Our weekly recognition of less-than-meritorious excellence in journalism is worthy 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 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
- Mary Kekatos — ABC News
Some landmark reporting about war zones has arrived. Apparently, at ABC they thought this was the kind of reporting that opened eyes and led to a new awareness in people.
Experts say kids in war zones are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that children and families living in or fleeing war regions have an increased risk of suffering from mental health problems.
Experts say kids in war zones are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. https://t.co/DVpltbBAqa
— ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2022
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
One of the fascinations with the media fact-check experts concerns the type of stories they choose to address. Why busy yourself, after all, with details from a Biden speech or administration claims, when there are memes to dispel, jokes to correct, and satire to combat?
With all of the bogus intel and propaganda that unspools in the fog of war, it seems less than trivial for Reuters to spend time alerting us that claims of confiscated Russian tanks are being offered up for auction on eBay are not accurate. This is a relief, because the cost savings for the duped would be incredible — they would really screw you over on the shipping.
Posts suggesting people have found Russian tanks abandoned in Ukraine and are selling them on eBay are false. Any such sale would go against company policy, eBay said https://t.co/idwNtAq99p pic.twitter.com/hV9SXKLpgU
— Reuters Fact Check (@ReutersFacts) March 4, 2022
Distinguished International Reporting
- Valerie Silva — Eater-Montreal
Among the more impactful reactions to the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been the economic sanctions, the credit card companies pulling account availability from Russia, and airlines suspending service. Among the least impactful: we see Air BnB closing up shop in that country, and Vlad Putin losing his honorary black belts in various martial arts.
But perhaps the most neutered response is a Drummondville, Canada, eatery deciding, because of name familiarity, to take Poutine off of its menus. They are not refusing to make the Canadian dish, just yanking that name off of the menu. Maybe they could change it up to something like “Frites du Liberte’ ”
Quebec bars reopen today, a Drummondville restaurant revises its branding because Putin’s last name is spelled “poutine” in French, and more local restaurant newshttps://t.co/QWK4rtQUM2
— Eater Montreal (@EaterMontreal) February 28, 2022
Distinguished Local Reporting
- WTAE Action News 4 – Pittsburgh
During the local news, the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate cut to one anchor who began to detail about local police making an arrest. The story concerned an elderly man in his 70s who was accused of inappropriately touching a pre-teen girl. Above the shoulder of the newsreader, they posted a chyron of a man in his 70s who has a history of such behavior – but it was rather inadvertent.
Though somewhat accurate, in this particular instance, it did not concern President Biden.
This is one of the greatest live TV moments of all time pic.twitter.com/il4Nx9O6LP
— Jewish Patriot 🚛 (@MAGAJew2) March 1, 2022
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
Axios is here to deliver the harrowing news on a new scourge across our continent – giant spiders that can parachute from above will be spreading unchecked! The announcement is that an invasion of millions of large Joro spiders will descend upon us – literally. This spring, it is promised, they will spread out all over the East Coast.
Now, I know this sounds like a hopeless scenario straight out of the SyFy Channel, but be calmed. The species has been around the Georgia area for almost a decade. The experts tell us there is nothing to be done to stop their spread. Oh, and they are completely harmless.
An invasive species of spider the size of a child’s hand is expected to “colonize” the entire East Coast this spring by parachuting down from the sky, researchers announced. https://t.co/Dnwer6RC8j
— Axios (@axios) March 9, 2022
Distinguished International Reporting
- Patrick Kelleher — Pink News
A grand announcement comes out of Great Britain that a group of hikers has struck a blow in the name of equality. It has been announced that they have fought mightily and now LGBTQ people will have equal access to…the outside…I think? I was never aware that trails, parks, and the wilderness, in general, were specifically the real of heterosexuals, but then that was probably my own, outdoor privilege in play.
As for the middle class also having a chokehold on nature, it is a relief that the wealthy will also now have access to the great outdoors.
Meet the queer hikers proving the great outdoors isn’t just for cis, straight, middle class folk https://t.co/gPYw3LIfZw
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) March 8, 2022
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Emily Yahr — Washington Post
Who knew that singing about your restaurant dinner check would be so lucrative?!
Most people do not know Walker Hayes by name, but certainly more people know him by his secondary moniker – “The Applebees Song Guy.” Hayes’ hit song “Fancy Like” has been ubiquitous over the past year, either heard on the country charts–where it topped all others–or in the incessant commercials from Applebees, the eatery featured prominently in the song. This is a bizarre amount of attention for song lyrics that basically are just singing the menu items one can order while seated in a booth at the fast-casual eatery.
After years of ups and downs in Nashville, the singer-songwriter is hoping to make the most of 2021′s runaway hit.https://t.co/XWqpLQsmA4
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 8, 2022