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 Feature Writing
- G. Daniella Galarza, Washington Post
One of the more inane and annoying offshoots of woke culture is the concept that food can be racist. An aspect of cultures that should draw people together is often used instead as a dividing line. Well, at WaPo, Ms. Galaraza took things to a new level as she was not offended by what someone said about food, but by the word they used to describe it.
We learn that the neutral, non-racial adjective Exotic is now racist to describe cuisine. It is not entirely clear why this word is now forbidden, and this comes after reading the lengthy column the food writer wrote about something other than food. It is an amazing screed of over 2,200 words — about being upset over one word.
Distinguished Local Reporting
- NBC 4, New York
You have to have empathy for those in the press when news cycles shift dramatically, and previously held positions suddenly veer off into new, contradictory realms. Many in the press are grappling with this as a former beloved hero figure is facing a demise of epic proportions. The downfall of Trump agitator Michael Avenatti leads many in journalism circles to reassess the once noble warrior they could not feature enough times. One New York station displays the grand effort at distancing from the now toxic figure, as he is reduced these days to being described merely as, “a California lawyer”.
A California lawyer who publicly sparred with then-President Donald Trump before criminal fraud charges disrupted his rapid ascent to fame faces sentencing after a jury concluded he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike. https://t.co/ULTOOrbjoS
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) July 8, 2021
Distinguished Editorial Writing
- Elena Schor, Politico
In trying to grapple with our current political climate and the divisiveness on display, Politico’s Elana Schor reverts to the practice of using shorthand to divide everyone into one of only a pair of categories. To analyze our national angst, Schor dredges up an old Slate column (never a wise idea) that employs this tactic in the most inane fashion.
“Muppet Theory, a little-known, poorly understood philosophy that holds that every living human can be classified according to one simple metric: Every one of us is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet.”
This is the foundation for Schor’s intellectual analysis. She’s dissecting the intricate inner workings of a political party…with comparisons to The Muppets.
— Brad Slager – In Trouble More Than Pres. Biden (@MartiniShark) July 14, 2021
Distinguished Writing In Commentary
- Tim Miller, The Bulwark
Using the type of logic that normally requires mustard in order to enjoy it, one of the True Cons from the foundering ship of tools, Tim Miller weighs in on the culture wars. His assessment — it is all the Republican’s fault. After a year of leftist upheaval from defunding police, race wars, removing monuments, canceling people, and more, Miller spots how the MAGA crowd is entirely at fault.
“Demagogues of all political persuasions have used these changes to try to create resentment as a tool to amass power. It’s the inflamers, the arsonists who are responsible for the ‘war’ part of the culture war.”
The passing mention of the BLM protests and riots leads, unsurprisingly, to blame leveled at Trump. Miller wants to impugn those supposedly inflaming social strife, but he does not have much in the way of criticism for those who were actually causing strife by lighting cities on fire.
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Becky Ferreira, Vice News
Maybe they need to change their motto to ”All the News That’s Fish to Print”. Vice delivers some trenchant and vital information regarding the environment — we are getting fish addicted to meth! In a piece that warns of the dangers of our illicit drug use leading to polluting of rivers this is polluted with qualifiers; “can,” “may,” “could,” “possibly” are found throughout.
Researchers in a lab actually got trout hooked on the amphetamine and watched as they exhibited signs of addiction. The study is slightly muted by the fact that things seemed to clear up in the fish after 100 hours. This does raise a specter though: With rising food prices, you have to wonder just how high the market price will be for “Meth Trout’” on seafood menus.
Trout can get addicted to meth that comes from human waste, and it "could overshadow natural rewards like foraging or mating." https://t.co/PqKN8ovq1h
— VICE (@VICE) July 6, 2021
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Tiffany Cross, MSNBC
On her weekend show, Tiffany Cross had a medical doctor on to discuss pandemic issues and go over the details of vaccines and the new variants. Over the course of their discussion, it turned to the amount of resistance to getting vaccinated and why certain groups are refusing to get the shot.
Cross and her guest, Dr. Chris Pernell, had to face the reality that a large segment of the Black population refuses to get vaccinated. According to the physician, there is a ready explanation for this; those white supremacists are to blame — for blacks not getting the vaccine.
– “I actually see that as another example of the proliferation of white supremacy. Because, in particular, they are targeting communities of color. And they are targeting the historical injustices, the atrocity, that communities of color have experienced, as a way to play on their vulnerabilities. You have people who have questions. You have people, unfortunately, who have become susceptible to the conspiracy theories.”
We need to question just how it is that black communities are not getting vaccinated because…they are listening to the words of supremacists?! That is some impressive mental dexterity, using a crackpot conspiracy theory in order to malign the use of conspiracy theories
“We just don’t have the data that is necessary…let’s just follow the science,“ @DrChrisMD tells @TiffanyDCross on @pfizer's push for government approval for a third shot/vaccine #booster. #CrossConnection.. And @juviethegreat tells us to #VaxThatThangUp! pic.twitter.com/05DAAcKs6K
— The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross (@CrossConnection) July 10, 2021