Our weekly recognition of less-than meritorious excellence in journalism worthy of Pulitzer consideration.
As an extension of the 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 National Reporting
- Yamiche Alcindor, Public Broadcasting Service
To say the press has been all-in regarding the ‘For The People Act’ is obvious by now. Reflecting this mindset was Yamiche Alcindor, the White House correspondent for PBS. She was on with Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC and in discussing the complexities of this bill not passing, and the ongoing argument to remove the filibuster, Alcindor invoked the intentions of the Founding Fathers.
Except, there is the nagging issue that if the founders had intended for the federal government to operate the elections then they probably would have argued for that. It takes a deft mind to cite words not spoken by the Founders in order to make your point, but also call them flawed because words they did say will possibly oppose a point you make in the future.
Wait, did I say “deft”? I meant to use “daft”.
PBS’s @Yamiche on HR1: "This is going to be a debate about whether or not we want America to be the place that the Founders — flawed as they may have been — the Founders wanted it to be." pic.twitter.com/TX1a06MDXb
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 22, 2021
Distinguished Public Service
- Kathleen Walsh, The Independent
Victoria’s Secret, the corporation that sells lingerie, foundation garments, and ribald outerwear for teens, came out with the announcement it was going to do away with its Angels line of foundation garments and the models they use to promote the items. Instead, they opt to go with a new bevy of wokes-people, such as outspoken social grievance activist and part-time soccer player Megan Rapinoe. People had opinions, mostly of the sort: “What the HELL are they thinking?!”
Yet as people were showing confusion, wonderment or, (mostly) mockery, The Independent saw something else: “Conservatives were very angry” over the decision. The article is a lengthy lecture to the Cro-Magnon thinkers on the Right of how this is a smart and business savvy move by the company, and that anyone who is cleaving to the old sexy standard of the company is trafficking in backward thinking. It is obvious that conservatives prefer to see women in this hyper-sexualized condition, and only view them as playthings to be objectified.
It is also obvious why, after condemning this thinking, the outlet ran the piece with a prominent header photo of one of these hyper-sexualized objectifying playthings.
Conservatives are very angry Victoria’s Secret is ‘going woke’. They must hate capitalism https://t.co/YPLknorrSg
— The Independent (@Independent) June 17, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Howard Mortman, Bloomberg
In the years spent covering many entertainment awards shows, you become accustomed to the vacuous coverage by the media on the red carpets. We may have reached a new low in this niche category.
Ahead of the historic meeting between President Biden and Russian despot Vladamir Putin, the press convened on the location prior to their arrival. They also got bored. As preparations were being made, the entranceway was being readied, and the media swarmed — to photograph and interview the person who was running a vacuum cleaner on the carpet.
Interviewing and photographing the person vacuuming the red carpet…. pic.twitter.com/lY1BD1Rbax
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) June 16, 2021
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Derek Robertson, Politico
The temptation is great to get in on the media bandwagon of demonizing and marginalizing the Republican Party these days. With so many media figures already painting the party with broad brushes like Insurrectionists, Qanon Nutters, or vote-stifling anti-democracy zealots, it can be hard to get distinguished.
As a result, Robertson, writing at Politico Magazine, hits upon an entirely new concept — the GOP should be rebranded as The Barstool Party! The impetus for this strained effort is that there was a poll conducted in February asking Republicans who they might favor in the 2024 party primary. Among the names listed was Dave Portnoy, the President of Barstool Sports, and there is all the proof needed to say the Republicans are molding themselves after this brash figure.
Of course, for this theory to take root, you need to overlook that Portnoy has never campaigned for an office, bypass that Portnoy’s name was included by the polling company, and then you have to ignore that he finished the poll with a 0% result. This means…this theory will never take root.
This man wrote an 8 gadzillion word article on me trying to explain why Ive become pop with Republicans. It included all the 1 sided lazy examples taken out of context people use to trash me. Yet in the entire essay not 1 mention of Barstool Fund. https://t.co/TcnJ890eZ0 pic.twitter.com/vuPKXD4mVg
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 20, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Valeria Strauss, Washington Post
With Critical Race Theory raging as the hot-button topic nationwide at the moment WaPo felt the need to weigh in with their own hot take. In a direct response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently passing a law preventing the CRT curriculum from being taught in state schools, they brought in a powerful voice. The Washington Post has a 17-year-old student trying to bring the rebuttal to the governor because no one else could possibly be found who has a bit more experience. Or knowledge. Or authority, wisdom, gravitas, study, or reasoning.
The other thing that undermines her effort is this “Greta Thunberg of CRT” gives us her bona fides; she was in the International Baccalaureate program, also an Encore Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project from Winter Park, Florida, and graduated with honors and now is studying at Princeton University in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs – all things she accomplished without CRT being instilled.
Perspective: Student challenges Florida Gov. DeSantis over critical race theory ban https://t.co/lsSJ1uAjwb
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 21, 2021
Distinguished Editorial Cartoon
- Barry Blitt, The New Yorker
Portraying Dr. Anthony Fauci as the Nation’s Lifeguard was an obvious dose of pandering. After all, they said nothing of this lifeguard preventing anyone from swimming, because there was an accident reported in another pool across the country.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) June 21, 2021