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 Explanatory Reporting
- Bess Levin, Vanity Fair
In covering a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the fate of a 15-year-old in prison for the murder of a family member Levin was able to ferret out the important aspect of the ruling: that damned Brett Kavanaugh. When looking over the ruling that the life sentence without parole should be upheld Levin sees a contradiction: Kavanaugh, who said it was absurd to judge him based on who he was in high school, thinks children convicted of crimes should die in prison.
Yes, finally those heinous charges against the justice brought up at his confirmation come back to cast a dark, dark shadow on his decision. Now sure, small matter that it was a 6-3 decision, meaning had Kavanaugh voted “properly” it would not have changed the result. Also, Kavanaugh never did say that attributed quote. Also, he did not excuse his behavior, he denied ever doing what was accused. ALSO, he did not stab his grandfather to death in the kitchen — but otherwise, this was an extremely solid effort. Well — there were very few words with more than 3 syllables.
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post
When it was announced that SC Sen. Tim Scott would deliver the rebuttal speech after President Biden addresses Congress tonight, Glenn decided to dig into the history of Sen. Scott’s claim of his career reflecting “Cotton to Congress in one lifetime.” Kessler discovered Scott’s family actually owned a significant amount of farmland. This, apparently, means that his grandfather working the fields at age 11 had it easier, you see. This means they still were working on picking cotton, as Scott said, but the white writer clearly knows their plight better than the black Senator.
Seeing this ancestral standard being used others took the time to dig into Kessler’s family past since this is the proper thing to do. Kessler became intemperate, so he responded by letting those who delved know the details about his family. He schools them correctly. “Folks, do your research.” Those are some wise words for a fact-checker to heed.
There's a fake photo circulating on Twitter supposedly of my grandfather. Folks, do your research. My grandfather was Geldolph, not Guus. He was placed in a detention camp during WWII because he refused to cooperate with Nazis who seized his steel mill. https://t.co/kqUZYko82i
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 23, 2021
Distinguished Local Reporting
- David Ovalle, The Miami Herald
Florida is largely recognized as a weird state, with South Florida seen as being a psychosis center, and the area court systems can resemble a circus with the cages falling over. Ovalle, a legal reporter, detailed a recent episode when an arraignment became, shall we say, cheeky. During the pandemic defendants appear before a judge through video conferencing, and in one defendant’s case, they were clearly doing so on their phone. During the proceedings at one point the court was treated to an unrequested appearance; the phone captured an individual with their pants down and receiving an injection into their rear end. I doubt that is something they preferred to be entered into the public record.
“Before COVID, I used to always say the Miami courthouse was the most absurd theater in town, and entrance was free,” Ovalle said. “Nothing has changed in the Zoom age.”
Distinguished Editorial Writing
- Paul Krugman, New York Times
Krugman was responding to a recent Pew survey that showed, out of a variety of topics to select, two of which most concerned Republican voters were immigration and the deficit. Krugman looked over these results and blithely explained what it all meant.
In reality, given that GOP supporters believe that rampaging mobs burned and looted major cities — somehow without the people actually living in those cities noticing — getting them to see facts about something as abstract as the deficit is a hopeless cause.
So not only is it hopeless to get them to see the details of a topic they are highly concerned about, somehow Republicans DO see these make-believe violent attacks across numerous cities where mobs looted and burned down buildings.
Distinguished Social Criticism
- Amy Larocca, The Cut (New York Magazine)
Some have looked down on those members in the media who are still reliant on Donald Trump to generate interest. Amy Larocca is not concerned with them. She has been able to determine that there are insidious repercussions from Trump’s term as President, namely — blonde hair is the color of the right.
#MAGA, Fox News America is a place where all the classic signifiers of privilege and wealth work on overdrive: country-club-issue blue blazers with brass buttons and khaki pants, and above all else, for women, that yellow-blonde, carefully tended hair — a dog whistle of whiteness, an unspoken declaration of values, a wink-wink to the power of racial privilege and to the 1980s vibe.
It now becomes clear to most that this is a pernicious legacy, and in order to eliminate this dangerous standard of whiteness and blondness we must begin at the very top, for the sake of our nation.
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Zack Beauchamp, Vox
Zack was on the case of the misreporting taking place concerning President Biden allegedly calling to end most meat consumption. This was found to be a declaration not from Biden’s proposal but a university studt suggesting solutions for the climate crisis. “Of course, Biden’s climate change plan does not limit meat-eating in any way,” Beachamp says, correcting the record. “This is yet another instance,” he went on to say, “of a fake outrage cycle in the right-wing echo chamber pegged to a lie.”
Zack then goes on to illustrate just how outlandish this fake outrage lie was from the conservative right…by, um…supporting it. “Any serious climate change plan needs to do something about meat production. Food-related emissions alone put the Paris climate agreement’s warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius out of reach. The most effective way to address these emissions…is a global shift away from meat consumption.” There is no better way to illustrate the absurdity of a claim by going on to prove why it is urgently needed.