Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Hurricane Deflections, Wedding Bill Collections, and Pumpkin Terminations

(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 Breaking News

  • CNN

As hurricane Ian was ravaging the west coast of Florida, numerous reporters stampeded to the state to engage in the idiotic practice of going out in the extreme weather–in order to detail that there is extreme weather taking place.

One of these “brave” journalists was on with Wolf Blitzer and claimed to be enduring some of the harshest elements going…until his claims were exposed by a resident a few feet behind him, calmly walking to his vehicle. (Bonus points for the camera man joining in and jostling his rig to augment the effect.)


Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

  • Peter Kafka — Vox

Over at Vox, they always have some explaining to do, but when there is news that might make the Biden administration look bad, they then resort to guessing. Interesting that when undertaking the very job he is assigned to do, Kafka looks at a segment of the business world and sees a negative, he tries to instead explain it away.

When faced with the story of companies holding back on spending for advertising in this brutal economy, Peter resorts to gaslighting. After insisting the economy “is doing fine,” he offers up excuses, one of which recognizes fewer people can afford items, or the supply chain is screwed and they cannot sell products they do not have in stock.



Distinguished Public Service

  • Joy Reid — MSNBC

The primary hallmark of Joy Reid’s career is her ability to look at any news item and being able to find racism. With the coverage of Hurricane Ian ,she found the racism once again.

In a presser, Governor Ron DeSantis warned people to not engage in looting, stating that Florida is a 2nd Amendment state and people will be able to defend their property. Joy decided that this was a racist comment, because even though DeSantis said “people” should not be looting,she understands that “looters” means “blacks.” Which…would make HER the one being racist.


Distinguished International Reporting

  • Julia Banim — The Mirror UK

Here we get the ripping report from Great Britain, where a man shares a social media message he received from a bride and groom. The man had recently attended their wedding, and in the course of the reception, there was a portion where attendees received a piece of the wedding cake. To help defray the cost of the cake, the guests were charged for their slice. That is not the weirdest part.


Just days later, this guest was sent a message requesting that he send the newlyweds a nominal fee for the cake he had eaten. This was because in the time when most couples are off enjoying a honeymoon, this betrothed pair spent their days of newly wedded bliss analyzing security camera footage, arriving at the discovery that their guest had gone back and taken a second slice of cake–which he did not pay for at the time.


Distinguished Investigative Reporting

  • Jill Terrieri Ramos — Politifact

Democrats have run into a problem with one of their favorite narratives of late. The politicians and the press have spent the better part of two years declaring that anyone who dares question an election result is actively threatening our democracy. The problem that has arisen is that a growing list of prominent Democrats — from Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Karine Jean-Pierre, and even members of the J-6 Commission — have been shown to be questioning recent elections in which Republicans won an election. Help is needed.

Well, providing just such cover is Politifact. After Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) pointed out this contrdiction, the fact-check site declared he was accurate, but then went on to declare that there are nuances and contextual details rendering these as invalid comparisons. In short: “It’s different when they do it.”



Distinguished Cultural Commentary

  • Ronda Kaysen — New York Times

Inflation, wage constriction, supply chain shortages, “shrinkflation,” and housing prices crashing are just some of the challenges homeowners are facing. For many people, a trip to the grocery store has become a daunting enterprise; some difficult food decisions need to be made, as the paycheck is smaller and the dollar buys less.

It is in this environment that The New York Times decided it was a fine time to run a glossy feature on a trend seen in real estate circles. Sure, you might be stretching to making to your next paycheck by switching to a generic brand of ramen noodles, but this is a fabulous time for you to look into getting a second kitchen!


Distinguished International Reporting

  • Ellen Thompson — New Zealand Herald

A three-year legal battle has just concluded in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Michele Smith has been granted over $21,000 after she successfully sued a former employer for lost wages and compensatory damages in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Smith, a former receptionist for the company owning the hotel where she had been gainfully employed, sued after she had been been berated andd then let go by management.


Smith’s employment was transferred from a company that leased from the motel and she began working as the receptionist in March 2018. But six months later, the owner of the motel yelled at Smith after she bought a pumpkin. “My boss was angered by the purchase and berated me in front of both staff and guests. The criticism extended to the purchases of breakfast items.”


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