June 25, 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 Public Service

After all the exposure behind this, it just HAD to be included. This is the famed piece that was crafted to perform a hitjob on Dave Portnoy and hopefully bring some controversy down on his One Bite Pizzafest. After he revealed the bias that went into this laughably bad entry it would have been understandable had the Post just spiked the article. The editors should have done so.

The article strains to paint Portnoy in the worst light possible, it highlights a mathemetician (with a fraction of Portnoy’s pizza review followers) who calls himself “the conscience of the food industry” in order to deliver more contempt, and in the end the paper had to make a cold admission: Despite their efforts, nobody pulled out of Portnoy’s pizza fest.

Distinguished Investigative Journalism

We are not even sure what is going on here. Is she trying to cancel Elon’s grandfather? Is Musk supposed to be held guilty for the sins not of his father’s father?? It is all very daft.

Lepore heard that Walter Isaacson was about to release his biography of Elon Musk and she saw a problem; his anti-semitic racist grandfather was not featured enough! Well, fear not, as Ms. Lepore was more than willing to dispense with all of the dirty laundry of the man who absolutely had the barest of influences on the billionaire’s life, given he passed away when Elon was but three years old.

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The reason that most people don’t know about Musk’s grandfather’s political writings is that in his lifetime social media did not exist. Elon Musk’s grandfather’s political views are not Musk’s responsibility. But what would happen to those rantings, if they were posted on X today, really does lie at his doorstep. 

The Rice Cake Award (Presented for content-free reporting)

  • Renee’ Onque – CNBC

It is perplexing enough to contemplate who exactly would be inspired to look deeper into this entry about Cher eschewing the consumption of cheese over three decades ago. But when you see this comes from the financial network CNBC it becomes even more vexing. Is there some tangential connection to…we don’t know…dairy futures, perhaps???

Distinguished Explanatory Writing

The news last week was big about the Senate lowering the dress code in the Capitol. (Senators only exempted, staffers and visitors still biden to dress like adults.) Of course, this was all due to making more accommodations for John Fetterman, who we have been told was perfectly fine to serve in Congress. And then he was not.

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But as there was head-shaking over this debasing of norms in the Senate many in the press rushed to John’s side in order to dunk on the Republicans, conflating the politicians bemoaning turning the chamber into a frat house with those online suggesting there was a Fetterman stunt double walking around. But as this duo from The Messenger missed, this means they are aligning themselves with the guy who calls other members “jagoffs” and meeting with world leaders as he dresses like the towel boy at the YMCA.

Distinguished Explanatory Reporting

A new poll came out that turned heads by showing Donald Trump with a +10 advantage over President Biden. While sending chills down the backs of Democrats, and most in the press, the Washington Post reported on the results and wanted to calm everyone by struggling to explain this poll was an outlier.

The sizable margin of Trump’s lead in this survey is significantly at odds with other public polls that show the general election contest a virtual dead heat.

What we end up with here is an outlet basically telling people not to listen to their own results – since this is all concerning the ABC/Washington Post poll. Also making its dismissive approach more amusing is closing out by showing how the poll is actually accurate.

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Biden’s overall approval stands at 37 percent, about where it was in May but lower than in February when it was 42 percent. The Post-ABC poll finds 56 percent of Americans disapproving of Biden, a figure on par with other recent polls. 

Distinguished Local Reporting

The folks in Muscatine Iowa are very excited as they unveiled a new work of public art. At 40 feet in length, 16 feet in height, and weighing in at 16,000 pounds they now have the bragging rights as displaying the world record for the largest watermelon sculpture. Many questions abound as you behold this spectacle, the first being, “Why?”

The next curiosity is, just how many watermelon sculptures are there to require accreditation in order to claim to be “the world’s largest”?

Distinguished International Reporting

  • The Financial Times

There is an increasing demand for wartime ordinance in Europe, given the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. For instance, one arms manufacturer states that demand for artillery shells is 15 times higher currently than normal production and that the conflict is using the ammunition at a clip faster than it can be produced. However, one European military factory is facing another challenge in meeting the demand.

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Cats on TikTok.

The Norwegian defense firm Nammo wants to expand its manufacturing facility in order to meet this demand, but it is prevented from doing so due to a paucity of available electricity. The issue is that TikTok has a nearby data center and it is consuming the bulk of the available power in the region, leaving Nammo incapable of committing to its expansion. “We are concerned because we see our future growth is challenged by the storage of cat videos,” Nammo’s chief executive, Morten Brandtzæg told FT. 

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