Our weekly recognition of less-than meritorious excellence in journalism is 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 Investigative Reporting
- The Business Insider
Over at The Insider, because he has been out of office for 6 months now, they are compiling an oral history of Donald Trump’s political career. (They aren’t obsessed with the man, YOU ARE!) In the course of recording things we may have forgotten already, they have broken open a huge bombshell of a story. On the famous day of Trump’s announcement and he descended the escalator, THEY PAID PEOPLE TO CROWD AROUND AND CHEER!
We can only hope this exposé leads to the third impeachment of Donald Trump.
NEW: Another newsy nugget from the @thisisinsider Trump oral history project.
Corey Lewandowski acknowledges Trump 2016 did indeed pay actors to appear at the Trump Tower campaign announcement event.
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) July 19, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Kelsey Tamakloe, Politifact
You would think by the name alone this fact-check outlet, from the Poynter Institute, would focus on political matters. Blessedly they do not pigeon-hole themselves in such a strict manner. Otherwise, we would not learn of the facts behind coitus-blocking sleeping arrangements.
The Tokyo Olympics have been a borderline nightmare, and they have not even begun. In the face of a resurging pandemic in that nation, they have curtailed many public activities. One of these reported decisions was in placing cardboard beds in the rooms inside the athletes’ Olympic village. This was said to prevent co-mingling, in the name of social distancing.
Thankfully, PolitiFact is on the case to correct a misconception about the sleeping arrangements; no, these are not specially-designed anti-sex cardboard beds, meant to curtail naked human contact in the sex-crazed athlete’s areas after all!
The Olympics are not using cardboard beds to prevent the spread of COVID. Here’s the real reason why. https://t.co/FXAxPJodLp
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) July 19, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Michael D. Shear – Eileen Sullivan, New York Times
Many are familiar with the tried practice in the press of highlighting how a problem with Democrats is not nearly as bad as when Republicans notice these issues, and then use them politically. This duo from The Grey Lady is recognized for taking things in this practice to all-new levels. For starters, in regards to the mounting border crisis not only do they cite Republican activity on the matter, they predict it will take place. “Friday’s developments underscored the difficult and often politically fraught choices that Mr. Biden is confronting on immigration. But Republicans are ready to pounce the moment he does that.”
Then, taking things properly into awards-worthy strata, they also note the GOP “seize”, “attack”, “blame”, and “fuel” on this same issue.
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Michael Kranish, Washington Post
We all know that Fox News and the likes of Tucker Carlson lie all the time. We know this because the press comes up with the receipts. This scathing expose by Kranish typifies this reality, in a lengthy breakdown proving that Tucker is a racist who is appealing to his racist white viewers — by exposing a story about his white teacher.
It seems Carlson in his book had some choice anecdotes about his early school life. Kranish explodes all of Tucker’s contentions by tracking down the 77-year old teacher and having her dispute the claims Carlson made…about his time in the 1st grade…40 years ago.
Amid the defeat of Donald Trump and the death of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has emerged as a dominant force shaping a Republican Party energized by racial resentment.
This is how he became the preeminent voice of angry White America. https://t.co/DAQ65JDxVb
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 14, 2021
Distinguished Social Commentary
- Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
The pandemic has shifted most of us out of many of our routines and traditions. It has taken quite a while, but gradually we are getting back to something approaching normalcy. Thankfully, CNN is here to let us know that some of our previous escapes are once again permissible. We are free to occupy ourselves once again with the useless machinations of luminaries who, for the most part, resent our mundane existence. The real surprise is that we even allowed Covid-19 to impact our concern for the wealthy fame-whores of our society.
We can always look back fondly on the summer of 2020 when it was perfectly acceptable to not give a damn about celebrities.
Hard hitting news journalism is just what we need CNN
CNN : Why the celebrity couples ruling summer have been just the escape we needed.https://t.co/ZbUnzdhjOh
— The Power To Control (@Power2Control) July 17, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Carson Blackwelder, ABC News
At ABC’s “Good Morning America,” they tried desperately to come up with content, it seems. They filled the dead air by bringing up Lindsey Lohan, who has done nothing of import in some time, celebrating an anniversary timeframe nobody ever commemorates.
Lindsay Lohan marked the 23rd anniversary of "The Parent Trap" by thanking its director, Nancy Meyers, for giving her the "opportunity of a lifetime." https://t.co/mKm50lPc8V
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) July 21, 2021