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 Breaking News
- Tara Palmeri — Politico
When it comes to petty, it seems tough to beat this hall monitor, tattletale tale from Politico. The outlet reported that Roger Marshall had been reported to the DOJ for giving a tour of the Capitol to some members of the trucker protest. Politico was impressed by this, despite the fact that it was a Congressional staffer who ran for the phone, as well as Marshall not breaking any congressional rules — let alone any law.
After Sen. Roger Marshall gave truckers a special tour of the Capitol, a senior congressional aide alerted the DOJ out of concern that the tour could help the protesters plan an entry into the building.https://t.co/RtI3Zx7eCX
— POLITICO (@politico) March 16, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Jim Turner — Orlando Sentinel
The majority of the media have displayed two traits when it comes to the story of collegiate trans swimmer Lia Thomas; they are in full support, and they are continuously faced with contradictions in the process. For one, Thomas holds the second-fastest school recorded time at 500 meters — made in 2019 when Lia was known as William (but is listed as ‘Lia’) — but it is under the Men’s timing, not women’s.
Governor Ron DeSantis made a stir when he issued an order that declared the second-place swimmer in a race against Lia as the true winner, and in its report on the matter, the Orlando Sentinel opted for scare quotes in listing the swimmer born female and identifying as female as a “woman.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis waded further into gender politics today, issuing a proclamation that said a swimmer from Sarasota is the nation’s best “female” in the 500-meter freestyle after she finished 2nd to a transgender athlete at the NCAA championship. https://t.co/pVSAUVn92a pic.twitter.com/c9zNgaaWtU
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) March 22, 2022
Distinguished Feature Reporting
- Josephine Harvey — The Huffington Post
In Australia, some university researchers wanted to study the migration of magpies. They developed a set of harnesses that would allow them to track the movements of the birds, while allowing them a full range of movement, all while being unable to be removed by the birds. After outfitting about half-a-dozen, they released the magpies.
Before they had finished packing up their gear, all of the birds had worked together to free themselves of the harnesses — which took about half-a-year to design — in about 20 minutes.
become ungovernable 🐦https://t.co/OkillFiYK3
— Hilary Hanson (@The_H_Train) March 19, 2022
Distinguished Sports Reporting
- Courtney Lyle, Carolyn Peck — ESPN
During the women’s March Madness NCAA tournament, the ESPN broadcasters felt the need to begin their third quarter broadcast by not doing their jobs. They announced they were going to have a moment of silence — over the Florida Parental Rights in Education law passing. This had zero bearing on the game, which was held in Greensboro, North Carolina, and featured the teams of South Carolina and Howard.
Of course while focusing on a political story that had no relation to the broadcast, the ladies elected to bypass the story of Brittney Griner, the WNBA player who is being held captive in Russia. Maybe they should have recognized the death of objectivity at the network.
ESPN's women's basketball broadcasters briefly went silent during the NCAA Tournament in protest of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill. pic.twitter.com/7SQp6U1mQV
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 18, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Theresa Ghilarducci — Bloomberg
In these trying times, it is always helpful when our superiors in the journalism sector come forward to lend the lower-tiered members of society lessons in how to cope. Ghilarducci has many wise options for us plebeians to find financial relief. We could sell the car and take the bus. We also should stop taking those pets to the vet. And hey, who needs meat? Ditch the steaks, you lowlifes, and settle on eating lentils!
Inflation stings most if you earn less than $300K. Here's how to deal:
➡️ Take the bus
➡️ Don’t buy in bulk
➡️ Try lentils instead of meat
➡️ Nobody said this would be fun https://t.co/HGJEoXL5ZZ
— Bloomberg Opinion (@bopinion) March 19, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Kelly Wynne — People Magazine
The producers of “Star Trek: Discovery” thought it was a grand idea to make a statement by having Stacey Abrams appear on their show in a cameo. On the one hand, it made sense, since she is an avowed fan of the show.
However, in placing her in a position of an elected official – posturing here as President of the United Earth – what they are essentially showing us is that Abrams winning an elected office is, in fact, science fiction.
Stacey Abrams Becomes President of United Earth on Star Trek: Discovery: 'She's a Civil Hero' https://t.co/scSOYDd4MC
— People (@people) March 18, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Jason Newman — Rolling Stone
We learn the backstory behind rap star Pusha T writing the newest song to promote Arby’s fish sandwich. It is a direct shot at Mcdonald’s and its generationally-established Filet-O-Fish. It turns out Pusha T claims to have written the jingle for McDonald’s, ‘I’m Lovin’ It,’ and feels he has been slighted.
He was paid half a million dollars for that four-second ditty, but considering it became the fast-food chain’s longest-running ad campaign, he feels as if he was severely shorted in royalties. So, he has written a diss-track for the competition.
Pusha T and his brother co-wrote McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle in 2003, but he says he made "peanuts" from that deal. Now he's getting even with a new fish-sandwich diss track for Arby's. https://t.co/qP0IfGPZLp
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 21, 2022