As an extension of the media-mocking venture at Townhall, Riffed From the Headlines, we once again note the sub-exalted performances from our journalism industry in numerous categories to properly recognize the low-water mark in the press.
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
Jen Psaki – MSNBC
While so many in the press are consumed with calling Donald Trump a “Nazi” the past couple of weeks it is not so difficult to glean who had the most obtuse approach. White House transplant Jen Psaki attempted to sound intuitive as she was joining the others in the infantile name-calling, but she managed to instead sound obtuse.
I’m not sure who exactly is swayed by her approach in trying to say “He’s not a Nazi, he’s just Hitler”, but those are simple-minded folk if they exist.
“It is about retribution. It’s about seeking out his enemies. That quote you just cited about vermin… I mean, that is Nazi imagery. Now I’m not saying that Donald Trump is a Nazi, but that is the language used by Adolph Hitler.”@jonkarl on Trump calling his opponents “vermin” pic.twitter.com/yQ6dyykrnW
— Inside with Jen Psaki (@InsideWithPsaki) November 14, 2023
Distinguished Feature Writing
Nathaniel Meyerson – CNN
When looking to analyze the mounting issue in many cities of rampant shoplifting a journalist could turn to a number of sources; law enforcement officials, political figures forging policy, or even corporate executives affected by the scourge. Meyerson instead decided to turn to college professors to pontificate on what it all means, and there is little surprise that the results went sideways.
Shoplifting has also become a politically charged crime that many on the right and some Democrats have exploited to oppose criminal justice policy reforms. Many political leaders, retailers and law enforcement officials now want to mobilize a stronger response to crack down on theft and other crime.
“The figure of a shoplifter may provide for a scapegoat for deeper problems that are more complex and intractable,” James Walsh, who directs the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s graduate program on criminology and justice, told CNN.
So there you have it. Want to know why we are seeing such a sharp rise in shoplifting? It is because people on the right are noticing the sharp rise in shoplifting.
“The concern over shoplifting taps into a larger narrative about how urban areas are out of control.”
What America’s shoplifting panic reveals https://t.co/irsvT5d1A8
— Nathaniel Meyersohn (@nmeyersohn) November 18, 2023
Distinguished Breaking News
Ben Collins – NBC News
Collins, the self-described “Dystopian Beat” reporter for NBC, has displayed a rather unhealthy amount of obsession with regards to Elon Musk. When the big controversy between Musk and Media Matters For America erupted last weekend the billionaire pledged to file a lawsuit against the partisan watchdog group, immediately on the following Monday.
Musk followed through with his promise, but Collins announced that he caught the tech titan in a lie. Musk’s filing did NOT occur the very second that courthouse doors opened on that day!
You’re not gonna believe this, but a “thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters” was not filed “the split second court opens on Monday.” https://t.co/SxgvSmv7oG
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 20, 2023
The Quaker Rice Cakes Plaque for Content-Free Reporting
Recently Gannett announced it had hired someone to become its full-time Taylor Swift reporter. Apparently, Herb Scribner sees this as a career advancement opportunity at his paper as he delivers this vacuous report that would be of little interest to anyone but the most ardent of Swifties.
Here we are told that her fans have become deeply interested in the social media past of her famous boyfriend, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. It is unclear why his affection for the Chipotle restaurant in his college years is considered compelling for anyone, but why this is valid enough content for a reporter to write about is the real mystery.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s old social media posts have caught the attention of Swifties, who are roasting the NFL star for his appreciation of chicken Alfredo, interest in squirrels and disregard for math class, among other things. https://t.co/kKrAAzguTU
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 16, 2023
Distinguished Sports Reporting
It is a known fact that sideline reporters are a required part of any football game broadcast, despite the fact they rarely deliver any content of real import. Aside from the occasional update on an injury from the bench area, mostly what we get are the vapid interviews with coaches as they are trotting into the locker room. Normally we hear deep-as-a-shotglass insights like, “We just have to start outscoring them,” or “Our guys need to take this one play at a time,” and similar gems.
Thompson, part of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football announcing team, was on the “Pardon My Take” podcast recently and admitted that at times, when coaches might spurn her attempt at these empty interview sessions, she would completely fabricate the conversation that never took place.
I would make up the report sometimes because A., the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime or it was too late and I was like, I didn’t want to screw up the report, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up.’
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 16, 2023
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
It was early last year when dinosaur rocker Neil Young attempted to cancel Joe Rogan by announcing he was pulling his songs off of Spotify. Not only did this lead to shrugs, but he was later embarrassed to learn he had no control of much of his catalog and his music remained on the platform.
Why anyone would listen any further to his activism after that makes little sense, but here he is once again, this time declaring he will be leaving Xitter due to his opposition to Elon Musk. So…that happened, we have to guess.
Neil Young Is Done With X & Elon Musk: ‘We Are Taking Action Against His Company’ https://t.co/ExYGt2EnpG
— billboard (@billboard) November 20, 2023
Distinguished Cultural Criticism
The Israel-Hamas war has brought out some very impassioned reactions from people. However, impassioned does not always translate to rational. Anne Boyer provided her resignation letter from the NY Times to the public. She quit over the paper’s coverage of Israel and implied it was being unfair to Hamas.
We can debate how the paper the news outlet is covering the war, but one thing you cannot debate: A poetry editor quitting over this will have absolutely ZERO impact on anything related. Or…anything in general, for that matter.
Collateral Damage in the Israel-Hamas Conflict: The NY Times Poetry Editor Resigns Over…Well, Somethinghttps://t.co/9FPLP1ueeJ
— RedState (@RedState) November 17, 2023