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
- Karen Attiah – Washington Post
After the new statue commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., entitled “The Embrace,” was unveiled in Boston many had comments questioning the curious effect realized when looking over the installation. One of those expressing dismay was Attiah, who described the work as an offense to Dr. King, one perpetrated by whites.
“It doesn’t sit well with me that Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King are reduced to body parts. Dismembering MLK and Coretta Scott King is… a choice. A deliberate one. Boston’s Embrace statue perfectly represents how White America loves to butcher MLK. It is sending a whitewashed, multi-million dollar message. This is what happens when white America tries to grossly distort what MLK really stood for.”
The only problem with her diatribe? The sculptor who created “The Embrace” is a black man.
Karen, this is the artist.
He is Black pic.twitter.com/4dlsvlKXtC
— StewMama✈ Cari- Radically Moderate (@StewMama71) January 17, 2023
Distinguished National Reporting
- Tim Carman – The Washington Post
A surefire nominee for the special “Rice Cake Honor” is this non-story from WaPo where reporter Tim Carman excitedly details the afternoon when President Biden phoned in a lunch order to a local hamburger joint in D.C.
“Democracy Dies at the Condiment Station”
Your feel-good story of the day. https://t.co/cEscctgANt
— Tim Carman (@timcarman) January 18, 2023
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- David Oliver – USA Today
We get served up the common practice in the press of needing to fill column inches and meeting a content quota by creating a new “controversy” from scratch. One of the best methods is to come up with a new offense and then direct that the language be altered to suit this newly fabricated “problem.”
Oliver has declared here that when people use words from other languages in a congenial fashion they are actually offending people who speak said language. As a result, we are to refrain from using words like “Aloha.”
If you’re not Hawaiian and you say it, it could come off as mockery. And that’s just one word to think about.
So, as Americans, we are forbidden to use a word that is spoken in America?? It seems USA Today is unaware that Hawaii is part of the USA.
Stop saying words like 'aloha' out of context (@USAToday): On the surface, simple greetings and phrases from other races and cultures may seem fine to sprinkle into our vernacular. Inclusive even. But… https://t.co/t2z1HhVOdH #hawaii #hawaiian #aloha
— Ryan Kawailani Ozawa (@hawaii) January 16, 2023
- Jose’ Betanzos – Vice World News
After the Mexican military stormed the home of the cartel operator Ovidio Guzman, son of El Chapo, Vice News was on the scene to record the aftermath. In one “gripping” photo they captured a bullet lodged in one portion of the property, to dramatically underscore the level of violence that took place.
That this was an unfired bullet, still seen in its shell casing, placed into the bullet hole for effect basically unravels any dramatic intent.
At @Vice they have this photo accompanying its piece on the attack on the compound of El Chapo's son, Ovidio Guzman.
Apparently, they somehow shot at him with unfired bullets. This should be embarrassing for a news outlet, but they are beyond that emotion.https://t.co/JjXYUMON3J pic.twitter.com/AtQ3QWUO9r
— Brad Slager: CNN+ Lifetime Subscriber (@MartiniShark) January 24, 2023
Distinguished International Reporting
- Cal Jeffrey – Tech Spot
Um, apparently someone in Japan contrived a way for their pet goldfish to “play” on a Nintendo Switch. On YouTube, a Japanese gamer set up a webcam on a fishbowl outfitted with a grid that featured game controller markings, to be read by software. The movements of the fish would then be interpreted as gaming directions, all done in order to see if the fish would actually be able to complete a version of Pokemon.
After his fish completed one game in 2020 the experiment was repeated recently, but at one point, the game crashed. The subsequent movements of the fish brought up his Nintendo account, and they managed to order items for his game.
The pesky little critters got the Nintendo eShop to come up (twice) and, entirely by chance, registered the correct sequence of inputs to add 500 yen (only about $4 US) to Mutekimaru’s account from his credit card that was saved on the Switch. They also exposed his credit card information to everyone watching. Then the scoundrels managed to use some of Mutekimaru’s accumulated reward points to purchase a new avatar, download the N64 emulator, get PayPal to send him a setup confirmation email, and change his Nintendo account name.
Trust no one, not even your pet fishhttps://t.co/PU7u9EpMC2
— █▒ peter (@pmullr) January 23, 2023
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Issy Ronald – CNN
In yet another attempt at banning words, CNN details for us how the elevated thinkers at the British Museum have declared that there is an offensive word attached to some of its exhibits. They have come to the conclusion that the word “mummy” is considered offensive, and they are seeking a change in the reference.
Who was possibly offended is never really explained, and further their “solution” to this non-problem is even more ridiculous. Instead of calling the bodies on display a “mummy,” we are instructed to refer to them as “mummified persons.” There, that fixed…nothing.
Some museums are now using words other than "mummy" to describe their displays of ancient Egyptian human remains https://t.co/eCGeoOBTnh
— CNN (@CNN) January 25, 2023