JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson has reversed a restriction that prohibited journalists and media outlets from covering the Brian Terry Foundation Courage Awards and Benefit Dinner taking place at the hotel on the evening of Saturday, November 18th.
Yesterday the hotel changed its directive and will permit media coverage.
Ousted former White House staffer Steve Bannon will deliver the keynote address to attendees.
It’s unclear why the hotel chain decided to impose a media blackout on the event. Bannon will be receiving the Brian Terry Courage in Journalism and Reporting Award for Breitbart’s tireless reporting on efforts to hold the Obama administration accountable for the failed gun running operation known as Fast and Furious, a botched effort that cost Brian Terry his life.
Social media reports also suggest there will be a number of demonstrators at the event–presumably to protest Bannon’s appearance.
“While I respect someone’s right to demonstrate I am pleading with potential protestors,” said Brian Terry’s sister, Kelly Terry-Willis. “Don’t dishonor my brother’s memory. No matter what your political persuasion, I think we can all agree that when people from both sides of the political aisle come together to support fallen Border Patrol agents, that’s something worthy of praise not protest.”
“We are pleased Marriott has decided to change its decision and allow media coverage,” said Brian Terry’s cousin, Robert Heyer, who serves as Chairman of the Foundation said,. “Brian served and died for his country and a key principle of this nation is a free press. The Foundation welcomes this change that permits media coverage.”
The event has always been and continues to be bipartisan, according to organizers. Previous speakers and honorees include former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, reporter Sharyl Attkisson, former Congressman Ron Barber, Congressman Darrell Issa, Governor Doug Ducey, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Eric Gough, and Sue Krentz, the widow of slain Arizona rancher Robert Krentz.
The Brian Terry Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established to honor the life and ultimate sacrifice of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Agent Terry was killed in the line of duty near Rio Rico, Arizona on December 14, 2010.
The foundation is returning to the JW Marriott Starr Pass for the third time for its signature fundraising event. The dinner will include the presentation of the Brian Terry Courage Awards. This year’s honorees include Tucson philanthropist Norma Zimdahl, ATF Special Agent John Dodson and Brietbart News founder Steve Bannon. Previous recipients have included U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Rancher Sue Krentz and investigative journalist Sheryl Attkisson.
The event is Saturday, November 18th, 2017, at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson.
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