Funny how all the 'Russia-Russia-Russia' coverage went 'poof' at the Pulitzers after the Mueller report
Up until now, Russia-Russia-Russia coverage as fodder for Pulitzer prize nominations was big-game prize material.
Here's a big one in the national reporting category that the Washington Post got last year, and there were others among the nominations through the years.
This year? Nothing. Zero, zip, nada. Poof! I checked, even among the non-winning nominees, which took some work. There was a single entrant from among the cartoonists who had a few ignorant Trump-colluded-with-the-Russians tropes, and that guy didn't win.
It adds up to a rather dramatic change in focus because up until now, Russia-Russia-Russia coverage has been big business for Pulitzers. Now such coverage, which was deemed so consequential in years past, is gone.
It's as though it's an embarrassment. Editor Tom Kuntz at RealClearInvestigations, a former New York Times foreign editor and a real journalist with standards, one of the classic Timesmen, pointed out in a harsh and well documented piece a few days ago that the Russia-Russia-Russia coverage was frankly unmerited, writing:
The Post's two February 2017 articles on Flynn, totaling more than 3,300 words, read, then as now, as though the paper were drawing a bead on a treason story for the ages. They quote anonymous sources ("current and former U.S. officials," "some senior U.S. officials") inviting the worst possible interpretations from Flynn's contacts with Russians and his misstatements about them.
A central premise of the stories — that acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates felt the 1799 Logan Act was a good reason to raise alarms about Flynn — should have provided a strong tipoff that the sources might have been politically driven. Democratic Party partisans had long had the knives out for the maverick ex-general, whom President Obama had forced to resign as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. But that context is missing as the Post presents at length, with grave seriousness and little skepticism, deep official suspicion seemingly of Flynn's every recent move. He's flouting the Logan Act! That the Logan Act is a moldering, never-used statute against private diplomacy routinely honored in the breach — and almost certainly not applicable to members of an incoming administration — is referred to only as a challenge to be overcome in nailing the guy.
This, coming from him, is damning, indeed.
As an important corollary, none of the investigative or other reportage coming out in the past year signaling that Trump wasn't the problem got any nominations. These are the stories from the reporters who exposed Deep State, the Democrats, the press, and some of America's Trump-hating allies as the problem — and innocent Americans were spied on, or charged with process crimes in the Mueller investigation that followed. Not a one of them got the recognition of so much as a nomination, let alone a prize.
That's pretty disgraceful when you consider the reporting of Catherine Herridge, Paul Sperry, James Varney, John Solomon, Sharyl Attkisson, or Sara Carter on the matter, debunking the 'narrative' in stories with high impact — and more importantly, in reporting that was proven to be all true all along with conclusions of the Mueller report. These reporters' hard facts and deep digging all through last year deserved prizes.
But nobody noticed at the Pulitzers — whose nominations when they mentioned Trump were all uniformly negative, as if to maintain a 'narrative.' The Mueller report, for them, is now an embarrassment, and guess what: we've noticed their red faces.
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