Journalists, authors, and one rap artist have been called to gather and celebrate at Columbia University for excellence in the written word and the arts at the annual Pulitzer Prize Awards luncheon. The event is hosting 21 winners, announced in April, including members of The New York Times, Washington Post, and Kendrick Lamar – leaving the Low Room on Campus to resemble the diversity bar scenes in the Star Wars movies.
So, what did these people accomplish that rates the coveted Pulitzer Prize? Yes, that is a rhetorical question, and you already know the answer. They went after President Trump. Nothing is sacred or protected from the rampant leftist bias pervading the country.
The Pulitzer board, under the leadership of administrator Dana Canedy, selected a category, ubiquitously titled National Reporting, as the award category NYT and WaPo were forced to share:
“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.”
They got the “relentlessly reported” part right, but I cry foul on “deeply sourced,” as both outlets used anonymous sourcing almost as often as they dragged Trump, his family, and the administration across the pages. You know what I’m saying, that old go-to line of “four white house aides, three cabinet members, two high ranking officials, and a partridge in a pear tree,” to beef up story credentials?
The downside risk to anonymous sourcing is turning off the audience; many who tend to deep dive sources for more information simply leave. But thorough and credible sourcing doesn’t get the rumors to print fast enough.
And reporters and news outlets agree that unanimous sourcing, although at times necessary, is problematic:
“The downsides of anonymity, of course, are too many to list in a column, but here are two: Anonymous sourcing reduces the pressure on official sources to take responsibility for their utterances. And it promotes the gaming of news outlets, with anonymous sources gravitating to the most pliant reporters and editors. Neither is good for the news.”
Well, enough of that.
Same Old Sad Song
It’s obvious that the racial divide Americans are unfortunately experiencing is a focus of popular culture and its off-shoots, including traditionally prestigious awards. When Kendrick Lamar was announced as the winner of a Pulitzer in the category of music for his album DAMN!, heads were scratched.
A Compton, California born and raised rapper and song writer, Kendrick’s music is ripe with hatred for law enforcement, women, and white people. To some degree, it is entirely expected to see Pulitzer gravitate toward anger and discontent:
“A virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
Wow, that’s an impressive mastery of the thesaurus. Such a shame it’s used to describe what seems to be a call for black on black, black on white, and black on every color of the rainbow violence. Oh, and a reverence for Obama and a jab at Trump. For example, in the song “XXX,” he screams “okay kids we’re gonna talk about gun control,” and “Trump is in the White House, we lost Barack and promise to never doubt him again.”
Is that African American life, or a hypocrite making a buck off the anger of others? And yes, Barack is a fan and had Lamar to the White House as a guest – not to perform for Malia and Sasha and the kitchen staff, but to talk about music and probably shoot hoops.
This year’s recipients join an exclusive club of storied writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Eugen O’Neill, Thornton Wilder, journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, and of course President John F. Kennedy. Do they live up to the standards of this award? That is up for debate.
The Pulitzer Prize has been a noble goal for journalists since 1917, when Columbia University was bequeathed a healthy inheritance from Joseph Pulitzer. A Hungarian immigrant, seemingly dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of truth, Pulitzer worked himself into poor health. But he continued to look forward and to give others the opportunity to become great newspapermen, as these pages of his last will and testament indicate.
On their website, they describe the man as “a hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession.”
That he did.