Worthless awards: Spot the satire

One symptom of the institutional rot that characterizes our ruling class and its organizations is the degradation of existing prizes and the proliferation of meaningless awards. For instance, the Nobel Peace Prize – formerly one of the most prestigious awards in the world -- has disgraced itself by honoring Barack Obama for no discernable reason other than being black and having been just elected president at the time of the award. This continued the trivialization and degradation that was self-evident when terrorist Yasser Arafat became a laureate.

On less exalted level, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has openly repudiated quality as the criterion for its “Best Picture” Oscar™ awards starting in 2022 with a mind-boggling set of diversity requirements that would disqualify pretty much every superb motion picture of the past from consideration.

This week, two new awards stand out among the new prizes being awarded. One is intended to be genuinely prestigious, while the other is entirely satirical. The problem is that it is disarmingly easy to quickly grasp which is the spoof.

Behold “The Dan Rather Medals for News and Guts,” whose name honors the man most famous for the expression “fake but accurate.”

Photo credit: Twitter screengrab

With that award title, the possibility of satire is quite real. “News and guts” sounds pretty funny, with a faint hint of reading chicken entrails in order to explore what’s happening.  

But then there is the “Gavi Award for hypocrisy in government during the Covid pandemic.”

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I admit that the second award, created by the Armstrong & Getty nationally syndicated talk show is unmistakably satirical. The Rather Medal is, believe it or not, awarded by the "University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism and Media Moody College of Communication" with a completely straight face.

Maybe they could give the first medal to “Dr. Jill Biden,” whose chutzpah in claiming the title “Dr.” is worthy of Dan’s “fake but accurate” Zen koan.