Meritocracy At Work

Pulitzer affirmative action for wingnuts:

Alas, that was not the case. The proud Journal linked to the 10 entries it had submitted to the Pulitzer board on Rago’s behalf. For starters, four of them had the derogatory term “ObamaCare” right in the headlines. On closer inspection, all ten of them used it in the body of the pieces. And Rago’s arguments were, in the main, predictable and sometimes fact-challenged. One after another it’s simply Rago Against the Machine.

One of his columns, from this past January 19, not among the entries (it was probably past the deadlline), continued the drumbeat. Its headline: “ObamaCare Howlers.” Six days before that another one: “New Jersey Sits Out ObamaCare Fight. ”

But young Rago is an expert on many subjects. Check out his March 21 punditry: “No Nuke Disaster…. the catastrophe that wasn’t in Fukushima.”

***

Rago graduated from Dartmouth in 2005, where he edited the famously right wing Dartmouth Review. Naturally he was soon hired by the Journal and quickly gained notice by mocking the rise of the blogosphere, earning mockery from bloggers even on the right.

Here are just three wonderful Rago-isms from his winning Pulitzer entries:

March 20, 2010: “With the House’s climactic vote on ObamaCare tomorrow, Democrats are on the cusp of a profound and historic mistake, comparable in our view to the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act. Everyone is preoccupied now with the politics, but ultimately at stake on Sunday is the kind of country America will be. The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country’s fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough. Inextricably bound up in a plan as far-reaching and ambitious as ObamaCare are also larger questions about the role of government, the dynamism of American enterprise and the nature of a free society.”

April 2, 2010: “Democrats may have been able to trample the rules of the Senate to pass their unpopular bill on a narrow partisan vote, but they shouldn’t be able to trample the Constitution as well.”

December 23, 2010: “As long as the press corps is nominating ‘lies of the year,’ ours goes to the formal legislative title of ObamaCare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For a bill that in reality will raise health costs and reduce patient choice, the name recalls Mary McCarthy’s famous line about every word being a lie, including ‘the’ and ‘and.'”

In other news, Meghan McCain is interviewing Donald Trump for the Daily Beast.






50 replies
  1. 1
    harokin says:

    Fred Hiatt has a sad.

  2. 2
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    December 23, 2010: “As long as the press corps is nominating ‘lies of the year,’ ours goes to the formal legislative title of ObamaCare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For a bill that in reality will raise health costs and reduce patient choice, the name recalls Mary McCarthy’s famous line about every word being a lie, including ‘the’ and ‘and.’”

    The Wingularity is Near.

  3. 3
    feebog says:

    The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country’s fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough.

    Huh? Looks like “young Rago” skipped english one at Dartmouth.

  4. 4
    Nellcote says:

    Peak Wingnut will be achieved when they’ve discredited the last remaining institution thought to be non-partisan.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Disappointing to hear.

    Never heard of Rago, and wondered if he was a voice of reason on an otherwise wingnut-studded WSJ editorial page. Hadn’t read the winning submissions yet.

    This and a Pulitzer to Kathleen Parker last year (or year before)?

    Disappointing and sad.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:

    But I thought The Pulitzer Prize was a left wing Soros controlled pinko commie award, given only to war hating health care loving liberals with pointy heads.

    Shit is getting so fucked up, it is hard to separate who’s on what side of what, or supports this or that, or is left or right. A non cynical person might think such blurring of battle lines is a good sign. I think it’s a sign of the apocalypse or Libya becoming Obama’s Iraq.

  7. 7
    fuzed says:

    On Donald Trump running and beating the serious and not so serious winger Presdential nominees: “You don’t bring a brains to a Jello/Mud Wrestling Fight”

  8. 8
    fuzed says:

    On Donald Trump running and beating the serious and not so serious winger Presdential nominees: “You don’t bring a brains to a Jello/Mud Wrestling Fight”

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    @Nellcote:

    Peak Wingnut will be achieved when they’ve discredited the last remaining institution thought to be non-partisan.

