Our weekly recognition of less-than meritorious excellence in journalism worthy of Pulitzer 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 to 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 Feature Writing
- Cameron Jenkins – The Hill
There are two very dire stories evolving in the state of Iowa regarding guns. One is a new law that lessens many restrictions on gun ownership, and there is data on gun deaths from that state having a precipitous rise.
The state of Iowa saw a 23 percent increase in gun-related deaths, and The Hill spends the bulk of the article on this report mentioning the new gun law that rolled back some restrictions on handgun purchases. It would seem a drastic detail and one that warrants all but two of the paragraphs being dedicated to this new legislation. The detail that should have negated the connection of these two elements is the data being from 2020, and the new gun law, only passed into law this April, has yet to be implemented.
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Jaime Ross – The Daily Beast
As many of the cases involving the perpetrators of the Capitol riot are working their way through court, Ross has gleaned some information with serious implications regarding that day’s events. Robert Morss, 27, is accused of leading fellow rioters in “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with officers on Jan. 6, according to The Beast. Of particular note is what investigators found in his home.
FBI agents confiscated firearms from his home, along with a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set.” This allows the investigators to piece together what happened that day, one brick at a time.
FBI: Investigators found fully assembled U.S. Capitol Lego toy at Jan. 6 riot leader’s home https://t.co/MowKrTbkz8
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 7, 2021
Distinguished Reporting In Breaking News
Over at the nation’s governmental network, Jeremy Art serves as that outlet’s Social Media Senior Specialist. We might see a couple of problems with that title, considering the content he recently offered up on his verified account. During a recent rainstorm, some of the static cameras placed around the White House caught a scene that was…less than compelling.
With rain visible in the frame we see a staffer come outside — and lean against a wall. She checks her phone for a period of time. Jeremy delivered a second video, continuing this drama from the President’s residence. For two tweets and over one and a half minutes, this played out, before she went back inside.
C-SPAN is lucky to have on board, Mr. Art.
And, after a minutes (with some lightning and thunder), back inside. pic.twitter.com/e55U8OPf0C
— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) July 1, 2021
Distinguished Public Service
- Madeleine Stone – National Geographic
There is, of course, a trend in recognizing that any adverse news item has an elevated risk/impact/effect on minorities. Recently, by way of example, Senator Ed Markey alerted us to the fact that in summer, black neighborhoods suffer heatwaves up to 20 degrees warmer than other parts of the same town. Yes, the Sun needs to be charged with a hate crime. Now, National Geographic arrives with a similar invocation — this one regarding the recent 4th of July Holiday.
Fireworks are racist.
According to the country’s once-valid source for scientific information, Fourth of July fireworks smoke adversely affects minority neighborhoods worse.
“At its peak, the smoke from these events can be comparable to that from wildfires, the study found. The authors also showed that fireworks smoke may be creating an additional—albeit short-term—health risk for communities already disproportionately burdened by air pollution: Urban ones with higher rates of asthma, more older residents, and a greater percentage of children under 10. These areas also tended to have more Black and Hispanic residents than those with less Fourth of July air pollution.”
Scientists found that vulnerable people and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to air pollution from firework celebrations https://t.co/L0FQgthTAK
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 4, 2021
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
Consider what the fact-checkers are ostensibly charged with carrying out in their job duties: verifying political narratives, holding spoken comments from our leaders up for analysis, and/or correcting the record on legislative issues. Now, consider what these arbiters of the truth spend too much time doing — fact-checking jokes.
The wizards over at Snopes have rushed in to protect us from the possible harm that could have been realized, had anyone without a functioning brainpan actually fallen for the possible reality that was a product consisting of Oreo Cookies-flavored mayonnaise.
“DoctorPhotograph” indeed. https://t.co/3C3btxo9Ix
— snopes.com (@snopes) June 25, 2021
Distinguished International Reporting
In disturbing fashion, a number of our media news outlets were raving last week as China celebrated its 100 years under communist rule. This may seem a curious response to a liberty-based news industry, made only more so by the fact that for years, the press backed alleged fascist-fighting Antifa, as they feigned being offended by the lie that Donald Trump was being ruled by Russian communists. But hey, now it is cool to rave about our communist enemies.
- For weeks state media has been saturated with images extolling the virtues of the party and its numerous successes. Much of the capital, meanwhile, has come under heightened security, for what is expected to be a large-scale celebration of the party’s history, replete with fireworks and a speech from China’s top leader Xi Jinping. It’s likely that large parts of the day’s events will focus on Xi, arguably the country’s most powerful leader since Mao, and his vision for the country.
Try to imagine if Fox News had written anything that was half as glowing about the Soviet Union. They would be called out to be censored…uh, more so than they are now.
This — is Xi-N-N.
— CNN International (@cnni) June 30, 2021
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Distinguished Coverage In Frozen Desserts
It has become such a pervasive and popular occurrence that we need to recognize the efforts made by our warriors in the press tasked with the intrepid task of reporting on President Biden’s ongoing ice cream selections. This weekend alone delivered to us numerous instances of these vital newsgathering episodes.
President Joe Biden ended his trip to Michigan with a trip to a local ice cream spot. He ordered vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips in a waffle cone –– and made sure to get two scoops. pic.twitter.com/ZmzdBouj46
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 4, 2021
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) July 5, 2021