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 Public Service
- Scott Cohn – CNBC
The fiscal experts at CNBC compiled a list of the “Worst Places To Live,” detailing which states are the least desirable for people to work and reside. However, this is not the measurement we have come to expect over the years. Dispatching some of the usual signifiers like the cost of living, work availability, tax base, etc., the outlet drew up a new set of woke criteria.
– “The pandemic and the push for social justice are changing the definition of quality of life. CNBC takes those changes into account in the latest America’s Top States for Business study. Inclusive states value all their citizens and protect them from discrimination. And corporate America has spoken loudly, as well as quietly behind the scenes, against restrictive voting laws.”
The result? Get Woke, Go Away. The general population defied their claims by voting with their feet. Their list of the 10 Worst States included the 5 states with the most rapid population growth the last few years. To compound CNBC’s fractured metrics, their top-10 Best states to live in had 9 states with below-average population growth in the country.
These 10 states are America's worst places to live in 2021 https://t.co/wHWGOPV5LI
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 24, 2021
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Neil Vigdor – New York Times
Most people would be beyond curious to learn that a massive human-sized hamster wheel washed up on a beach, and for good measure. Thankfully the New York Times was on the case.
It is the kind of headline that initially has people scratching heads, asking loud questions, and wondering what is happening. But then all of that settles down with the inclusion of two words.
— Lindsay Cohen (she/her) (@lindsaycohen) July 28, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Ellen Byron – Wall Street Journal
There are some serious issues to be addressed in the area of gastronomy, and the Wall Street Journal has it covered. Taking a subject from the backburner the outlet serves up a 5-star expose on what is the most important item on the national palate.
Are chicken nuggets the most popular food going these days? You bet Jurassic is! The Wall Street Journal is diligently on the case of all the developments of fun-shaped mechanically-extruded deep-fried chicken paste delectables!
The dino nugget craze has spawned new shapes. But first, makers had to perfect Baby Yoda's ears. https://t.co/yq1D62nmKh
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 30, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Chris Cillizza – CNN
Cillizza is perturbed with some of those on the Right he deems to be conspiracy nuts, including Republican Ronny Jackson. Chris is upset at the Texas politician “irresponsibly speculating” about the mental health of President Biden and mentioning whether the 25th Amendment should be invoked. He calls this dangerous and brings up the Capitol riot as evidence.
This is not to be thought of as a contradiction with his prior position in January, that Donald Trump should have been removed via the 25th Amendment, and he scorched GOP lawmakers opposing the concept, citing the Capitol riot as evidence. Even though it IS a contradiction.
The bonkers Republican logic on why Trump shouldn't be impeached https://t.co/7YWXbsUJCh
— Jeff F 🇺🇸 (@jfence69) January 12, 2021
Distinguished Breaking News
- Jennifer Maas, Tony Maglio — The Wrap
Hollywood and the television industry have been deeply impacted by shutdowns over the past year, and the intrepid reporters at The Wrap dug up an exclusive about one TV production that had to be shut down due to a health outbreak on the set. This time, however, Covid is not to blame.
Behind the Olympics, NBC plans to run some more athletic competition programming, but one, in particular, has been taken off of the summer schedule as filming had to be shut down when the set was beset with a parasite outbreak. It was found that a giardia outbreak forced the filming to stop on the set of one proposed program.
It is a dose of unfortunate irony that the diarrhea outbreak takes place on the set of “Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide”.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) August 2, 2021
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Marlo Lee — Lead Stories
The fact-checkers of the world are among the most valued of journalists. (Fact Check: FALSE). Without these diligent diggers of the dirt, we would be forever falling prey to jokes and parody, and then who knows what would transpire?! Societal mayhem has been averted, for now, as the Lead Stories crew asserts that no, actor Tom Hanks was NOT in truth executed following a military tribunal.
Of course, there were a number of other indicators that could have satisfied this quest for the truth. You could have noted the lack of news stories about a trial ahead of this execution, or maybe that the site that posted this story, “has a disclaimer on its website to alert readers that it is not a real news source.” There is also the detail that Tom Hanks is not a member of any of the armed services, so that too would be a sticking point concerning a military trial. But nonetheless, great work gang!
Fact Check: The Military Did NOT Execute Tom Hanks https://t.co/GqknplEoD0
— Lead Stories (@LeadStoriesCom) August 2, 2021
Distinguished Local Reporting
- Kirby Wilson – Miami Herald
That the press has been uniquely focused on Ron DeSantis has become evident, and it is especially so within the state of Florida. The local media have been striving to find the hit on the governor that will derail his reelection, and this is starting to creep into hits on his staff as well.
In their latest effort, we learn the nefarious details behind DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw and how she came to get the job. Kirby Wilson ferreted out the hidden facts behind the inner workings on how she came to be hired as the DeSantis spokesperson. She…uh, well…she applied for the job.
It turns out that when Pushaw heard about a prospective opening, she dared to reach out to the governor’s office and inquire about the possibility of getting hired. The Herald obtained an email where she stated, quote — “I’d like to throw my hat into the ring.” Kirby then details that he petitioned for a records request with the governor’s office, and discovered that she attached her resume to this email. At this time there is no indication yet of a recall election being called as a result of this development.
ICYMI: On March 19, Christina Pushaw wrote an email to Gov. DeSantis’ then-press secretary, ready to make a move.
She was an admirer of the governor — and the way he dealt with unflattering press coverage.
By May 10, she had the job of press secretary. https://t.co/QlbQ0ASJiE
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) July 28, 2021