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‘The Brandon Walsh Awards’: 2012 Pulitzers Reward Leftist Narratives

Why is PJ Media launching the Walter Duranty Prize? Because the "liberal equals smart" narrative has created newsrooms full of reporters like the 90210 journalist.

by
David Steinberg

Bio

April 27, 2012 - 12:00 am
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The most distressing award from this year’s batch of Pulitzers is also surely to be a nominee for the Duranty. It was given to the Associated Press, for Investigative Reporting:

For a distinguished example of investigative reporting, using any available journalistic tool, ten thousand dollars ($10,000) awarded to Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of the Associated Press for their spotlighting of the New York Police Department’s clandestine spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, resulting in congressional calls for a federal investigation, and a debate over the proper role of domestic intelligence gathering.

Here is comment from Judy Miller regarding the selection (a decade ago, Miller shared a Pulitzer awarded to the New York Times staff for a series exposing al-Qaeda):

The subtext was that the NYPD’s monitoring was illegal, unconstitutional, and unnecessary — an infringement on Muslims’ civil rights and an outrageous example of religious and ethnic profiling.

But the series itself failed to document such illegality or over-the-top conduct. Moreover, the department’s assertions that its surveillance efforts were legal and its explanations about how the program worked were invariably given short shrift, buried in the AP’s flurries of unsupported allegations. Never mind that the series failed to find a single individual whose professional or religious life had been harmed by the police department’s efforts to protect the city and its residents from another catastrophic terrorist attack. Of course the threat of terrorism is no excuse to run roughshod over civil liberties, and questions should be asked about how the NYPD’s program has been implemented and overseen. But the AP articles offer no evidence that the NYPD’s efforts to understand communities in which terrorists are more likely to hide and recruit have violated anyone’s civil rights.

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed overwhelming support for both the NYPD’s efforts — which have helped thwart 14 terrorist plots against the city, police say—and its methods. The poll shows that 58 percent of New Yorkers disagree with the AP’s claim that the NYPD “has unfairly targeted Muslims.” Over 80 percent call the NYPD “effective in combating terrorism.”

Most New Yorkers saw the AP campaign for what it was: manufactured news that played to left-wing stereotypes about police and law enforcement excesses. And as the New York Post suggested, the prize says more about the state of mainstream journalism than about the NYPD. Fortunately, New Yorkers don’t depend on either the AP or the Pulitzer jury to keep their city safe.

The 2012 Explanatory Reporting Pulitzer was awarded for a topic and narrative that couldn’t possibly be more aligned with Obama administration interests. Indeed, talk of increasing taxation of the “wealthy” has dominated Obama’s recent public appearances via his proposed Buffett Rule:

For a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, using any available journalistic tool, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) awarded to David Kocieniewski of the New York Times for his lucid series that penetrated a legal thicket to explain how the nation’s wealthiest citizens and corporations often exploited loopholes and avoided taxes.

The Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning was given to Matt Wuerker of Politico. Do click on his slideshow: a more stereotypical lampooning of conservatism — using age-old propagandistic themes — you would be hard pressed to find or to create.

With such a skewed organization leading the way, it’s time to draw attention away from Left-leaning narratives by focusing on the terrible damage caused by a media’s deliberately avoiding topics which do not fit an agenda. Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer is an unquestionable nadir in this regard; hopefully the Pulitzer committee and misdirected media take the hint and redefine their stance on professional honor.

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David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.
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