Our weekly recognition of less-than meritorious excellence in journalism worthy of Pulitzer consideration.
As an extension of a new media-mocking venture at Townhall, Riffed From The Headlines, we once again recognize the exalted performances in our journalism industry and compile worthy submissions to the Pulitzer Prize board in numerous categories. To properly recognize the low watermark in the press, let us get right to the latest exemplars of journalistic mis-excellence.
Distinguished Excellence in Criticism
- The Pulitzer Prize Committee
Last week, the Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in numerous categories. For consideration in the arena of political cartoons, three people were nominated – Ruben Bolling, Lalo Alcarez, and Marty Two Bulls Jr. There was, however, some big controversy with the result.
Namely, there was no result.
an overlooked fun fact from last year is that the cartoon jury’s three choices were rejected by the board in order to award the prize to someone employed by a prominent member of the board
— Non Fungible Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) June 11, 2021
Distinguished Photographic Journalism
- The Associated Press
The AP won a Pulitzer for its ongoing coverage of the social upheaval last year, with 10 of its photographers being recognized for their imagery. As the news syndicate was touting its accomplishment, you have to wonder about their choice of photograph to feature — or, whether they actually looked at their own photograph.
It appears The AP decided to go the “mostly peaceful” in describing their coverage of the “protests” from last year, all while displaying the image of a private business engulfed in flames. In order for their claim to hold up they were showing the picture of a member of The Temperance Movement, in front of a liquor store set ablaze — otherwise, this was a riot being depicted.
A group of 10 @AP photographers won the breaking news Pulitzer for their work capturing the drama and raw emotion of protests that roiled U.S. cities after the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 12, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Mehdi Hasan, MSNBC
Hasan takes the story of a family being murdered, presumed because they were Muslims, and makes the expected step that this was a result of Islamaphobia. He then makes the expected leap (this being MSNBC, after all) that these murders are directly attributable to the Republicans and Donald Trump. Now, not only has the man been out of office for roughly 5 months, one other stumbling block to Hasan’s theory — the killing takes place in another country.
There is also the small matter that Trump has been blamed for the recent spate of antisemitic attacks, which kind of seems in opposition to anti-Muslim intolerance…but there I go injecting logic into the mix. Perhaps what has to be considered the best move was Hasan railing against Islamaphobia and listing off numerous examples. The first one he gives? It comes from Congressional DEMOCRATS.
"I'm so tired of having to point this out: Islamophobia matters. Islamophobia kills. Hate speech is a real thing with real-world consequences & if you think otherwise… maybe you should go talk to a 9-year-old orphan in Canada."
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 14, 2021
Distinguished National Reporting
- Theodoric Meyer and Alex Thompson, Politico
Recall the mockery over Trump’s Diet Coke button? Well, now carbonated affection is a positive character trait. It’s cool once again to swoon over the soda selections of our political officials, as Politico has this “intriguing whisper percolating inside the West Wing.” It turns out power player Ron Klain has a desired go-to drink when he is calling the shots. “I don’t drink coffee. I’m still a TAB drinker,” so says Biden’s “energetic” White House chief of staff.
Only one problem. Alas, the Coke company has all but suspended the making of the product these days – so what is a CoS to do?! While the general public is surely on edge with anxiety over finding out, Politico gratefully continued digging into the matter.
– “The answer, according to a person familiar with the matter: Klain has switched to Diet Coke.” So…the drink we were mocking for 4 years is suddenly acceptable once again. Except, Klain is white, so that means…
Distinguished International Reporting
- The Daily Mail (U.K.)
On his first leg of the whirlwind international trip, Joe Biden met with Boris Johnson, and the two first families really appear to have hit it off. They really captured that vibe of vacationing couples arriving at the Hedonism Resort.
This looks like a prop newspaper you would see as set dressing on a coffee table in any of the ''Austin Powers'' movies. pic.twitter.com/B9aOLPIrvV
— Brad Slager – In Trouble More Than Pres. Biden (@MartiniShark) June 11, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post
You had to know that if Ms. Rubin would wade out into the waters concerning Critical Race Theory, she would end up face-down in the muck after a couple of steps. Jenn Rubin has a valid point here – so long as you ignore 2020. Here she attempts to paint Republican opponents as a group of white extremists afraid of losing their grip on the nation. She invokes the ridiculed 1619 Project without a single critique, and claims, as her headline blares, it is all because “Republicans Are Afraid of History.”
Small matter that we spent a majority of last year watching people tearing down historical statues and monuments – out of misplaced anger and fear – who were decidedly NOT Republicans.
Distinguished Social Criticism
- Sharon Pruett-Youn, National Public Radio
The fashion beat is a tough one, and you need to be quick in this grueling field. Ms. Pruett-Young is on the case for NPR, and she has captured “what may be one of the most controversial shoe releases in recent memory.” I think I speak for almost every news consumer when I state that there is no lack of enthusiasm for controversial shoe releases. So what is it? What has the fashion world abuzz and footwear conspiracy theorists lighting up social media???
Behold, Crocs with stiletto heels, a fashion choice that has come out of the shoemaker’s latest collaboration with Balenciaga for the fashion house’s spring 2022 collection.
Well…okay, then. There may actually be a lack of enthusiasm, after all.
Balenciaga x Crocs pic.twitter.com/QRASfslkYz
— SAINT (@saint) June 7, 2021