Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Illicit McDonald's Items, Beer Going Flat, and Planets Made of Meat

(AP Photo/Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Our weekly recognition of less-than-meritorious excellence in journalism worthy of a skewed version 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 for 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 Editorial Writing

  • Kyla Scanlon — New York Times

In an essay that strains to excuse Joe Biden, blame consumers, and fault the media for our economic woes, the New York Times offered up editorial space to Ms. Scanlon for a piece that should have been rejected by an editor for an MTV blog.

Scanlon tries to explain away our economic hardships by employing flower child, feel-good semantics and daft language that does not explain the economy in any cogent fashion — but manages to explain that “Schoolhouse Rock” might have been too complex of an educational aid for Kyla.

“The vibes in the economy are … weird. That weirdness has real effects. A recent study found that broader vibes do indeed drive what people do, with media narratives about the economy accounting for 42 percent of the fall in consumer sentiment in the second half of 2021. And people are, of course, silly and messy. Far too many economists and experts forget that the economy is really a bunch of people ‘peopling’ around and trying to make sense of this world.”



Distinguished Public Service

  • Chris Licht — CNN

It has been recognized for years that CNN has been notably hostile towards Republicans and conservatives. Now, the new Warner-Discovery management is in place, and they are willing to have more Republicans on the air. Wait, not willing – they are begging to have them come back on.

New CEO of the network, Chris Licht was in D.C. recently, and he was desperate enough to cloister himself in the Capitol in order to get Republicans to agree to return to his airwaves. He chose a remote private room to meet with any willing GOP senators, to avoid scrutiny by reporters for those politicians not wanting to be seen in attendance with the CNN CEO.


Distinguished Investigative Journalism

  • Reuters Fact-Check

There is a video circulating on social media of Joe Biden at a press conference and, as his wife, Dr. First Lady Jill, is speaking, he wanders off. The video has a split screen of an ice cream truck, and the audio includes the tinkling song from the vehicle, implying that is what lured Joe to wander off camera. The clip has been around for nearly a year, offered up by a comedic account.


The stalwart fact-checkers at Reuters are here to assure us that this blatantly comedic video manipulation is, in fact, a manipulation of the video made for comedic purposes.


Distinguished Feature Writing

  • Walter Finch — Daily Mail Online

A prominent French physicist has been forced to apologize for a photograph that he said was from NASA’s new space telescope. Etienne Klein, a renowned philosopher and research director at the French Atomic Energy Commission, informed his followers that “no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth.” Apparently, not too many people could ascertain that he was kidding in his post, and they believed that his image of a roiling planet of heat and energy was, in fact, a slice of chorizo.



Distinguished Local Reporting

  • Esteban Bustillos — WGBH Boston

There is some dire news out of New England regarding a crisis with area brewers. Locally brewed beers will be in shorter supply due to a severe shortage of commercial CO2. This may be doubly impactful for the science community, as they continue to sell us the concept that the Earth is imperiled due to an excess amount of carbon dioxide.


Distinguished International Reporting

  • Tamara Hardingham-Gill — CNN

Honestly, not many people would admit to eating at McDonald’s.

But the medical overreactions in Australia are not reserved for just COVID cases. A recent outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia has the Aussie travel authorities on high alert. One airline passenger from that country absorbed a huge fine for undeclared biological contents in their baggage. The traveler was assessed a fine of over $1,800–because they had Egg McMuffins and a breakfast croissant stowed in their luggage.



Distinguished National Reporting

  • Joshua Bote — San Francisco Gate

It is a story for just about everyone. A minister, flamethrowers, out of control sheriffs, and a Batmobile. What’s not to love?!


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