Over the past two years, Fox News host Sean Hannity has watched his friend Donald Trump ride unhinged Twitter rants to unimaginable heights of world power.

So why wouldn’t he — easily President Trump’s most dedicated advocate in all of cable news — do precisely the same thing?

On Friday morning, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that the Media Research Center (MRC), the outfit that monitors lefty lapses in the mainstream media through its website NewsBusters, will no longer be feting Hannity at its Sept. 21 gala with the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence. Buckley, of course, is the late founder of National Review and a central figure in the modern conservative movement. As Carl T. Bogus put things in his biography: “He took a disparate collection of ideas — some of which were contradictory or disdained even by leading conservatives of the day — melded them together, and personally represented this new ideology so appealingly that many people became Buckley-style conservative because they passionately admired William F. Buckley Jr.”

Quite an honor, in other words, for a guy like Hannity, who did none of that stuff. Though he claims to be a conservative, Hannity has compromised all his principles by aligning himself with Trump, a conviction-starved opportunist.

According to Tapper’s reporting, Christopher Buckley — the only child of William Buckley and an accomplished author in his own right — “expressed great dismay” to the MRC regarding the choice of Hannity. Other conservatives feel likewise and have vented their feelings on social media and elsewhere. MRC “acquiesced” and hatched a face-saving approach to pulling the award from Hannity: “It’s my understanding there was a scheduling conflict,” MRC spokesman Ryan Moy told Tapper. There’s a family connection to all this drama, too: Brent Bozell, the MRC boss, is the nephew of William F. Buckley Jr.; Bozell’s father participated on debate team with Buckley at Yale University.

From the Tapper piece: “A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley said of the concocted scheduling excuse: ‘perhaps Mr. Hannity has been offered the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award on the same evening and had decided to leverage upwards.'” Strange sourcing; funny material.

On Twitter, Bozell issued this statement:

We asked Bozell whether the organization would issue the award to Hannity next year, when that TV host perhaps would be more available. No answer just yet.

Now look at how Hannity has responded to all of this:

Huh. As early as June 26, MRC announced the lineup for its gala. “During the 30th anniversary, speakeasy-themed gala, the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence will be presented to Sean Hannity,” reads an announcement. Interesting how Hannity doesn’t start denouncing the award until now.

In fairness to Hannity, we, too, would like to review the finances of National Review’s cruises — a topic that Hannity has discussed in previous outbursts:

For critical background on this tete-a-tetes, consider that National Review devoted an entire issue in early 2016 to attacking then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

And as a matter of full disclosure, this whole Hannity fit happens to hit a bit close to home. Because in the midst of his slams against National Review and Tapper, Hannity managed to squeak in a tweet regarding the Erik Wemple Blog:

Let us correct you, Sean: We didn’t write “Kill Fox and Friends.” We wrote, “Kill ‘Fox & Friends.’ ” There is a difference.