Check out the below story:
In its 50th year, Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to 16
Description of Qualifying Criteria for the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavor."
I can't help but shake my head at some of the recipients. I suppose going by the over broad criteria that you probably could make a case for awarding this medal to just about anyone for anything. But really, Bill Clinton? The same guy who cheated on his wife in the Oval Office with an intern? Or any of the politicians on the list for that matter? They did a job they were elected to do. And got rich in doing so. I don't find anything especially meritorious in that. Politicians simply should not be eligible for the award. It just ends up being a political Academy Award otherwise (i.e. politicians voting for their buddies).
In the non-politicians category, I literally rolled my eyes upon reading Oprah Winfrey received the award. Her latest comments about how American's disapprove of Obama because he's black propagates the idea that we are all racists in this country when that is simply not true. Never mind the fact that he's half white and half black. Should a woman who can't let go of mentioning race almost as often as "Reverend" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton really get a medal to celebrate her success?
Some of these folks deserve the recognition (i.e. Sally Ride). But it should be awarded to the cream of the crop in a given field or profession. Not a bunch of skeezy politicians and race baiters.