CCLP Advisory Board Member and Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt will be honored by The Constitution Project at their 7th Annual Constitutional Gala on April 24th in Washington, D.C. The bipartisan legal watchdog group will celebrate Pruitt’s leadership in standing up against government intimidation of the media. Tickets to the Gala are available for purchase at The Constitution Project’s website.
The Constitutional Champion Award honors Pruitt’s commitment to fighting for the constitutional principles of the First Amendment. When the Department of Justice secretly collected phone records for editors at The Associated Press in May 2013, Pruitt called it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” demanding that all records be returned and all copies destroyed. “We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” said Pruitt.
As The Huffington Post reports, “Pruitt’s swift and unequivocal response to the government’s excesses triggered a firestorm of support for the AP position…. As a result, President Obama directed the Justice Department to substantially revise its policies. The new guidelines announced last month came out of that process.”
Before joining the Associated Press, Pruitt was the former CEO, president, and chairman of the board of the McClatchy Company, one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. But before heading the McClatchy Company, Pruitt started out as a First Amendment lawyer. Throughout his long career in both law and journalism, Pruitt’s passion for press freedom has not gone unnoticed.