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 Breaking News
- Kristen Welker — NBC News
Look, we get it. In the furor this week with the FBI raid-not-a-raid on Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, there was a desperate need on everyone’s part in the press to be first with news reports. Ms. Welker, in her zeal to get out in front of her contemporaries, forgot one crucial detail — having something to actually report.
Kristen leans heavily on intel coming from inside sources to detail for us that in light of making one of two decisions on the matter, Donald Trump was contemplating doing…something.
A source familiar w/deliberations tells me, fmr Pres Trump’s been talking to his team of attorneys by phone tonight as he considers how to respond to the AG’s order to unseal the search warrant:
Per source he’s weighing whether to challenge the order or to encourage the release.
— Kristen Welker (@kwelkernbc) August 12, 2022
Distinguished National Reporting
There was a distinctive move made in the press to inform the nation this week that when the FBI serves a court-ordered warrant, it cannot be referred to as a “raid.” This was, of course, complete revisionism on the part of journalists, many of whom were defied by their own past reporting on the very same matter.
This conflict took on a glaring component when one program had on former FBI fixture Frank Figliuzzi. The graphic on-screen declared the FBI had raided Mar-A-Lago then, as Figliuzzi lectured how the Feds do not like using that term, the chyron was gently altered — live, during his segment.
Need any more evidence this insistence of "don't call it a RAID" is a load of manufactured crap?
MSNBC itself was calling it such, and as @FrankFigliuzzi follows the narrative the network slyly alters its chyron in real-time. pic.twitter.com/vNMwj9dBuE
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 11, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Catherine Rampell — Washington Post
Remember the weeks of insistence that the American people needed to have relief from the soaring costs in our economy, and this was the reason Congress needed to pass the Inflation Reduction Act? Well, the very moment the bill passed, the word “Inflation” disappeared from everyone’s lips in D.C. That is because the monstrous new spending was the polar opposite of reducing inflation, but the press strove to insist on how great this new bill would be.
Call it only slightly desperate when the Washington Post tried to drum up sympathy for the fact that tens of billions of dollars were going towards the IRS in the effort to double its size.
Why does the IRS need $80 billion? Just look at its cafeteria. https://t.co/gMa6lf1k6P
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) August 9, 2022
Distinguished Public Service
- Business Insider
You just have to savor that warm feeling you get from the press when they condescend to us and describe what is in the best interests in our lives. Here is Business Insider covering two different aspects of our society — climate change and rampant inflation — by giving us a deep explanation of why we should make the significant alteration in our diet. Just shut up, and eat bugs, you selfish people.
Crickets contain more protein than beef, without any of the environmental damage pic.twitter.com/dGxEgcP6bx
— Business Insider (@BusinessInsider) August 12, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager — Washington Post
Here we get presented the very definition of obliviousness on a grand journalistic scale. The reporters spoke with former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about what a fabulous job Joe Biden had been doing lately. In other words, after she left the White House. But in her description, there was a significant quote that went completely unchallenged.
“‘One of the lessons learned — a big lesson learned — was that letting the negotiations with senators dominate the public conversation was a mistake, because it made it so that disagreements about minutiae became what the public consumed, instead of how pieces of legislation were going to impact people’s lives,’ said Jen Psaki, Biden’s former White House press secretary. ‘Sometimes the best things happen in the dark, away from the public.'”
For one thing, she does not get challenged about how this defies the bold and frequent claims about this being a transparent administration. But how do these reporters just overlook the fact that Psaki touts legislating “in the dark,” in the paper whose very masthead bears the quote, Democracy Dies In Darkness?!?!
Inside Biden’s hot streak, from the poolside to the Capitol https://t.co/NnNSFM5Z0Q
— Post Politics (@postpolitics) August 9, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Journalism
- Fiona Lee — San Francisco Gate
More tough news in The Tragic Kingdom. The Gate reports that in California’s Disneyland park, one of the shops had to be closed down due to health code violations. There has to be some mirthful irony in seeing that the empire that was built upon a rodent character was afflicted with a rodent infestation.
The inspection also uncovered “debris and dead insects.” https://t.co/9Bu11d5f70
— SFGATE (@SFGate) August 10, 2022
Distinguished Sports Reporting
Over the past few years, E-sports have really taken off in popularity. Video game competitions have become a wildly successful enterprise, and other adjunct competitions like drone racing have also sprung up. We might suggest they are hitting a ceiling with this newer component. It is not at all clear how there is any spectator enjoyment in watching your office mates work on spreadsheets, but ESPN 2 held the All-Star Excel World Championship, and tabulation geeks the world over thrilled at the data entry prowess on display.
TIL that there is a professional MS Excel World Championship streamed on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/SX9m0orU3N
— Amaan Rizwan (@amaanthinks) August 8, 2022