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 Public Service
- The New York Times
The Paper of Record is being recognized here for its recent coverage of the HR-1 bill that failed to pass through Congress. In one piece The Times noted the bill was never going to fix the issues it was touted to address. Another article noted the various flaws found therein. And still another entry noted how this was mostly an effort by the Democrats to motivate their base of voters for the upcoming election. The paper even gave this eye-opening detail.
“The provision to roll back voter identification laws across the country went against public opinion. A Monmouth University poll released Monday showed 80 percent support for mandatory identification checks at the polls.”
The distinction in recognizing these pieces is that word Recent. The Times appears to have made a wholesale shift in approach after the bill failed, following months of glowing coverage and doing its part to urge the legislation into passage. Once it stalled out without enough support, only then did we learn of the negatives attached to the bill.
Distinguished National Reporting
- Asawin Suebsaeng – Adam Rawnsley, The Daily Beast
This is the scorching hot level of journalism we can expect from the press corps that has no interest in covering Joe Biden. This is a breaking, exclusive, bombshell report about the fact that Donald Trump had every intention of using the full weight of the Justice Department to go after his enemies — in this case, it was Saturday Night Live.
So what exactly we are discussing here is that the man who is no longer in office did something two years ago; er, basically he had a conversation. According to the anonymous sources cultivated by The Beast writers, the President was bothered by the portrayal of himself on TV, asked if they could do anything about it, and was simply told, ”No.”
“To those who heard it, Trump’s inquiries into what federal regulations could be used to bust the likes of Kimmel and SNL were more nuisance than constitutional crisis. ‘It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,’ one of these sources recalled.”
This gripping account probably saw its original headline discarded for the more inflated version, as the words “Donald Trump once asked his staff annoying questions!” is not exactly clickbait material.
According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the FCC, the court system, and the DOJ could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers https://t.co/6EH5e3chr0
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 23, 2021
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Jim Acosta, CNN
If you ever questioned how it is that CNN anchor and part-time hair product spokesmodel James Acosta achieved fame with a top-35-rated news program, it is through the grinding, muckraking skills seen on display here. Looking to get to the bottom of some January 6 information, Acosta decided he would go to Capitol Hill and confront the politicians he needed answers from on the issue. It went…less great than as planned.
Jim approached Representative Mo Collins and thought it would be a fantastic idea to ask the Congressman if he would go on the record and explain why it is he would not go on the record. Up and coming media hopefuls in J-School should watch this clip ardently and take notes; this is how you do not get that gripping information you hope to glean from our leaders.
Coming up later this hour… we tried to speak to GOP House members about their bogus January 6th conspiracy theories. Congressman Mo Brooks would not comment and rode off on his bicycle… pic.twitter.com/LMSedEhUDi
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 26, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Joyce Alene, NBC News
Democrats were in a pleasant mood, for a short while at least, when it was announced that President Biden would appoint Merrick Garland as the new Attorney General. This was an ultimate finger in the eye of the GOP, which to this day is said to have blocked his admission to the Supreme Court. Well, after this landmark move, just how is Garland doing in his new position?
Law professor and legal analyst to the NBC networks, Alene has declared that Garland is an overwhelming success, especially when compared to William Barr. I mean, come on — can YOU picture Bill Barr doling out fudge ripple to his underlings?! I think not!
A DOJ insider tells me AG Garland will personally scoop ice cream to show his appreciation for employees at a DOJ event later this week. Did not see this from Bill Barr, who dissed career prosecutors as lacking judgment in an interview late in his tenure.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 29, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Nicholas Rice – Mary Green, People Magazine
There is trenchant information coming out about Angelina Jolie. Early in the month, in Los Angeles, she celebrated her birthday. Her children treated the actress to a select meal. “They had a great day celebrating at home, and the kids surprised her with a special dinner out.” A week later, Jolie was spotted with all of her children in New York City. The entire brood reported had, quote, “a nice time.”
We have been granted this peek into the mysterious world of celebrity as these dogged journalists managed to cull the select information through the valuable contacts developed with anonymous sources.
— Daily Celebrity (@pappssdaily) June 26, 2021
Distinguished Editorial Commentary
- News Nation
A few months back, the former cable superstation WGN America rebranded, becoming the split-day entertainment/news channel NewsnationNow. Not to be one to rain on the efforts of an outlet in these trying times, but it appears they may want to think of upgrading their wire service agreement. In this rather tepid report out of their Nexstar Media wire service, they tell us that drinking coffee too late in the day could end up interfering with your sleep.
I KNOW! I mean, who knew the drink so many people imbibe in order to wake up in the morning could have such an effect??? Well, I mean besides everyone…?
Over half of adults in the U.S. drink coffee daily, but drinking a cup of Joe too close to bedtime could keep you from getting enough Zs. https://t.co/DjieofCFqW
— NewsNation Now (@NewsNationNow) June 27, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Adam Schrader – Rachel Sharp, The Daily Mail
News broke last week, as journalists descended onto the scene of the tragic building collapse on Miami Beach, that CNN’s ever-embarrassing primetime star Chris Cuomo was toddling around the site of reported deaths while insensitively wearing socks emblazoned with skulls. Yet as bad as Capt. Oblivious appeared, what compounded this offense was, as the Daily Mail had exclusive photos of this egregious display, they made a point in telling its readers the import details.
The socks, called Stance Freedom Strike Crew Sock, retail on the Zumiez website for $15 where they are currently out of stock. DailyMail.com has reached out to the Stance company for more information and additional comment.
Chris Cuomo wears socks emblazoned with SKULLS to visit site of Miami building collapse https://t.co/U9QTkPt64L
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) June 26, 2021