No More Faith In The Pulitzer Prize – Why The Long Face Fella?
You likely have heard of the Pulitzer Prize. It used to be a pretty big deal in the world of newspapers, online journalism, literature, and musical composition. It allegedly recognizes outstanding achievement, but like the Oscars, the award is subjective.
A Case Of Lost Credibility
I say "used to be a big deal" because as of Monday 7/19/22 the award in longer holds any credibility with me.
Based on a decision Monday by the Pulitzer Board, the award now belongs right up there on the man cave wall between the Budweiser sexy barmaid sign and the 2009 Obama Nobel Peace Prize.
Was It Well Deserved? Peace - Out
You may recall that right after his inauguration Obama told Republicans that “elections have consequences,” and, in case there was any doubt, “I won.” Translation - shut up Republicans and deal with the fact that we democrats now don't have to deal with you. Now THAT'S the spirit of cooperation, right? Nice Then, less than 8 months later, Obama was given the Peace Prize award in part for "strengthening...cooperation between peoples” Nobel Prize credibility was shot.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
Barack H. Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”
Telling The Russian HOAX as Truth
In the case of the Pulitzer Prize, its credibility went down in flames when in 2018 it was awarded to the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers for their part in what amounted to furthering the Russian Hoax against president Trump.
For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)
Feeding Frenzy On Trump's Campaign
Before the 2016 election, there was information and growing evidence that the allegations of Russia working on behalf of the Trump organization to help get Trump elected were false. Fox News and other media outlets routinely included that information in their reporting. Meanwhile, The Times, the Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the three networks all refused to consider or report on virtually anything that didn't support or add to the narrative that the Russians were helping Trump steal the election from Hilary Clinton and the Democrats.
The message being presented to America was "Trump is evil and the even more evil Rooskies are in fact helping him be even MORE evil than ever in stealing the election from the American People."
Wow, think that might sell some papers, pump up some ratings? Keep it coming! And they did. For propagating what was nothing short of multiple counts of journalistic malpractice, the Times and the Post received the ultimate recognition and reward - the Pulitzer Prize.
Sometimes The Truth Does Come Out
Fast Forward to Fall 2021 and by then, enough acts of accidental actual journalism were committed (Thanks Rush) that it became reasonably well known that Trump did NOT have a secret deal with the Russians. In fact, it was the Democrats who tried to use Russian information as disinformation to derail Trump..
The Hill reports that "Trump has pressed for the Pulitzers to be revoked since October, labeling the winning stories “totally incorrect reporting” that “have become worthless and meaningless.”
After two “independent” reviews, the board concluded everything is fine. “No passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes,” the Pulitzer board said in a statement. “The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in National Reporting stand.”
The Audience Isn't Buying It
So how's this all working out on the street? I'll bet newspapers are thriving because of these kinds of high standards and this kind of quality reporting, right?
No? Could that be why there's a Local Journalism Sustainability Act tucked into the budget hoping to make it through? Here's what the Yakima Herald-Republic has to say:
Newspapers can’t wait much longer for help. Every month sees more jobs lost and newsrooms shuttered. Thousands of communities, particularly in the heartland, no longer have a local news outlet. The bill had 78 bipartisan co-sponsors after it was introduced last July by U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, an Arizona Democrat, and Dan Newhouse, a Yakima Valley Republican. But it didn’t advance past the Ways and Means committee. “It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up, to help them (local news outlets) find a sustainable path forward,” Rep. Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, said of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act.
Here's a crazy idea, maybe the "sustainable path forward" starts with better journalism, actually serving the interest of the audience, and covering more important news with less elitist preaching.
Basic economics - provide a better product, get a better response.
You Broke It You Bought It
Look, here's the deal, c'mon man...don't be a lyin' dog-faced pony soldier, how can you reach that conclusion that the Pulitzer Stands? Deeply sourced? HA! Maybe quit patting yourselves on the back long enough to take a look around to see what sources other media outlets were using? You had a chance to do it right and you did not and despite your own lack of self-awareness, much of the audience sees right through you. And now, the "Pull" in Pulitzer now stands for "pull -ing the plug on credibility!"
Oh well,(as Obama's former minister Reverend Wright might say) the left media's "chickens.....have come home to ROOST!" The recent Gallup Poll on belief and trust in media shows only 16% of Americans trust the printed press and just 11% trust television news. You reap what you sow.
So, move the sexy barmaid sign a little to the right and the Obama Nobel prize way over to the left and just plop that Pulitzer right there between them. With apologies to Budweiser and sexy barmaids everywhere.