The Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Shark Bigotry, Fetterman Frippery, and CNN Pimpin' for Pepsi

(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 Cultural Commentary

  • Danielle Weiner-Bronner – CNN

As the once monolithic news source CNN goes through a transformation with new ownership and currently endures a series of harsh layoffs, some might wonder how the network fell to these depths. Well, not to imply that this lone example is the cause, but it does seem that spending time on a product advertisement with Lindsay Lohan as a news item typifies some of the loss of focus by the news leader.


Distinguished Feature Writing

  • New York Times

As the journalism industry begins rolling out the end-of-the-year entries it is going to be difficult to come up with a more daft conclusion than this entry. The Times listed off 93 people it considered to be the “Most Stylish” from the past year and one of those included was none other than the hoodie-obsessed gigantor, John Fetterman. I suppose in this era of redefining everything from gender to pregnancy, it makes sense that the word “style” should also become bastardized.


Distinguished International Reporting

  • La Presse Candiene – Montreal Gazette

In some vital medical news out of Quebec, we are given the details behind a healthcare worker becoming reinstated at her position after a suspension. This was not over a case of malpractice or a violation of COVID protocols. No, something far more quotidian took place, and the media found North of the Border were on the case.

The three-day suspension of a Longueuil nurse sanctioned for eating a slice of toast with peanut butter while on duty has been rescinded after the local health authority admitted: “the measure was too severe for the act committed.”


Distinguished Cultural Criticism

  • Reuters

Actress Emma Corrin is promoting her latest release, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” She attempts to use a tried tactic of generating hype by creating controversy to get people talking about the film. She claims that there are people who are uptight and against seeing female sexuality in movies. Her attempt fails however fails in that not only is she appearing in a remake of the title, but it is safe to say that people are rather comfortable with this type of content given the nearly 100-year-old novel has been adapted and given sequels for decades.



Distinguished Sports Reporting

  • Mike Florio – NBC Sports

It was an electric response across social media when the news struck that former NFL quarterback Drew Brees had been hit by a bolt of lightning. This was based on a rapidly-shared video, but Florio – and many others – rushed out reports before looking into the story. It turns out it had been a staged commercial production for an online sportsbook.


Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

  • Daniel Wu – Washington Post

It takes an immense amount of creativity to be a leftist with outrage leanings and then have the need to seek out the outrage. At WaPo, they managed to find such an individual and gave her their platform. One biologist wanted to prove that there was an issue with sexism or racism with shark documentaries on cable television, and luckily enough, she found both! After watching years of episodes of “Shark Week,” this professor discovered that the shark experts depicted were mostly white men — and many of them were named Mike!

WaPo followed the claims that this impacted the entry of women into the marine biology field, despite the fact that most of the experts they spoke with were women and that another attested that in one aspect the industry was made up of over half the roles filled by females.



Distinguished National Reporting

  • Mirna Alsharif, Austin Mullen – NBC News

At a symphony performance of “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas,” someone shouted out a racial slur. That is it, that’s the entirety of this national news report. Why something this arcane is deemed newsworthy is only the start of the mystery of this non-story. It took two reporters to file a 123-word report, with no information. We are not told what was shouted, who said it, and only that the symphony is investigating the matter.



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