June 18, 2024

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.

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Distinguished Investigative Reporting

  • Ben Collins – NBC News

In an amazingly daft piece of reporting, NBC’s expert on “The dystopian beat” feels like he found the linchpin to Elon Musk’s plan for Twitter. That Collins is basically obsessed with Musk is the cause for this thing going awry. So, to explain:

Ben found a nugget from a court case where Musk received some phone texts from an unknown source delivering him a link to an article from the website Revolver, which went on at length about the prospects of Elon purchasing Twitter. In it, Elon was supposedly instructed to buy the social platform, and there is a 4-point plotline that Collins insists Elon has since followed as his roadmap for running the company.

The problems are numerous. Ben claims Revolver instructed Elon to buy the site, but the evidence was found in the court case involving Elon’s existing effort to buy it. Why Musk would have been compelled to follow this plan in an article is never explained. One of the steps was to deplatform the site, which he had just purchased. But there is one glaring problem in all of this.

The article does encourage him to open up Twitter, but then it says there will be steps taken against his effort. That 4-point plan in the piece that Collins says “proves” Elon is following? It is actually the steps it says will be taken AGAINST Musk by outside entities to stop him.

The details are here:

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Distinguished Editorial Writing

After the last GOP debate, Mr. Bump took issue with something he heard from the podium, specifically what Ron DeSantis had to say regarding China. He managed to take exception to the fact that the Florida governor repeatedly used the label “CCP” in reference to the communist nation. Bump is actually sounding offended that people accurately describe the Chi-Comms, as he goes on to declare that referring to the country’s leadership as the Chinese Communist Party is a slur.

Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

  • Joe Scarborough – MSNBC

The ever-imbalanced namesake of the “Morning Joe” program has been on a caffeinated tear of late trying desperately to help the Joe Biden campaign. He has been imploring the president to attack Donald Trump with speeches and advertising for weeks now, and he had on his program Jen Palmieri to further lobby for more attacks.

In the course of his rant, Scar-Joe took exception with Biden’s campaign team, and in the course of his critique, had made a truly ill-conceived point. Note Palmieri’s reaction to his comment about the age of those people in the election; apparently, Joe feels that 80 years is too old to work on a presidential campaign—but not too old to actually be the president.

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Distinguished Photojournalism

Joining in with all of the other news outlets is Reuters in claiming the Republicans on the Oversight Committee have yet to deliver—despite all of the evidence that has been released—any evidence of the Biden family committing any financial crimes. In doing so, however, they managed to make quite a humorous spectacle of themselves.

While promoting a piece that once again made this empty insistence, they managed to disprove their own point with the photograph included of Marjorie Taylor Greene. If you are going to make the claim that there is no evidence, maybe it is better that you do not include a shot of someone holding up actual evidence.

Distinguished Local News

In a report of a theft in Philadelphia, the reporter spoke with a local businessman explaining the incident. He had a shop vac stolen from the back of his work truck, and he wanted to get the word out to the public – not so much as a means of attempting to recover the item, but as a warning to the thieves.

“The truck I was driving was new, so I hadn’t gotten a chance to put a wrap on it yet, so there was no clear signage as to what might be in the vehicle,” Don Shump said. “To the poor soul who lifted the shop vac out of the back of my truck, I wanted to give you a heads up… The vacuum was there because it was filled with European hornet queens, the largest social stinging insects in the eastern United States. I performed the removal of their nest late yesterday afternoon. Those girls should be full of life and extra spicy. I anxiously await your unboxing video. 

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Distinguished Sports Reporting

Does this count as a sex scandal…in chess??? Piers Morgan proved that the name of his program, “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” is rather apt when he conducted a recent interview. In speaking with chess grand champion Hans Niemann, he moved to the subject of the controversy that has reared up around the chess player.

Yes, when discussing the merits of chess, Morgan managed to get to the bottom of the story of whether Niemann has cheated in the past – using messaging sent to him with the use of anal beads.

Distinguished Cultural Commentary

  • Li Cohen – CBS News

While we oppose censorship vehemently around here, there are times when the press really tries us and we become tempted to make exceptions. Case in point, when a reporter and an outlet make a patently desperate attempt at relevancy and generating traffic in this fashion.

Look, we get it; maybe a story about a large stingray washing ashore is not exactly going to draw in the clicks, and sure, there is this other story exploding all across the internet and the news cycles that you might be desperate to join in any way possible. But doing this, with this type of completely unrelated story, is just embarrassing for you.

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