This Week's Pulitzer Prize Nominations: Hunter Smokes Cheese, a Warrior Versus Godzilla, and the Beast on a Toilet

(AP Photo/Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Recognizing the levels of meritorious excellence in journalism.

This week we once again recognize the exalted performances seen in our journalism industry and compile a list of worthy submissions to the Pulitzer Prize board in numerous categories.


Distinguished Investigative Reporting

— Tracey Smith, CBS News

It has been a weekend of polarity over at CBS News. At the stalwart news magazine 60 Minutes they managed to debase themselves down to Dan Rather-levels of incompetence, with an embarrassingly bad hit job on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Meanwhile, when dealing with a far less charitable character in Hunter Biden, on the Sunday Morning show they gave him a genteel interview, where we were delivered insights into his character. Along with his claim of not knowing if he brought the infamous laptop to a repair shop, we get this revealing passage.

I spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs, smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine. I probably smoked more Parmesan cheese than anyone that you know, I’m sure, Tracy!

Good thing they went to Florida and sought out to destroy a man who is working on saving his elderly citizens.


Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

— Tara Subramaniam and Holmes Lybrand, CNN

There are some wild claims being made about Joe Biden’s impending infrastructure stimulus plan. Expected to come in with modest estimates of a $2 trillion price tag, one of the criticisms is that this plan barely is dedicated to infrastructure projects. Good thing CNN is here to set the record straight! The diligent fact-checkers took on the misinformation from the Republicans. The Republican National Committee claimed “Joe Biden’s ‘infrastructure’ plan is not really about infrastructure. According to the GOP, “Only 7% of the bill’s spending is for what Americans traditionally think of as infrastructure.” 

The duo from CNN looked over the details and used a differing measuring stick; The debate over what technically counts as infrastructure is a real one. By employing their revised standard the truth-seekers prove the GOP wrong. Sort of. Infrastructure accounts for about 30% of the $2.65 trillion plan as announced by the White House. See, it really IS about infrastructure!

This undated photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows two of Larry McMurtry's typewriters which he used to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel

 Distinguished Breaking News Reporting

— Jim Sciutto, CNN

It takes a deft touch and some mental dexterity to be given an inconvenient emerging news story and to use it to steer the conversation back to the desired narrative in the media complex. The cagey national security correspondent is up to this task.


Distinguished Cultural Criticism

— Dan Gentile, San Francisco Gate

The place looks empty,” says the writer, reporting on his recently embarked harrowing trip, ”like a zombie might pop up from behind the counter.” Gentile takes us along on his perilous assignment, delivering for us all of the fear and anxiety in the execution of his journalistic duties. ”The lights fall,” he tells us dramatically, ”but my body tensed up to the point that both of my arms literally fell asleep. Was I really nervous the whole time? Definitely.” The journey is one we all might pause taking, it sure sounds. ”But most importantly, would I do it again? It’s complicated.” Do what, again? What is it — just what is so complicated?!

Well folks, Dan Gentile took us on the heart-stopping venture of…going to a movie theater.

See, Gentile has been cloistered for the better part of the year, and this was his first real venture out into the real world. To go see ”Godzilla Vs. Kong”. His was the gripping saga of a meek sort who has two kinds of Covid-blocking masks (I swap my lightweight “biking mask” with a heavy-duty N95 “inside mask.”) and brought homemade hand sanitizer. He notes the theater installed contact-free soda dispensing machines, but the guy who says crowds on TV make him feel panic was too nervous to use them. So what was his final assessment of his endangered venture?

I didn’t feel the need to run to a COVID testing site after visiting a theater, but my paranoia still kept me from enjoying the carefree escapism that a movie like “Godzilla vs. Kong” is all about.

The bravery cannot be measured.


Distinguished Local Reporting

— Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast

Weill is recognized for her intrepid report on a theft of a commemorative memorial chair from a cemetery in Selma, Alabama. The stone chair is a monument to Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederate States of America, and it was taken from a segment of the cemetery that is dedicated to the graves of noted Confederate figures.

After a reward was offered up notification came in that a group was taking credit for the monument, and it was being held up for ransom. A group calling itself ”White Lies Matter” was demanding that a local Confederacy outfit that owns some of the property hang a banner that supported a black activist living in exile. Failure to follow through would lead to the activist group overseeing the ”chair being carved into a toilet.” They provided a photoshop image of this proposed modification.


Distinguished Reporting In Public Service

— Kerry Sanders, NBC News

On a report for The Today Show Sanders broke the story of the next pandemic-induced rationing crisis — ketchup. In his pun-engorged segment, Sanders goes on to insist that, due to ketchup prices skyrocketing by +13%, there are now people placing ketchup packets for sale on eBay.