    Or named every building in America, Reagan Hall

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    just wait till Atlas Shrugged sweeps the Oscars, three times in a row!

  11. 11
    EconWatcher says:

    Wingers very rarely write good prose. Scalia is an exception; when he wants to be, he’s actually quite a good writer. But this guy Rago writes like a semiliterate hack. Pulitzer, indeed.

  12. 12
    Nellcote says:

    @General Stuck:

    Or named every building in America, Reagan HallTrump Tower.

    fix’t

  13. 13
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Good grief. Guess those Pulitzers just ain’t what they used to be. That or the Pulitzer board really hates ‘Obamacare’, if all it took was blatant stupid right-wing contrarianism.

    Hint, guys. Sometimes ‘against-the-grain’ doesn’t mean you’re brave. Sometimes it simply means you’re simply cutting the damn thing the wrong way.

  14. 14
    artem1s says:

    Teh Donald doesn’t understand the link between privacy and Roe v Wade.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com.....n-question

    whocouldanode?

  15. 15
    Walker says:

    Ah yes, the Dartmouth Review. Good times. I remember my freshman year when a Dartmouth Review acolyte got booted for plagiarism (Dartmouth has a no tolerance policy on that stuff). His plagiarism was clear. The review turned it into a full-throated attack on the professor who accused him.

    And this was before the Clinton years. Shape of things to come.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    I thought Ivy Leaguers were the pointed headed academics that weren’t to be trusted?

    I bet going to college as a die-hard conservative is like attending a strip club forced to wear mittens and 2 eye-patches.

  17. 17
    gypsy howell says:

    Sigh… just one more thing wingnuttery has tainted in our country, not that I ever paid too much attention to the Pulitzer Prize list. I suppose now you’ll tell me it’s always been like this.

  18. 18
    licensed to kill time says:

    Well, my estimation of the value of a Pulitzer just took a nosedive.

  19. 19
    kdaug says:

    @The Political Nihilist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    Sometimes ‘against-the-grain’ doesn’t mean you’re brave. Sometimes it simply means you’re simply cutting the damn thing the wrong way.

    Stoled.

  20. 20
    Morbo says:

    Funny, I use the unironic use of “Obamacare” as a tell as to whether or not I can continue paying attention to someone I’m conversing with. Apparently I can safely ignore Pulitzer winners.

  21. 21
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    They didn’t even bother to award a Breaking News Pulitzer this year, but they took the effort to give this guy an award.

  22. 22
    Face says:

    @Punchy: and a clothespin on one’s nose.

  23. 23
    Nellcote says:

    Rago is a wingnut affirmative action baby.

  24. 24
    someofparts says:

    Guess we wouldn’t want corruption to be limited to finance. Good. Now I have another institution to dismiss as a joke.

  25. 25
    Mark D says:

    This had to be some sort of pity vote by the PP (heh) committee to appear non-partisan.

    How the fuck else can they give one of the most prestigious awards in journalism to a proven liar?

    Seriously. How the hell does that happen? It’s like giving the Nobel Peace Prize to a guy right after he ramps up a war.

    Oh, wait …

  26. 26
    New Yorker says:

    @Nellcote:

    Sigh. I read stuff like this and I wonder what I could have been if I had just started writing knee-jerk right-wing hack pieces for the Cornell Review (what is it with college wingnut magazines and “Review”?) back in the day. I bet I could be churning out bogus studies about how tax cuts for the rich will lead to 2.8% unemployment!

    Sometimes I hate having a soul and a conscience. It denied me a lifetime of wingnut welfare.

  27. 27
    MGB says:

    Ahh…a Dartmouth Review guy, such givers of the truthiness.

    My senior year at Dartmouth, a Review guy came to a small get together at our house (I was in Panarchy, or Phi Psi when it was still a Greek house in the early 90’s). Anyway, being that Panarchy was the house of the art queer drug DFH’s he wrote a lovely story about all of the drug use at said party. The drug use was vodka of couse (it’s college, we were dumb about good alcohol).

    I don’t remember the story, but just remember we all made the Review guy apologize to us personally for blatently lying about what was happening at said small get together. That part was fun.

