Dan Rather, for those who aren’t familiar with him, is a veteran U.S. TV news anchor who had a fairly good career right up to the point where he apparently overlooked the importance of checking the veracity of clearly fabricated documents when he reported how they appeared to undercut the integrity of 2004 U.S. presidential re-election candidate George W. Bush. It’s a Rather Shameful tale of self-inflicted tragedy where he appears to have never accepted the reality of his journalism blunder. Making matters far worse, Dan Rather later essentially said President Bush would be proven guilty when evidence is found to support that. So, either the concept of innocence before being proven guilty is out the window, or the basic tenets of bulletproof journalism is out the window. Neither situation looks good for his legacy.
When I first heard the announcement of the new “Dan Rather Medals for News and Guts Award,” I guessed it was simply Babylon Bee-style headline satire, a dry humor jab at how badly mainstream media reporting has devolved lately. This sort of satire is easy to make up: The Gina McCarthy Prize for Preserving Natural Beauty, the BP Most Effective Construction Cost Savings award, the Mike Bloomberg Savvy Spending Trophy. Continue reading