National Press Club

Hedrick Smith to keynote Silver Owls Fall Hoot, Oct. 26

October 11, 2018 | By Richard A. Ryan |

Hedrick Smith, a prize winning journalist, author, and documentarian will headline the National Press Club Silver Owls Fall Hoot at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, in the ballroom.

The Hoot is open to all Club members and their guests. Tickets are $35, which includes the Club's superb three-course dinner. The meal is preceded by a cash bar. Reservations can be made online or by calling the Club's reservations department at 202-662-7501.

Smith, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting for The New York Times, and two Emmy Awards for television documentaries, will talk about his belief that the country is in peril because of a broken political system. He contends that unlimited money flooding into political campaigns, gerrymandering of federal and state political districts, and the erosion of voting rights, particularly among minorities, are the major causes of this dilemma.

But even as the country confronts its many problems, he argues, people across the country are taking steps to right the problems. Smith says he is convinced that people have the power, if willing, to fix the broken system. He will reveal what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how successful their efforts have been.

Smith also has the background and credentials to talk about the ongoing investigation of Russian involvement in the American election. He was The New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1971 to 1974 and won the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his coverage of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies. His book, "The Russians", based on his experience in Moscow, was a No. 1 best seller. It has been translated into 16 languages and is widely used in university and college courses.

A second Russian themed book, "The New Russians," was published in 1990

During his 26-year career as a reporter for The New York Times, Smith served in Saigon, Cairo, Paris, and as Bureau Chief in Washington as well as Moscow. He also shared in the Pulitzer Prize awarded to The New York Times in 1971 for its publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Since 1989, after leaving the Times, Smith has produced 26 documentaries for PBS. They include such topics as terrorism, Wall Street, Soviet perestroika under Mikhail Gorbachev, Wal-Mart, Enron, tax evasion, educational reform, and health care. Two of his PBS Frontline programs, The Wall Street Fix, and Can You Afford to Retire, won Emmys. Two others, Critical Condition, and Tax Me if You Can, were nominated for the prestigious award.

Besides "The Russians", Smith has written several other books. President Clinton is said to have kept Smith's book, "The Power Game: How Washington Works" by his bedside.

Silver Owls are those who have been members of the Club for 25 years or longer. Golden Owls are those who have been members 50 years or more. And Platinum Owls have roosted at the Club for 60 years or longer. The Owls hold two events a year, a Spring Hoot and a Fall Hoot.

If you are a new Silver, Gold or Platinum Owl and you attend the Hoot, you will be introduced and presented with a framed certificate attesting to your new honored status in the National Press Club. If you are unable to attend, please notify Joann Booze at the Club -- and she will mail you the certificate.