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
- David Muir, Rachel Scott, ABC Nightly News
It is one of the prime examples of completely reframing a news story. The news of the Texas Democrats galavanting across D.C. and infecting others has been ironic – but also lost on any viewers of ABC Nightly News. In covering the spate of breakthrough cases, David Muir tossed to his reporter Rachel Scott, who detailed for us how a Pelosi aide and a White House staffer have tested positive.
This led to a segment about the variant and breakthrough cases, and then the focus was placed on – the Republicans. Not only was this clear deflection, but it was also abject malpractice, as nowhere in the reporting were the Democrats from Texas who caused the infections even mentioned.
BREAKTHROUGH INFECTIONS: A fully vaccinated spokesperson for House Speaker Pelosi and a White House official have tested positive for COVID-19. @rachelvscott reports as top Republicans warn about vaccine skeptics. https://t.co/tH6acyxbgI pic.twitter.com/XqzboPYH2R
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) July 21, 2021
Distinguished Breaking News
- Daniel Dale, CNN
It has been one of the few mirthful episodes from this week, the speculation that Joe Biden, when asked an impromptu question by the press seemingly responded with, “My butt’s been wiped.” It has been social media fodder for a couple of days, but CNN’s dedicated fact-checker/Dem-defender Daniel Dale is here to rectify the rectum reference.
Since this is going viral in MAGA circles: no, Biden didn’t talk about his “butt.”
A reporter shouted over the ‘copter noise, of immigration reform, “Must it be in reconciliation?” Biden shouted, “What must be what?” He smiled, she repeated, he answered. https://t.co/U9j7t87SkX pic.twitter.com/IU5txmyyp8
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 27, 2021
The link Dale provides simply replays the poorly recorded interlude, and it proves nothing definitively; it does not provide any facts to Dale’s fact check.
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
- Riley Black, Slate
It has been noted that a new reality dating show on Netflix, entitled ‘’Sexy Beasts’’, could be a sign of the apocalypse. In the asinine premise, they apply a new twist on blind dating by having all of the participants outfitted in ornate animal makeup. This is done so that the two individuals get to know each other without the prejudice of looks…or something. To call this a low point in our culture is not being hyperbolic. This show is unwatchable.
At Slate, one writer found something objectionable about the program, apart from 100-percent of its content. It turns out this show is a poor representation of the Furry Community!
Seems relevant to the discussion of how Netflix misportrays certain communities. https://t.co/pwGZpTdn9M
— Larry Yudelson (@yudel) July 22, 2021
Distinguished Investigative Reporting
- Nayeli Lomeli, USA Today
The level of misinformation out on the inter-tubes can be dangerous and lead to all manner of calamities. The underappreciated fact-checkers of our world are doing warrior work, keeping ahead of these nefarious narratives. In just the latest example, these intrepid diviners of the truth are here to let us know that one of our favorite candy bars will remain in place, as rumors of it having its name altered in the name of sensitivity are false.
Everyone can relax, PayDay in NOT being changed in order to avoid offending those who are unemployed.
BREAKING – Payday candy bar. pic.twitter.com/5QijvbKmC8
— Seaord (@Seaord1) July 28, 2021
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Devon Link, USA Today
It is never clear who exactly they think they are convincing with this type of exposure. Those who might follow these storylines are not very likely to be perusing the fact-check sites, looking to debunk their pet theories. But at the USA Today fact check division they have dug in to find the facts — Jeff Bezos is not in fact an alien, nor a lizard-person.
Then again, Bezos DID just scratch the stratosphere, so maybe there is something to this after all…
Fact check: False claims that Jeff Bezos is an alien, reptile draw on conspiracy theories – USA TODAY https://t.co/HLHxvEcSS4
— The Thinkin Project (@projectthinkin) July 22, 2021
Distinguished Social Commentary
- Lisa Respers France, CNN
The folks at The Apple Network are on top of the big stories. News comes out of Hollywood that celebrity power couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have a rather curious approach to hygiene — they are against it.
- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis appeared on an episode of Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast and the talk turned to bathing. After Shepard told co-host Monica Padman that using soap everyday rids the body of natural oils, Kutcher and Kunis agreed, saying they only wash vitals every day.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis say they don’t believe in bathing their kids or themselves too much.
“If you can see the dirt on them, clean them,” Kutcher said. “Otherwise there’s no point.” https://t.co/YxzjsEuzcC
— CNN (@CNN) July 27, 2021
Distinguished Coverage In Frozen Desserts
- Andrea Shalal, Reuters
Ahead of the recent town hall that President Biden held on CNN, the White House press convened on Air Force One for the trip to Cincinnati. Onboard there was this exchange captured with Press Secretary Jen Psaki, essentially proving that President Biden’s ice cream obsession has spread to members of the media.
Reporter asks Psaki if Biden is getting ice cream in Cincinnati as other “journalists” fantasize about what flavors he might get pic.twitter.com/XaVheocq5a
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 21, 2021