Burt Prelutsky

There are two kinds of awards in the world -- good ones and bad ones. It is simple enough to distinguish between them. I am the recipient of the former and other people are recipients of the latter. But if it were up to me, there would be a moratorium on all of them. They just keep getting dumber and dumber. I mean, I refuse to believe that I’m the only person who is sick and tired of seeing the likes of Michael Moore, Al Gore and “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” win Oscars and people like Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, taking home Nobel Peace Prizes.

Let’s face it, if they simply drew names out of a hat, the folks who hand out these things could hardly do worse. At least on “Dancing With the Stars,” the winners have to know how to do a mean tango.

Out here in Los Angeles, the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. are not only lined with bums and pimps, but with bronze stars commemorating celebrities, past and present. What they don’t tell the tourists who stand gawking at names of people they’ve never heard of is that the honorees have to fork over thousands of dollars to defray the cost of installing the star and the accompanying ceremony.

But of all the silly awards, the most mind-boggling that I’ve come across in the past week is the Emery Reves Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism that was bestowed to -- hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen -- Chris Matthews!

Because the late Mr. Reves, born Revesz Imre in Hungary, was Winston Churchill’s friend and literary agent, the award allegedly honors “excellence in writing or speaking about Churchill’s life and times, or by applying his precepts and values to contemporary issues among the English-speaking peoples.” It reminds me of a line from a Bogart movie: “The cheaper the hood, the gaudier the patter.”

In any case, Mr. Reves has been dead since 1981 and, so, he’s in no position to point out that Churchill would be spinning in his grave if he thought that anyone in his right mind would confuse his precepts and values with those of a knee-jerk liberal like Matthews. One can almost hear the old man thundering: “They must have me confused with that umbrella-toting ninny, Neville Chamberlain!”

At the awards dinner, someone actually stepped up to the microphone and, with a straight face, said: “Mr. Matthews’ passion for a free and open press and the public debate that it sparks is legendary. He is an enthusiastic supporter of democracy and has been a learned member of the news reporting fraternity throughout his distinguished and prolific career.”

But, nary a word about the fact that he is a mouthpiece for the Left and should, by all rights, be drawing a weekly paycheck from the DNC, or that he can’t manage to get through a single sentence without spitting.

Next year, rumor has it, Matthews is on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize. So far as I can see, his only real competition is Mahmud Ahmadinejad.