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 examples of journalistic mis-excellence.
Distinguished Local Reporting
- Jacob Burbrink – WXIN Fox 59 News
The reports coming out of Indiana of a shooter at a mall could have been far more tragic than three deaths, except for the heroic efforts of a food court patron who rose up and dropped the shooter with his sidearm, saving untold lives. The local news station, though could not bear to have positive gun news, so they made a point of including a disqualifying detail.
The owners of a mall where a shooting took place Sunday had a policy in place making the location a “gun-free” zone. Last updated in April 2020, Simon Property Group states in its code of conduct that no weapons are allowed at their shopping centers.
He took a gun into a gun-free zone. He isn’t a good guy.https://t.co/wTw0lEr4dG.
— Decker (@Rudedeck) July 20, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Patricia Zengerle – Reuters
In Washington, DC, Reuters reporter Zengerle was on the scene to witness an uproarious mob of insurrectionists – according to her. In truth, it was a group of about eight or so Boomers, and a few of them were toting the American flag; but in Patricia’s eyes, she was bearing witness to a violent coup. Keep in mind, these same reporters can stand in front of a looted building set on fire and declare the scene to be “peaceful.”
— Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle) July 20, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Alex Beggs – New York Times
In an analysis of a surprising number of entertainment choices that feature the consumption of humans, the Times decided to take an even-handed approach to the subject. The approach was that a number of social factors have led to the idea of cannibalism becoming more – shall we say – palatable to audiences.
As to what may be fueling the desire for cannibalism stories today, Ms. Lyle, the “Yellowjackets” co-creator, said, “I think that we’re obviously in a very strange moment.” She listed the pandemic, climate change, school shootings and years of political cacophony as possible factors.
Look, there may be looming food shortages during high inflation, but could we not first go through the Venezuelan stage of eating zoo animals first, before turning our forks on each other? But then again, if it is a case of Leftists looking to eliminate each other in the name of saving the planet, I might be open to the idea.
Cannibalism has a time and a place. Some recent books, films and shows suggest that the time is now. Can you stomach it? https://t.co/JzU1QRPYxV
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2022
Distinguished Sports Reporting
- Sarah Larson – New York Times Magazine
There is a chance you have noticed in your area a growing amount of people playing Pickleball. The sport grew in popularity during the pandemic years and has become a booming diversion. In reaction, The Times looked deeply into the game – very deeply.
Coverage includes the current tournaments, the game’s history, and how some organized leagues have created divisions by locking players into exclusivity contracts. All of this is weighed against the possibility of the sport uniting the nation. One other thing that may bring us together is the attempt to save us from 7,000 word think pieces on pickleball.
During the pandemic, more than a million Americans began playing pickleball, bringing the total to around five million. What happens when the beloved recreational sport goes pro? https://t.co/4u3jCrI6AA
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) July 18, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Melissa Ruggieri – USA Today
This story involves an interview with singer Pat Benatar ahead of her appearance in a documentary series on female musicians playing on Epix. While on tour, the singer granted an interview with USA Today and explained that the recent spate of gun violence in the news has led to an alteration in her song set.
We’re not doing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it . I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. (The title) is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t.
Pat Benatar (@benatargiraldo) is well-versed in navigating the gender minefields of the music industry but young artists like it @billieeilish have helped her see progress in the music industry. https://t.co/q18uyY1LGi
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) July 21, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Kate Peterson – USA Today
There are a number of stories worthy of having fact-checks applied to them these days, and the abortion debate is one of them in need of some corrective action. Look how many are declaring ectopic pregnancies are considered abortions. Well, the fact-checkers are hesitant to correct those claims, given so many are being made by the press. So, instead, time is spent focusing on the frivolous claims found on social media.
Here we have USA Today debunking a claim that a couple had gotten an abortion in defiance of the repeal of Roe vs. Wade and have preserved the fetus in a visible display they are presenting as a sign of protest. In truth, this was a picture of a statue created of a character from a video game. Thankfully, the news outlet was there to get the truth out there for our benefit.
— Dave Agar (@dave1agar) July 19, 2022
Distinguished Local Reporting
- Ray Villeda – WOFL Fox 35 Orlando
There is very little mystery as to what state this took place in, for anyone familiar with Sunshine State psychosis.
A Central Florida woman accused of running around outside a Publix store with a pitchfork and a black whip, while trying to sell teddy bears, was arrested Tuesday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Where shopping is a pitchfork? This woman was apparently peddling teddy bears when she started running around Publix with a pitchfork and a whip. Once placed in a police car video shows she demanded to be baker-acted. https://t.co/yYi8O0HT42 #FOX35 #FOX35ORLANDO
— Danielle Knox FOX 35 (@Fox35Danielle) July 22, 2022