Our weekly recognition of less-than meritorious excellence in journalism is 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 National Reporting
Last week, Joe Biden stumbled through a speech – again. He also walked off without fielding a single question from the press – again. And most in the White House Press Corps were perfectly fine with this unacceptable performance. Yes – again. For some reason, though, the White House correspondent for PBS decided it was proper to feature herself and other reporters who were unbothered by Biden’s elusive nature.
It seems rather fitting however when acting subservient and being compliant with authority you do so while wearing fashions emblematic of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Alexander Bolton — The Hill
The monumental bust that was Saturday’s Justice For Jan. 6 Rally has many in the media despondent. After spending weeks assuring us that we would see a repeat of the Capitol riot, we instead saw a couple of hundred people milling around more than a few hundred journalists. The Hill was part of the desperation to make this into a disaster for the GOP, claiming that Mitch McConnell was running from the event.
The Hill tried accusing Sen. McConnell of not wanting to discuss the issue, when in fact, he was being dismissive. When asked about the rally, he simply waved it off as something that may or may not occur, a spot-on assessment after it flopped. The Hill saw something sinister.
“McConnell, however, stopped well short of again condemning the people arrested for breaking into the Capitol or criticizing the protesters who will gather over the weekend to support them.”
Wait, hold on a sec. Did you say “again”?! You mean he has already condemned those people who stormed the Capitol building? Yes – yes, he has. The Hill even quoted him.
“We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats,” McConnell declared on the Senate floor after Capitol police finally secured the building again on Jan. 6, calling the protesters “an unhinged crowd.”
Distinguished Breaking News
- Timothy Bella — Washington Post
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference for state government employees who would oppose the federal vaccine requirement. Permitted to speak were those who would be facing Joe Biden’s mandated call for all government workers to get the shot. WaPo, along with numerous other outlets, bleated about one worker who came to the podium and made a declaration that the vaccine alters RNA in people.
This was their chance to attack Ron DeSantis for disseminating COVID misinformation and continue with the long list of times the press was starkly incorrect about the man. Now they were resorting to punishing DeSantis over things — he did not say. Call it Guilt By Echolocation. It was such a foolish hot take that his press secretary Christina Pushaw was able to unravel this knitted narrative with the use of one sentence.
“The governor has never said the vaccine changes your RNA, and nobody who has seen his 50+ public appearances promoting vaccination throughout Florida this year would think that is the governor’s position.”
Distinguished Local Reporting
- Wells Dusenberry — South Florida Sun-Sentinel
For weeks, we have been inundated with horror stories out of Florida about the elevated numbers in COVID cases, in COVID deaths, and how Ron DeSantis is strictly responsible for these spikes. What the press has been eager to do is completely ignore details that just about every state has seen the same rise in cases simultaneously, as this August wave is matching that seen last year at the same time.
What has interrupted this hysteria is that Florida has shown sharp declines in the numbers the past few weeks, without any dramatic change in policies and this inconvenient record interrupts the narrative. Fear not, as local paper The Sun-Sentinel is here to ignore the science and the medical data in order to properly place The Sunshine State back into a state of anxiety.
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Kana Ruhalter — The Daily Beast
Some people have noted that the press constantly hectoring the public about following the science and obeying the words of medical professionals were actually engaged in bully pulpit oppression. Here might be all the definitive proof needed.
When Ron DeSantis introduced Florida’s new Surgeon General, Ruhalter was filled with indignation and tore into the messaging from the new appointee, stipulating that some of the comments he made were “baseless.” Pretty remarkable commentary, considering Kana is not the Daily Beast resident epidemiologist expert, as she is listed as a “Breaking News Intern,” all while insulting a Surgeon General who is a Harvard Medical-educated doctor and a medical professor at UCLA.
Distinguished Social Commentary
- Joshua Bote — SanFrancisco Gate
Over 20 years ago, a Mexican eatery in San Francisco had a promotion where anyone who got a permanent tattoo of the restaurant’s logo would eat free for life. Today, for no discernable reason, they interviewed a pair of residents who are still around to discuss how it feels to walk around with a racist cartoon riding a rocketing ear of corn.
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
It can be tricky being an outfit with blind agreement for anything Joe Biden promotes, considering how often he dismisses, excuses away, or simply forgets a prior position he held on an issue. Case in point — after delivering full-throated energetic support for Biden’s moratorium on evicting people from their homes, suddenly Occupy Democrats heard of people who they determined were perfectly acceptable to be tossed out into the streets…because Biden!