Jeff Fager, the once-storied newsman and longtime executive producer of 60 Minutes was awarded Quinnipiac University’s prestigious “First Amendment Award” in early June of this year. Now, Law&Crime has learned that the university has rescinded said award.
The volte-face decision comes after The Daily Beast reported that Fager once hired a law firm which boasted about “killing stories” over a Washington Post investigation. According to the Daily Beast’s report, the story was focused on CBS executives’ knowledge of anchor Charlie Rose‘s alleged sexual misconduct. Due to Fager’s enlisting the law firm, a source said, the story into Fager was “effectively neutered.”
On June 6, Fager accepted Quinnipiac’s award and said the following in his acceptance speech:
America is hungry for real reporting on important subject matter. That is what we strive for every single Sunday. ’60 Minutes’ has really evolved over the years, but we have kept our standards and our values the same. We still think of our role the way that it was thought of when ’60 Minutes’ was created – news is a public service.
Mark Contreras, dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac lavished praise on Fager, saying, “This is a celebration of great journalism, which has never been more important in our country’s modern history than it is today. Many of you in this room have dedicated your lives to producing hard-hitting and important journalism in your past and present.”
In response to an initial inquiry from Law&Crime regarding Fager’s First Amendment award in light of his attacks on journalism and journalists, Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs for the university at first issued the following statement, “The award recognized the work Jeff Fager and his colleagues at ’60 Minutes’ have done for many years.”
Law&Crime followed up on that, Quinnipiac released the following terse statement written by John W. Morgan, associate vice president for public relations:
Jeff Fager will no longer be recognized as a recipient of the award.
Rachel Stockman contributed to this report.
[image via Brad Barket/Getty Images for Peabody]