Our weekly recognition of less-than-meritorious excellence in journalism is worthy of Pulitzer Prize 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 Cultural Criticism
- Alejandra Marquiz Jantze, Patrick Jarenwattananon, Asma Khalid — National Public Radio
For the life of me, I cannot see getting worked up about most identity politics issues, and I have only a deeper sense of apathy in regards to fictional portrayals. I may have to say that my interest is completely zero when it comes to anonymous digital representations, but since NPR has focused on this, I have to assume it is a vital issue.
The best of all is that THREE reporters were gathered to wring their hands over the proper portrayal of race in the thumbs-up emojis. This has led to deep levels of introspection.
There was a default in society to associate whiteness with being raceless, and the emojis gave white people an option to make their race explicit. “I completely hear some people are just exhausted [from] having to do that. Many people of color have to do that every day and are confronted with race every day.”
The revealing aspect for me is that, amid all this anxiety, the option of texting like an adult and not using emojis is never given consideration.
Some white people may choose 👍 because it feels neutral — but some academics argue opting out of 👍🏻 signals a lack of awareness about white privilege, akin to society associating whiteness with being raceless.https://t.co/9g3rochT0K
— NPR (@NPR) February 9, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Grant Stoddard – Eat This, Not That
The popular food portal has a running list of infrequent articles that display foods that Americans may think are from regions, but are really bastardized versions that have become Americanized. (Most of the entrees at Olive Garden are not truly Italian?! Sono scioccato!!)
In keeping with the series, we learn that here in the land of Taco Bell, there are dishes we call Mexican which really are not from that country. There was a small issue in this piece with the first entry, however — nachos.
Nachos were invented in Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1943.
6 'Mexican' Dishes No One Eats in Mexico https://t.co/iT1sZW9FWQ
— Stormdrane (@Stormdrane) February 8, 2022
Distinguished Local Reporting
- Chris Sommerfeldt — New York Daily News
New York has recently installed a new mayor, Eric Adams. You may have heard that Adams is a vegetarian because, like most vegetarians, they feel a need to discuss this all the time. Well on this front, Adams basically turned pro when he won the election. He has been promoting plant-based diet initiatives and holding press conferences, and so on.
He seems to be taking things a bit too far already in his young term. I mean, when he sees a need to help people kick that nasty food habit, maybe it is time to pump the brakes just a bit.
Adams says food is like a drug and claims people would not be able to tell the difference between “someone hooked on heroin” and “someone hooked on cheese.”
He also acknowledges he does “not have great self-discipline” when it comes to food. pic.twitter.com/wCTwKFlemt
— Chris Sommerfeldt (@C_Sommerfeldt) February 7, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Bayliss Wagoner — USA Today
The media fact-checkers have it good when it comes to not doing their jobs. One trait among the Truth Detector segment of journalism is the tendency of covering asinine stories as a means of busying themselves to avoid covering the Biden administration. When crack pipes are being featured in a Biden policy and cannot be denied, you then look to correct the facts on squabbles about the paycheck of characters from classic literature.
USA Today felt the need to crunch the numbers and come up with the accurate summation of a social media claim that Bob Cratchit from “A Christmas Carol” actually earned more than today’s minimum wage.
Fact check: Claim about Bob Cratchit's salary from 'A Christmas Carol' is partly false https://t.co/mKY4pYikfV via @USATODAY
— The Ex Left Coast Girl (@xleftcoastgirl) February 9, 2022
Distinguished Editorial Writing
- Monica Lewinski
I’m certain that the Wordle fans out there were eager for another article on the hot game. I’m less certain that they needed to hear about it from the likes of Monica Lewinsky. And I am not at all certain her impressions on this game that involves at most half a dozen terms necessitated 1,200 words of insight.
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) February 4, 2022
Distinguished International Reporting
- The Washington Post
It is one thing to say the press treats Presidents differently, depending on the party in power. It is another thing entirely when they display this dichotomy for the world to see. Recently, the Biden administration announced the killing of a prominent ISIS figurehead. To say the WaPo had a different approach to the announcement than they had for previous killings of this type is rather evident.
According to WaPo-
– Donald Trump only killed impressive austere scholarly figures.
– Joe Biden eradicates horrible terrorists. pic.twitter.com/f1L9aGVv8z
— Brad Slager – Aluminum Medalist 12oz Curling Team (@MartiniShark) February 8, 2022
Distinguished Political Cartoons
- Pat Byrnes — The New Yorker
Not to suggest that political leaders are above mockery and derision, but when it comes to cartooning, like with most humor, the element of truth is what makes this more trenchant and humorously impactful. Being 180-degrees incorrect depletes that result.
Byrnes resorts to base narratives to heap scorn at Ron DeSantis, but in following the approved media spin that DeSantis is pulling curriculum from schools, he displays ignorance about Florida. The state’s schools have some of the broadest requirements to teach slavery and the Holocaust, a policy signed into law by… Ron DeSantis.
RACIAL DISTRESS by Pat Byrnes https://t.co/Mx3HjSRHMS pic.twitter.com/1uhQsE7DDG
— The Cagle Post (@CaglePost) February 9, 2022
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