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 Commentary
- Ana Faguy – USA Today
In a deeply helpful correction of the record, Ms. Faguy cagily prevents information from spreading, which might have caused severe…um, reactions…maybe? I don’t really know, but darned good thing that USA Today is on the case to let us know that this photograph is not real, and some post-publishing editing took place.
So please, do not be fooled by the image of Hillary Clinton in a gown from The Met Gala that is adorned with enough words as to appear like a NASCAR driver’s firesuit.
Please be advised-@USAToday has confirmed that the photo below is not at accurate and has been altered.
Be very careful, as it is not known how much damage could have been realized we’re this to be shared on social media. pic.twitter.com/7mM10z13h1
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) May 17, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Mike Stobbe — Associated Press
The AP has looked at some statistics and come to a startling revelation: That thing that prevented people from doing stuff led to fewer people doing the things. It seems amazing but true.
In 2020, back when the pandemic was all the rage and just about everything was shut down except for grocery stores and lottery ticket sellers, people were incapable of having social gatherings, as you recall. Well, the crack team of fact-finders at the AP has discovered something – the inability to conduct wedding ceremonies that year had led to a drop in marriages that same year.
Far fewer Americans said "I do" during the first year of the pandemic, when many marriage plans were upended, the CDC says. There were 1.7 million weddings in 2020, a drop of 17% from the year before and the lowest recorded since 1963. https://t.co/ch7GsqQwN6
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 18, 2022
In its report on a conflict in Ukraine, the news syndicate provided a dramatic image of troops huddled together with weaponry that was – curious. Apparently, the Russians have been held at bay by a group of weekend military hobbyists.
Did America just spend $40 billion to buy Ukraine paintball gear???
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 16, 2022
Distinguised Editorial Writing
- Brent Orrell — The Bulwark
In a remarkable example of wishcasting, Orrell has seen the demise of the Republican Party in the near future…despite, you know, the current success of the Republican party.
Orrell claims the GOP is alienating itself from the political center, as every poll shows Independents sliding away from Biden and the Democrats. He claims governorships are going to Dems, despite statewide gains last election and a midterm showing either a red wave or a red tidal wave. He also tries to fabricate a rift within the party, as he says that “non-Trump candidates are non-starters.” It’s as if Brent is oblivious to Glenn Younkin winning without Trump, and Brian Kemp excelling in spite of his rift with the man. Even The Atlantic sees this is not the case, and CNN notes Trump is stepping back from endorsements after a mixed result so far in primaries.
Six years of lying and conspiracy theories are threatening the Republican suburban-rural electoral coalition across the country.
— The Bulwark (@BulwarkOnline) May 19, 2022
Distinguished National Reporting
- Sarah Ashley O’Brien — CNN
Quixotically, the Johnny Depp Amber Heard trainwreck of a divorce trial has become a news sensation. So much is the interest in the celebrity dysfunction that CNN details for us how the trial has become a boon for random TikTok accounts. It has been shown that people are deeply invested in this trial, to the extent that even the most mundane of posts has led to huge returns for accounts.
One TikTok user, who is based in the UK, said she posted a video on April 27 celebrating Depp for freeing his lawyer’s snagged charger cord with a comment, ‘the little things.’ ‘I wasn’t expecting anyone to reach out, or like it, or share it even,’ she said, noting that she’d originally created her account to post about films. But it has since garnered more than 10 million views. She’s continued posting about the trial and she says her account has gone from fewer than 300 followers to more than 50,000.
TikTok posts about actor Johnny Depp's defamation trial against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, have turned some into accidental influencers, while making targets out of others. https://t.co/9ttrb96ypg
— CNN International (@cnni) May 15, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Dezimey Kum — USA Today
The fact-checkers cannot bother themselves with correcting the record on the Biden administration and the baby formula crisis, so that is left to outlets like ours and columns like this one.
Instead, they are too preoccupied with verifying claims on Facebook about dolphin fetus photographs. Cannot have people going around sharing these pics as if they were genuine – WHEN THEY CLEARLY ARE NOT!
Fact check: Image shows a silicone model of a dolphin fetus in the womb, not photo or ultrasound https://t.co/bFnYv8ZId1 via @usatoday
— Dave Agar (@dave1agar) May 16, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Christian Holub — Entertainment Weekly
The shocking news broke recently that Neil Patrick Harris had to issue a public apology. NPH came out with this public confessional, regretting that he may have been offensive with a meat platter he had put out for the Halloween party he was hosting for well-connected celebrity-type people that he hangs with.
It seems this platter was designed to resemble the corpse of the departed singer Amy Winehouse. The ridiculousness is further extended when it is revealed this offensive episode took place 11 years ago, but for some reason, a pic of the event recently was circulated, necessitating the actor to come forward with his mea culpa. The use of EXCLUSIVE on a story that is over a decade old was a brilliant touch.
Exclusive: Neil Patrick Harris issues apology for resurfaced joke he and his husband made about Amy Winehouse months after her death in 2011. https://t.co/5tsoF48qSY
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 19, 2022
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