Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Shame Of The Pulitzers

My ex-wife won a Pulitizer while we were married, so I've always had a fond spot for the awards. But like so many things, they are no longer what they once were. Two of this year's Pulitzers could be called the "Skullitzers," because three recipients' work may have/will likely lead to the deaths of Americans.

Those recipients are, of course, WaPo's Dana Priest for his coverage of the CIA's "secret prisons" in Europe, and the NYT's James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who broke the NSA spying story.

I like Bill Bennett's summary from his radio show yesterday, in which he said these "honored" reporters:
"took classified information, secret information, published it in their newspapers, against the wishes of the president, against the request of the president and others, that they not release it. They not only released it, they publicized it -- they put it on the front page, and it damaged us, it hurt us.

"How do we know it damaged us? Well, it revealed the existence of the surveillance program, so people are going to stop making calls. Since they are now aware of this, they're going to adjust their behavior . . . .on the secret sites, the CIA sites, we embarrassed our allies....So it hurt us there.

"As a result are they punished, are they in shame, are they embarrassed, are they arrested? No, they win Pulitzer prizes - they win Pulitzer prizes. I don't think what they did was worthy of an award - I think what they did is worthy of jail, and I think this investigation needs to go forward. " (source)
Also winning, the SD Union Tribune for busting Duke Cunningham and getting him booted from Congress. Had Cunningham been a Dem, would the SDUT be basking in glory today?

Let's face it -- the Pulitzers reflect the sad condition of journalism today just as the Oscars reflect the sad state of Hollywood.

hat-tip: Media Bistro
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