Grading the Pulitzers
For the second time in 3 years, my entry in the Commentary Section of the Pulitzers was better than the winning entry.
Again, I am not being arrogant.
Instead of whining, it is time to fight.
Listen, I didn't grow up dreaming about winning a Pulitzer. I dreamed of playing professional indoor soccer. I wanted to be Keith Furphy.
Since I started Beacon of Speech, my goal has been to make Beacon of Speech a viable entity. In my heart of hearts, I thought that a Pulitzer would elevate the website from amateur to professional status, much like Wrexham got promoted in the English Soccer Pyramid.
I wasn't looking for a prize, I was looking for an opportunity.
With that being said, the Pulitzer's graded me, now I grade them.
Associated Press, for the work of Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko and Lori Hinnant
What Beacon of Speech Says: The most urgent crisis in the world today is Russia's invasion of Ukraine because it involves the potential for nuclear weapons. AP did a superb job of covering a war zone in a non-partisan context. The journalists for AP literally risked their lives for a story.
If I ran the Pulitzers, I would have gone with AP's war journalism as well.
Breaking News Reporting:
Staff of the Los Angeles Times
What Beacon of Speech Says: Certain Los Angeles Council officials used racist language? That doesn't sound like breaking news. And how can there be a racist council if there's no White Republicans? Because the racists are moderate Democrats that aren't far enough to the left.
Staff of The Wall Street Journal
What Beacon of Speech Says: Pay Wall times 7? Hard pass.
Caitlin Dickerson of The Atlantic
What Beacon of Speech Says: This article really bothered me. Way back in 2014, Glenn Beck went to the Mexican Border and cried that there was a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions. Evil Barack Obama was putting migrant children into cages. Did Glenn Beck get a Pulitzer? No. Did the public care? Not really. Donald Trump becomes president, then journalists get a fire lit under their asses. Dickerson's research was exhaustive, and factually correct, but seemed to focus on Donald Trump's policies between 2017-2018. DONALD TRUMP IS NO LONGER THE PRESIDENT, THERE IS A REAL CRISIS ON THE BORDER TODAY.
Do I believe that Donald Trump specifically did things that Barack Obama or Joe Biden didn't on the Mexican Border? (Or even W Bush, for that matter?) Uh, no.
-Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today, Ridgeland, Miss.
Well researched articles that helped to bring down a Republican Governor. No criticism here.
-John Archibald, Ashley Remkus, Ramsey Archibald and Challen Stephens of AL.com, Birmingham
Reason.com said that "Coverage of Alabama Town's Predatory Fines and Seizures Earns Journalists a Pulitzer." I defer to Reason and agree with their assessment.
Caroline Kitchener of The Washington Post
What Beacon of Speech Says: Well done articles based around Roe v Wade arguments. I'll take it a step further, I agreed with 75-80% of what she said. But here's the ruse, even if I agreed with everything she said as a pro-choice leaning publication, the Washington Post isn't publishing impassioned pro-life pleas. When is the last time a Pro-Life article won a Pulitzer? 1985.
What Beacon of Speech Says: Again, no problem with prizes given in war categories.
Eli Saslow of The Washington Post
What Beacon of Speech Says: Great human interest stories. Saslow's writing really captured the hearts of the working men and women in this country. I have no issue with Saslow's stories.
Then what are we doing here? Just wait for it....
Kyle Whitmire of AL.com, Birmingham
What Beacon of Speech Says: Mastubatorial Garbage. I wrote about the year 2022. Kyle Whitmire wrote about Critical Race Theory and 120 years of Alabama Race Relations. He was re-writing history and advancing an agenda.
Whitmire's missives were long winded, far-left talking points. Would the Pulitzer Prize Committee consider a writer who was a white supremacist and spouting far-right talking points? Of course they wouldn't. Whitmire's scribes were essentially that far to the left extreme for Team Blue.
Andrea Long Chu of New York Magazine
What Beacon of Speech Says: Wokism saturated and dripped from the article. Embarrassingly woke.
Miami Herald Editorial Board, for a series written by Amy Driscoll
What Beacon of Speech Says: I was kind of indifferent on Driscoll's articles. At one point, I was like, yeah she's right. Then the other part of me said "isn't Miami a lot nicer than Cleveland?"
Miami leaders lied and didn't build a high speed rail or Miami's version of Central Park? Those sound like first world problems, especially when she integrates race into the conversation. Either Miami leader's stole the money and should be in jail, or they simple made false promises. Big difference.
