The Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Retirement Cards, Racist Clocks, and Erotic Carp

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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

  • Don Lemon – CNN This Morning

I’m sure the new brass at CNN are comforted by the decision to move Don Lemon from his primetime gig to now do the revamped morning show at the network. This is the level of journalism the star anchor has descended into: Lemon is visibly shaken by a performance on a game show.

On a recent episode of Jeopardy! one question was about “The first black woman on the Supreme Court,” and the answer was “Ketanji Brown Jackson,” but none of the contestants were able to answer. Mr. Lemon was visibly dismayed by this, but in fairness none of the contestants were biologists.


Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

  • Maria Luisa Paul – Washington Post

One can only assume there was a lack of topics connected to the midterm election results. When you are straining to find something to cover in the national election that also concerned offices in all 50 states as well as countless local ordinances up for a vote and all of the side stories and dramas attached and numerous personalities littered across the political landscape — sure, it might be tough to find something worth covering.


Ms. Paul managed to glean a deeply pertinent factoid coming out of the voting results, and to her credit, few other reporters latched onto this trenchant detail. It seems that in the Senate, there’s a buncha guys named “John/Jon.” The shocking news is that this does not include those who are customers of escorts.


Distinguished National Reporting

  • Jacqueline Howard – CNN

We recently went through the Autumnal tradition of adjusting our timepieces, and while some might be grumbling over the adjustments to their morning routine or being thrown off by earlier darkness you need to just zip it, Mr./Mrs. White Privilege! Your petty inconveniences are nothing compared to what other ethnicities have to endure as a result of racist clocks!

It turns out (like just about everything that can have a negative connotation) that the adverse effects of Daylight Saving Time are more pronounced and significant for races other than Caucasians.

For the inequities seen in sleep health, it’s not that White adults don’t also experience a lack of sleep and its health consequences – but people of color appear to disproportionately experience them more, and that’s believed to be largely due to social systems in the United States.

And here I thought President Jose Biden was going to bring an end to our nation’s systemic racist sleep inequities…



Distinguished Sports Reporting

  • Robert Summerscales – Sports Illustrated – Fan Nation

My being American means that the intricacies and nuances of soccer rules elude me to a degree, so this report out of England has me asking more about the details. A goaltender was kicked out of a soccer game when he became pissed off and squirted a fan in the stands with his water bottle. The bottle had been tampered with and contained a dose of urine added to its contents. The goalie sprayed the fan who had spiked his drink.

Just how in the world a fan got possession of a goalie’s bottle, and how the goalie was aware of who the fan was that created the electrolyte imbalance remain mysteries, as is what rule violation the goalie was charged with during all of this drama.


Distinguished Feature Writing

  • Michael Grynbaum – New York Times

You already have a challenge for readers when you deliver a profile of a polarizing figure who is a niche name at best in the Never Trump political orbit. Molly Jong-Fast is a Lincoln Project acolyte and a frequent guest on MSNBC. Giving us a headline where you are elevating that stature to being someone considered a liberal media celebrity is another challenge. Then when you declare she achieved this luminary status by tweeting her way to fame, well…let’s just say it is the opposite of clickbait.


Then, without us even getting into the body of the puff piece, you have in your subheader, “She wasn’t a political expert. But her Trump-era angst found a following among Democrats,” there is not much more needed to arrive at a decision. (Annnnnnnd, close tab.)


Distinguished International Reporting

  • Leigh McManus – Daily Star

I mean, we are not going to get overly critical of anyone delivering content of scantily-clad vixens. And we certainly understand the selling power of appealing sylphs posing with products to deliver revenue. But maybe a line has been crossed when you give us…well, this.

In Germany, you can purchase The Carponizer Carp Calendar 2023, a 12-month offering of fair and unadorned maidens in sultry photos as they are pictured with — large bloated fish. I’m not one to judge if you desire a dozen defrocked damsels displayed with landed trophy lunkers, I’m just saying that based on the images provided, I will question your employing the term “erotic” for this wall hanging.


Distinguished Sports Reporting

  • Bryce Jackson – Game Rant

NFL player Blake Martinez may have been inspired for any number of reasons. Maybe he wanted to get out of the game before enduring a crippling injury. Maybe he was eyeing the end of a career as a journeyman and saw an exit strategy. Or, just maybe, playing for the Las Vegas Raiders was just that bad of an experience. Whichever the motivation, Martinez saw a chance to leave on his terms and he took it.


The linebacker was in possession of a very rare Pokemon card, and he decided to go ahead and leave the locker room behind for good when he was able to sell off the card for $672,000.




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