Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Pregnancies Surprise, a Percentage of Lies, and Mummified French Fries

(AP Photo/Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

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

  • Yamiche Alcindor – MSNBC

This leak from the Supreme Court about the draft opinion possibly showing a vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision has the press in full meltdown mode. The imbalanced coverage has turned hilarious at times. At MSNBC, Yamiche Alcindor was at it again with another field report, this time Alcindor delivered some jarring news: Pregnancies will turn into children!

The thing making this cement-head commentary all the better is the network displaying their Breaking News chyron as she delivers this trenchant report.

Distinguished Investigative Reporting

  • Yakob Reyes — PolitiFact

After Ron DeSantis commented on student loan debt, PolitiFact contacted his press office to ask where he got the figure, when he said that “about 60 percent of it is graduate school debt.” Press Secretary Christina Pushaw had to explain that the figure came from The Poynter Institute’s own website. They would be the outlet that is also behind PolitiFact.

Following that insipid exchange, Pushaw predicted that the actual figure being 56 percent would lead to them calling his speech Mostly False. Then, after giving Pushaw only a couple of hours to answer due to a hard deadline, the article came out two full days later, only to prove her correct.


Distinguished Editorial Writing

  • Will Saletan – The Bulwark

In what he was sure had to be a deeply trenchant analysis, Saletan explained that if Roe vs. Wade were turned over it would be bad news for Republicans. So here is the site comprised of allegedly Tru-Conservatives™ bemoaning that the GOP might see a core conservative issue pass, and suggesting the best thing would be to instead cede it over to the Democrats.

Small matter of a recent poll showing all the claims to be completely inaccurate.

Distinguished Cultural Commentary

  • Mike Pomranz – Food & Wine Magazine

Call it any number of things — unnecessary, a crass marketing ploy, or a sign of our society verging on the edge of utter collapse. The actual production of a cereal made specifically to be eaten with orange juice poured over it cannot be considered a positive sign.


Distinguished Sports Reporting

  • Jerry Foltz — The Golf Channel

During the Palos Verdes Championship on the LPGA Tour, golfer Lydia Ko was seen being tended to by her trainer on the course. After her round, Ko was interviewed by commentator Jerry Foltz, who asked what the treatment had been for that many had seen.

She explained why she was having some back spasms – “It’s that time of the month. I know the ladies watching are probably like, yeah, I got you.” Foltz was rather dumbstruck and fumbled as he tossed it back to the studio booth. Maybe he would have preferred if she had simply said she was playing with a handicap.

Distinguished Local Reporting

  • Tamara Vaifanus — KSL-TV Salt Lake City

After a previous report by the station about the Lost and Found department at Salt Lake International airport, one featured item actually ended up becoming tipped off to the original owner. It was a stuffed rat, an object created by a taxidermist, who reclaimed the statuesque rodent.

“It was fun. He just sat right here, right in the trees,” said airport lost and found supervisor Brett Christensen. “We started getting hats for him. He’s got a cowboy hat, and a black top hat.”


Special Recognition: The Rice Cake Honor (recognizing content-free reporting)

  • David K. LI — NBC News

At first blush, you see the headline and come to think there has to be more to this story about a discovery a family made with items inside of the home’s walls, more so that a titled Investigative Reporter delivered this “news.” But nope, it is just as they said — they found some fast food garbage left behind decades ago by the workers of the home.


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