Illustrated Reporting and Commentary
Mona Chalabi, contributor, The New York Times
What Beacon of Speech Says: We don't like Jeff Bezos here either, two years ago we compared him to Putin:
Depending on who you ask, Vladimir Putin could be worth as much as $200 Billion. Jeff Bezos' net worth? $180 Billion. You argue that Jeff Bezos never killed anyone? Between 2013 and 2018 alone, according to Newsweek, 189 Amazon employees tried to kill themselves, WHILE AT WORK.
Seriously, where you work, right now, has anyone ever tried to kill themselves during their shift? People killing themselves at work is oligarchical level shit.
Putin exploited the mechanisms of government to become a billionaire in Russia like Bezos exploited labor law to become a billionaire in America. It's really that simple. Basically Putin's riches came at the expense of common Russians, just like Jeff Bezos gets ahead at the expense of common Americans.
Did I win a Pulitzer for my keen observation? Trick question, I even admitted that the rest of that article wasn't up to snuff.
Staff of Gimlet Media, notably Connie Walker
What Beacon of Speech Says: Oof, the Indigenous Canadian Children Story again. Now listen, what happened in Canada was HORRIFIC! But here's the catch: The Canadian Governement snatched around 150,000 Indigenous kids between 1867 and 1996 and were either adopted out or raised by the church. But I'm going to say it again, do you know why Nunavut exists? Because the Canadian Government KNEW that they screwed up and created Nunavut as a form of reparations, on top of the $2 billion in reparations that they are actually paying. Gimlet Media didn't break any angles of that story.
(Yes I know I didn't include the photography categories. My sister is the pro photographer, not me. Would I send her to Ukraine to get some war photos? Probably not, she would definitely get herself shot.)
What's my point? My entry in Commentary was"The Scourge of American Partisanship: A Media Landscape Overrun with Political Hacks and Literary Mercenaries." After following the Pulitzers closely for 5 years, I am convinced, more than ever, that if you had a cross section of voices, none of those winners in BLUE would have won their categories. I think the stories in green would have won no matter what the makeup of the jury.
Now the Pulitzer Board would SCREAM that I'm full of crap, they have a great representation of voices. Man and Woman. White and Black. LGBT+ and all across the sexualized spectrum.
Go back to the Dickerson Entry, though. She spent 2022 proving that Donald Trump was a son-of-a-bitch in 2018. Maybe it took her 4 years of research, but more likely she wanted to focus on exposing Trump. When I say a cross section of voices, I mean all across the political and literary spectrum.
You know what I am sure that Dickerson had in common with all of the above winners? 95-98% Democrat Party representation. If you polled all the winners and runner-ups back in 2020, I bet almost every one of them voted for Joe Biden in the Presidential Election.
Editor's Note: For the Record, I voted for Jorgensen, Beacon of Speech Contributor Ted voted for Trump.
You know what else I see? A bunch of left-leaning ideologues from media and academia.
I don't see any winners, or judges, from FoxNews, the Daily Mail, or Sinclair. I don't see any universities like Liberty, or any religious institutions for that matter, represented.
Most important story of the year? In general, probably the Russian Invasion. From a free speech perspective? It was probably Matt Taibbi exposing that Twitter was silencing and shadow banning speech that they disagreed with.
Maybe Matt Taibbi didn't enter the contest?
The Pulitzer themes of 2022 were: War, Trump is Bad, and Racism.
You know what the themes were in 2018? Gun Violence, Trump is Bad, and Racism.
You remember the Pulitzer Race of 2018, where it was reported that the New York Times and the Washington Post either lied or printed rumors about Donald Trump?
Our philosophy at Beacon of Speech is that Racism is A problem. The Left believes Racism is THE problem. Just so you know, we write to write at Beacon of Speech. What do I mean by that? I am now convinced that the Pulitzer is simply a litmus test for Left Wing Savants. I don't write to get into a club of the Liberal Elite. Tomorrow I may write some more about soccer.
Editor's Note II: I hope Sunderland makes it back to the Premier League.
Do I support far left wing talking points? I mostly do not.
Do I have a single, great leftist manifesto left in me? I do have one.
Coming in Late 2023: The Maximum Wage.
I have erased more than I printed in this article. I was pissed and re-wrote most of it during the week. I cut out A LOT of swearing. It's still not a totally coherent article, but I'm trying to pass it like a constipated turd.
Let me sum it up as succinctly as possible: Kyle Whitmire is a better writer than me and he is a better researcher than me. But he is a partisan hack and my 7 articles were better than his 7 winning articles.