Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron set his battle lines against the Trump administration in receiving the first Christopher Hitchens award.
Baron vowed that the Jeff Bezos-owned Post will not be intimidated by Trump's press attacks and will "do its job" in covering the administration, which even before taking office has displayed contempt for the Constitution and governmental traditions.
Famous for leading the Boston Globe in its uncovering of the Catholic Church's child abuse scandal, recounted in the Academy Award-winning movie "Spotlight," Baron cited the late Hitchens' commitment to free speech. Unmentioned was Hitchens' enthusiastic support for George W. Bush's Iraq War, which damaged Hitchens' reputation late in his career.
The Post received renown for its Watergate reporting and toppling the press-loathing Nixon administration under the leadership of publisher Katharine Graham and Executive Editor Ben Bradlee.
Back then, the newspaper had immense resources. With fewer ad revenues and journalists, the Post produced a number of strong investigative reports on Trump during the campaign, earning his enmity. Proponents of fact-based reporting over Trump's false news machine hope that Bezos shows the same resolve as Graham..