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
- Mike Freeman – USA Today
There has been a lot of coverage in the media about a racist incident that took place during a volleyball game between Duke University playing at BYU. There just has not been a lot of evidence that this episode took place. Yet as more outlets started to come around to reporting that the investigation into the matter came to show there is a probability the alleged hate crime never occurred Mike Freeman became upset about the quest for facts.
According to Freeman, noting there is little to no evidence regarding this issue is a “conspiracy theory”, it is the work of “the right-wing media ecosystem”, as well as “It’s like Q-anon”. Actually, Mike – saying that the pursuit of the facts is a largely-coordinated effort by a faction of the media is what the true conspiracy is in this result.
An unfounded conspiracy theory circulating about Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson is just another example of how Black people constantly have to prove they're not criminals or liars, writes @mikefreemanNFL. https://t.co/ErbdiMyi3u
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) September 7, 2022
Distinguished National Reporting
- Yamiche Alcindor – PBS News
There is no shortage of wishcasting seen in the press, those moments when they abandon real reporting and instead resort to speculation in order to drive a narrative. Usually, it is lame and desperate. Here it is simply hilarious.
Yamiche Alcindor attempts double duty, by not only suggesting that the issue of abortion is going to swing the tide of the upcoming elections in favor of the Democrats, but she also makes a daft claim. Yamiche details that she has spoken with numerous young Republican women who are going to switch over and vote Democrat for the first time in their lives. These are allegedly firm conservative voters, but the repeal of Roe v. Wade has them fleeing the party. Please…
This is wishcasting of the highest order. Watch @Yamiche claim she spoke with plenty of GOP women who are switching parties for the first time in their lives over the issue of abortion being turned over to the states. pic.twitter.com/rJeNOY5b8g
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) September 7, 2022
Distinguished International Reporting
- Automated Closed-Caption Service – The BBC
It would be a red-faced moment for any news broadcaster, but it is made all the worse that it took place during the funeral coverage of Queen Elizabeth. While the commentary stated the words “Queen Regina” the voice recognition providing the subtitles heard something else entirely.
More than just a slight embarrassment from the BCC automated caption service during coverage of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
While they spoke of her Latin designation "Queen Regina" it was interpreted with a notable difference. pic.twitter.com/2WOzuDLapw
— Brad Slager: Semi-Fascist Practicing to Turn Pro (@MartiniShark) September 12, 2022
Distinguished Breaking News
In Las Vegas, it has been big news that a local reporter was killed, with the suspected killer a politician he had investigated and caused to lose a reelection bid. CNN, in reporting on the murder repeatedly, somehow managed to avoid getting around to the detail of the man’s affiliation. It took four stories before deep in one article the network managed to let slip that the possible killer had lost the Democratic primary.
RIFFED FROM THE HEADLINES
– @CNN cannot find out what party a journalist murderer belongs to
– @ChrisLHayes thinks @GregGutfeld is running for office
– @ViceNews sees racist police dogs
– @USAToday fact-checks a post seen by dozens
…and more media mayhemhttps://t.co/vZbhXyOqex
— Brad Slager: Semi-Fascist Practicing to Turn Pro (@MartiniShark) September 9, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Trone Dowd – Vice News
Whenever a reporter strains themself so much you can practically feel them enduring physical pain it is a sign of desperation. They might even feel as if they have just shifted the cultural landscape with their take on an issue, when in truth it is a shrugged-off amusement that few people will even retain, aside from an interesting callback at a later date. (“Remember when they tried to tell us that bridges are racist?”) In that tradition Vice delivers this scathing report on the use of K-9 units, explaining for everyone how this is a dire and hateful enforcement practice, all because back in the day plantation owners had used dogs to control their slaves. So today it is exactly the same thing, or something.
Just wait until Dowd and his cohorts come to learn that Hitler owned a dog!
For more than 500 years, dogs have been used by the powerful as a tool to oppress minorities. We spoke to experts about how this age-old institution has evolved, and how its managed to persist into the present despite its depraved and racist origins. https://t.co/hoYw5jVV6y
— VICE News (@VICENews) September 7, 2022
Distinguished Public Service
- Dana Bash – CNN
We have come to learn how the new CNN management is looking to revamp the network and return it to a novel concept of delivering journalism. Well, seemingly late to receiving this memorandum from the suits is Dana Bash. She is still conducting herself in a blatantly partisan fashion, as she approaches Republican figures in a decidedly different fashion than her Democrat and/or liberal guests.
There is no better way to see her application of a litmus test for conservatives than her interview with Washington Senatorial candidate Tiffany Smiley. After Bash asked for a simple “Yes, or No” regarding Smiley’s belief that Biden won the election she was given precisely that, as Smiley said succinctly “Yes”, and declared Biden to be the President, then attempted to move on to issues. Dana, clearly looking to fabricate controversy, was not satisfied with the very answer she asked for, and she proceeds to badger Smiley two additional times over the very same question, receiving the same answer each time.
Watch as @DanaBashCNN asks a GOP candidate if Joe Biden was rightfully elected, and then refuses to take "Yes" as an answer. She felt the need to ask Tiffany Smiley THREE TIMES, needing to trip her up. pic.twitter.com/YUrZJWw8Ct
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) September 6, 2022
Distinguished Sports Reporting
In a curiosity of European athletics, there was a soccer match recently where a player was sent off for a serious infraction – possibly Illegal Use Of The Hands? Conner Maseko was the goalkeeper for Blackfield & Langley Football Club, but during a match with Shepton Mallet FC play was stopped and the referee issued Maseko a Red Card, kicking him out of the game. His infraction was not one many fans and commentators had witnessed before.
As red cards go, they don’t come any stranger – but sometimes nature calls. In what might be an FA Cup first, a goalkeeper was sent off for “urinating in a hedge” during a match.
The replay of “urinate gate” is Tuesday 6th September as @bandlfc make the trip back to The Playing Fields in the @EmiratesFACup. After an unusual red card in the first tie (possibly a first) we are looking for a match sponsor. Plumbers or portaloo companies, take advantage!
— Shepton Mallet AFC (@Mallet_AFC) September 3, 2022