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 Explanatory Reporting
While Liz Cheney was making the rounds of her farewell tour, the excited media praised her excessively – for losing her primary. While she was visiting with Jon Karl, the host spoke with her about the prospects in the mid-terms, and his giddiness got the better of him. Karl insisted that if Joe Biden experiences gains for Democrats in the Senate, it would be the first time a first-term president experienced this since the Kennedy administration. Small issue–it has happened repeatedly since Kennedy…including all the way back to Trump’s mid-term election.
“It looks like Democrats could pick up…a couple of seats in the Senate. No first-term president has picked up Senate seats in the midterms since JFK.”
In fact, it happened 3 times since Kennedy, INCLUDING THE LAST MIDTERMS.
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 22, 2022
Distinguished Public Serfvice
Fresh off of her book tour, Katie Tur used her daytime show to explain to America how important Planned Parenthood is for women. She resorted to the disqualifying argument that PPFA provides numerous services for women beyond abortion. It is a curious stance, since the new laws coming online in various states do not target Planned Parenthood, and if abortion is only a small amount of the services the organization provides, then there should be no threat to the outfit in general.
Better still, though, was Tur beginning this monologue by explaining why abortion is important for women — including this unpersuasive reason.
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 24, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
Sticking with the abortion issue, on CNN, Mike Sciutto and Poppy Harlow brought on lead fact-checker Tom Foreman to discuss details of the new Texas abortion law. Foreman claimed that any doctor performing an abortion on a woman whose life is endangered by the pregnancy could face life in prison. This foremost authority on the facts and the truth managed to get his fact-check 180 degrees incorrect, as Texas does in fact allow for the procedure in these cases. Sciutto and Harlow had to come back later in their show and correct the record previously declared official by Foreman.
Aren’t fact checkers supposed to become the final word on a topic, following research into a matter??
Here is CNN’s lead fact-checker Tom Foreman getting the Texas abortion law COMPLETELY incorrect, so much so that the same program had to debunk his own claim. pic.twitter.com/gwrgOH3xBR
— Brad Slager: CNN+ Lifetime Subscriber (@MartiniShark) August 28, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
Sticking with CNN fact-checkers, on Jim Acosta’s weekend show, he brought on junior checker Daniel; Dale to go over the details of a Herschel Walker campaign ad about his opponent Raphael Warnock. Walker’s commercial concerns ads Warnock ran in 2020 showing him walking a dog and doting on the beagle. Walker states he has lied that it was his dog, with even the New York Times affirming the dog belongs to a Warnock supporter.
Acosta and Dale are here to expose the truth. Walker is the one lying in his ad because, although Warnock repeatedly portrayed himself as the dog’s owner, he never actually said he owned the dog!
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 28, 2022
Distinguished Sports Reporting
- John Wawrow — Associated Press
The NFL preseason is in full swing, with personnel cuts about to take place. Things must be a tad slow news-wise in Buffalo, where Wawrow is covering the Bills’ summer camp. While on-site, Wawrow was less concerned with player development and roster moves than he was with the possible offenses with the ambient music at the practice field.
Just dawned on me that the #Bills practice music soundtrack rarely, if ever, features a female act.
— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) August 22, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Christopher Spata — Tampa Bay Times
Does your daily calendar fill up with announcements of what is being designated on a particular day? You can thank the likes of Spata, who looked into making a gag of the “official National…” items celebrated at random, proving just how random these notices can get. Spata tried to make a joke by designating National Cuban Sandwich Day, and to his bemusement years ago, it became one of the entrenched food remembrances as a result.
Speaking of controversy, there’s a guy who made up National Cuban Sandwich day. (He’s in Tampa, naturally.) Listen, it’s not like all these “national” days are made up anyway, right? https://t.co/j9nisShlIp
— Carlos Frías (@Carlos_Frias) August 23, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Dalya Alberge — The Guardian
One of the more asinine entries in the art world has been the banana duct taped to a wall and declared to be art. Originally displayed in Miami, it has been sold to museums that have display instructions for this installation. Now a lawsuit is circulating that the artist who created Comedian had plagiarized the idea, as another man states he had taped fruit to a wall and posted the results on YouTube and social media. A judge has ruled the suit has merit, and it will be brought to trial as a result.
Banana split: artists set for court battle over who first taped fruit to the wall https://t.co/XSmRb2C3b1
— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) August 20, 2022