purposes, President Obama made 118 awards during his eight years in office, while President Trump issued 24 medals during his 4-year term. Receiving this award is a significant personal achievement for each recipient;