The University of Texas at Austin's School of Journalism and Media announced Wednesday that it has introduced new awards "honoring reporting as well as exceptional content," named after former CBS News anchor Dan Rather.
While the school did not mention the fact that Rather was fired after being caught reporting fake news based on forged documents smearing President George W. Bush in 2004, observers on social media were quick to remind them.
What are the details?
Jay Bernhart, dean of UT's Moody College of Education, tweeted, "Dan Rather is not only a legend -- he's the namesake of new awards honoring his career and the work of today's journalists. We are thrilled to announce the @DanRather Medals for News and Guts."
Dan Rather is not only a legend -- he’s the namesake of new awards honoring his career and the work of today’s jour… https://t.co/xJSkh0shna— Jay Bernhardt (@Jay Bernhardt) 1608134562.0
The dean's post was roundly mocked and criticized, garnering reactions such as, "It's interesting that someone created an award for a man who was forced to resign in disgrace for violating the most basic standards of journalism. A legend, indeed."
Another person joked, "The back has the inscription 'Fake, but accurate," while someone else wrote, "I've got to believe that even Dan finds this embarrassing."
"Irony is dead, buried, and cremated," quipped Daily Telegraph opinion editor James Morrow.
In their promotion of the new awards, UT stated, "The Dan Rather Medals for News and Guts honor the process of journalism as much as the end product. They will be awarded to professional and collegiate journalists who go the extra yard — overcoming obstacles like stonewalling and harassment — to get the story that tells truth to power."
They added, "While journalism and journalists have long been under constant fire from the powerful, recognizing those who show "News and Guts" has never been more important than it is today."
UT did not mention the fact that Rather was fired for reporting false information.
Fox News reported:
Rather, a Texas native, was forced out of the CBS anchor chair in 2005 after using unauthenticated documents in a 2004 report claiming that George W. Bush had gone absent without leave from the Texas Air National Guard. He has enjoyed a recent career renaissance thanks to his folksy, far-left Twitter persona and standing among media correspondents like CNN's Brian Stelter.
According to The Washington Examiner's Becket Adams, "Rather should be a pariah in media, especially because he still maintains he did nothing wrong (he did). But he has enjoyed a renaissance in the news business these past couple of years, thanks, in large part, to his anti-President Trump social media activities."