  28. 28
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I had no idea there was a Pulitzer category for Butthurt.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    We have a terrible world if right-wing writers are allowed to ignore or make up their own facts — and in this case, be rewarded with an effing Pulitzer Prize, for God’s sake — and non right-wing writers have their every word scrutinized for “liberal bias.”

    Here’s the Board that “presided over the judging process that resulted in the 2011 winners and finalists.”

    http://www.pulitzer.org/board/2011

    It includes: Tom Friedman of the NYTimes, Jim VanderHei of Politico, and Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of the WSJ and formerly the conservative Republican foil on PBS Newshour’s Shields and Gigot. (David Bobo Brooks now foils for PBS.)

    Obvious liberals are Eugene Robinson of WaPost and Nicholas Lemann, formerly of The Atlantic. Seems to be a pretty accomplished board, actually.

    Please note that, under Pulitzer submission guidelines, the Board has a lot of power in actually selecting the award winners:

    Nominating Jurors for the prizes are appointed by the Board in each category. They are invited to exercise their independent and collective judgment and submit three nominations.

    The Nominating Jurors are advised that their nominations are for the information and advice of The Pulitzer Prize Board only inasmuch as the Board is charged with the substitute or reject these nominations, and may in extraordinary circumstances offer its own.

    Each Nominating Jury should submit to the Board three nominations in its category. These must be listed in alphabetical order and each of the three must be accompanied by a statement as to why the jury believes that this particular entry merits a Pulitzer Prize. It is not a part of the jury’s charge to offer its preferences among its three nominees.

    http://www.pulitzer.org/files/.....faward.pdf

    I would really like to know how precisely Rago was selected for this year’s award.

  30. 30
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Later I found the brief, official explanation from the unnamed judges for his win: “for his well-crafted, against-the-grain editorials challenging the health care reform advocated by President Barack Obama.”

    My country has been taken over by madness. Ryan’s budget plan is lauded as “courageous” and now this inarticulate dickwad’s copy-and-paste from Freeper land earns him a Pulitzer. It would comfort me to be able to believe that this was a case of a thing not being done well but having been done at all but my optimism dried up around 2004.

  31. 31
    daveNYC says:

    @MGB: The guy came to your party, then bad mouthed it in an article for the Review? Classy. And I bet he wonders why he wasn’t more popular in college.

  32. 32
    Cackalacka says:

    Yeah, haven’t Pulitzers been given to the Mustache of Freedom and Bobo?

    I know we’re supposed to be concerned with the decline of newspapers and journalism as an institution, but some of us can’t wait for it.

    I haven’t read any Friedman or Brooks in the past several months. Let me tell you how much life has improved.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Judas Escargot says:

    Meghan McCain is interviewing Donald Trump for the Daily Beast.

    Looks like Donald just met future wife #4?

  35. 35
    Steve M. says:

    Ever seen the work of Investors Business Daily‘s editorial cartoonist, Michael Ramirez? This is typical. So is this. He’s won twice.

    Not to mention Kathleen “Blood Equity” Parker, who won last year.

  36. 36
    Nellcote says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    nice of them to throw in the air quotes.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    It’s sickening. Literally.

  38. 38
    mike says:

    Compliment them:

    The Pulitzer Prizes
    Columbia University
    709 Journalism Building
    2950 Broadway
    New York, NY USA 10027
    Voice: (212) 854-3841
    Fax: (212) 854-3342
    Email: pulitzer@pulitzer.org

    Just because it feels good

    Steve M. – April 19, 2011 | 4:20 Ever seen the work of Investors Business Daily’s editorial cartoonist, Michael Ramirez?”
    That jerk used to be with the Los Angeles Times and received more criticism for racism and ignorance than any one else at that paper ever. He is an embarrassment to humanity.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Well, my estimation of the value of a Pulitzer just took a nosedive.

    We’ve got so much rot and institutional fail in the US.

    It’s the press’s job to chronicle it, honestly.

    Not to add to it.

