Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Deadly Beer Trolls, Healthy Ice Cream Bowls, and Umlauts in Rock-N-Roll

(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 Editorial Writing

  • Mike Allen, Elanore Hawkins – Axios

The Bud Light controversy has ignited the nation, causing people to choose sides politically and socially as they choose what brand of beer they will drink. At Axios they clearly have chosen a side, declaring that if you pick a brand other than Bud Light you are more than making a statement — it means you want transgendered people to die.

What this captures: The inflamed politics around transgender rights. The lack of perspective or grace from vocal transgender opponents. Remember the power imbalance. Trans issues are talked about a lot now. But trans people remain a small, largely marginalized group. For trans people, political issues are a matter of life and death. 


Distinguished Breaking News

  • Steve Inskeep – National Public Radio

As the melodrama on social media played out with Elon Musk labeling certain news sites as being “Government-funded Media“, a number of news outlets funded by the government took exception to this accurate moniker. At NPR they led the charge of those leaving Twitter in response.

Addressing this issue was possibly the biggest name at the site, Steve Inskeep, who attempted to correct the narrative with incorrect details.


The best was his touting himself as the source of “reliable information” while being abjectly unreliable on this very matter. NPR had in fact announced it was going to “quit” Twitter. The source for this: Inskeep’s own network.


Distinguished Investigative Reporting

  • Gerrard Kaonga – Newsweek

Nikki Haley has met her share of media criticism since she announced her intent to run for the presidency. When things had quieted down somewhat, Newsweek had one of its intrepid muckrakers contact the candidate over a recent controversy. Haley’s daughter had a wedding recently, and Mr. Kaonga wanted some comments about a backlash that resulted.

Haley shared images from her daughter’s wedding on her Twitter page last weekend, showing the bride and groom, herself, her son and her husband. The picture ignited the age-old wedding debate about guests wearing white—should anyone other the bridesmaids wear colors similar to that of the bride? The light appearance of Haley’s dress prompted criticism from some Twitter users.


Distinguished International Reporting

  • Casey Baseel – Sora News 24

There are a number of details from other cultures that seem odd or strange to those in America. Bearing that in mind, there is still a large amount of confusion over this news announcement for a new collectible that will soon be available for purchase from vending machines in Japan.


Residents will soon be able to purchase a snow globe of a cat using a litter box, with their choice of four colored felines. Purchasers will fill the globe with water and also achieve the “snow” effect, by adding the cat litter included in a packet with the item.


Distinguished Cultural Criticism

  • Merlin Alderslade – Louder Magazine

Rock band Jethro Tull has a new album release, with the woodwind-fronted heavy metal act appropriately titling their release “RökFlöte”. Note the European-style punctuation, as the band’s frontman Ian Anderson is very particular about this usage.

The umlauts are there for a legitimate reason because they are correct in the linguistic spelling,” he explains defiantly. Anderson then takes exception to other bands that use this stylistic choice in an improper fashion. “The misappropriation of the umlaut at the hands of, for instance, Mötley Crüe or Motörhead, ought to make you either laugh or get angry, depending on your point of view.”

So the fact that Anderson employs two languages for his album – “Rök” is Icelandic while “Flöte” is Germanic – means he is using proper cultural appropriation, we suppose. Just wait for when Anderson gets wind of Spın̈al Tap truly bastardizing the dots!


Special Honors Nomination – The Joe Biden Commemorative Award for Distinguished Coverage of Frozen Desserts

  • David Merrit Johns — The Atlantic

Mr. Johns will be a favored writer in the White House following this expose of conclusions from the scientific community that ice cream actually should be considered a health food.

Based on the findings of a doctoral student at Harvard, they appear to show that having a daily helping of the frozen confection could be beneficial, especially for…diabetics? It is for these reasons Johns says science wants this information smothered.

Studies show a mysterious health benefit to ice cream. Scientists don’t want to talk about it. This was obviously not what a budding nutrition expert or his super-credentialed committee members were hoping to discover. “He and his committee had done, like, every type of analysis—they had thrown every possible test at this finding to try to make it go away. And there was nothing they could do to make it go away.”


Special Honors Nomination – The NY Post Excellence In Headline Writing Plaque

  • Adriana Diaz – New York Post

Serving as an example of why The Post has been removed from competition and has the award named after the outlet, here is just one of the latest gems from the masters of the clickbait arresting headline.





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