Look back in anger

Perhaps in honor of the dubious holiday today, the New York Post runs an unusual editorial under the heading “The absurd ‘Russiagate’ Pulitzer of the NY Times and Washington Post.” Beginning with the Pulitzer board’s bloviation in honor of the winners, the editorial reviews the 20 award-winning stories. The editors preface their review:

[R]eading these pieces four years later, one is struck not only by how irrelevant they are, but how shlocky — tinged with a McCarthyist alarmism of a red under every bed. Two major newspapers that hold themselves up as the pinnacle of press freedom, the “truth dies in darkness” brigade and all that, pushed a conspiracy theory.

As a lesson in mass delusion, it’s worth going through the 20 stories that make up the Post and the Times’ award-winning series to show just how damaging they were: to the truth, to the newspapers’ reputations — and to America itself.

The editorial concludes with a modest if unrealistic proposal:

Of course, the Mueller report, released in 2019, blew it all away. After a full investigation, there was no “collusion.” All the smoke and mirrors used by the Times and Post and their anonymous briefers to turn ambassador meetings into Kremlin plots add up to nothing.

Yet the damage had been done. The liberal media had “destabilized US democracy” more than Russia ever could, by feeding left-leaning Americans a constant, false narrative that their president was a sleeper agent. Whatever your feelings about Donald Trump, it should disturb you that political opponents and bureaucrats who hated him could so easily weaponize the press to undermine the government from within.

This Pulitzer Prize makes a mockery of the idea that journalism speaks truth to power, as it shows how the press was manipulated by the powerful. “Our republic and its press will rise or fall together,” Joseph Pulitzer once said. For the sake of both, rescind this award given in his name.

Not having cooperated in the hoax, the Post is in a good position to call out the Pulitzer board and its peers in the profession for their malefactions. As for the board and the Post’s award-winning peers, there is no shame. There is no disgrace. There is no apology. There is only a mission accomplished.

Read the whole thing here.

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