  40. 40
    Pococurante says:

    @Morbo:

    Funny, I use the unironic use of “Obamacare”

    Funny I use Obamacare as a badge of truth.

    Some wingnut once told me “truth” is un-ironic. So I decided to use truth in every other sentence. “Gravity is a liberal lie, truth”.

    YMMV. :-)

  41. 41

    @Steve M.: Ahh, Mikey Ramirez. The very heights of originality and wit.

    Typical week for Mikey R.:

    MONDAY’S CARTOON
    – Car driving off a cliff. Obama/Reid/Pelosi driving it. Car labeled “economy” or “foreign policy” or “energy policy” or anything, really.

    TUESDAY’S CARTOON
    – Something on the National Mall being nuked. Mushroom cloud will most always be labeled “Iran.” Some nearby liberal will say something like “oh, I guess now I should care about Iran.”

    WEDNESDAY’S CARTOON
    – Some grotesque racist stereotype says something evil to the audience, usually of the “I’M COMING FOR YOU” variety. If it’s a black person, he’s obese and has dreads. A Latino, a straight mustache and looks sleepy. Anyone of vague Arab descent, a gnarled, tangled beard and turban.

    THURSDAY’S CARTOON
    – His rail-thin, vaguely-Obama character smokes/looks at a teleprompter and says something stupid that Obama didn’t actually say. Usually Uncle Sam looks on with disapproval.

    FRIDAY’S CARTOON
    – If it’s January-March, a giant snowstorm hits that says “Debt” or “Social Security” or “Medicare.” If it’s March-July, a giant wave hits that says “Debt” or “Social Security” or “Medicare.” If it’s July-October, a giant hurricane hits that says “Debt” or “Social Security” or “Medicare.” If it’s October-January, then he’ll just do another one where Obama/Reid/Pelosi drive off a cliff.

    Now whar’s my Pulitzer?

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    Was it Ramirez who cartooned Obama not caring about dead American soldiers in coffins?

    He’s dreadful. That my daily newspaper publishes Ramirez, and Dennis Prager and Bill O’Reilly and Larry Elder is a reason that I do not subscribe.

    Although I read it daily, quickly.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve M.:

    Ugh. Ramirez is so far to the right that he managed to get himself canned from the LA Times, also known as the place that decided Jonah Goldberg should have his own column.

    You’ve got to be pretty offensive to get the LA Times to fire you.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Well, if George W. Bush could hang the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” around the necks of several morons who cooked up the debacle in Iraq, who’s to quibble over a lousy Pulitzer to some wingnut cartoonist or pundit?

  45. 45
    kay says:

    This is unkind, but I clicked through to read, saw his photo and laughed. He looks just like the picture I had in my mind of “up and coming young Dartmouth conservative”.
    I could pick him out of a lineup :)
    That aside. On the merits. I don’t read a lot of health care opinion, but his work reads like the standard boilerplate CatoHeritageAnyRandomRepublican I have encountered. A lot of bold declarative statements of First Principles of Conservatism, but not a lot of detail or real analysis.
    I’m not seeing what’s unique or in any way remarkable here.

  46. 46
    Downpuppy says:

    You can’t really say the Pulitzer has declined.

    Read ’em & weep

    Broder, Will, Krauthammer, Dowd, Parker

    It’s always megasucked.

  47. 47
    Triassic Sands says:

    As with all prizes, there are always some undeserving Pulitzer Prize winners. The way I look at it, if Maureen Dowd can win a Pulitzer, the bar is set so low that an obese slug could jump over it.

    (Prizes are mostly nonsense.)

  48. 48

    This is not the affirmative action you are looking for.

    “The Pulitzer takes dead aim at mediocrity and rarely misses.” –William H. Gass

  49. 49
    russell says:

    At least he got Smoot-Hawley right.

    Also: there is no Peak Wingnut, and there will be no Wingularity. When you think there cannot possibly be any more, there will be more.

  50. 50
    bob h says:

    My theory of the award to the Journal for editorial writing is that it was tongue-in-cheek, that someone on the Pulitzer has a sense of humor.

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