Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Hillary's Ball, Depp's TikTok Windfall, and Neil Patrick Harris' Gall

Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Hillary's Ball, Depp's TikTok Windfall, and Neil Patrick Harris' Gall
(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 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.


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.


Distinguished Photography

  • Reuters

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.

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