The Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors: Jack Smith's Guns, Workers Strike Over Buns, and the NY Times' Songs

Our weekly unworthy Pulitzer Prize recognition of less-than-meritorious excellence in journalism.

As an extension of the media-mocking venture at Townhall, Riffed From the Headlines, we once again note the sub-exalted performances from our journalism industry in numerous categories to properly recognize the low water mark in the press.


Distinguished Breaking News

  • Kelly O’Donnell – NBC News

In her desire to join the rest of the media complex obsessing over Trump’s movements ahead of his latest indictment, Kelly O’Donnell arrived with her version of perspective. With shots of the former president’s plane on a runway, not doing anything, the newest president of the White House Correspondents Association offered her insight: He had to sit and wait to taxi for takeoff because he is not the president of the United States any longer.

Distinguished National Reporting

  • Nora O’Donnell, Robert Costa – CBS News

If you want to see just how much the press is positively giddy over yet another Trump indictment, we have the latest example from the crew at CBS News. Last Week on CNN, a seven-person panel marveled at the message Jack Smith was sending to Donald Trump – by going to a Subway location and ordering a footlong sandwich. Now Smith’s exercise routine has the experts at CBS declaring how this is impactful on the coming court case.

O’DONNELL: “Jack Smith is someone who has run over and competed in 100 Iron Man Triathlons. He was reportedly at one point hit when he was on his bike by a truck, and 10 weeks later, he ran another triathlon. This is a man of a lot of grit and a lot of determination. 


COSTA: “His aggressive approach to his personal health and exercise correlates to how he approaches his prosecution.”

Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

  • Jo Yurcaba – NBC News

The media complex is so beholden to particular agendas that they latch onto an item without stepping back and considering whether what they are in a froth about constitutes a legitimate news story. 

Normally a group of young workers acting up at an area business would not warrant a national news story. But when they are at a chain location and “protesting” LGBT𝜋 issues then we are led to believe it is important.

At one Los Angeles Cinnabon location, the staff walked out to protest the store indicating the pride flags could not be displayed on the premises. A group of petulant kids did not want to work because of a social posturing issue that has nothing to do with store operations. This story should be no more than four words:

“Local Cinnabon Now Hiring”


Distinguished Cultural Criticism

  • John Eligon – New York Times

This might normally be dismissed as just another social signaling piece from the paper that is full of these entries each week. But the fact that just a week or so ago, the Times joined the chorus of outlets expressing dismay that Jason Aldean sang “Try That in a Small Town” means that this latest musical lecture is all the more precious.

After finding racism and calls for violence in a song that never mentions race and only alludes to reprisal for any violence experienced, it is remarkable to see this outlet approach a South African song directly calling for racial murder and defending it as a nothing burger. It is not as if it is difficult to find something objectionable in the song, considering it is titled “Kill the Boer.”


The Quaker Oats Rice Cakes™ Award for Distinguished Content-Free Reporting

  •  Stephanie Giang-Paunon – Fox News

Here is a lesson in how celebrities are so much different than us. When something of a criminal nature occurs, a celebrity can be deemed a “near-victim” because they were tangentially connected and separated by a length of time.


An armed robbery took place at a Los Angeles restaurant, and Katherine McPhee was very nearly involved!

  • A clip of the incident was shared on Instagram, to which McPhee responded, “Omg missed this by probably a few hours.”


Distinguished Sports Reporting

  • Daniel McFadin – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

NASCAR reporter McFadin was on the case of NASCAR Cup Series driver Noah Gragson when it was discovered that a severe social inequity had been committed.

“Noah Gragson committed an inexcusable offense on Saturday (July 2)”, writes McFadin, “and left unchecked, it could alter the landscape of NASCAR going forward.”

If this sounds like a severe, borderline criminal action being uncovered, let me assure you – it most certainly is not. 

Gragson committed the offense of “liking” a meme on social media. The meme was a tasteless depiction of George Floyd, the man who was a victim of police activity that kicked off the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. To reiterate – Gragson did not post, comment on, or otherwise generate anything connected to this image. Hit the “like” button three months ago on his social media account. 

For this, he has been suspended indefinitely from racing.



Distinguished Feature Reporting

  • John Yang – Public Broadcasting Service

The press loves to hype up the climate hysteria, and now they are cashing in on the stresses over the environment they have created. On “PBS News Weekend,” host John Yang spoke with an expert who helps people through the tension in dealing with global warming and all of the promised calamities this same press corps delivers to their wide-eyed audience.

For some people, it becomes an overwhelming sense of despair or anxiety. Psychologists call it “climate anxiety.”

Thankfully, in order to deal with this climate anxiety, there are just the experts needed who are now available. We learn there is an emerging field of therapy.

Leslie Davenport is a climate psychology therapist. She teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is the author of “Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change.”

Yes, seriously – climate psychologists are a thing.

JOHN YANG: If someone thinks they have sort of almost crippling climate anxiety, how do they find someone who can help them?


LESLIE DAVENPORT: I would really recommend what’s being called the climate aware therapist directory. Since this training again is not built in yet to the mental health field, there are some therapists who have chosen to have this as a specialization.



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