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
- Pat Milton, Jeff Pegues, Caitlin Yilek – CBS News
With the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump’s (non)arrest, the ensuing (un)protest in New York, and the affiliated (absence of)riot that took place, CBS News reported on the promise of an upcoming wave of MAGA-related violence. Even after the utter lack of anything taking place on March 20, they delivered a threat assessment from authorities.
Only one issue: they disqualified their own report, despite the breathless headline and lede:
But the sources said they have not identified any credible or direct threats to a person or property and they are continuing to monitor for credible specific threats.
"Significant increase" in threats online ahead of possible Trump indictmenthttps://t.co/CPhRRY0Hq6
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) March 21, 2023
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Ariane De Vogue – CNN
Recently, the Supreme Court held a long-delayed honoring event for the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But in reporting on the event, Ariane de Vogue could not hold back on injecting her own brand of unbiased journalism.
Ignored in her emotional assessment is that RBG had served with all but two of the current members, with one (Ketanji Brown Jackson) echoing her views, and Amy Coney Barret reflecting RBG’s good friend on the court, the late Antonin Scalia, whom ACB clerked for previously.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is honored at a Supreme Court she wouldn’t recognize | @Arianedevogue https://t.co/YFw8FaHqRY
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 18, 2023
Distinguished National Reporting
- Ken Dilanian – MSNBC
It was with muted notoriety that on “Morning Joe” they indicated how the NY DA case was falling to debris when, within a day, they segued from Donald Trump being arrested in New York (with host ScarJo actually invoking “the walls are closing in”) to Trump being in larger trouble with the classified documents scandal.
Of course, with that story there is the ever-conflicting issue of “Jose” Biden having his own problem of being in possession of a raft of classified intel himself. Enter intelligence expert Ken Dilanian, who explains that the two cases are completely different. How?
Biden, after 50 years in D.C. and handling classified intel throughout his career, was completely oblivious that those documents were packed away! Blame the guys from Mayflower Movers, who shoved them in boxes without him possibly knowing!
As soon as @KenDilanianNBC says BIden's docs were "inadvertently packed and he didn't know about them", you know the cleanup crew is working in full effect.
Since when is ignorance of legality an escape clause? pic.twitter.com/FqTfn6Yan9
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) March 23, 2023
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Steve Peoples – Associated Press
One of the great amusements remaining in this year of dismal journalism is that Ron DeSantis and his communications team has completely frustrated the press, leading them to act in an unhinged manner on the regular.
As DeSantis continues to anger reporters because he refuses to play their game and take their bait, Steve Peoples decided to take action and confront the governor directly at a book signing. He reports that DeSantis refused to play his game and take his bait.
Ron DeSantis signs books in Tallahassee. I asked him if he thinks Donald Trump is being treated fairly by prosecutors. Dead silence. pic.twitter.com/AyDTPbjTYz
— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) March 23, 2023
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Riley Black – Smithsonian Magazine
When it comes to herpitology, there is a severe problem in this field of study. For far too long now, the sex organs of snakes have not been explored to any proper level of satisfaction. And there is good reason for this lack of attention to these sensitive topics; there is misogyny in the science of snakes!
It’s #WomensHistoryMonth Crazy to realize there’s sexism in scientific research on female creatures. Why Did Scientists Wait So Long to Study the Snake Clitoris? @SmithsonianMag https://t.co/lYieuQaky4
— Gayle V. Economos (@GVEMediaPR) March 14, 2023
Distinguished Reporting On Frozen Desserts (The Biden Honor)
- Brian Platt — Bloomberg News
As President Biden went to Canada to have a climate summit – with 75 cars in tow – he and Justin Trudeau were able to come to a common resolution, arrived together on a serious agreement.
They agreed on what flavor of ice cream they would enjoy together at a local establishment.
News alert: I can confirm reports that Trudeau and Biden had "friend-chip" ice cream last night from @MooShuIceCream. Maple-flavoured, with chocolate chips and marshmallows.
— Brian Platt (@btaplatt) March 24, 2023
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