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Late Nite FDL: Devaluing the Pulitzers


I’m in Los Angeles in the secret bat cave of Crooks & Liars tonight.  We’re going to take a bit of a respite from our bigotsphere series.  As I’ve mentioned in the comments, we’re going to try and put together an online, downloadable PDF book of all the entries for free distribution, and I hope it winds up on the desk of every journalist and every politician in the country.  I’m really, really proud of how funny, profound and insightful these posts have been.  But there are a couple of people whose voices I want to  hear from before I close it out so they’ll probably be weighing in later in the week.

In the meantime let’s take a glance at what a sad waste of time the Pulitzers have become.  They dole one out to David Finkel of the Washington Post, author of the liberal blogger hit piece that ran on Sunday — kind of like Mary Carey getting the Oscar, know what I mean?  Sue Schmidt should’ve been drummed out of journalism for her stint as a first class front page shit shoveler during Whitewater, but she was allowed to resurrect herself in order to spare no effort to tar Democrats with the GOP corruption brush.  Remember how the whole Deborah Howell "Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats too" thing started?  Yep that’s right, Lil’ Deb picked that up from reading Steno Sue’s Pulitzer-worthy (I suppose) work. 

Hey Sue — don’t you think it’s about time you acknowledged the debt you owe to the work of David Rosenbaum of the New York Time, who was murdered earlier this year?  It would be the classy thing to do.  Which is why nobody should hold their breath.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised.  TBogg shows us the work of Robin Gihvan, also of the Washington Post, who demonstrates what it truly means to get a Pulitzer these days (here talking about the John Roberts family):

The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape.

In a time when most children are dressed in Gap Kids and retailers of similar price-point and modernity, the parents put young master Jack in an ensemble that calls to mind John F. "John-John" Kennedy Jr.

Separate the child from the clothes, which do not acknowledge trends, popular culture or the passing of time. They are not classic; they are old-fashioned. These clothes are Old World, old money and a cut above the light-up/shoe-buying hoi polloi.

At some point someone involved in this episode of The Surreal Life:  Pulitzers mustered some shame and the very deserving James Risen and Eric Lichtblau were honored (and to appreciate what Lichtblau has had to put up with over the years from the Alien Queen herself, Barbara Comstock, in order the to get his job done please check out this post by emptywheel).  Of course the authoritarian cargo cultists are already calling for their imprisonment because the Leaker in Chief is the only one allowed to engage in National Security Incontinence.

Congratulations to Lictblau and Risen for much-deserved honors;  they are now being hounded by the Bush Administration for their efforts (can’t you hear Fred Hiatt cheering in the background?) There are still journalists doing heroic work out there, it’s just harder to see them for all the truthiness passing for journalism these days.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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