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 National Reporting
- Hailey BeMiller – USA Today
In covering the senate race in Ohio, USA Today beat reporter BeMiller might have had a tough time coming up with new material – or decided that some scandal surrounding the GOP candidate JD Vance had been spotted. First, at a campaign stop at a farm where a cookout was staged, Vance turned down the offer of a pork sandwich. (This was something his opponent Tim Ryan tried to suggest was a disqualifying move, a claim many residents were confused about.)
But there was more controversy! Apart from declining a free lunch, Vance offered a milkshake to a Democrat stringer who is following his campaign!!! Oh, wait – I may need to explain more. See, this person tailing Vance on the trail is lactose intolerant, so he…was being intolerant, in a fashion. It is not known if Vance was aware of this digestive condition with the campaign worker at the time of his offer.
Vance also offered to buy a milkshake for the Dem tracker who’s following him around.
For those who are curious, the tracker is lactose intolerant.
— Haley BeMiller (@haleybemiller) September 21, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Liz Posner – Fast Company Magazine
One of the more insipid arguments we have in our national community is the cultural intolerance claimed in relation to food. Grievance peddlers will look for tripwires in what people say or imply with comments about items regarded as ethnocentric. It is entirely possible to be called a racist for suggesting a group eats a particular food, AND be accused of cultural appropriation in violation of that same group if you eat that same food.
Fast Company felt the need to wade into these waters in regards to a drink that has been around for eons. Despite the crop being grown across the planet by various cultures, the outlet focused on black-owned cafes and noted that the POC entrepreneurs were reclaiming coffee from the oppressive hands of white people.
The unbearable whiteness of coffee https://t.co/EouWbudnGD
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) March 30, 2022
Distinguished Local Reporting
- KTVU Fox 2 – San Francisco
It seems the “K” seen in the call letters here might represent “Karen.” In San Francisco, over the weekend, a dastardly event was witnessed. A local fireman was spotted wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “Let’s Go Brandon” printed on the back. This crime against society was spotted by a heroic citizen who captured this on camera. Then, they promptly sent the images to city authorities, because the first thing you do when you see a piece of clothing that offends you is work to have the individual’s career ended.
The local news affiliate joined in on the reporting of this affront to the city – because the rampant crime, drug use, and defecating on the sidewalks by the homeless have all been solved and dealt with and the focus can be placed elsewhere. THIS is a priority in need of being dealt with in an expedient manner!
A San Francisco firefighter wore a shirt with the conservative phrase “Lets Go Brandon” written across the back while on duty Saturday morning. https://t.co/7655CpA5Mf
— KTVU (@KTVU) September 25, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Mehdi Hasan – MSNBC
To say that the effort by Ron DeSantis has motivated the press to start covering the immigration crisis in a more thorough manner would be an understatement. To say that all of the press have been properly motivated would be in error, as Mehdi Hasan has proven. When confronted with the crisis at the border he did the only appropriate thing – he investigated Ron DeSantis. And Hasan has come up with some dire information; Ron DeSantis has an ancestor! Mehdi performed a 23andMe analysis and discovered that the Florida governor has a great, great grandmother who hailed from Italy. Aha!!!
Um, how this revelation proves DeSantis is a hypocrite is a mystery, because having a forebear coming to America in no way cancels out the need to enforce today’s border laws. Hasan seems to operate with the mindset that wanting to have the current laws enforced as they had been a century ago is somehow “anti-immigrant” thinking.
Luigia Colucci was an Italian immigrant who came here in 1917, unable to read or write and thanks to what some on the right might call 'chain migration.'
She also happens to be the great-great-grandmother of Ron DeSantis – my commentary on his hypocrisy:pic.twitter.com/Osg2wTATpr
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 21, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Melissa Ochoa – Salon
The insistence on getting the new term “Latinx” employed has been roundly rejected by Hispanics. Not only are Hispanics refusing to use the term at a rate in excess of 90 percent, but a significant number have said that if a politician uses that term, they are inclined to not vote for them. In the face of this rejection, Salon has recognized the error. But instead of backing away from the effort, they have instead concocted a “better” term to be adopted by those with no interest in doing so.
Stop using "Latinx" if you really want to be inclusive https://t.co/hY8TnSxvEi
— Salon (@Salon) September 26, 2022
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Ta’Leah Van Sistine – Washington Post
We learn that there is a new dose of anxiety for our esteemed and brave souls on college campuses to fret themselves over. The originators of adults requiring safe spaces and coloring books to deal with opposing viewpoints, it turns out that we have a new threat to their psyches. Environmental crises have reached enough of a level that campuses now are providing services to help deal.
There is a critical need for climate stress services for young people, experts say, but many therapists aren’t trained to provide this specific type of support. Eco-anxiety is commonly used to describe people’s concerns about climate change, but psychologists say it is better to use more general terms such as “climate stress” and “climate distress” — terms that encompass the array of feelings someone may have in response to climate change. Climate stress therapy, experts say, is an effort to validate these emotions, help clients process their responses to climate change and provide coping strategies.
It’s almost precious, the way the press looks at this in a calm manner, the same press that fosters these very anxieties with their hysterical reports on the environment.
— Climate Psychiatry Alliance (@ClimatePsychia1) September 22, 2022
Distinguished International Reporting
- Alex Mitchell – New York Post
Mitchell provides a profile of sorts on author Graham Askey, a travel writer. Askey has been to nearly 100 nations, logging tens of thousands of miles, and he has compiled what he deems to be an impressive list.
The man dubbed “The King of Porcelain” has compiled a collection of the worst public toilets from across the globe, and his findings are cataloged on a website for…anyone so moved by curiosity to drop in and look at the offal mess he discovered.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 22, 2022