Pulitzer Board Doubles Down on Fake News - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Pulitzer Board Doubles Down on Fake News
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The Pulitzer board diminished the worth of its prize by refusing on Monday to rescind awards given to the New York Times and the Washington Post for reporting a hoax as true.

“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,” reads the award citation.

What connections to the Trump campaign?

The Pulitzer Prize specifically celebrated these journalists who authored these articles. As the New York Post editorial board noted, a Washington Post article included as Pulitzer-worthy reported that the FBI judged the opposition research, dubbed a “dossier” in several of the articles but not acknowledged as paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party until quite late in the game, compiled by Christopher Steele as “credible.” Even George Stephanopoulos now expresses skepticism at Steele’s nonsense.

In 1920, the Boston Post published a favorable article on an immigrant investment guru that created a windfall for the man and a few investors. Realizing the error, editors unleashed reporters that quickly exposed Charles Ponzi, collapsed his scheme, and sent him to prison.

Ideologues double down on error. Real journalists search for truth. This commitment means going against initial suspicions and correcting mistakes as loudly as the manner in which one made them in the first place. In 1921, the Pulitzer rewarded this truth-telling, which essentially came as a mea culpa by the Post, with a Pulitzer Prize.

A century and a year later, the Pulitzer board incentivizes a stubborn fidelity to politically convenient falsehood. This liberals-only club includes David Remnick, editor of the same New Yorker that Christopher Steele chose to brief in 2016 and that subsequently covered the former British spy as Tiger Beat once covered Shaun Cassidy; Anne Applebaum of Atlantic fame and Hunter Biden laptop story infamy (“I don’t find it to be interesting”); Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, whose law school employs James Comey; and Nancy Barnes, editorial director of National Public Radio, which depicted the Hunter Biden story as Russian disinformation and rationalized its embargo of the story: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are really not stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” said NPR’s Terence Samuels.

The news outfits represented within the Pulitzer board fixated on “pure distractions” for years in dressing up a narrative entirely paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party as an “intelligence dossier.” The media outlets promoted propaganda for the same reason the Pulitzer board rewarded it: promoting progressivism, not truth, now serves as journalism’s raison d’être. Replacing political diversity with political incest, in newsrooms and on prize committees, brought us here.

“In the last three years, the Pulitzer Board has received inquiries, including from former President Donald Trump, about submissions from The New York Times and The Washington Post on Russian interference in the U.S. election and its connections to the Trump campaign—submissions that jointly won the 2018 National Reporting prize,” a statement from the board explained. “These inquiries prompted the Pulitzer Board to commission two independent reviews of the work submitted by those organizations to our National Reporting competition. Both reviews were conducted by individuals with no connection to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any connection to each other. The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes.”

Two independent reviews? Who judges them “independent”? The same people who gave the Pulitzer Prize to fake news.

Daniel J. Flynn
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Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018), The War on Football (Regnery, 2013), Blue Collar Intellectuals (ISI Books, 2011), A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, New York Post, City Journal, National Review, and his own website, www.flynnfiles.com.   
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