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 Writing In Commentary
- Travis Lyles — Washington Post
News was delivered from inside the Washington Post that there would be alterations to its style guide for the writers. Going forward they announced that the paper preferred the use of the term “pregnant individuals,” in order to be more inclusive when framing stories. However, they also said if you are assured of the pregnant individual self-identifying as a woman then “pregnant woman” is acceptable because, while worried about excluding others, you also are concerned with being exclusionary towards women. But how is that inclusive to the other 56+ genders?
Sound confusing? Well, it appears to be for WaPo as well, because days later, it had a lengthy feature about pregnancy, and in it, the writers repeatedly violated this new edict on who could be pregnant. You get the sense of the trouble this created, as soon after receiving quite a significant amount of commentary on this decision, Lyles deleted the posting. He even became the very thing he claimed to detest; as an exclusionary male, he was intent on blocking women who voiced disapproval of his new pregnancy labels.
A man blocking a woman for objecting to the way his company talks about pregnancy is really something. Very inclusive. pic.twitter.com/O8Skn9OGPh
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) October 1, 2021
Distinguished Editorial Writing
- Timothy Noah — New Republic
Here is some trenchant commentary designed to move the political needle on a national scale. It does not accomplish this goal, mind you, but that was the intention. Noah here proposes erasing the state of South Dakota entirely. The reasons given occupy an epic commentary, and they are legion in their insipidness. Just to get a sense of what we are dealing with, the banks serving as a tax haven are cited as a cause, and one historical reason given is that the land was pilfered from indigenous people.
“The great state of South Dakota was stolen in 1743 — The precise Native American tribe from whom South Dakota was stolen is not certain.”
Well, that will make returning the land difficult. Getting to the heart of this proposal is a challenge. The vague rationale is that since Congress has the power to create states under The Admissions Clause, it should also possess the power to eliminate states – possibly? How this will eliminate the cursed banks serving as a tax haven is not exactly addressed, but nestled in the body of this idiocy is the true reason behind this daft proposal. It all comes down to how unfair it is that the Senate is evenly split.
“Splitting the territory in two gave the GOP six new political bases instead of five. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump observed in March – It remains responsible for the Republican Party holding half of the seats in the Senate. Of those 12 seats added during that stretch from 1889 to 1890, Republicans still hold nine seats—a six-seat advantage for the party.”
South Dakota’s lax financial regulations are fantastic enablers of illegal or brazenly immoral activity unrelated to tax-dodging. https://t.co/KPNAQDVNX6
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) October 6, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Lisa Respers France — CNN
If you happen to be one of those bent minds who for some reason has a deep appreciation for horrible movies (full disclosure: this columnist is one of those bent minds), then the movie version of the Broadway musical “Cats” was considered one of the recent classics from that category. Just how bad was the film?!
Well, it affected the creative force behind the stage production serving as the source material. The man who brought to life shows such as “The Phantom of the Opera” saw what they had done to his classic and became affected by the result.
Andrew Lloyd Webber says he now has a therapy dog, thanks, in part, to the trauma of the "Cats" movie. https://t.co/WUkxXr333D
— CNN (@CNN) October 7, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Jonathan Bucks — The Daily Mail
British Airways has made the announcement that it will be retraining its staff and workers in an effort to become more inclusive. Starting soon, employees will be instructed to no longer refer to their customers as “Ladies and Gentlemen” going forward.
This is a very welcomed solution, because we cannot tabulate just how many lives have been lost from those who self-identify as any of the other 56 genders not being included in the safety demonstrations spiel before takeoff.
In the world of the woke, Ladies & Gentlemen are dirty words.
— Barry Byrne (@ByrneBarry) October 10, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
- Ben Quinn — The Guardian
In an effort to project a green, Earth-friendly image, Prince Charles has made an announcement — his Aston Martin runs on wine and cheese.
This daft claim is that his opulent James-Bond-caliber automobile runs on bioethanol that is developed using whey byproducts from cheese production, as well as excess wine reserves. There is surely a do drink behind the wheel comment to be made. Instead, the lengthy piece that had a number of environmentalists carping about how unrealistic this method is, and that the scalability of the process actually is bad for the environment, is enough to drive us to drink.
Prince Charles reveals his car runs on cheese and wine byproducts https://t.co/Y8QfGINgNr
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) October 11, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Kelly Burch — Insider
We now descend into the bowels of journalism. As someone who has covered Hollywood for years, I still do not grasp the interest in the lives of celebrities, but apparently, this remains a category of interest large enough to keep certain outlets afloat. Case in point, Insider Life. They give us the breaking story on singer Meghan Trainor and the bathroom proclivities between her and her spouse.
Meghan Trainor pooped beside her husband — and relationship experts say that's OK https://t.co/Ue2ZpF7xfZ
— Insider Life (@InsiderLife) October 7, 2021
In response, the singer has come out with her official statement, clarifying the micturating habits in her home.
To clear things up…we pooped ONCE together and we laughed and said never again…but he will hang out with me if I’m 💩ing cuz WE SOULMATES. And i legit miss him when I’m away from him. And we pee together obvi
— Meghan Trainor (@Meghan_Trainor) October 6, 2021